3DAA Rethinks Surround
Look out, Dolby and DTS. The 3D Audio Alliance, a consortium put together by SRS Labs, is developing a new "object oriented" surround standard that would rethink surround sound as it's currently constituted.
The 3DAA standard would focus not on channels but on objects within the soundfield, specifying their location and movement. The playback system -- whether stereo, 5.1, or 11.1 -- would then deploy the objects as well as possible within their inherent limitations.
While we didn't make it to the 3DAA demo at last month's Consumer Electronics Show, our colleague Scott Wilkinson of UltimateAV did: "The 3DAA's suite at the Venetian had an 11.1 audio system with Blue Sky self-powered speakers, including front and rear height channels, and an iPad was used to 'fly' a helicopter around the room by moving a finger on the touchscreen; moving toward the center of the screen caused the helicopter to fly overhead. The effect was very convincing and quite fun to play with!"