Dolby Volume Wants to Pump You Up (or Down)
Dolby was showing us something we'd heard about at Cedia, but which they weren't quite ready to show last fall. This time, using video from three different programs, they did a before and after demo of how Dolby Volume equalizes disparities between sources. It worked well enough in the demo and one thing I did note was that it wasn't heavy handed. For example, the program that was clearly lower in volume in the "before" condition, was still softer than either of the other programs.
I caught up with Craig Eggers of Dolby after the demo to find out more. No one is announcing any receivers or pre/pros with Dolby Volume as of yet, but Onkyo had built a prototype for the demonstration shown in the picture above. Dolby Volume will also use forty bands of EQ when engaged in its own version of a loudness control used to maintain a richer feel when listening at quiet levels. Bass and treble are frequently casualties in late night listening, and while things like "night mode" in some receivers help address this, I'm anxious to see what a company with a great track record like Dolby can do.
Afterword: I just spent some time at the SyntaxBrillian booth and while they don't have any products yet with Dolby Volume, Dolby is using using a protype Olevia LCD flat panel HDTV to showcase Dolby Volume as well.