Dolby Laboratories unleashed its fourth version of the Dolby Home Theater audio enhancing suite and Dolby Advanced Audio v2, as a part of its PC Entertainment Experience lineup during CES 2011. The software will first be released in all Acer Aspire Ethos multimedia notebooks and The Aspire Z Series all-in-one PC (desktop), but Dolby speculates that Lenovo, HP, and several more OEMs will include this software in some of their upcoming entertainment notebooks too, because they have in the past. Dolby showcased the software at their booth and during private demos at CES using media playing from smartphones, Blu-ray players, televisions, an Acer notebook, and game consoles, and said that it works in each of these mediums.
Dolby’s v4 of the Home Theater and v2 of the Advanced Audio software includes ten features: surround decoder, surround virtualizer, volume leveler, volume maximizer, dialogue enhancer, intelligent equalizer, graphic equalizer, audio optimizer, audio regulator, and Dolby digital output. These are all optimizing controls you can adjust to your individual tastes. They have been incorporated so the consumer can get the most out of the specific entertainment being played through the system—rather it is a television show, music, video game, film, or even a video clip on YouTube.
On demonstration night, Dolby displayed clips from the band Muse straight from YouTube—both demonstrating the audio playing when the software was not being utilized, and then when it was. There is an actual button on the top-left corner interface where you can turn the software “on” or “off,” appropriate to click only to hear the drastic difference in sound on either setting. When the button was set to “on” for the first time, the press attending the demo all agreed in a simultaneous awing moment that the software definitely added a huge audio advancement to the song—we were enchanted at the surround sound, crisp play-through, and lack of distortion. I could hear every instrument play clearly, something I normally had to strain to hear through any notebook speakers without any enhancement software.
Many times when viewing a television show or film, dialogue will be either too loud (thanks to commercials or other advertisements), or too soft (and the music will be blasting). With the software, the ads stay at a consistent volume with the rest of the audio, and the dialogue enhancer can be turned up to play soft voices at a higher volume. This eliminates the need to reach for a remote every time you can’t hear the dialogue, only to turn it down again when an action scene with immense music begins playing.
An explanation of each feature control is listed below: