Christie Enters the Cinema Sound Business With Vive Audio

The system will support sound formats including Barco Auro 11.1 and Dolby Atmos.

Digital cinema projector maker Christie is entering the cinema sound arena — but it's not aiming to compete with Dolby Atmos or Barco Auro 11.1, which are already battling in the market for immersive sound.

Christie Vive Audio is designed to support existing cinema sound formats including Atmos and Auro, as well as commonly used 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound.

The complete Christie Vive Audio system comprises surround and screen channel speakers, subwoofers and Class D amplifiers. Configurations can be tailored for any cinema auditorium including premium large-format theaters, as well as postproduction facilities or screening rooms.

According to Christie, its design could help increase the optimal listening area up to four times when compared with conventional audio systems and offers even audio coverage throughout the auditorium. The company also said the efficiency of its amplifiers could result in lower operating costs. 

“Typical audio solutions in the market have not kept up with performance demands of DCI specifications for audio – until now. The Christie Vive Audio integrated solution with its extended frequency response, high dynamic range and ultra fast transient response, along with unprecedented peak-to-average SPL ratios and smooth and even coverage, meets the performance demands of the DCI specification," said Jim Hall, senior product manager with Christie’s Entertainment Solutions unit, in a statement.

A Christie spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter that Vive Audio would be available during the summer; pricing was not revealed. The company’s managed services division is available to handle custom installations.

We’ll likely be hearing a lot from Christie in the coming months. In addition to rolling out Vive Audio, the company also expects to begin installing its developing laser light digital cinema projector in early 2014.

Earlier this year as a test, Christie completed screenings of G.I Joe: Retaliation on a 65-foot screen at AMC Theatres' Burbank 16 ETX theater using its 72,000-lumen laser projector running at 14 foot-lamberts in 3D. The company said its laser-illumination technology is scalable from 10,000 to 70,000-plus lumens.

Christie is also scheduled to exhibit at Siggraph, which begins this weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Twitter: @CGinLA