In depth exclusive: Dolby Labs on the importance of the Nokia N8 and a rebirth for surround sound

| July 11, 2010 | 31 Replies

TechRadar has scored an exclusive interview with Jonathan Jowitt, Dolby’s senior technical marketing manager.

When watching movies (or videos in general), in addition to great visuals with an awesome and huge display, something equally important is the sound. 5.1 surround sound (5 speakers, 1 sub woofer) makes home movie watching totally blissful; immersed in the movie, it’s almost like being in it if you have really good sound (granted that your player can output 5.1 and not just mangle stereo). Hearing cars zoom around you, or the characters circle you – from action, horror, to comedy and family stuff, you just can’t beat having surround sound as opposed to standard stereo.

Click here for the full article. Thanks for the heads up marc/mrbean!

Key points below:

  • “Nokia N8 is more than a phone – it’s the first convincing PMP hybrid with 720p playback, HDMI out with 5.1 channel surround sound!”
  • Apparently, you could get (on the 16GB model) at least 30 90 minute movies (at 533MB per movie in MPEG4 h.264 – DivX average 700MB) . Though if you want more memory, you could just upgrade the memory card to 16GB or even 32GB.
  • 5.1 was not expected in handsets, and has arrived much earlier than expected on the roadmap
  • industry is going towards an MPEG container; H.264 720p with a standardised audio stream based around 5.1
  • “As a viewing experience derived from a mobile phone it’s kind of unsettling.”
  • Difference between what you get on iTunes is iTunes stuff is two channel, for N8 it uses multichannel
  • Huge step up from AAC
  • “If you had a white board session with a development team to determine what to put in a phone that Apple doesn’t have, you’d end up with the N8…They’ve included some definite iPhone/iPod-type beating technologies in this device. “
  • On Content, “That’s very much on Nokia’s agenda, but I can’t obviously give any content partners’ names away at this point because the services are not live”. Content, content, content. Users need a resource to obtain them for their Nokia device – something simple, easy to use and easy to pay for. So services coming soon for movie downloads on Nokia?
  • For full quality movie downloads, Dolby recommends side loading (like iPod, download to PC, loading to iPod) though I can’t see why the phone couldn’t download direct if both sources are downloading over WiFi (aside from battery drain).

Think about it – as well as your smartphone, this is your music player, your digital camera, sat nav and now full on HD movie player with 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus surround sound and more. It’s such a great value for money proposition when considering this is priced at 370EUR minus tax/subsidies. I’ve only just got a new point and shoot which I’m sure the N8 will make redundant.



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Category: Nokia, Nseries, Symbian

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