Ultra realistic sound reproduction has been Goldmund’s mission for more than 35 years now. This is why, through time, the company has invested millions of Swiss francs in research and development, including in fundamental research. But this sound perfection quest is first and foremost linked to Goldmund teams’ passion for music and cinema, and more precisely for the emotions that these arts bring into each of us and that Goldmund wants to bring intact to its customers. The equation is simple: the more realistic sound and images are, the highest level of emotion is experienced.
Ten years ago, Goldmund was already way ahead regular standards of Home Cinema and introduced the Extreme Multichannel for its U-room, a proprietary technology that aims at processing the usual 5.1 in any number of channels (32 for instance in the Mimesis 32 acoustic processor) in order to recreate a truly realistic surround and sound environment.
Today this technology allows Goldmund to introduce a completely innovative solution that provides a perfect sound image realism in spite of the problems introduced by the use of home cinema screens and ever-wider flat panel televisions. It is called Screenology™, and its basic concepts are presented below.
Current cinemas, whether home or professional theaters, project huge images on audio-transparent screens behind which speakers are hidden to reproduce the movie sound effects as needed across the screen. This is to give viewers the impression that the voices and other sounds, are coming from the corresponding images on the screen. However, even with audio-transparent screens and projection systems, if the screens are not perfectly optimized in their audio properties, the sound effects can be seriously affected, resulting in a less-than-realistic sound reproduction.
Projection technologies provide an excellent image quality, however, their use is limited to black rooms. Today, more and more users want to enjoy big screens in the daytime and in their living room environment, hence the increased popularity of flat panel televisions. With the flat panel display getting larger and price being more affordable, it gradually replaces projectors. But this trend introduces a serious problem for sound quality: the speakers can no longer hide behind the non-transparent display. This is why the Sound bar was introduced, but it quickly proved insufficient even for a small television screen. For a big display, the sound bar is even less capable to faithfully reproduce the sound and effects linked to the image on the screen.
Based on its two U-Room patents, Goldmund extended its algorithms and developed Screenology™, a new audio technology that addresses the faithful reproduction of the sound on a big screen without audio transparency or on a big flat panel display.
Since the flat panel is not audio-transparent, Goldmund has to use multiple speakers carefully placed around the screen to recreate a sound image that is perfectly coherent with what it displays. The Goldmund acoustic processors use patented U-room algorithms to analyze the audio signal, process it and re-map it to all the speakers surrounding the screen or large flat panel.
Screenology™ is thus able to process and reproduce the sound effects across the screen. In addition, it uses multiple drivers to produce phantom speakers inside the flat panel and precisely match the sound position to the image.
For professional movie theaters that try to initiate the use of gigantic flat panels to replace their projection systems, the challenge is even more difficult than in a home cinema. The size of the screen implies a wide “zero sound zone” for the viewers wherever they are seated. The distance separating the top and bottom plus left and right speakers surrounding the display requires different Screenology™ algorithms to secure the image/sound accuracy within the screen. In addition the calculations also have to coherently integrate the signals sent to the numerous surround speakers present in any high quality professional cinema. These are also included in the Screenology customized solutions.
Goldmund clearly understands the evolution of the AV needs for the future home entertainment living room and the constraints it represents. Screenology™ is a technology adapted to this evolution that will offer discerning customers qualitative products and solutions that will exceed their expectations in terms of sound realism.