Onkyo and Pioneer have jointly released a firmware update that activates IMAX Enhanced support and Dolby Atmos Height Virtualizer on select AV receivers.
The update allows AVRs to auto-optimise for IMAX Enhanced content (admittedly there’s not much of it around at the moment), which promises to deliver wide dynamic range theatrical sound mixes to home cinemas.
Arguably, the more interesting element of the update is the Dolby Atmos Height Virtualizer. Newly developed by Dolby Laboratories, it can be used to create virtual surround and height effects from traditional speaker layouts. By using psycho-acoustic techniques, an Atmos-like experience can be enjoyed in smaller media rooms without height speakers or Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers.
The firmware update applies to Pioneer VSX-LX504 and VSX-LX304 AVRs, and Onkyo’s TX-RZ840 and TX-RZ740 models.