After being demoed in the depths of the BT Tower just before Christmas, BT Sport’s new Dolby Atmos feature made an impressive broadcast debut this week.
We joined colleagues from other outlets, plus BT Sport & BT TV bosses, and Robbie Savage, for the Liverpool v Chelsea match – the world’s first live use of the technology – plus some drinks and some very welcome after work nibbles.
The venue, Belushi’s bar in London Bridge, was packed – as any PR will tell you, there’s never been a poorly attended media event where drinks are on offer!
As we were briefed back in December, to make the best possible use of Atmos, a dozen extra microphones are placed around the stadium to pick up sounds such as the ref’s whistle, the impact of a boot on the ball and the chatter of the crowd, which might be lost or muted in a traditional broadcast.
BT’s production team out at the stadium pick from this library of elements to create a sound experience which BT boasts is as close as any broadcast can get to being in the stadium.
Partnered with the broadcaster’s 4K pictures, the result was stunning and to our ear delivered on promises by BT Sport’s Chief Operating Officer, Jamie Hindhaugh, to offer subscribers the “best picture and best sound” possible.
Even in a packed and gossip filled venue, the clarity and richness of the soundtrack was obvious, and those with compatible kit at home are clearly going to be in for treat.
BT says every Premier League match broadcast live on the 4K channel, plus selected FA cup games, will include Atmos and the feature is also being roll-out to additional sports which will be confirmed in the coming weeks.
Based on what we heard this week, even without the potential roll-out to films and TV, there’s enough sports content coming to justify upgrading your home cinema system.
The kit used on the night was:
- Front and Surround speakers – KEF R500
- Centre Speaker – KEF R200C
- Sub Woofer – KEF R400b
- Dolby Atmos enabled speaker modules x 4 – KEF R50
- AVR – Pioneer SC-LX79