BT says it is looking to expand its forthcoming Dolby Atmos feature, which will be available on Ultra HD sports broadcasts from January 31st, to movies and TV shows.
The improved sound will be available on all of BT’s 4K premier league coverage as well selected fixtures and events from the rest of its sports portfolio.
January’s broadcast will be a world first and BT Sport sees it as building on their status as Europe’s first 4K channel.
BT and Dolby have been working on adding Atmos to the channel for the past 18 months and say it is best suited to stadium and arena events where, combined with the UHD picture quality, it can create an ‘immersive’ experience for viewers.
BT TV and BT Sport chief operating officer Jamie Hindhaugh told SEENIT that customers would be guided towards compatible sound systems, mirroring how BT helped customers looking to buy a 4K TV to pick a model compatible with its channel.
At a media demonstration of Atmos on Tuesday night, executives said they were now in discussions with Hollywood studios about how they can bring the same high quality sound to the films available to buy and rent through BT TV’s digital downloads store.
The company is also looking to leverage its partnership with US drama channel AMC to bring enhanced features, such as 4K and Atmos, to its output with BT TV commercial director Riccardo Balestiero telling this site: “The highest likelihood is that when we do roll out beyond sport, they will be the first partner.”
In addition to demoing Atmos, BT also revealed its new look on-demand app which will sit alongside the revamped user interface recently unveiled by YouView.
NEW BT TV STORE AND CATCH-UP APP
The all-new HTML 5 app will be instantly accessible via a menu shortcut and will allow BT to offer curated viewing suggestions and showcase selected content based on viewers’ past watching habits. It will also bring together all forms of related content within the app, for example displaying all paid-for and catch-up content for a given TV series side by side.
Later next year a revamped tablet and smartphone app will be rolled out, bringing the same features and content available within the set top box app to mobile devices.
Customers will also be able to hop between watching a rented or purchased film or TV programme on their both and smartphone or tablet and the app will be further updated at a future point to allow recordings to be downloaded for mobile viewing.
NEW BT TV MOBILE APP
There was also a strong hint that EE TV, the TV service BT acquired as part of its takeover of EE, would be migrated away from its current Netgem set top boxes onto the YouView platform BT co-funds.
In addition to talking about leveraging EE”s 10million mobile customer base to expand BT TV’s reach, Balestiero said that maintaining a second set top box platform for a user base of around 100,000 was not “the most efficient” approach in the long term and that work was now underway to evaluate EE TV’s future.