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First IMAX Enhanced TVs, projectors & receivers announced

10 Sep 2018 | Rasmus Larsen |

Sony OLED TVs as well as the company’s latest high-end LCD TVs will be ‘IMAX Enhanced’ certified. In addition, Sony projectors, Marantz receivers, and Denon receivers will feature the new logo.

First IMAX Enhanced TVs

It is still not entirely clear what ‘IMAX Enhanced’ is. Created by DTS and IMAX, it was announced as an initiative spanning hardware and content. Hardware products will have a special ‘IMAX Mode’ while 4K HDR movies and other content will be optimized in terms of picture and sound. There is a certification program but the requirements were not announced.

Nevertheless, Sony has announced that its line-up of OLED TVs (A1, A8F, A9F) as well as two of its latest LCD TVs (Z9F, X900F) will be sold as certified IMAX Enhanced TVs. In addition, Sony will have a range of projectors certified.

- "We are proud to join other global consumer electronics and entertainment leaders as a launch partner for the IMAX Enhanced program and to be able to provide a wide variety of televisions and projectors designed to deliver the filmmaker's intent," said Mike Fasulo, president and chief operating officer of Sony Electronics.

The same Sony TVs are already compatible with Dolby Vision but lack support for high-end audio formats. The TVs cannot process DTS:X or even less advanced DTS audio formats at this point, so it is unclear how the DTS side of things will be implemented.

- “The companies are designing an IMAX Mode for Sony devices that will be meticulously optimized to play IMAX digitally remastered content as the filmmaker intended in the home,” the company added.

 IMAX Enhanced

First IMAX Enhanced receivers

Sound United has announced that select Marantz and Denon receivers will be firmware updated after which they will be certified for IMAX Enhanced.

- “Marantz is one of the first manufacturers to support this new technology via firmware update. The feature will be supported on our latest AVRs with more than 9 channel amplification,“ the company announced. "There will be no firmware update to support IMAX Enhanced on older Marantz AVRs."

In addition, two new Denon receivers were unveiled that will carry the logo from launch. Sound United also owns audio brands such as Polk Audio, Definitive Technology, Heos by Denon, and Boston Acoustics. IMAX and DTS have said that soundbars will be included in the IMAX Enhanced program in the future.

It is also unclear how receivers will benefit from the program, other than DTS saying that it will partner with “Hollywood sound mixers to use a special variant of its DTS:X codec technology”. IMAX and DTS are still being very vague at this point and until we receive technical information detailing how it works, it is impossible to know for sure what the true benefits are.

We have included all of the announced IMAX Enhanced products in the table below, along with information about timing of the firmware updates. Sony has not said whether it will require a firmware update.

IMAX Enhanced certified products

X900F/XF90 LCD

SR6013 – firmware update (January 2019)
SR7013 – firmware update (January 2019)
AV7705 – firmware update (January 2019)
AV8805 – firmware update (October 2018)
AVR-X4500H – new model
AVR-X6500H – new model
AVC-X8500H – firmware update (October 2018)
- Source: Sony, Marantz, Denon

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