Sony, Rakuten, IMAX, and DTS have today announced that the IMAX Enhanced initiative, along with the first content, is coming to Europe.
IMAX Enhanced in Europe
IMAX and DTS in collaboration unveiled the IMAX Enhanced initiative in September 2018, and the first UHD Blu-ray discs and streaming content arrived later in 2018 and in 2019. In partnership with Sony and Rakuten, IMAX Enhanced is now being expanded to Europe, the companies confirmed at IFA 2019.
IMAX Enhanced content such as Venom, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Spider-Man: Far From Home (including 45 minutes of IMAX's aspect ratio) will be available through Rakuten TV on select 2019 Sony TVs; AG9, XG95, and ZG9.
- "We are excited to bring IMAX Enhanced content to Europe for the first time through our collaboration with Sony and Rakuten TV," said Francisco Navarro-Sertich, SVP Strategy, IMAX. "Today’s announcement continues our efforts to usher in a new level of quality in home entertainment by pairing IMAX digitally re-mastered 4K HDR content with IMAX Enhanced Sony Bravia TVs so that consumers can experience their favourite content with breathtaking images and immersive sound as the filmmakers intended for the home."
At launch in "early September", Rakuten TV will offer IMAX Enhanced content in the UK, Spain, Germany, France, and Italy, with more countries to follow in the future.
What is IMAX Enhanced? Well, it is not an HDR format. Instead it is a marketing label used to indicate that the content has been mastered in accordance to a set of requirements such as a larger aspect ratio and digital noise reduction. It is a response to Dolby's succes with Dolby Vision and Atmos in the living room. DTS is involved but it is worth noting that current Sony TVs do not support DTS:X.
Why is it limited to so few models when additional Sony models are supported in the US? How much will Rakuten charge for IMAX Enhanced content? Will other TV makers embrace it? We are trying to find out more at IFA 2019.