IMAX ENHANCED: ANTHEM KEEPS GIVING
We're big fans of Anthem here at StereoNET. Not only does the brand offer almost unrivalled performance in cinema electronics, but it's quickly become the gift that keeps giving.
Anthem's product life cycles are slower than most, and we appreciate that. The last thing you want when you've just invested in the latest and greatest electronics only to find it superseded within months.
Over the past 18 months, Anthem has continued to roll out firmware upgrades offering new features and functionality, all at no extra charge.
Perhaps the most significant freebie was the recent upgrade to Anthem's ARC Room Correction platform, now dubbed 'Genesis'. This latest DSP just took our a StereoNET Applause Award for the MRX-720 AV Receiver. You can read our review here.
Before that, Anthem had rolled out numerous upgrades improving performance and compatibility, along with adding DTS PlayFi and Alexa capability.
Today, Anthem has told us that owners of all MRX AV Receivers and the AVM 60 Processor will receive another free update within six weeks.
Adding value for consumers well after their initial purchase, the above products will soon be IMAX Enhanced enabled.
'IMAX Enhanced' is an emerging format that is beginning to gather momentum. Just like the THX feature of years gone by, IMAX Enhanced is about standards. For an AV component to bear the IMAX Enhanced stamp, it must meet IMAX's performance criteria, or its 'standard', for both audio and video.
The IMAX sound mode is a variant of the DTS:X codec. The IMAX/DTS:X sound mode will be triggered automatically when IMAX Enhanced content is detected. Naturally, being an object-based format, IMAX recommends a 7.2.4 speaker configuration (2 front speakers, 1 centre speaker, 2 rear speakers, 2 rear back speakers, 2 subwoofers and 4 overhead speakers), with a minimum, recommended speaker layout of 5.1.4.
However, where such a speaker configuration is not possible, DTS:X will remap the incoming signal to other speaker configurations. Speaker configurations that lack height speakers will reproduce the IMAX Enhanced sound mode courtesy of DTS Virtual: X.
IMAX's sound engineers work side by side with filmmakers and their sound teams to match the original reference level of the recording and to optimise the sound for IMAX theatres.
To take full advantage of the IMAX Enhanced format, you're going to need an IMAX Enhanced TV or projector. Currently, Sony is the only manufacturer to offer three native 4K IMAX Enhanced projectors in Australia.
It's still early days for the fledgling format, and it's got some challenges ahead of it, particularly in getting enough content out there and securing more manufacturers. Nonetheless, Anthem is the gift that keeps giving.