The mid 1960s welcomed the birth of Dolby Laboratories, a name that would become synonymous with superior sound, and the founding of International Broadcasting Convention (IBC), one of the leading media, entertainment, and technology shows. This September, as IBC celebrates its 50th anniversary, it has honored Dolby with IBC’s most prestigious award, the International Honor of Excellence for Dolby’s 50-plus years of revolutionizing sound.
Dealing with that pesky tape hiss
When Dolby Laboratories was first established, the recording industry was grappling with the noisy hiss endemic to analog tape, caused by its magnetic particles. In 1966, Ray Dolby solved the problem by creating the Dolby® A-Type Audio Noise Reduction (NR) system. The technology not only silenced the hiss, it also paved the way for multitrack recording, which transformed the music industry. Dolby A was quickly followed by Dolby B, designed for the consumer cassette format.
Dolby: ready for its close-up
By 1971, Dolby NR made the jump to the big screen, making its movie debut in A Clockwork Orange. With the release of Star Wars in 1977, Dolby gave sound a starring role in film with its 4-channel Dolby Stereo® optical sound track, forever changing how audiences experience movies.
Fast forward to 2012 with the release of Brave, when Dolby revolutionized the movie sound experience again with Dolby Atmos®, the ground-breaking system that treats each audio element as a distinct object that can be precisely placed and moved through three-dimensional space. WIRED magazine described Atmos as “3D for your ears.”
“The significance of Dolby to the development of the creative electronic arts cannot be underestimated,” said Michael Crimp, CEO of IBC. “Dolby’s great achievements in changing the soundtrack of all our lives, over 50 years, cannot be underestimated, and I am delighted that Dolby is the recipient of the IBC2017 International Honour for Excellence.”
Craig Todd, senior vice president and CTO of Dolby Laboratories, accepted the honor at the IBC2017 Awards Ceremony. As a recipient, Dolby joins such entertainment trailblazers as James Cameron, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Ang Lee.