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In Defense of Dolby Laboratories

Benjamin Goulart

Fielding Greaves's letter is sympathized with. However the idea of suing Dolby Laboratories (Dolby Digital is a technology standard not a company) is absolutely bogus. The problem was obviously with the management of that particular theater. You should take it up with the theater chain. Dolby Laboratories can not be held responsible for the volume level on a particular amplifier, in a particular auditorium, for a particular movie. Dolby plays very little part in how movies are played using their licensed technology. One interesting thing is that George Lucas's company who licensees the "THX Digital Theater" standard willingly plays an integral part in sound and picture quality. If you ever have a problem with a theater released movie by Lucas's movie company or one that uses his THX, please call 1-800-Phone-THX. I encountered the same problem as Mr. Greaves, but with the "Star Wars-Special Edition" here at the local Cinema 7 in Roseburg, OR. Many people around me held there ears, and not only during explosions and blaster fire, but during just the higher pitched portions of conversations! It was actually very uncomfortable and I'm 20 years old and very healthy... Don't get me wrong. I love full, clear, accurate sound. I'm a total audio/video-fanatic. Yet, now I feel any place where loud sound will be created for a paying audience, they should use a decibel meter 1/3 from the front to make sure it doesn't go over 90 dB. Most theaters already have someone in charge of watching the new movies the night before they are released. They check visual quality and sound quality, balance, and volume. But volume is subjective since many people already have some kind of hearing loss. It's time they use a new tool.


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