Sound in the home and in movie theatres has changed and evolved a great deal over a relatively short period of time. The Timeline below details the major landmarks in cinema and hi-fi sound development.
INTRODUCTION
MONO
STEREO
QUAD
DOLBY STEREO
DOLBY SURROUND
DOLBY PRO-LOGIC
DOLBY DIGITAL
DOLBY DIGITAL-EX
DTS
DTS-ES
MPEG-II
SONY SDDS
THX
TIMELINE

Sound Formats Title

 

THEATRE AND HOME SOUND FORMATS TIMELINE
 
1937
'FANTASIA' RELEASED IN THEATRES - FIRST SURROUND SOUND
1950
MAGNETIC STRIPE RECORDING IN THEATRE
1951 SONY RELEASES FIRST HOME TAPE RECORDER, THE H-TYPE
1958
STEREO VINYL LP's FOR HOME USE (2-CHANNEL)
1961 FM STEREO RADIO (2-CHANNEL)
1965
DOLBY LABORATORIES FOUNDED BY RAY DOLBY
DOLBY 'A' PRO NOISE REDUCTION CREATED
1968 DOLBY 'B' NOISE REDUCTION ARRIVES
1970
DOLBY 'B' CASSETTE FOR HOME USE (2-CHANNEL)
1971 QUADROPHONIC STEREO RELEASED, KILLED OFF SOON AFTER
1972
VIDEO CASSETTE (1-CHANNEL MONO)
1975 DOLBY STEREO PROCESSORS INSTALLED IN LONDON THEATRES
SONY RELEASES BETAMAX VIDEO
1976

OPTICAL DOLBY STEREO USED IN THEATRES (4-CHANNEL)
VHS VIDEO INTRODUCED BY JVC

1977 STAR WARS RELEASED, AUDIENCES AMAZED BY DOLBY STEREO SOUND
1978

DOLBY SURROUND SOUND IN THEATRES
STEREO VHS VIDEO CASSETTE (2-CHANNEL)
LASERDISC FOR HOME CINEMA IN THE UK(2-CHANNEL)

1982

DOLBY SURROUND FOR HOME CINEMA (3-CHANNEL)
COMPACT DISC RELEASED IN JAPAN BY PHILIPS AND SONY (2-CHANNEL)
THX STANDARD PIONEERED BY GEORGE LUCAS

1983 COMPACT DISC HITS THE UK
PHILIPS CD200 CD PLAYER - FIRST PLAYER IN THE UK
1986
STEREO TELEVISION TRANSMISSIONS
1987

DOLBY SR OPTICAL SOUND RECORDING IN THEATRES (4-CHANNEL)
DOLBY SURROUND PRO-LOGIC FOR HOME CINEMA (4-CHANNEL)

1988 CD-R CREATED BY SONY AND PHILIPS
RADIO DATA SYSTEM (RDS) RELEASED BY THE BBC
1989 UK GETS NICAM STEREO ON TELEVISION TRANSMISSIONS
1990 DOLBY 'S' NOISE REDICTION FOR HOME TAPE DECKS
1992
DOLBY DIGITAL OPTICAL USED IN THEATRES (5.1 CHANNEL)
BATMAN RETURNS - FIRST MOVIE WITH DOLBY DIGITAL SOUNDTRACK
1993
DOLBY DIGITAL FOR ATSC DIGITAL TELEVISION (5.1 CHANNEL)
1995

DTS DIGITAL SURROUND USED IN THEATRES (5.1 CHANNEL)
FIRST DOLBY DIGITAL LASERDISC FOR HOME CINEMA (5.1 CHANNEL)
DOLBY DIGITAL SELECTED FOR DVD

1996
FIRST DTS LASERDISC (5.1 CHANNEL)
1997
DVD AND DVD-ROM WITH DOLBY DIGITAL SOUND (5.1 CHANNEL)
1999

DTS USED ON DVD FOR HOME CINEMA (5.1 CHANNEL)
DOLBY DIGITAL SURROUND-EX USED IN THEATRES (6.1 CHANNEL)
DTS-ES USED IN THEATRES (6.1 CHANNEL)

2000 HOME CINEMA VERSION OF DOLBY DIGITAL SURROUND-EX AND DTS-ES ON THX-ULTRA AMPLIFIERS.
DTS ON DVD AVAILABLE IN THE UK (5.1 CHANNEL)
EMI ANNOUNCES PLANS TO CEASE COMPACT DISC PRODUCTION
DVD-VIDEO WITH DOLBY DIGITAL SURROUND-EX SOUND (6.1 CHANNEL)

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