Have you ever wanted to experience IMAX at home? We know it’s not possible to build an actual IMAX theater in your home unless you have an unlimited budget and a lot of room (IMAX does offer a package but it’s equivalent to a fleet of luxury exotic cars) but IMAX Enhanced is an interesting alternative.
Moviegoers love the IMAX experience because of the image size and immersive sound.
However, going to the movie theater these days is not necessarily the best choice for many. On the other hand, all is not lost as you can get a taste of that IMAX experience at home via the IMAX Enhanced Certification Program. This option provides access to compatible content and enhanced video and audio decoding / processing that meets the IMAX standard for home theater.
IMAX Enhanced devices include select TVs, projectors, home theater receivers, AV preamp / processors, and soundbars.
The way it works is that TVs and supporting components meet specific standards established by IMAX in partnership with DTS. IMAX determines whether a device meets the required video standards, while DTS evaluates audio standards.
IMAX Certified devices include an IMAX Mode that activates automatically when compatible content is detected.
IMAX Enhanced Mode For Video
IMAX Mode provides the following video support:
- Content or portions of content originally filmed in IMAX prompt the TV or video projector to display that content according to the IMAX aspect ratio used (1.44: 1 or 1.9: 1).
- Maximum Brightness from HDR encoding based in accordance with the specific TV or projector’s light output capability. IMAX Enhanced employs the HDR10 / 10 + formats.
- Automatic detection and smoothing of video noise and artifacts. This means more accurate brightness of small objects such as stars or lights, minimal halos or video buzzing around circular edges, and straighter lines. Grain is reduced on content previously shot on IMAX film stock rather than IMAX digital files.
IMAX Enhanced Mode For Audio
In addition to video, IMAX Enhanced also elevates the audio movie listening experience.
- A variation of the DTS: X format is used for the IMAX Enhanced audio experience.
- The IMAX Enhanced Mode for audio can be used with 5.1, 7.1, or more channel setups but a 5.1.4 or 7.1.4 channel setup that you might normally use for Dolby Atmos also works well for DTS: X. In addition to the 5.1 or 7.1 horizontally placed speakers, the .4 designation refers to either vertically firing or celing mounted speakers. This provides more immersive surround sound.
Tip: A room with a flat ceiling is a must for best results. If you do not have flat ceilings, consult a home theater installer.
IMAX Enhanced Content
- Bravia Core is only available on select Sony Bravia XR TVs and includes most IMAX Enhanced features when available. It can not be accessed through other streaming devices.
- Disney + streaming content provides access to the IMAX Enhanced aspect ratio when available (but not necessarily all of the added video processing features), The aspect ratio may be viewed on any 4K UHD TV as determined by the streaming device manufacturer and content provider. Other streaming services may provide this option as they come on-board. Hopefuly, all of the added video processing features will be implemented.
IMAX Enhanced Certified Devices
Below are some examples of IMAX Enhanced compatible devices that can provide access to the full video and audio capabilities of IMAX Enhanced content via the IMAX Mode setting when connected to compatible content sources.
Tip: If you are using IMAX Enhanced 4K UHD Blu-rays as your content source any UHD Blu-ray player (available at Best Buy) can be used.
Video Projectors (Video)
Sony VPL-VW675ES: Amazon
You can use any speakers you wish, but IMAX has suggested the following:
LG S95QR: (Coming in 2022)