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Auro Brings Height Through Channel-Based Surround

Denver – Belgium-based Auro Technologies will go to the CEDIA Expo here with its first two AVRs and first two A/V processors equipped with Auro-3D surround decoding.

The AVRs are the Auriga Standard at a suggested 12,300 euros and Auriga Luxury at 14,900 euros. The A/V processors are the Mensa at 17,800 euros and Crux at 10,370 euros.

The Auriga AVRs are available, and the A/V processors ship Oct. 1.

The company is seeking U.S. distribution and offers the products through its web site at

The products will decode Auro-3D soundtracks on future Blu-ray movie discs, but they will also up-mix standard mono, stereo and multichannel sources to Auro-3D.

Auro technology is used in cinemas with more than 500 screens outside the U.S. and in 132 U.S. cinemas, a spokesperson said. About eight movies are available in the format, but more than 100 international movies are slated for release with Auro soundtracks, the company said.

No Auro-encoded Blu-ray movie discs are yet available inside or outside the U.S., the company said. Select Blu-ray music discs, however, are available with Auro-3D outside the U.S. and can be ordered online for U.S. delivery.

Auro soundtracks on future U.S.-market Blu-ray movie discs will use eight PCM tracks playable on existing players but encoded with metadata supporting the 11.1-channel Auro-3D soundtracks mixed for cinemas. The AVRs and A/V processors will let listeners hear the original Auro 11.1 mix as mixed in the studio, the company said.

To deliver that promise, a spokesman explained, “metadata is encoded in the actual audio data and allows for the decoding of true, discrete channels at full resolution and with 100-percent channel separation.”

Traditional home theatre systems “will play the encoded files as standard surround mixes,” he added.

An 11.1-channel Auro system consists of two five-channel speaker layers, each having an L, C, R, LS and RS speaker. The base layer features the LCRs in the normal position, or slightly below if behind a screen. The base-level side surrounds are placed lower than in a standard surround configuration. The height layer consists of five speakers in the same lateral locations as the base layer speakers but high on the wall, typically at the wall/ceiling junction to achieve maximum vertical separation between layers. The 11th channel consists of one or more speakers receiving the same signal, mounted in the ceiling.

Auro’s Auriga AVRs feature 13.1-channel playback through their amplifier sections, but four RCA line outs are available to support additional channels via add-on amplifiers. Each amplified channel delivers 200 watts into 8 ohms with all channels driven.

The AVRs and A/V processors also decode DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD, and they incorporate DTS Neo:X and Dolby ProLogic IIz post processing.