HBO’s award winning television series Game of Thrones will blow you away all over again with sound you’ve never experienced before.
Seasons one and two of Game of Thrones will be re-released on Blu-ray in new Steelbook Collectors Sets from Monday the 26th of October with subsequent seasons to follow. Each set comes with a whole host of amazing extras including, for the first time ever from a television series, sound that is optimised for Dolby Atmos.
Game of Thrones has been the best selling TV title on Blu-ray and DVD for the last four years and the box-sets in particular remain hugely popular with enthusiasts and casual binge-watchers alike. Now diehard fans can immerse themselves deeper into the legend of Westeros with the all new Steelbook Collectors Sets. Each set comes with packaging designed by the Emmy award winning team responsible for the show’s iconic opening credits with each artwork focussing on a specific area relevant to that season.
As season one introduces the Stark family the packaging will feature Winterfell and, as with each subsequent set, comes with a useable magnet symbolising the Stark family’s Direwolf Sigil. Season two will showcase the Lannisters of King’s Landing, whilst subsequent packaging will focus on House Frey and the Night’s Watch of Castle Black and The Wall. Each with their own specific sigil magnet.
Perhaps the most impressive feature of the new Steelbook Collectors Sets though, is the addition of revolutionary sound courtesy of Dolby Atmos. Movie and music fans will no doubt have noticed the iconic Dolby double D logo on their home entertainment at some point. If you’re like me you’ll be able to plot the evolution of Dolby audio in the tech upgrades you’ve made from stereo to 3.1, 5.1, 7.1 Digital and Digital Plus which are now commonly available via television set-top boxes like BT Vision. Dolby Atmos takes cinematic audio to a whole new level.
Ahead of the launch of the Game of Thrones new Steelbook Collectors Sets, HBO invited me along to Dolby‘s European headquarters in Soho Square, London for a special screening of the Battle of the Blackwater episode (S02 E09) in their 70 seater flagship Dolby Atmos screening room. Boasting an impressive 36 speakers the screening room is one of only a few Atmos optimised cinemas outside of the U.S.
With 26 of the speakers dedicated to surround sound the remaining 10 are what really make the difference to how Dolby Atmos immerses you into the viewing experience. Ceiling and floor mounted speakers and subwoofers direct sound from 360 degrees, literally placing you in the centre of the action – and it’s impressive. The Battle of the Blackwater was a carefully chosen episode which placed the viewer in the middle of the action as battle rages all around, it was possible to clearly distinguish sounds of events happening nearby from those in the distance with an epic sense of scope. Sound literally flows around and between viewers in a way I’ve never experienced before.
Dolby Atmos in a cinema is all very well and good, but what use is the system on a Blu-ray box set, you may ask? The good news is that as well as all the bonus content available for the first time in the new Steelbook Collectors Sets, each episode will automatically play at a sound spec optimal to your home set-up, be it stereo, surround sound or, for audiophiles, Dolby Atmos. Atmos systems are available for home cinema with add-on upward facing sound modules or ceiling mounted speakers available to give you the immersive experience in the comfort of your own home. Remarkably Yamaha have also developed a Dolby Atmos soundbar for those that don’t want the hassle of installing a complex home audio system. Unfortunately, weighing in at around a whopping £1.5k, it’s beyond many people’s budgets. Atmos is also available via any standard stereo speakers on specific mobile devices. For more information on Dolby Atmos visit their website dolby.com
The new Game of Thrones Steelbook Collectors Sets are available from Monday 26th October.