Founded in Britain by Ray Dolby in 1965, Mr. Dolby moved the company to San Francisco in 1976. Dolby have consistently stood as the state of the art in all aspects of sound technology for film and music.
Dolby's Type A noise reduction - marketed to record companies - was succeeded by Type B, at the request of Henry Kloss - founder of KLH - in 1968. Dolby licenced its technologies to consumer manufacturers and did not manufacture the consumer products outright.
The improvement of film sound marked Dolby's next frontier. "A Clockwork Orange" (1971) saw the Dolby application on all pre-mixes and masters. "Callin" (1974) was the first film with a Dolby-encoded optical soundtrack.1975 saw the release of Dolby Stereo and its debut as a stereo optical soundtrack on "Listomania". "A Star is Born" - the next year - debuted the first LCR (Left - Centre - Right - Surround) soundtrack. 6,000 cinemas were equipped with Dolby Stereo Sound within 10 years.
Dolby Surround was adapted for the effect in home use, followed by the impressive Dolby Pro Logic - the domestic equivilant of Dolby Stereo used in theatres.
1992's "Batman Returns" premiered the development of Dolby Stereo Digital - New Dolby Digital - featuring Surround Sound Compression. An early debut on laserdisc (1995 / "Clear and Present Danger") was superseded by full application on the HDTV (ATSC) Standard in the US, on DVD players and many Satellite-TV and Cable-TV receivers. "The Simpsons" - the long-running cartoon family TV series - carries a Surround Sound Compression Scheme developed by Dolby.
A universe of Dolby Applications is now available :
A/B/C/S - Type NR (Noise Reduction)
SR - (Spectral Recording)
HX PRO - (For High-End Tape Recorders)
FM - (For FM Broadcast Radio)
Dolby Digital (also known as AC 3 / Audio Compression) - and its other applications :
EX - (Centre Rear Surround)
Digital Plus - (For HD DVD)
Digital Live - (Real-time hardware for video games)
E - (Professional Coding System)
Dolby Stereo - (also known as Dolby Analog) - original analog optical technology / 35mm prints
True HD - (Lossless Coding / Bit-by-Bit sound reproduction identical to the Studio Master)
aac plus -
PULSE - (Newly introduced / ensuring consistency of broadcast quality)
Dolby also produces :
Virtual Speaker - (Simulates 5.1 Surround Sound on standard Stereo speakers)
Pro Logic - Pro Logic II - Pro Logic IIx and Pro Logic IIz (expands Stereo Content to Surround Sound)
Audistry - (Sound Enhancement)
Dolby Volume - (Reduces volume level changes)
Dolby Mobile - (Surround Sound technology specifically designed for mobile phones)
Dolby Contrast - (Enhanced contrast to LCD screens with LED backlights)
Dolby Vision -
Dolby Digital Cinema -
Dolby 3D - (For Cinema)
Dolby Live Processor - (For live sound)
Red-letter days for Dolby :
17/2/2005 - Goes public / Stock for sale on New York Stock Exchange (Symbol - DLB)
15/3/2005 - Celebrates 40 years of enhancing entertainment / ShoWest 2005 Festival - San Francisco
8 January, 2007 - Announces the arrival of the entirely new Dolby Volume at International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) - The innovation enables users to maintain a steady volume - transcending variance - in all programmes and channels.
2008 - Ray Dolby is a member of the FORBES 400, with an estimated worth of $2.7 billion.