Video Coverage

40 Years of Dolby with Ioan Allen

Ioan Allen, Senior VP at Dolby Labs, talks about how cinema has changed since he joined the company in 1969, how Dolby's professional technologies find their way into consumer applications (such as Dolby A professional noise reduction morphing into Dolby B and C for cassettes and Dolby Stereo for commercial cinemas transforming into Dolby Surround for home VHS tapes), the concept of symmetrical encoding and decoding, the transition from film to digital cinema, a detailed description of Dolby Atmos, what's wrong with home theater, the problem of high volume levels in commercial cinema, answers to chat-room questions, and more.

Run Time: 1:01:13

Ioan Allen joined Dolby Laboratories in 1969 and was in large part responsible for the origination and development of all the major audio advancements emanating from the Dolby film program. During his tenure at the company, Ioan has spearheaded the introduction of many of Dolby's breakthrough audio formats—from Dolby Stereo in 1974 to Dolby SR in 1986 and Dolby Digital in 1992—each representing another step forward leading to the company's successful transition from analog audio pioneer to digital entertainment leader.

Ioan holds several patents and has authored many papers in technical journals. He is a Fellow of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), the Audio Engineering Society (AES), the British Kinematograph Sound and Television Society (BKSTS), and a past president of the International Theatre Equipment Association (ITEA). Active in world standards organizations, he has served multiple terms as Engineering Director, Motion Pictures, for SMPTE. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), and he was awarded a prestigious honorary degree of Doctor of Science from the University of Nottingham in the UK.

Ioan helped establish and was the chairman of the Dye Track Committee, which was honored in 2007 by the AMPAS Scientific and Technical Committee for its contributions to the environmentally responsible industry conversion from silver-based to cyan-dye analog soundtracks. He also currently serves as technical chairman of the Trailer Audio Standards Association (TASA).

Ioan has received much recognition for his work over the years. He is a recipient of SMPTE's Samuel L. Warner Award and the AES Silver Medal Award for his contributions to motion-picture sound. He has also received several Academy Awards for scientific and engineering achievement. In 1989, Ioan and Ray Dolby were awarded Oscars for continuous contributions to motion picture sound through the research and development programs at Dolby Laboratories.

Ioan is often invited to give presentations during industry conferences and film festivals; his Egg Show is part of the USC School of Cinematic Arts curriculum. Film Journal International recently published his two-part article about his memories of Stanley Kubrick.

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