IMAX Enhanced: A new standard in Home Entertainment

October 04, 2019
Imax Enhanced
Published on  Updated on  


Knock! Knock!

Who is it?

I am here to deliver the best picture quality and most powerful audio for your home theatre system

Oh, what’s your name?

IMAX Enhanced!

About Imax Enhanced

IMAX ENHANCED is the recent buzzword in the home cinema industry. While we are at it, let’s have an inside look at the new standard heading to, home theatres. 

What is IMAX Enhanced?

We are all aware of IMAX’s vision. The IMAX mission is to ensure a viewing experience that remains faithful to the filmmakers’ creative intent.  

Well, IMAX Enhanced is a step towards ensuring the same...

IMAX Enhanced is a certification and licensing program that represents specifically added tweaks to existing video and audio processing techniques. This enables it to deliver “the best picture quality” and the “most powerful audio”.

Coming up straight from the horse’s mouth:

“IMAX Enhanced is actually a program that’s a collection of things. There are IMAX Enhanced certified devices which could be displays such as projectors and televisions or even AV receivers. So it’s these certified devices which are coupled with IMAX Enhanced content. And this content has actually been mastered by IMAX using their proprietary technologies to ensure the best possible image for the consumer.

So, you take these IMAX Enhanced certified products and you take the IMAX Enhanced content and you play it back through that system in a consumer’s home and they get the best possible picture, color clarity and the sound that they can get in their home”

- Nathan Brown, Product Manager, Home Audio

The two must-haves in order to enjoy the classic IMAX experience

  • The IMAX Enhanced Hardware - the hardware that meets the standards required to support it.

    For instance, IMAX Enhanced Blu-ray/content, a compatible AVR (Denon or Marantz) and a compatible display (Sony ZG9, AG9 and XG95 Bravia TVs or a range of Sony projectors such as VPL-VW995ES, VPL-VW695ES, VPL-VW295ES, VPL-VW285ES, VPL-VW385ES, VPL-VW675ES, VPL-VW885ES, VPL-VZ1000ES, VPL-VW5000ES or VPL-VW550ES)

  • IMAX content - the content that’s been digitally remastered to meet those standards

What’s unique about IMAX Enhanced?

It actually goes one step further. In addition to the certification and playback of the content, there’s also optimisation that occurs at the time of playback. Image, Sound, Scale and Content -- these are the 4 aspects which are optimised for clearer pictures, heart-pounding audio and one of the best cinematic experiences.  

All IMAX Enhanced devices are designed to enter into a particular mode upon detection of an IMAX Enhanced content. This ensures that the playback of it is optimised for that particular device.

IMAX Enhanced enables larger extended display in comparison with the standard 16.9 one.

Have a look at the following picture:

About Imax

The Working- in layman’s term

Since IMAX Enhanced isn’t a new format but a version of the content, IMAX has actually leveraged a variant of DTS:X, their codec and decoder. That variant of DTS:X has an embedded flag that notifies the AV receiver when it’s receiving an IMAX enhanced bitstream.

What if you're watching IMAX content on a non- IMAX Enhanced certified system?

About Imax LED

IMAX Enhanced program is actually an additive.

According to IMAX, "IMAX Enhanced products are designed to work independently of each other and, even alone will perform their function at the highest level. When combined, they work in concert, creating the most immersive and highest-quality experience available in the home."

For example, if you watch an IMAX documentary on a non-IMAX TV, "you'll still see the best version of the content possible on your TV, but it won't be optimised as it will be on an accredited set."

Did you know?

There’s no subwoofer channel in an IMAX theater. It’s actually a 12.0 speaker layout.

Every speaker is full range, so when you think of bringing this IMAX experience home, you have to apply bass management. You need to take that 12.0 channel mix and bring it down to as little as a 5.1 channel mix and all the way up to 32 channel surround mix. Although 32 channel mixes or 32 channel installations in home theatre is a rare sight, the majority of immersive surround speaker layouts that are usually seen are 7.1.4 which is definitely compatible with IMAX Enhanced.

TIP: It’s very important that you get good bass management to get the proper dynamic range and dynamic signals.

On testing Denon and Marantz AVRs, many reviewers have revealed that Denon and Marantz have some of the best bass management AVRs with crossover slopes being really good. 

Denon Receivers that are IMAX compatible:

The IMAX Enhanced program is developed using DTS and HDR technologies. The technology is developed and delivered by two companies (IMAX and DTS).

Denon is one of the first manufacturers to support this new technology via a firmware update. As of now, Denon’s IMAX Enhanced Certified Home Theater Receivers are:

      Bring the IMAX signature sound into your home with IMAX Enhanced and enjoy the content that has been mastered with the attention to quality.

      Benefit from the complete experience that IMAX Enhanced is capable of delivering.

      Happy Viewing!
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