Dolby Digital Surround EX

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Dolby Digital Surround EX is a version of Dolby Digital co-developed by Dolby and THX and made its debut for the release of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. It provides an economical and backwards-compatible means for 5.1 soundtracks to carry a sixth, center back surround channel for improved localization of effects. The extra surround channel is matrix encoded onto the discrete left surround and right surround channels of the 5.1 mix, much like the front center channel on Dolby Pro Logic encoded stereo soundtracks. The result can be played without loss of information on standard 5.1 systems, or played in 6.1 or 7.1 on systems with Surround EX decoding and added speakers. A number of DVDs have a Dolby Digital Surround EX audio option, as were a handful of LaserDiscs near the extreme end of that format's lifespan.

Waterfall (May 19, 1999-Late 2000s)

Trailer: On a black background, the words "This following film is presented in" fades in and fades out to black. A large amount of water is pouring over the screen in very little slow-motion as the Dolby Digital Surround EX logo fades in. Under that the words "The latest Development in surround sound technology" appear. The water pouring then fades to black with the Dolby sign still appearing over the black background as a small trademark byline appears under.


  • When the trailer made its debut, it contained a different intro text card, this time stating: "Introducing the newest development in sound technology...". The final logo also has no text at the bottom.
    • This variant also is presented in a 2.35:1 ratio.
  • A German translated version exists.

Technique: Live-action. Done by POP Digital Film.

Audio: The sounds of puddles splashing, and chimes, similar to the "Raindrops" logo. Sound Design by Marco D'Ambrosio at MarcoCo; Mixed by David Parker at The Saul Zaentz Film Center.

Audio Variant: The "Introducing the newest development in sound technology..." variant has the music from the short version of the Dolby Digital "Rain" trailer.

Availability: The trailer made its debut on the theatrical release of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace.

  • The only known DVD appearance of this trailer (outside of Dolby's own Explore Our World demo disc) was on the 2003 DVD of Punch Drunk Love.
  • After this trailer specifically for EX, the only times EX was promoted were for variations of the main Dolby Digital logo with the EX text added.