Ultra Stereo

A cinema sound system that was developed in 1984.

Ultra Stereo is a cinema sound system that was developed in 1984 by chief engineer Jack Cashin.

It was a 4/2/4 photographic sound encoding and decoding procedure compatible with (and using the same technical basic structure, with identical sound quality as) its competitor Dolby Stereo Matrix.


Four channels of information (Left, Center, Right, and Surround) were matrix-encoded into two optical soundtracks on 35 mm theatrical release prints, occupying the same area of the film which previously held the monophonic soundtrack. The matrix-encoded track was decoded by the cinema processor in the theater during the exhibition.

The Ultra Stereo JS series model 105/195 unit introduced a six-channel discrete input module (JFM-20 SR) circa 1993 which creates a THX approved 5.1 surround field. This is a line-level input that can accept the output from a DVD player with 5.1 discrete channel outputs. The JS series eventually evolved into later models, including the JSD-80, JSD-100, and now the JSD-60.

When the industry moved away from analog soundtracks, USL transitioned to digital processing in all its audio products. In 2008, USL assembled a team of engineers to develop imaging technology for digital cinema. The result of this research and development was a leading-edge digital cinema high frame rate media block and now an "all in one" media block with solid-state drives for storage. Ultra Stereo Labs continues to provide modern decoders, picture analyzers, and other devices for motion picture theaters.

Adapted from content published on wikipedia.org
Last modified on August 13, 2020, 12:53 am
Videocide.com is a service provided by Codecide, a company located in Chicago, IL USA.