Audio and Video Pioneer Ray Dolby Passed Away

An early innovator in audio and movies leaves a legacy of important technologies.

Another legend in sound and home theater engineering has died. Ray Dolby, founder of Dolby Laboratories and holder of over 50 patents passed away September 12 in San Francisco at age 80. He had bee suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and leukemia.

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Anyone who enjoys home theater, or many other everyday home audio technologies, has been touched by innovations developed by Ray Dolby and the company he launched. He got his start in the industry at AMPEX, a manufacturer of tape recorders. He went on to develop Dolby Noise Reduction (Type A for the professional market, and Type B for the consumer market) which was adopted by many major electronics manufacturers.

He continued to innovate in the audio world and made a particular impact on the home theater market, first with the development of Dolby Surround in 1982, Dolby Pro Logic in 1987 and finally the format that most people today know him for, Dolby Digital (originally called Dolby AC-3).

His innovations earned him numerous awards, including a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, several Emmys, two Oscars, a Grammy, a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, induction in the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame and many others.

The innovations developed by Dolby Laboratories continue to be highly valued by the consumer electronics industry and home theater and audio enthusiasts everywhere.

View the slideshow for a timeline of innovations that Ray Dolby and Dolby Laboratories brought to the entertainment industry.

Images and timeline information provided by Dolby.


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