Originally Posted by bryantc
I have a Denon 8500 that got the Imax update and since then I've been trying to figure out what exactly this does for me. I found this FAQ and it is the worst marketing fluff I've ever read:
Seems like another "THX Certified" thing. Is this as pointless as I think it is?
Yes and no.
In some ways, yes, it is a lot of marketing fluff. The most cynical view is that this is a desperation move by DTS, which is getting clobbered by Dolby (with Atmos), to partner with a big name in IMAX who is also losing ground to Dolby (Dolby Cinema / Dolby Vision). DTS gets some more brand bling with the IMAX label, and IMAX gets to create footprint in the consumer space, by leveraging existing technology (HDR10+ video and DTS:X audio) and wrapping it in a fancy label to make it look like something brand new. On a technical level, leaving aside some minor differences like how IMAX DTS codec deals with bass management, there appears to be absolutely nothing unique about the video/audio capabilities of "IMAX Enhanced" content. They could have, in theory, delivered the exact same content simply using standard HDR10 + DTS:X.
The counter to that would be to point out (1) the mastering/certification process and (2) the potential to see the taller aspect ratio IMAX versions of blockbuster films. In theory, these "IMAX Enhanced" releases will have been carefully supervised to ensure that the IMAX audio translates correctly to the home theater environment and the video is graded to highest standards, so (again, theoretically) you are viewing/hearing the best, most "as intended by the creator" version of the movie. On the second point, there are movies which were released in 2.39 Cinemascope aspect ratio which also have 1.90 IMAX versions, like Avengers: Infinity War... so people with typical 16:9 screens would get to see the extra footage and make better use of the full height of the screen.
So, in other words, the benefit is mostly in the curation / mastering of the content to ensure a certain standard of quality in the final product, not in some new technological breakthrough.