Demystifying D-BOX: Blu-ray’s Secret Weapon

Have you looked on the back of a Fox, Sony or Disney Blu-ray title and seen support for D-BOX Motion Code listed as a supplemental feature? Then tried to access it via the menus only to find out you don’t have the equipment to activate it?

We sure have. To get the full scoop on what it takes to enjoy this up-and-coming technology finding its way onto an increasing number of Blu-ray Disc titles, we went straight to the source in the form of Guy Marcoux, Marketing Director for D-BOX Technologies.

Guy has been gracious enough to take some time out of his chaotic schedule to answer some burning questions we’ve had about D-BOX Motion Code, as well as shed some light on what their technology is all about for new Blu-ray adopters gobbling up PS3s. Clearly D-BOX is not for everyone, but you may be surprised at what it has to offer and how easily it can be integrated into your home theater or movie/game room.

How would you describe D-BOX Motion Code™system to someone that already have a DVD collection or has purchased a Blu-ray Disc player with no previous exposure to the technology, both in terms of what it brings to people and how it works?

D-BOX Motion Code™ system creates real-life motion in your seating that’s in perfect sync with the action you see on screen. You feel like you’re actually inside the movie, like you’re living the action. It brings Home Entertainment to a whole new Dimension.

D-BOX Motion Code™ is sophisticated, groundbreaking technology that generates a wide range of Motion effects, or MFX, and intelligent vibrations. It is NOT activated by bass sound, nor does it simply tilt and pivot randomly, it is scripted motion codes.

How much motion are we talking here, in comparison to a childhood favorite ride of mine, the Universal Studios Theme Park Back to the Future ride?

D-BOX has a team of talented motion designers working full time at our Montreal Studio. They creatively encode every movement in a movie frame by frame, from the most subtle to the most explosive. All of these motion effects are generated by our D-BOX actuator system which has movement amplitude of 1 1/2 inches but have the capability of producing up to 2Gs of acceleration. This will give you this unique and immersive experience in home entertainment.

SRI-J 133 (click to enlarge)

Is the motion designed to reflect “movement” in a film, i.e. a car chase, the “rumbling” of explosions, both, or more?

Only D-BOX offers you Motion effects, or MFX, using 3 types of intelligent movements (pitch, roll and heave) to move you forwards and backwards, from side to side and up & down. Combine that with the D-BOX-encoded intelligent vibrations and it all comes together to create the most amazing Home Entertainment experience ever. You feel every jolt, swerve, explosion, tidal wave, crash ” you feel as if you’re truly living the action.

Besides your Audio Visual setup already in place, what other components are required to set up D-BOX for movies in Blu-ray and regular DVD format?

Your D-BOX Motion Controller reads and syncs the Motion Code automatically when you play a Blu-ray disc or the DVD of a movie that appears in the D-BOX Motion Code™ Library. It then sends those code to your favorite D-BOX -equipped seating or retrofit motion platform” through an RJ45 Shielded cable. The beauty of it is that you don’t have to buy any other version of the movie.

Will D-Box work if using the Playstation 3 as a Blu-ray Disc player?

All D-BOX Motion Code™ systems are fully compatible with a Playstation 3 used as a Blu-ray player and provide the same MFX experience to movie viewers.

What type of D-BOX Motion Controllers are available?

The Series IV Standalone Motion Controller features an 80GB hard drive for storing thousands of D-BOX Motion Code™ files that matches movie titles. It is network capable so that you can download the latest titles as they become available. It connects to your home network LAN and at a time of your choosing, connects to the D-BOX Live Update server to see if there are any new titles published.

The MCI-2P Motion Controller (2 ports) or MCI-4P Motion Controller (4 ports) are used in conjunction with a suitably configured Windows PC. These Motion Controllers have no hard disc; instead they use the PC’s hard disc to store the D-BOX Motion Code™ titles.

Do I have to purchase a D-BOX Screening Room Series seating or is there a way to attach a movement device to my existing couch/chair seating?

Our SRP models, or Screening Room Series Motion Platforms, will let you simply retrofit your existing armchair or loveseat, or adapt to almost any kind of furniture you’re planning to purchase. This way, you can bring the latest must-have advanced D-BOX Motion Code™ technology into your home, without ever changing your décor or decorating plans.

SRP-230 Screening Room Platform (click to enlarge)

Is there a difference in quality between using the Screening Room Series chair or the SRP Platform?

Regardless of your personal preference among our Screening Room Series line of products, namely the SRI models (D-BOX Inside Home Theatre Seating), SRP models (D-BOX Motion Platform), or our SRR models (D-BOX Ready Home Theatre Seating), you will always be guaranteed a consistent, high-level entertainment experience.

True to its name, the D-BOX Screening Room Series offers you professional performance and style designed for today’s state-of-the-art Home Theater. This Series of high-tech models were created with the ultimate movie watching experience in mind.

How complicated is the D-BOX installation? Can I install it, or does a dealer/installer have to do it?

The D-BOX Motion Code™ system should be professionally installed by a trained D-BOX Certified Technician, in order to ensure its optimum performance.

The D-BOX Motion Controller connects to the Internet to access newly made available Motion Code. How does this interface work in terms of selecting what is downloaded? Much like a DVR with an on-screen menu?

When new movies have been encoded and fully tested, they are sent to the D-BOX™ Live Update server and made available for download to your D-BOX Motion Controller.

The Motion Controller will need access to the Internet via a broadband connection, which can be direct or part of your home network. Once you are set, just insert your movie into your own DVD or Blu-ray player. The motion controller kicks in when it recognizes that you have started a movie. We currently have over 750 titles available in our D-BOX Motion Code™ Library.

Does it cost money to download new motion code directly from D-BOX? If so, how much?

When purchasing a Motion Controller, you get all the D-BOX Motion Code to date plus a complimentary 12 months subscription. After this initial period, there are two different subscription options available at an affordable value, each catering to specific, individual needs:

Yearly, renewable subscription
Lifetime subscription

With Sony Pictures Home Entertainment now on board with D-Box, you’ve expanded your support to three of the six big studios including D-BOX Motion Code™ directly on Blu-ray titles, with Fox and Disney the other two. Can we expect to hear possible additional announcements before the year is out, especially considering other studios are offering downloadable Motion Code?

We have ongoing discussions with several Major Hollywood Studios but cannot confirm any more information at this point.

Has the idea surfaced to use the same D-BOX Motion Controllers/systems used for movies with next-gen gaming systems ala Xbox 360, PS3 or their successors, as gaming and movies continue to converge?

At CES 2008, we presented a new prototype, in collaboration with Johnson Controls, which will be a hybrid system optimized for both gaming and home theater applications. This represents a first step in that direction.

Can you give us a teaser of an upcoming Blu-ray release or two that will feature D-BOX directly on the disc?

National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets is the next Disney release that will feature the D-BOX Motion Code.

How would someone go about researching a local D-BOX authorized reseller and installer?

To help you locate the closest D-BOX authorized dealer, contact a D-BOX representative by email at: or by phone at: 1-888-442-3269.

A special thanks goes out to Guy Marcoux and the rest of the fine folks at D-BOX Technologies for helping us put together this interview. Be on the lookout for more D-BOX Blu-ray coverage in the future.

For more information on D-BOX Technologies, visit their website at

– Dan Bradley

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