Published on August 11th, 2018 | by Brad Gibson


Apple trickles out Dolby Atoms-ready movies as tvOS 12 inches to its finish

In preparation for the final release of tvOS 12, Apple is dribbling out titles on the Apple TV iTunes Movies app with support for Dolby Atmos audio, only viewable and downloadable for beta testers of the operating system with the immersive audio experience. 

Because there is no browsable or searchable ability within the app to find movies with built-in Atmos support, a manual browse by BESTAppleTV found around 50 titles. Atoms-Ready movies are only showing up in the app for those running the tvOS 12 beta, not for those with older versions.

hunger_gamesThe number of movies on the iTunes Movies app is growing – like Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 – but it’s nothing like some Mac news sites are reporting, at least not yet.

Some of the titles found supporting Atmos included The Equalizer, John Wick, Ready Player One, Kong Skull Island, Fury, Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, and Paddington 2.

At the Home page level of Apple TV, Siri is now responding to voice requests for Dolby Atoms-Ready titles, but the majority listed do not support it, contrary to reports from other Mac news websites. Despite Siri listing the titles as “will sound great in Dolby Atmos,” a check of the 120 titles displayed showed less than 10 supporting the technology when bought through the Apple iTunes Movies app. The majority of titles listed were available on other services such as HBO and Netflix, but none of them listed Atmos as being supported.

dolby_atmos_search_imageA search for Dolby Atmos-ready movies shows 120, but the majority are not through the iTunes Movies app and are not identified as supporting the standard.

The small release of Atmos-ready titles now is expected to turn into a flood when tvOS 12 is released later this year as Apple will upgrade compatible movies purchased from iTunes with the technology for free when using Dolby Atmos speakers.

Atmos provides a better level of audio sophistication by creating a sound bubble throughout a room and bouncing sound off the ceiling, making it more lifelike than traditional surround sound systems.

With the addition of Dolby Atmos, Apple TV users will need an Atmos-equipped sound system to hear the audio difference. There are various options from manufacturers like Samsung  – with the Samsung HW-K950 – and LG, with the LG SJ9 Soundbar.

Apple announced at WWDC 2018 in June it would be bringing Dolby Atmos support to Apple TV this fall. Shortly thereafter, an early number of movies in iTunes were Atmos-enabled.

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About the Author

Brad is co-founder and editor-in-chief of He has been a technology reporter since the late 1980s having previously worked for MacUser, MacFormat, and iCreate magazines, as well as,,,, and He hosted and produced the MacFormat This Week podcast for three years. He was also a reporter, editor, and producer for the AOL, the BBC, Associated Press, and United Press International.

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