My first short film was mixed as stereo, for quality and cost reasons.

The first festival we have been accepted into states that sound must be Dolby 5.1 or 7.0.

  • Will my film play in the theater in its current mix?

  • When I followed up with the festival, they said that these requirements are for DCP and that I should just make a "standard Blu-ray."

Will my stereo mix matter less on Blu-ray? What will happen when I play my stereo mixed film on Blu-ray in a 5.1 plus theater?

It is a ten minute short film and does not warrant the costs. Thanks!!!!!!

2 Answers 2


It will play but probably won't sound as good as if it was mixed in 5.1 or 7.1. Because it's only the 2 speakers the sound will "pull" to the side for people sitting far off center. Other issues maybe be that it wasn't mixed with an X-curve and in a large room calibrated to theater levels. Your mix will most likely just come out the L and R speakers, sometimes theaters have Dolby Pro Logic 2 Decoders in the the chain though that can do strange steering things to signals and throw certain sounds into the surrounds.


Basically, what the festival is saying is that for play back that is using a high end professional cinema distribution, they need to use particular speaker configurations. For your film, they are just using a standard bluray playback, so you can just burn a bluray disk with it and be fine.

The exact way your sound will behave depends on how they have things setup. It could either have the L/R outputs rigged directly in to the main left and right speakers, ignoring all the others. It could have the left and right inputs mirrored to all the speakers on that side of the theater or it could have a Dolby Pro Logic 2 system that will attempt to extract information for side channels and center channels out of the stereo mix, which will end up putting some stuff off to the sides based on the results of automated processing.

You would have to check with the festival about how they have things configured to determine which of these cases holds true for their playback environment.

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