Originally Posted by blazar
As one of the few who have actually spent time installing a LOT of speakers, I am beyond disappointed if all they can come up with is this bounce off the ceiling business.
Obviously this is another stop-gap just like dolby-pro-logic was back in the day. Clearly the issues are affordability for most home users, the feasibility for most people to put speakers in the ceiling, and the ability to put the home codec onto blu-ray effectively.
I was hoping for at least ONE manufacturer to come out with a system that is scalable to 16 to 24 speakers placed WHEREVER you want them... Anything else is simply nonsense and should NOT bear the Atmos name. Honestly this doesn't require any technical expertise that Dolby doesn't already have. If they ride the coat-tails of their theater product and damage the brand name, will they achieve anything? Perhaps Dolby just needs to stay afloat until the industry and the customer have matured sufficiently to do "True Atmos"?
Dolby's website is crap and doesn't reveal ANYTHING of use in terms of their future time table.
There is not a single atmos receiver product release thus far that looks compelling at this point to move away from my existing DTS NeoX setup. This is from a guy that now has 19 channels available and 4 subwoofers. If atmos can't cater to people capable of a lot of channels... then WHAT IS THE POINT?
Are these companies simply trying to stay relevant in an increasingly commoditized world of surround protocols?
I would love to hear some reply's from folks that simply love the new Atmos announcements and are planning on "up-firing bouncing" speakers and a crippled Pseudo-Atmos followed by Dolby TrueAtmos at "some point in the future".
Problem with upfiring speakers is that they will blow sound into your upstairs neighbour's living room if you live in an apartment, and are watching a movie with any volume. Also, it prevents you from adding insulation and sound proofing and acoustic treatments because as the interview makes clear, those actually work against the effect of the bouncing off sound.
I think if I buy these Atmos speakers I will lose out on getting the speakers I want (B&W 685s2) and the upfiring speaker will only get used once in a blue moon for the trouble. I have plenty of other speakers lying around that I can mount facing downwards, and even if they aren't timber matched, if the Atmos effect doesn't work with non-identical speakers it's not worth it.
These Atmos "configs" are a stopgap measure. They will need to configure during calibration all the relative positions of the speakers vs mic / seating location, as well as adjust the EQ and volume and phase of each speaker only after knowing their position in 3D space. If they don't know the precise 3D distance of each speaker to the listening position, then this is all a gimick and it can't possibly work. So, what I think is that this is exactly what the calibration does, and there's no reason why 1, 2, 3, or ten height speakers can't be used, quite independently of where all your main speakers are on the horizontal plane. Indeed, calibration should even be able to compensate for the height difference in most people's home theaters because their center channel's midrange and tweeter are rarely at the same height off the ground as those of the main speakers, unless you're using a projector with an acoustically transparent screen.
Atmos could even provide a slim 3D effect by keeping your rears and surrounds on a different plane as your fronts and front center channels. Each speaker's position should be completely, 100% independent, although the overall effect should be better if all the speakers can reproduce a full range signal, and are equidistant from the seating area.
I'm getting convinced that these early implementations might wow people, but they're also an expensive way to populate sound in a room. There is simply no way that only 4 concentric 4 inch drivers that are only capable of 220hz +, can deliver as good a sound field as four (or more) dedicated height speakers that can go down to 80hz. The concentric aspect is intriguing, for accurate positioning, and that may be what makes Pioneer's system actually better than other setups, but I'd rather be able to mount the number of ceiling speakers where I want, and add more or move them around to get a good experience.
I really need to hear this in person now. Are there Magnolias in Canada? I went to a Best Buy or some other store once that had a closed off theater room to audition speakers, locally, so it's possible, but it could have been just that store's setup and not actually a Magnolia.