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D-cinema Equipment and Theaters > Dolby Atmos Theatre System
Roger Dressler's Avatar Roger Dressler 04:54 PM 04-28-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by thxman View Post

I hope they don't do that. I'd rather it just cost more upfront. I don't know what level of processing power is needed, but it seems that it can't be that much compared where we are with today's tech.
I think the main issue is the bandwidth and file size.

When it comes to playback hardware, it will be scalable. For example, using the "core plus extension" model, the core will carry a complete soundtrack (say, 7.1). This is required for backward compatibility and standards compliance.

In addition we have a bunch of objects in the extension packet. In the best case, the AVR (or whatever) decodes and renders all of them. In the worst case, it ignores all of them. Either way, the entire soundtrack is heard, only the spatial properties differ.

If an AVR can handle x number of objects, and the content has >x, some will just remain in the 7.1 speakers.
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markus767's Avatar markus767 05:05 PM 04-28-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Except AVR manufacturers are not mapping channels to particular locations, the way Roger described, but instead channels are simply sent to their speaker outputs. If object-based audio turns out to be their excuse to start doing so, then that will be an improvement over the current state.

So we will be seeing AVRs that exactly know where the user has put his speakers?
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

"WE" aren't reducing object-based audio to a single benefit, YOU are doing that by dismissing all the other benefits that are mentioned.

All those "other benefits" are tied to the same simple thing I doubt is going to happen: someone spending money on remixing all theatrical Atmos movies so all dialog is lifted from the bed and mixed into objects. But maybe your crystal ball works better than mine?
markus767's Avatar markus767 05:09 PM 04-28-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

My comments in this thread aren't shaping how object-based audio will be delivered to us consumers but instead merely speculating on what might be delivered.

Your posts sound different. Maybe you're already speaking in audio objects I'm unable to process.
ellisr63's Avatar ellisr63 05:09 PM 04-28-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by markus767 View Post

So we will be seeing AVRs that exactly know where the user has put his speakers?
All those "other benefits" are tied to the same simple thing I doubt is going to happen: someone spending money on remixing all theatrical Atmos movies so all dialog is lifted from the bed and mixed into objects. But maybe your crystal ball works better than mine?
Audyessy already knows that when it calibrates... So I would say yes.
Roger Dressler's Avatar Roger Dressler 05:09 PM 04-28-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by markus767 View Post

Are you guys aware that
Atmos is max. 118 objects. 10 channels are reserved for the 9.1 bed.
And I still don't see what the benefit of objects would be for a speaker layout <9.1. Downmixing channel-based audio is as bad as downmixing object-based audio. Nothing is gained.
Rendering is better than downmixing because when channels carry the same sound spread over 2 or more channels, they combine stronger electrically (coherent addition) then they do acoustically. Rendering maintains the original loudness of every object regardless of the number of speakers. Dowmixing cannot do that.
markus767's Avatar markus767 05:11 PM 04-28-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellisr63 View Post

Audyessy already knows that when it calibrates... So I would say yes.

No, Audyssey doesn't know where your speakers are. How would it?
sdurani's Avatar sdurani 05:21 PM 04-28-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by markus767 View Post

So we will be seeing AVRs that exactly know where the user has put his speakers?
Sherwood had a receiver doing it 6 years ago and Yamaha has receivers doing it now.



Not as elegant and sophisticated as the Trinnov mic, but it works.
ellisr63's Avatar ellisr63 05:21 PM 04-28-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by markus767 View Post

No, Audyssey doesn't know where your speakers are. How would it?
When it calibrates it measures the distances too. Check and see, it shows your distances to each speaker (Ooh I think I know where you are coming from... It knows the distances but not where the speaker is in the space). Even if it didn't, and you had to input the distances... It would then know how far they are. I don't think it would be hard for the manufacturers to put a grid up on the screen and you could also tell it exactly where each speaker is located.
ellisr63's Avatar ellisr63 05:23 PM 04-28-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Sherwood had a receiver doing it 6 years ago and Yamaha has receivers doing it now.



Not as elegant and sophisticated as the Trinnov mic, but it works.
Audyssey does the same... I think the issue is it is only measuring the distance and not the angles to determine the exact location in the room...
markus767's Avatar markus767 05:28 PM 04-28-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

Rendering is better than downmixing because when channels carry the same sound spread over 2 or more channels, whey combine stronger electrically (coherent addition) then they do acoustically. Rendering maintains the original loudness of every object regardless of the number of speakers. Dowmixing cannot do that.

That's again just a sideshow. Downmixing always comes with a cost. It's never a good idea. Sound quality is in how believable something sounds. For that to happen (virtual) reflections have to arrive after a certain time with a certain level, spectrum and angle. The latter equals to more speaker locations (or HRTFs). But first we would need to see the use of reverberation that goes beyond anything that is used in movie mixes these days.
markus767's Avatar markus767 05:29 PM 04-28-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Sherwood had a receiver doing it 6 years ago and Yamaha has receivers doing it now.

[...]

Not as elegant and sophisticated as the Trinnov mic, but it works.

Don't know YPAO. Does the AVR report the exact angles of the speakers?
markus767's Avatar markus767 05:32 PM 04-28-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellisr63 View Post

It knows the distances but not where the speaker is in the space

Correct. No simple task to get the exat location of a speaker in space. Trinnov uses a special mic (it's a mic array to be exact):
http://www.trinnov.com/non-classe/microphone/
sdurani's Avatar sdurani 06:06 PM 04-28-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by markus767 View Post

Does the AVR report the exact angles of the speakers?
As exact as their ten cent microphone and plastic triangle will allow. Currently it measures azimuth angles, but adding a raised peg to the middle of the triangle would allow for a fourth measurement for elevation angles.
Roger Dressler's Avatar Roger Dressler 06:46 PM 04-28-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by markus767 View Post

That's again just a sideshow. Downmixing always comes with a cost. It's never a good idea. Sound quality is in how believable something sounds. For that to happen (virtual) reflections have to arrive after a certain time with a certain level, spectrum and angle. The latter equals to more speaker locations (or HRTFs). But first we would need to see the use of reverberation that goes beyond anything that is used in movie mixes these days.
The goal of object audio is not to shift the movie mixers to a world they do not recognize. One would have to make a compelling case that material benefits would accrue to justify such a shift.
FilmMixer's Avatar FilmMixer 08:12 PM 04-28-2014
I'm not sure why Marrkus feels it's so detrimental.

When you have thousands of elements that make up a sound track many of them are going to come out of the same speaker simultaneously. What is the difference if those multiple sounds are routed to a channel or a bed?
wse's Avatar wse 09:20 PM 04-28-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

That's exactly what they'll do, but do you think upcoming AVRs will support rendering up to 128 objects across 64 speakers?

I only need 13 speakers and four subs biggrin.gif
MichLinton's Avatar MichLinton 10:33 PM 04-28-2014

There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about both acoustics as well as immersive sound here.

 

Standards organizations are working hard to include immersive sound in the UHDTV spec.  There are far more reasons to include the whole audio package in the new format than are being expressed or understood here.  Provisions have to be found to DECREASE the number of targeted sound mixes for the home, portable devices, headphones, and all the other ways media is consumed.  

 

And it's very likely that you won't be talking about "Atmos" for the home or anything else.  Dolby is being required to submit to a common-format model, which will likely leave the Auro speaker setup the most used in the theaters.  Atmos in the theaters is way too costly for anything but limited use.  Most theaters, in addition to dozens more high-power speakers and high-power amps, need to put expensive overhead truss systems in to support the whole shebang.  With little return to the theatre owner.

 

The reasons Atmos was rushed into the market with virtually no testing and no tools for the studios was simple - Dolby has lost their ability to put their logo on cinema releases (along with SDDS and DTS) by virtue of losing their battle to use some kind of proprietary Dolby format on Digital Cinema packages.  Although they pushed to put an "enhanced" version of AC-3 in this format the sound community resisted knowing full well that the digital "pipes" are now big enough to support full-bandwidth AES PCM audio.  They're now objecting to Dolby's "step backward" into another proprietary format.  So along with the theatre owners they've been cornered into the only possible result - a common-format immersive audio package that can be rendered and played back on any open-source player.  A big win for consumers.

 

All of this the subject of great seminars at the Audio Engineering Society Convention in Berlin this past weekend.  It's terrific that the AES along with the ITU are taking the lead on these issues.

 

There are however open issues that are of concern for us as Americans.  The US non-compatible with the rest of the world HDTV system was developed not by Standards organisations but my US manufacturers and networks - a group called ATSC.  As a result we were given ****.  In fact the Wiki about HDTV negotiations   With some broadcasters demanding the ability to call themselves HDTV networks and yet only broadcasting 720.

 

ATSC is again taking the lead for the US on UHDTV, and they seem unwilling to be compliant with the work being done elsewhere.  Keep in mind that there is almost no TV science being done in the US - it's all being done by the BBC, Japan Television, and IRT (Germany) who all have actual scientific research labs.  ATSC was charged with implementing the CALM act (commercial audio level control).  And in typical fashion, they took a good working European system (ITU BS.1770) and by allowing changes by Dolby, gave us a system that doesn't work nearly as well as the European version.  Sound mixers routinely "cheat" the CALM act because of these loopholes.   

 

Some in the AES have expressed the desire to have a "grand alliance" solution where one film mix can work as master for every market - UHDTV, HD, Stereo, streaming, etc.  Let's hope this view gets support and traction from the various communities - including those here on the AVS forum!


Dan Hitchman's Avatar Dan Hitchman 10:43 PM 04-28-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichLinton View Post

There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about both acoustics as well as immersive sound here.

Standards organizations are working hard to include immersive sound in the UHDTV spec.  There are far more reasons to include the whole audio package in the new format than are being expressed or understood here.  Provisions have to be found to DECREASE the number of targeted sound mixes for the home, portable devices, headphones, and all the other ways media is consumed.  

And it's very likely that you won't be talking about "Atmos" for the home or anything else.  Dolby is being required to submit to a common-format model, which will likely leave the Auro speaker setup the most used in the theaters.  Atmos in the theaters is way too costly for anything but limited use.  Most theaters, in addition to dozens more high-power speakers and high-power amps, need to put expensive overhead truss systems in to support the whole shebang.  With little return to the theatre owner.

The reasons Atmos was rushed into the market with virtually no testing and no tools for the studios was simple - Dolby has lost their ability to put their logo on cinema releases (along with SDDS and DTS) by virtue of losing their battle to use some kind of proprietary Dolby format on Digital Cinema packages.  Although they pushed to put an "enhanced" version of AC-3 in this format the sound community resisted knowing full well that the digital "pipes" are now big enough to support full-bandwidth AES PCM audio.  They're now objecting to Dolby's "step backward" into another proprietary format.  So along with the theatre owners they've been cornered into the only possible result - a common-format immersive audio package that can be rendered and played back on any open-source player.  A big win for consumers.

All of this the subject of great seminars at the Audio Engineering Society Convention in Berlin this past weekend.  It's terrific that the AES along with the ITU are taking the lead on these issues.

There are however open issues that are of concern for us as Americans.  The US non-compatible with the rest of the world HDTV system was developed not by Standards organisations but my US manufacturers and networks - a group called ATSC.  As a result we were given ****.  In fact the Wiki about HDTV negotiations   With some broadcasters demanding the ability to call themselves HDTV networks and yet only broadcasting 720.

ATSC is again taking the lead for the US on UHDTV, and they seem unwilling to be compliant with the work being done elsewhere.  Keep in mind that there is almost no TV science being done in the US - it's all being done by the BBC, Japan Television, and IRT (Germany) who all have actual scientific research labs.  ATSC was charged with implementing the CALM act (commercial audio level control).  And in typical fashion, they took a good working European system (ITU BS.1770) and by allowing changes by Dolby, gave us a system that doesn't work nearly as well as the European version.  Sound mixers routinely "cheat" the CALM act because of these loopholes.   

Some in the AES have expressed the desire to have a "grand alliance" solution where one film mix can work as master for every market - UHDTV, HD, Stereo, streaming, etc.  Let's hope this view gets support and traction from the various communities - including those here on the AVS forum!

And that's where some of my supposition for a delay in a consumer object oriented sound system comes from. There has to be at least some part of Atmos and MDA that can talk in a common language so there is wide spread American and universal adoption.

I just hope this doesn't limit the premium object format for disc based UHD media if they're trying for a one-size-fits-all solution. Perhaps the streaming model can be lossy compressed PCM of the same advanced object mix, but the high end consumer disc and download models should be bit-for-bit lossless.
Roger Dressler's Avatar Roger Dressler 12:32 AM 04-29-2014
Welcome to the party.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichLinton View Post

There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about both acoustics as well as immersive sound here.
Looks like there's plenty to go round. rolleyes.gif
Quote:
And it's very likely that you won't be talking about "Atmos" for the home or anything else.
If Dolby wants to brand their use of Dolby object-based bitstream decoding and rendering in the CE space as Atmos, then it will be known as Atmos. What's to stop them?
Quote:
Dolby is being required to submit to a common-format model, which will likely leave the Auro speaker setup the most used in the theaters.
I'd expect quite a range of speaker configurations to be used, as some theaters cannot handle any additional weight on the ceiling, aside from the very real cost issues you mention.

Where is this common format system model being required of Dolby? You mention speakers in theaters, so maybe you mean SMPTE and NATO wrt DCI. But there is no inherent conflict between a common object audio delivery format (as SMPTE is working on) and an Atmos cinema presentation. That's the beauty of object delivery -- the scalability to any playback system. So it seems the Atmos name can easily continue in not only homes but in cinemas, if that is Dolby's desire.
Quote:
All of this the subject of great seminars at the Audio Engineering Society Convention in Berlin this past weekend. It's terrific that the AES along with the ITU are taking the lead on these issues.
It is very nice to see these other organizations taking a direct interest in the object audio work started here by SRS (now DTS) and Dolby.
Quote:
In fact the Wiki about HDTV negotiations   With some broadcasters demanding the ability to call themselves HDTV networks and yet only broadcasting 720.
Umm, 720p is HDTV (as is 1080i).
Quote:
ATSC was charged with implementing the CALM act (commercial audio level control).  And in typical fashion, they took a good working European system (ITU BS.1770) and by allowing changes by Dolby, gave us a system that doesn't work nearly as well as the European version.  Sound mixers routinely "cheat" the CALM act because of these loopholes.
Which changes? Please explain.
Quote:
Some in the AES have expressed the desire to have a "grand alliance" solution where one film mix can work as master for every market - UHDTV, HD, Stereo, streaming, etc.  Let's hope this view gets support and traction from the various communities - including those here on the AVS forum!
The system being standardized in SMPTE will do just that, as does the current 5.1 format.
Hugo S's Avatar Hugo S 02:37 AM 04-29-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by wse View Post

I only need 13 speakers and four subs biggrin.gif

In my case only a 13.2 channels processing. smile.gif

Hugo
markus767's Avatar markus767 03:40 AM 04-29-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

As exact as their ten cent microphone and plastic triangle will allow. Currently it measures azimuth angles, but adding a raised peg to the middle of the triangle would allow for a fourth measurement for elevation angles.

Let's see how many manufacturers will provide such a feature/microphone.
kbarnes701's Avatar kbarnes701 03:55 AM 04-29-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellisr63 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Sherwood had a receiver doing it 6 years ago and Yamaha has receivers doing it now.



Not as elegant and sophisticated as the Trinnov mic, but it works.
Audyssey does the same... I think the issue is it is only measuring the distance and not the angles to determine the exact location in the room...

 

Just for the avoidance of doubt, Audyssey has no idea of the location of the speakers - only of the distance of them to the MLP.  For example, your front left speaker could be 9.2 feet from the MLP, but at 90 degrees to it for all Audyssey knows. Trinnov (and now Yamaha) have a better way of doing it, in the sense that knowing both the angle and distance is 'better'.


markus767's Avatar markus767 04:08 AM 04-29-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by FilmMixer View Post

I'm not sure why Marrkus feels it's so detrimental.

When you have thousands of elements that make up a sound track many of them are going to come out of the same speaker simultaneously. What is the difference if those multiple sounds are routed to a channel or a bed?

None if the speaker setup is standardized. Atmos bed is the same old channel-based paradigm we know from 5.1/7.1. It simply adds 2 top height channels.

Objects are rendered more accurately when a non-standard speaker layout <9.1 is used. Sanjay and Roger make it sound that object-based audio would be of great benefit for legacy setups <7.1 but in my opinion those benefits are marginal at best.

As I've said before, the quality of the spatial presentation of a mix does not only depend on how accurately a sound is placed in 3D space (ventriloquism effect). I would even argue that it's rather meaningless if a plane flies over from 120° instead of 160°. What really matters is the multitude of reflections a sound creates in that virtual space.
Dolby's object-based audio approach does NOT provide such a feature. Objects do NOT create any reflections based on their positional data. As a result the reverberation for an object has to be created in the mix and is hard-wired to specific speaker locations. This means the consumer has to follow a certain speaker layout if he wants to recreate what the mixer has heard - we're back to channel-based audio.
Roger Dressler's Avatar Roger Dressler 11:59 AM 04-29-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by markus767 View Post

Objects are rendered more accurately when a non-standard speaker layout <9.1 is used. Sanjay and Roger make it sound that object-based audio would be of great benefit for legacy setups <7.1 but in my opinion those benefits are marginal at best.
I did not say whether the spatial benefits would be great or not. I just listed them. FWIW.
Quote:
As I've said before, the quality of the spatial presentation of a mix does not only depend on how accurately a sound is placed in 3D space (ventriloquism effect). I would even argue that it's rather meaningless if a plane flies over from 120° instead of 160°.
Agreed.
Quote:
What really matters is the multitude of reflections a sound creates in that virtual space.
Dolby's object-based audio approach does NOT provide such a feature. Objects do NOT create any reflections based on their positional data. As a result the reverberation for an object has to be created in the mix and is hard-wired to specific speaker locations. This means the consumer has to follow a certain speaker layout if he wants to recreate what the mixer has heard - we're back to channel-based audio.
The reverbs used in movies do not embody the spatial detail you seek, so there is no chance to record it or deliver it, but also no means to misrepresent it at playback (well, if the reverb should be overhead, then 7.1 will flatten it of course).

Maybe if someone could demonstrate (audibly) a clear case that such reverb reflections would add to the perceived effect, it might get used.

.
markus767's Avatar markus767 03:16 PM 04-29-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

The reverbs used in movies do not embody the spatial detail you seek, so there is no chance to record it or deliver it, but also no means to misrepresent it at playback (well, if the reverb should be overhead, then 7.1 will flatten it of course).

Object-based audio could deliver realistic spaciousness. That would be a real advancement in sound quality. Having bees flying around as audio objects is just gimmickry to me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

Maybe if someone could demonstrate (audibly) a clear case that such reverb reflections would add to the perceived effect, it might get used.

I'd think that mixers are aware of the fact that reflections have to come from certain locations in order to enhance spaciousness. It's also a well known fact described in numerous psychoacoustic studies, papers and books, e.g. "Sound reproduction" by Toole.
The effect could easily be demonstrated in an Atmos setup with enough speakers in the right locations. I'm pretty sure there are some home theater enthusiasts with front wide speakers that got a glimpse of what I'm talking about.
Roger Dressler's Avatar Roger Dressler 05:08 PM 04-29-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by markus767 View Post

Object-based audio could deliver realistic spaciousness. That would be a real advancement in sound quality.
Based on what evidence? I'm not saying it is not possible. Just seeking some way to validate the claim.
Quote:
I'd think that mixers are aware of the fact that reflections have to come from certain locations in order to enhance spaciousness.
Of course they are and they do that already with 5.1, 7.1 and beds of the same type. But I thought you were asking for something beyond that.
Quote:
The effect could easily be demonstrated in an Atmos setup with enough speakers in the right locations.
How do you know it could be perceived in a cinema?
Quote:
I'm pretty sure there are some home theater enthusiasts with front wide speakers that got a glimpse of what I'm talking about.
Like from DSX? If not that, from what? And are we talking cinema or home? They are very different, and if such "accurate" or "realistic" reflections cannot be heard in a cinema (or dubbing stage), I do not see how one can expect mixers to get involved. Have you heard it somewhere?
Kascnef82's Avatar Kascnef82 05:37 PM 04-29-2014
I was reading the movie times section of the NYTimes and noticed that the Edgewater theater in NJ has Dolby Atmos in their new X Plus screen. Lincoln Square in NYC has Atmos too. It wont be too long before other movie theaters follow suit.
SoundChex's Avatar SoundChex 01:51 PM 04-30-2014
I guess the first question that comes to mind after reading this April 29, 2014, ETSI org Press Release, "ETSI releases AC-4, the new generation audio codec standard" (link), is 'Who came up with the codec-name AC-4?"
_
FilmMixer's Avatar FilmMixer 02:11 PM 04-30-2014
Roger can explain the history, but Dolby Digital is AC-3 (Audio Codec)......... So the 4 is no surprise. smile.gif
Roger Dressler's Avatar Roger Dressler 02:12 PM 04-30-2014
^^ Beat me to it. Yes, only Dolby names Dolby technologies. But funny Dolby is never mentioned in the release.
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