Dolby Demos Atmos for Cinema and Home - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 88Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
Scott Wilkinson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Burbank, CA
Posts: 1,292
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 303 Post(s)
Liked: 1083
Dolby Demos Atmos for Cinema and Home



Demonstrations in three cities offered the AV press—and several AVS members—the opportunity to experience Dolby Atmos for the home first hand.

Dolby Atmos for home theaters is generating a big buzz these days, and the company behind it is pulling out all the stops to demonstrate the technology to the AV press and several members of AVS Forum. Last Monday, 20 people, including AVS members sdurani, Rayjr, FilmMixer, and Scott Simonian, gathered at Dolby's offices in Burbank, CA to hear the commercial-theater version of Atmos followed by the home version. We also had plenty of opportunity to pose questions to Brett Crockett, Senior Director of the Research Sound Technology and Advanced Technology Group, Stuart Bowling, Director of Market Development for commercial cinema, and Craig Eggers, Director of Home Theater. (A similar event was held in New York City on Wednesday, which AVS Senior Writer Mark Henninger attended with several other AVS members; he'll share his experience later in this post. The same demo was also presented in San Francisco on Friday.)

The Burbank demo was actually held in two separate locations—first at Dolby's Southern California headquarters, which includes a 60-seat commercial cinema-like screening room, and then a suite of offices down the street where Dolby had set up a home theater-like room. In the screening room, Brett started by explaining what Atmos is—an object-based audio system that lets movie-soundtrack mixers place individual sound-emitting objects anywhere in a 3D space around the audience. This is accomplished in commercial cinemas by mounting speakers on the ceiling in addition to the speakers behind the screen and on the side and back walls. A powerful Atmos rendering cinema processor decodes the data for each object and sends its sound to the appropriate speaker(s) so that it appears to be in the intended location.


The screening room at Dolby's Burbank headquarters includes a full-blown Atmos cinema system. (Photo by Ray Coronado)

The demo started with two Atmos trailers—"Amaze" and "Unfold"—that are commonly played in Atmos cinemas before the movie, and both utilize the 3D space quite effectively. Next up was the volcano scene from Star Trek Into Darkness, which has plenty of overhead sounds, though the system was too loud to fully appreciate the effect. (I measured an Leq [average level] of 98.3 dBC over seven minutes; reference level is 85 dBA, and dBC is typically about 10 dB higher than dBA, so this was above reference. In any event, it was too loud.)

Following that was a short about Formula 1 race cars commissioned by Red Bull, which was also pretty loud, and I didn't perceive that much sound coming from overhead. Finally, we saw and heard the "Leaf" Atmos trailer, which was created by Oscar-winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom; like the other two Atmos trailers, this one makes great use of the entire 3D soundfield.


The 7.1.4 home-theater setup in Dolby's other office suite included four speakers mounted on the drop ceiling (two of which can be seen here) as well as Atmos-enabled upfiring speakers at the front LR and back-surround LR positions. (Photo by Scott Wilkinson)

After being shuttled over to the other offices, we broke into small groups that rotated in and out of the home-theater demo room, which could accommodate only six people at a time. The demo room had a 7.1 audio system in which the front LR and back-surround LR speakers were "Atmos-enabled" with upfiring transducers that sent their sound up to the 9-foot ceiling, where it was reflected back into the listening area, providing the overhead audio. The room also had actual overhead speakers mounted on the ceiling, allowing the demo to include a comparison between direct and reflected overhead sound.

The Dolby rep started with "Amaze," "Unfold," and the Formula 1 short using the ceiling-mounted speakers, after which he played two audio-only demos—a helicopter flying around the room and a rainstorm—starting with standard 7.1 and then adding the overhead channels, switching back and forth between the ceiling-mounted speakers and the Atmos-enabled upfiring speakers. Adding the overhead channels made a huge improvement in the immersiveness, and I could hear a slight difference in timbre between the two overhead setups. But more importantly, the ceiling-mounted speakers were much more localizable, which was a bit distracting, while the Atmos-enabled speakers produced a more diffuse overhead soundfield that nevertheless represented the position of the object well. We ended with "Leaf" and an abbreviated clip of the volcano scene from Star Trek Into Darkness (at a much more comfortable level) with the Atmos-enabled speakers, and both sounded excellent.


Three Dolby reps were peppered with questions from the journalists and AVS members in attendance. At the far end of the table are (L-R) Stuart Bowling, Craig Eggers, and Brett Crockett from Dolby; sitting at the table in the right of this shot are (L-R) Tom Norton of Sound & Vision and AVS members sdurani and FilmMixer. Behind Tom and to his right is Rob Sabin, editor of Sound & Vision, and in the lower-right foreground is Gary Reber, editor and publisher of Widescreen Review. (Photo by Scott Wilkinson)

While small groups were in the home-theater demo room, the rest of us were in a conference room, posing questions to Brett, Craig, and Stuart. Brett mentioned that installing speakers on the ceiling of many home theater is not always practical for many people, either logistically or from a spouse-acceptance perspective, which is why his team invented the concept of upfiring drivers on top of the front LR and rear-surround LR speakers to provide the overhead sounds. Craig mentioned that these Atmos-enabled speakers should be at least three feet from the closest listener.


This Atmos-enabled speaker (maker unknown) includes a small upfiring driver that sends the overhead signal to the ceiling, which reflects it down to the listeners. (Photo by Mark Henninger)

But there's more to it than simply adding some transducers to the top of a speaker—the system must replicate the effect of a human head as sounds from above, especially high frequencies, bend around it. This height-cue filtering is performed using standard analog components built into each Atmos-enabled speaker.

Of course, many rooms don't have a horizontal, reflective ceiling, which is required for upfiring speakers. ("Popcorn" and drop ceilings are fine.) For pitched or vaulted ceilings, installing speakers overhead might be the only solution. In-ceiling speakers can also work, but Craig emphasized the importance of timbre-matching the ceiling speakers with those at ear-level—ideally, all speakers should come from the same product line of a given manufacturer, but room EQ can help if they don't. Also, ceiling-mounted speakers do not need the same psychoacoustic processing as Atmos-enabled upfiring ones.

As you have probably gathered by now, a Dolby Atmos system requires speakers with upfiring drivers or actual speakers on the ceiling as well as a new AV receiver or preamp/processor with Atmos decoding. But the good news is that an Atmos soundtrack can be included on any Blu-ray disc and played on any existing Blu-ray player that is in full compliance with the Blu-ray spec and HDMI 1.4 or later. You do need to turn off the secondary-audio function in the player (which mixes the director's commentary and other secondary audio streams with the main multichannel soundtrack) in order to play the Atmos soundtrack.

I asked how much data overhead—storage capacity over and above what a conventional soundtrack would need—is required on the disc. Craig replied that it depends on the number of objects and complexity of the mix, but Dolby's goal is to keep it under 20% with Dolby TrueHD lossless compression. Atmos can also use Dolby Digital Plus lossy compression, which would reduce the data overhead significantly.

Atmos for commercial cinema uses a 9-channel "bed"—front left, center, and right; left and right side surround; left and right rear surround; left and right overhead. The four surround channels and two overhead channels are typically reproduced by multiple speakers that all play the same thing in a channel-based mix, and individual objects are overlaid on top of that, using whatever individual speakers are needed to reproduce the sound of that object from the desired position.

In the home version, the Dolby Atmos mix can include any combination of dynamically moving objects and fixed-position bed objects, up to a total of 128. Using Dolby's spatial-coding technique, the company is currently finding the best way to translate the cinematic experience to the home using all dynamically moving objects with no bed objects.

It's also important to understand that AVRs and pre/pros without Atmos capabilities will still play an Atmos soundtrack with the individual objects folded into the 5.1 or 7.1 mix, thanks to the Dolby TrueHD decoder. In fact, Brett said this was the most difficult thing they had to do to bring Atmos to the home. In addition, an Atmos-capable AVR or pre/pro can expand a 5.1 or 7.1 soundtrack—or even a 2-channel mix—into the entire 3D soundfield. Interestingly, if you have a 9.1 system with front wide speakers, the new expansion algorithm won't include those two channels. According to Dolby, this was a conscious decision in order not to smear the front soundstage.

Another interesting tidbit is that the Dolby Atmos system includes a new upmixing algortihm designed to be compatible with conventional channel-based and Atmos playback systems. Manufacturers can choose to include Dolby Pro Logic in Atmos-capable receivers, and Pro Logic will continued to be offered in channel-based receivers. This new upmixer is called Dolby Surround, which is a somewhat unfortunate moniker, since it's also the name given to the earliest consumer version of Dolby's multichannel analog film-sound format back in 1982. Perhaps that's so long ago that few will remember the term from those days.

After the event, sdurani, Rayjr, FilmMixer, Scott Simonian, and I talked about the experience. Surprisingly, all of us preferred the upfiring Atmos-enabled speakers over the ceiling-mounted speakers because they provided a wider, more enveloping soundfield. And as I mentioned earlier, the ceiling-mounted speakers were too localizable, at least at a ceiling height of nine feet or so.

All in all, it was a very interesting and informative demo, and I thank Dolby for hosting it.

--------------------

Here are Mark Henninger's impressions from the New York demo:

Two days after the West Coast crew attended Dolby's Atmos demo, I heard the same demonstration in New York. AVS members Ralph Potts, Jwhip, Orbitron, and Paradyme joined me for the three-hour experience.

We started out in Dolby's Atmos-equipped screening room. First things first: Atmos works as advertised—it creates an enhanced sense of atmosphere. With the right sound effects, Atmos provides a significant boost in immersion. The first two trailers from Dolby, although short, demonstrated the system's capabilities quite well.


Brett Crockett explains Dolby Atmos to journalists and AVS members in Dolby's New York screening room, which is decked out with a full cinema Atmos system. (Photo by Mark Henninger)

The third clip was the opening scene from Star Trek: Into Darkness featuring the volcano. Although it made use of the height capabilities offered by Atmos, I found the sound quality was a bit harsh and overly bright. The entire presentation was too loud to appreciate much subtlety, and sibilance negatively affected the dialog. Ralph Potts, Jwhip, Orbitron, and Paradyme (aka Theo Kalomirakis) all made similar comments about the theatrical demo of Star Trek in Atmos—it was too loud and too harsh to appreciate the benefit of the added channels.

The Red Bull-sponsored Formula 1 trailer sounded good, though I agree with Scott Wilkinson's assessment—it did not make effective use of the Atmos height channels. I'm curious how that clip would compare to a 7.1-channel mix. I also agree with the Cali crew about the Dolby-produced "Leaf" trailer; it featured excellent sound design and showed off the system's true potential.

Of course, the point of the demo was to compare a theatrical system to a home-theater setup, so our group moved to a smaller space, which looked like an office or conference room. The home theater segment played on the same 7.1 system Scott and his group heard in LA, including Atmos-enabled speakers and overhead speakers.


In Dolby's New York home-theater room, small groups heard Atmos for the home after a short presentation. (Photo by Mark Henninger)

Our experience and impressions of the home-theater demo differed from Scott's group—namely, we all thought the overhead speakers sounded better than the reflected sound coming from the Atmos-enabled speakers. The dedicated overheads were clearer and a better match for the main speakers. I found that the reflected sound from the Atmos-enabled speakers had a tinny and artificial sound compared to the in-ceiling setup. When I chatted with Scott about this, we identified one possible cause: In the LA demo, Dolby positioned the Atmos-enabled speakers away from the walls, which is appropriate for bookshelf speakers on stands. However, in New York, the speakers were right against the walls. It's not clear how that affected the overall sound, but proper speaker position is a very crucial part of any system setup, one that influences the results of any audio demo.

We re-watched the Star Trek clip on the home-theater setup, and the modest nature of the system Dolby demoed diminished the impact of the presentation. Nevertheless, it possessed many of the same characteristics we heard in the screening room—namely, it was a bit harsh, dry, and bright. Atmos did not seem to add much to the immersive experience in that clip versus what I've heard in the past. Orbitron and the other guys agreed that our own systems did quite well with the same material.

Since Dolby did not A/B 7.1 versus Atmos during that clip, it was impossible to tell how much dimension Atmos added to the mix. In fact, Dolby did not offer a comparison between regular 7.1 and Atmos using theatrical content—that comparison was exclusive to the helicopter flying around the room and the rainstorm demo, which sounded rather different depending on the speakers used for the overhead effect. In our demo, the ceiling-mounted speakers sounded clearer, and there was a greater sense of overhead space. Also, the timbre match with the main speakers was good enough to avoid distraction. The reflected sound was more diffuse; to my ears, it sounded processed—like a low-bitrate MP3. In addition, the reflected sound did not create as convincing an illusion of sound coming from directly overhead. I wonder if the speaker placement—directly against the walls—was responsible for that discrepancy.

The end of the home theater demo involved the "Leaf" trailer. Dolby did not tell the audience if the clip utilized the ceiling speakers or reflected sound. When it finished playing, the presenter asked for a show of hands if we thought the clip used ceiling speakers—nobody raised their hand. Evidently, the difference between overhead and reflected Atmos overhead channels was too obvious to fool anyone. [Editor's note: the same thing happened with the group in LA—no one thought the overhead speakers were being used.]

I chatted with Ralph Potts about the experience, especially since he gave the Blu-ray version of Star Trek: Into Darkness a perfect score of 100 for audio. Ralph mentioned that in many dedicated home theaters, the side and rear surrounds are above ear level, unlike in Dolby's home-theater demo. That somewhat diminished the advantage offered by the dedicated overhead channels. On the other hand, Ralph mentioned that he sees a lot more potential in Atmos than the Dolby demo was able to convey, and I agree. We need a better demonstration, in a dedicated home theater, to understand what Atmos can do.

As soon as the Dolby event ended, we headed over to Theo Kalomirakis' new home theater, the Roxy 2.0. Unfortunately, Ralph could not make it, but Chris Boylan, the editor of BigPictureBigSound.com came along. Chris was part of the group we were in during the demos at Dolby, so he had the same experience we did. We watched the scene from Star Trek on Blu-ray with the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 soundtrack. I thought Theo's system sounded better than the theatrical Atmos presentation at Dolby's screening room, and quite superior to Dolby's home theater presentation. Even so, I do think that Theo's theater could benefit from Atmos, as long as it improves upon an already excellent presentation.

When I got home, I watched the same scene from Star Trek on my system, while my memory was still fresh. The next day, I received a PM from Jwhip, who played the clip on his system when he got home. He said, "In my system, the music opening to the film was silky smooth, much better than anything we heard yesterday." Regarding the surround effects, Jwhip mentioned, "I have my surround speakers above ear level, pointed down at the coach, and agree with Ralph on that point. In fact, the flying arrows at the beginning of the film were as convincing as they were in the Atmos."

My 7.1 setup, featuring Dolby PL IIz with front-height channels, immersed me in the Blu-ray's Dolby TrueHD soundtrack just fine. There was precious little to differentiate it from what I heard in the Atmos mix. I can only conclude that proper setup and calibration trumps new formats when it comes to the overall surround-sound experience. That is why it's vitally important that Atmos demos take place on properly set up and calibrated systems—it's not a blunt tool. Without a proper demo, I predict that most enthusiasts will not feel a strong urge to upgrade an existing 7.1 system just for Atmos—the format needs to up the suspension-of-disbelief ante. Achieving that requires a seamless soundfield, and I look forward to an Atmos demo that convincingly pulls it off.

------------

There are quite a few threads on AVS devoted to Dolby Atmos for home theaters; be sure to check them out...

Here's a fairly complete list

...and here are some of the main ones:

Official Dolby Atmos Thread (Home Theater Version)
Dolby Atmos White Papers Available for Download

Dolby Atmos Demo at Pioneer
Why Dolby Atmos is DOA (responses to an article of that name at Audioholics.com)

Like AVS Forum on Facebook
Follow AVS Forum on Twitter
+1 AVS Forum on Google+

Scott Wilkinson
AVS Editor
Scott Wilkinson is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 03:37 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Zen Traveler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 4,256
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 210 Post(s)
Liked: 355
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson View Post

...My 7.1 setup, featuring Dolby PL IIz with front-height channels, immersed me in the Blu-ray's Dolby TrueHD soundtrack just fine. There was precious little to differentiate it from what I heard in the Atmos mix. I can only conclude that proper setup and calibration trumps new formats when it comes to the overall surround-sound experience. That is why it's vitally important that Atmos demos take place on properly set up and calibrated systems—it's not a blunt tool. Without a proper demo, I predict that most enthusiasts will not feel a strong urge to upgrade an existing 7.1 system just for Atmos—the format needs to up the suspension-of-disbelief ante. Achieving that requires a seamless soundfield, and I look forward to an Atmos demo that convincingly pulls it off.

------------

There are quite a few threads on AVS devoted to Dolby Atmos for home theaters; be sure to check them out...

+
I enjoy reading all of the different opinions and it seems that the major benefits of Atmos is going to be room dependent and how well the AVR companies can implement the technology...Fwiw, We have a small 2,000 cu ft "9.2" Home Theater using Heights and Rears with direct radiating speakers all of the way around pointed to a limited MLP and have wondered "how much better can it get?" I use the PLIIz format for most things and overhead effects seem to work well in this setup and our cathedral ceiling seems to make everything more spacious even though the room is small...That said, it seems like our ceiling isn't going to be conducive for Atmos so I appreciated what you reported above--Thanks for the write-up.
Zen Traveler is offline  
post #3 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 03:59 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Pain Infliction's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Houston Texas
Posts: 2,706
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 156 Post(s)
Liked: 198
Nice post! This is what I have been waiting for to read!

MY THEATER......The Thompson Theater 11.9 channels

"Is not love not unlike the unlikely not it is unlikened to?"
- Leon Phelps
Pain Infliction is offline  
post #4 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 04:33 PM
HOME THEATER CONTRACTOR
 
BIGmouthinDC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 21,075
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 393 Post(s)
Liked: 679
Mark, it looks like the ceiling heights and ceiling material of the west versus east coast differ and I wonder if that could account for differences in demo experiences?
BIGmouthinDC is offline  
post #5 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 04:59 PM
Blu-ray Reviewer
 
Ralph Potts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Middletown NY
Posts: 9,325
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 150 Post(s)
Liked: 601
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
Mark, it looks like the ceiling heights and ceiling material of the west versus east coast differ and I wonder if that could account for differences in demo experiences?
Greetings,

That was a question we posed to Brett and according to him they have successfully used the Dolby Atmos enabled speakers with a variety of ceiling material with no discernible reduction in effectiveness.

As I discussed with Mark, the positioning of the speakers both front and rear could certainly have contributed to lack of spatial dimension that we all felt with the Atmos enabled bookshelf prototypes they employed.

Unlike Scott's experience I didn't have any issues with overt localization when listening to the ceiling mounted speakers in the small listening room in New York.


Regards,

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviews
AVS Forum
My Home Theater
My DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray Collection
Ralph Potts is offline  
post #6 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 05:02 PM
Advanced Member
 
Jeff in Canada's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 547
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 93 Post(s)
Liked: 41
Their demo room is loaded with horns.

I really think the speakers up at the wall / ceiling connection aimed down. They are likely the most effective. It is rare to have any event / movie condition right over your position. Even in those cases, the horns on either side of you should create the spatial sensation of it basically over you.

I'm very skeptical of the up firing speakers. The room dimensions /seating positions become too predetermined. That said: It will work out very well for me personally.

Equipment: Denon AVR-4520, Fusion Tempest (LCR), Fusion Alchemy (4xSurrounds+Wides+Heights),15" Dayton Ultimax X 4, SMX 2.35:1 Screen
Theater Build
DIY Speaker / Sub Build

Last edited by Jeff in Canada; 08-16-2014 at 06:05 PM.
Jeff in Canada is online now  
post #7 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 05:08 PM
AVS Special Member
 
NorthSky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Canada - West Island: Vancouver, South Direction: Go East
Posts: 3,697
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1583 Post(s)
Liked: 499
Very nice Scott.

1. Dolby Surround (1982*) Upmixer; will it work only with Dolby TrueHD and DD+ encoded movies.
2. Dolby Atmos software (Blu-ray); a must. Without content, we have to rely on the Dolby Surr. upmixer.

* 1982

Last edited by NorthSky; 08-16-2014 at 05:19 PM.
NorthSky is online now  
post #8 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 05:35 PM
Mod & Bluray Reviewer
 
Lee Weber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Boston
Posts: 2,344
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Liked: 115
Lee Weber is offline  
post #9 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 05:43 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Pain Infliction's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Houston Texas
Posts: 2,706
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 156 Post(s)
Liked: 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post
Greetings,

That was a question we posed to Brett and according to him they have successfully used the Dolby Atmos enabled speakers with a variety of ceiling material with no discernible reduction in effectiveness.

As I discussed with Mark, the positioning of the speakers both front and rear could certainly have contributed to lack of spatial dimension that we all felt with the Atmos enabled bookshelf prototypes they employed.

Unlike Scott's experience I didn't have any issues with overt localization when listening to the ceiling mounted speakers in the small listening room in New York.


Regards,
Did you prefer the ceiling mounted speakers over the up firing transducer speaker setup? If I were to go Atoms, I would definitely have ceiling mounted speakers because of the way my theater is setup.

MY THEATER......The Thompson Theater 11.9 channels

"Is not love not unlike the unlikely not it is unlikened to?"
- Leon Phelps
Pain Infliction is offline  
post #10 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 06:08 PM
Advanced Member
 
Orbitron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 524
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 195 Post(s)
Liked: 138
I agree with everything Mark said so let me focus on how we will experience Atmos in our homes. I think it will depend on the room and not the hardware. A room with treatments, absorption, diffusion, bass traps will produce a superior experience in that we will hear all these sounds with correctness of imaging, positioning and depth.

To me, upward firing or ceiling mounted is less of an issue than how well the room is conditioned. In other words, both types are effective but in a less then optimal room, it really won't matter.

While I preferred the ceiling mounted speakers at the Dolby Home Theater room, I need to hear these set-ups in my listening space in order to determine which integrates best in the room.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by Orbitron; 08-16-2014 at 06:18 PM.
Orbitron is offline  
post #11 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 06:14 PM
AVS Special Member
 
fierce_gt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,120
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 685 Post(s)
Liked: 859
I still think the MAIN advantage to atmos is it's future-proofing. while the current 7.1.4 configuration may provide only subtle improvement over a 9.1 system, it's not 'locked in' to those specific channels. again, assuming I'm reading correctly, the object based nature of the source means they can improve the processing later, and you won't have to buy new media to enjoy it. at some point you could have receivers that support 20 speakers and you'd actually get whatever benefit that gave you, with ALL your atmos discs.


for me, this is a good reason to jump from 5.1. I put off 7.1 and 9.1 because it felt like by the time I was prepared to do it, it was already 'old'. I bought my 7.1 receiver, and then the talk was all about 9.1. I ended up using the extra two rear channels to power speakers in a second room instead. my room also supports in-ceiling overhead speakers a lot more conveniently than front height speakers. basically the whole atmos concept just seems to work better for me


the other thing I wonder is if we'll find out more about suitable in-ceiling designs. sounds like the biggest issue is localization, so I'm wondering if a dipolar design might make a comeback. I don't like the idea of using upfiring speakers because then I would need a reflective ceiling. it feels like a backwards step to go from an acoustically treated ceiling to using up-firing speakers. also, maybe it's just my nature not to 'waste' things, but I much prefer the idea of adding speakers versus replacing speakers. still, the important thing is they at least gave us this choice, and I appreciate that for sure.

Displays: Samsung PN64F8500/JVC X35
AVR: Pioneer VSX-1018AH, 5.1 audio
Sources: HTPC(Mediabrowser), PS3, XBOX360, Wii, Sony DVP-CX995V
Control: Harmony One
fierce_gt is online now  
post #12 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 06:18 PM
Blu-ray Reviewer
 
Ralph Potts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Middletown NY
Posts: 9,325
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 150 Post(s)
Liked: 601
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pain Infliction View Post
Did you prefer the ceiling mounted speakers over the up firing transducer speaker setup? If I were to go Atoms, I would definitely have ceiling mounted speakers because of the way my theater is setup.
Greetings,

I did prefer the ceiling mounted speakers however I feel that another demonstration of the Atmos enabled speakers is in order as I felt that the setup for them wasn't optimal. Obviously you would think that wouldn't be the case especially considering the emphasis placed on their abilities as part of the presentation.


Regards,

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviews
AVS Forum
My Home Theater
My DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray Collection
Ralph Potts is offline  
post #13 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 06:28 PM
Blu-ray Reviewer
 
Ralph Potts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Middletown NY
Posts: 9,325
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 150 Post(s)
Liked: 601
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orbitron View Post
I agree with everything Mark said so let me focus on how we will experience Atmos in our homes. I think it will depend on the room and not the hardware. A room with treatments, absorption, diffusion, bass traps will produce a superior experience in that we will hear all these sounds with correctness of imaging, positioning and depth.

To me, upward firing or ceiling mounted is less of an issue than how well the room is conditioned. In other words, both types are effective but in a less then optimal room, it really won't matter.

While I preferred the ceiling mounted speakers at the Dolby Home Theater room, I need to hear these set-ups in my listening space in order to determine which integrates best in the room.

Hope this helps.
Greetings,

Thanks Gary although I am not certain that agree with your statement regarding "upward firing or ceiling mounted" being less of an issue. A properly treated room is certainly an important element however not everyone has a dedicated listening room. Similarly the ability to install speakers in the ceiling or not could be a critical factor in the decision making process. Auditioning these setups in your own room particularly if your talking about ceiling mounted speakers probably isn't practical. So I think that both the room AND hardware have to be considered when trying to decide which option to go with.

Regards,

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviews
AVS Forum
My Home Theater
My DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray Collection
Ralph Potts is offline  
post #14 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 06:54 PM
Advanced Member
 
Orbitron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 524
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 195 Post(s)
Liked: 138
Hey Ralph, it was nice meeting you. I do agree with you - i was looking at this from a theoretical - what would produce the optimal result. That said, real world conditions don't always allow what we might desire or be able to do. I'm thinking of starting from scratch and creating a room that will allow me to experiment and have the flexibility to try different configurations.
Orbitron is offline  
post #15 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 06:54 PM
AVS Special Member
 
NorthSky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Canada - West Island: Vancouver, South Direction: Go East
Posts: 3,697
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1583 Post(s)
Liked: 499
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Weber View Post
The speaker in the pic looks like a Triad.


__________

* Bonus pic:

NorthSky is online now  
post #16 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 06:56 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
sdurani's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Monterey Park, CA
Posts: 19,623
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1220 Post(s)
Liked: 945
I was chatting with Brett before the demo began and got different information about the two items below:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson View Post
This height-cue filtering is performed using standard analog components built into each Atmos-enabled speaker.
I was told it was done in the AV receiver, which is why you have to tell it whether you're using ceiling-mounted OR upward-firing speakers, so it knows whether to turn on Dolby Elevation processing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson View Post
Interestingly, if you have a 9.1 system with front wide speakers, the new expansion algorithm won't include those two channels. According to Dolby, this was a conscious decision in order not to smear the front soundstage.
I was told that Dolby Surround upmixes all incoming sources to up to 24+10 speakers, including wides, and that it has a centre width adjustment (like PLII currently has for 2-channel sources).

Will have to get clarification on both points.

Sanjay
sdurani is offline  
post #17 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 06:58 PM
Member
 
bass excavator's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 173
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Liked: 19
This was a great write-up and it's fantastic you guys all got the chance to hear and to report your findings.

My question is two part.

It involves Atmos working in existing 7.1 systems without an Atmos AVR or Atmos speakers or overhead ceiling speakers. Just the current 7.1 set-up.

1. What would one expect to hear on this standard 7.1 bed in terms of objects from a Atmos recorded blu-ray vs the standard surround sound blu-ray that we all know and love?

2. If the user is running a 7.1 LPCM analog hook-up for audio, will the Atmos recorded blu-ray be sampled at the player level using the players True-HD chip and pass it analog thru the AVR and onto the speakers? In otherwords can the player's chip do the Atmos decoding in an analog set-up?


Thanks

Enter all at the strait gate and walk the narrow way.
"I am the way the truth and the life, no one enters the Fathers' Kingdom except through me."

Jesus is the strait gate.
bass excavator is offline  
post #18 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 06:59 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
sdurani's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Monterey Park, CA
Posts: 19,623
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1220 Post(s)
Liked: 945
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Weber View Post
The speaker in the pic looks like a Triad.
That's what I said to FilmMixer at the Burbank demo.
Lee Weber likes this.

Sanjay
sdurani is offline  
post #19 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 07:42 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
sdurani's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Monterey Park, CA
Posts: 19,623
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1220 Post(s)
Liked: 945
Quote:
Originally Posted by bass excavator View Post
What would one expect to hear on this standard 7.1 bed in terms of objects from a Atmos recorded blu-ray vs the standard surround sound blu-ray that we all know and love?
Should sound similar if not identical on legacy gear.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bass excavator View Post
In otherwords can the player's chip do the Atmos decoding in an analog set-up?
No players currently available nor announced with Atmos decoding; maybe someday.

Sanjay
sdurani is offline  
post #20 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 08:13 PM
AVS Special Member
 
MIkeDuke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: eastern PA
Posts: 6,289
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 125 Post(s)
Liked: 78
Very nice write up. When STiD was being talked about here, I remember a lot of people talking about the sound. Many people thought that the BR was very loud to point of clipping. Also, make that it was even filtered. So I knew this going in to watching it. When I watched it, I turned my level way lower then I normally do. Not trying to force a loud playback I think helped me. At a lower level I thought it was a good soundtrack. Not great, but good. I don't know why it was recorded so loud. At the time I thought it was because an ATMOS track to begin with but that is just speculation on my part. Overall though, I did enjoy the article and I will probably read it again to get more info. It certainly is an interesting direction. .

It ain't easy being green.
My System
MIkeDuke is offline  
post #21 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 08:33 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Pain Infliction's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Houston Texas
Posts: 2,706
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 156 Post(s)
Liked: 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post
Greetings,

I did prefer the ceiling mounted speakers however I feel that another demonstration of the Atmos enabled speakers is in order as I felt that the setup for them wasn't optimal. Obviously you would think that wouldn't be the case especially considering the emphasis placed on their abilities as part of the presentation.


Regards,

Thanks for the response! I think that I would also prefer the ceiling mounted speakers if I had the choice. I am not a fan of sound radiated off of walls such as a sound bar.

MY THEATER......The Thompson Theater 11.9 channels

"Is not love not unlike the unlikely not it is unlikened to?"
- Leon Phelps
Pain Infliction is offline  
post #22 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 08:41 PM
AVS Special Member
 
KMFDMvsEnya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SLC, UT
Posts: 1,200
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Liked: 45
Interesting folks have been expressing similar sentiments to how I have always found the ST:ID soundtrack to be too damn loud even in with the Atmos mix, thanks to the excessive dynamic range compression. Not solely due to just playback levels.

I bet the new release for ST:ID will feature one of the first home Atmos tracks. Shame it still an overly compressed mix.

Best regards,
KvE

Politics is like a corral, no matter where you are you'll always be shovelling it.


Last edited by KMFDMvsEnya; 08-16-2014 at 08:46 PM.
KMFDMvsEnya is offline  
post #23 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 09:19 PM
Advanced Member
 
Daniel Chaves's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: LA (Valley Village)
Posts: 756
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 39 Post(s)
Liked: 62
I wish I could go to one of these looks so awesome...

Daniel Chaves is offline  
post #24 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 10:59 PM
Newbie
 
ControlZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Im reminded of mark's report following his 3d viewing of Gravity at dolby's theater, where neither the sound or the picture was worth sitting through the entire film. Shouldn't they want it to at least seem like they care as much about good AV in their home as we do in ours?
ControlZ is offline  
post #25 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 11:01 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
Scott Wilkinson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Burbank, CA
Posts: 1,292
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 303 Post(s)
Liked: 1083
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
I was chatting with Brett before the demo began and got different information about the two items below: I was told it was done in the AV receiver, which is why you have to tell it whether you're using ceiling-mounted OR upward-firing speakers, so it knows whether to turn on Dolby Elevation processing. I was told that Dolby Surround upmixes all incoming sources to up to 24+10 speakers, including wides, and that it has a centre width adjustment (like PLII currently has for 2-channel sources).

Will have to get clarification on both points.
Sanjay, these were both points that Dolby made during the fact check of the article. I had originally written that the height DSP was done in the AVR, which is what I understood from the discussion, but they "corrected" that to what ended up in the article. Also, I recall you saying in our after-event discussion that the wides were not used in an Atmos upmix, which Dolby confirmed in the fact check.

Scott Wilkinson
AVS Editor
Scott Wilkinson is offline  
post #26 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 11:07 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Special Member
 
Scott Wilkinson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Burbank, CA
Posts: 1,292
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 303 Post(s)
Liked: 1083
Quote:
Originally Posted by bass excavator View Post
This was a great write-up and it's fantastic you guys all got the chance to hear and to report your findings.

My question is two part.

It involves Atmos working in existing 7.1 systems without an Atmos AVR or Atmos speakers or overhead ceiling speakers. Just the current 7.1 set-up.

1. What would one expect to hear on this standard 7.1 bed in terms of objects from a Atmos recorded blu-ray vs the standard surround sound blu-ray that we all know and love?

2. If the user is running a 7.1 LPCM analog hook-up for audio, will the Atmos recorded blu-ray be sampled at the player level using the players True-HD chip and pass it analog thru the AVR and onto the speakers? In otherwords can the player's chip do the Atmos decoding in an analog set-up?


Thanks
1. If you play an Atmos-encoded Blu-ray on a system without Atmos decoding (i.e., a legacy AVR) and no overhead speakers, all the objects will appear in the 7.1 speakers; no sounds will be missing, but the sounds that are intended to be above the listener's plane will not be.

2. No Blu-ray player can decode Atmos, so you can't get the Atmos effect using analog connections from the Blu-ray player. To get the Atmos effect, the player must send an encoded bitstream to an AVR or pre/pro with Atmos decoding.

Scott Wilkinson
AVS Editor
Scott Wilkinson is offline  
post #27 of 513 Old 08-16-2014, 11:57 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
sdurani's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Monterey Park, CA
Posts: 19,623
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1220 Post(s)
Liked: 945
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson View Post
I had originally written that the height DSP was done in the AVR, which is what I understood from the discussion, but they "corrected" that to what ended up in the article.
Bizarre that it is done in the analogue domain. First I've heard of it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson View Post
I recall you saying in our after-event discussion that the wides were not used in an Atmos upmix, which Dolby confirmed in the fact check.
I mentioned the lack of wides as an example of the gulf between capability vs implementation. Atmos is capable of rendering to actual speaker locations even though none of the manufacturers have implemented it that way. Dolby Surround is capable of upmixing to all 24 speakers on the floor, even though current implementation doesn't include wides.

Apparently that last part (not using wides) is how the upmixer is supposed to operate, not a limitation of current implementation. Like I said, it conflicts with what Brett told me. Then again, we were told DS had a music mode, only to get an e-mail later clarifying that there is no such thing.

Sanjay
sdurani is offline  
post #28 of 513 Old 08-17-2014, 04:07 AM
Senior Member
 
A.Bell's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Woodbridge, Va.
Posts: 201
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 13
very interesting read, thanks to all that contributed.
A.Bell is offline  
post #29 of 513 Old 08-17-2014, 06:04 AM
AVS Special Member
 
bargervais's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Tampa Bay Florida
Posts: 1,393
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 354 Post(s)
Liked: 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by A.Bell View Post
very interesting read, thanks to all that contributed.
Yes a very interesting read thanks to you all for sharing your experiences. I for one am looking forward for the atmos firmware update coming in September for my TX-NR 737

My main setup
PN60E8000 Plus evolution 2013Kit + Directv genie + Panasonic 3D blu-ray player + Onkyo TX-NR 818 9.2 Bic F12 subs Onkyo M-5010 2-Channel Amplifier for wides.
MY 10' X 15' DEN
PN51F5500 + Directv Genie + Panasonic 3D blu-ray player + Onkyo TX-NR 737 5.2.2 Atmos top front Ceiling Speakers
bargervais is online now  
post #30 of 513 Old 08-17-2014, 06:06 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Pain Infliction's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Houston Texas
Posts: 2,706
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 156 Post(s)
Liked: 198
This sucks for me because I have in wall wide speakers. They are covered by panels, but knowing that if I switch to Atmos they will have to come out and the drywall will have to be fixed. I just went 11 channels at the end of last year so I think that I am going to wait a while for Atmos just encase things get changed. Seems like there is a lot of confusion going on right now as well.

MY THEATER......The Thompson Theater 11.9 channels

"Is not love not unlike the unlikely not it is unlikened to?"
- Leon Phelps
Pain Infliction is offline  
Reply Latest Industry News

Tags
frontpage

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off