The **OFFICIAL** DENON AVR-4520CI thread - Page 304 - AVS Forum
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post #9091 of 10792 Old 08-26-2014, 11:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Well the 4520 already has multiple sub EQ, so no difference with the new models.

Atmos is obviously the biggest change. The other meaningful changes are ancillary features like wifi, Bluetooth, digital audio to zones 2/3. But in most other respects the 4520 actually outclasses the 4100/5200 models, as its true replacement (physical size, amp quality, 32 bit processing architecture) will be the X7200W which will probably retail for around double what you can probably get the 4520 for.

So I guess I endorse your decision if you like "flagship" quality and don't give a hoot about Atmos the a steeply discounted 4520 seems like a sweet buy.

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post #9092 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 02:24 AM
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Originally Posted by batpig View Post
Well the 4520 already has multiple sub EQ, so no difference with the new models.

Atmos is obviously the biggest change. The other meaningful changes are ancillary features like wifi, Bluetooth, digital audio to zones 2/3. But in most other respects the 4520 actually outclasses the 4100/5200 models, as its true replacement (physical size, amp quality, 32 bit processing architecture) will be the X7200W which will probably retail for around double what you can probably get the 4520 for.

So I guess I endorse your decision if you like "flagship" quality and don't give a hoot about Atmos the a steeply discounted 4520 seems like a sweet buy.
I've been through a lot of receivers over the last few years (887/888/3310/4311/4520). I'm kinda glad the next Flagship won't be massively better for the same price.

I have a feeling it may be awhile until there are many Atmos Blu-rays. As it is there isn't a ton of DTS NEO:X. I'll probably pick up the next flagship when it releases...hopefully 2016/17 along with a 4K projector.

The only thing that concerns me is if Atmos takes off, I'm assuming the Blu-rays will be mastered with Atmos and Dolby TrueHD so I'd have only up to 7.1 information. If so, the Dolby processing is considerably older than NEO:X and I'd have to rely on Audyssey to uprez to 11.2, right?

All depends on if/when Atmos replaces DTS on Blu-ray. Since DTS-HD took off, Dolby TrueHD is practically extinct on new release Blu-rays. If a bunch of Atmos Blu's release next year and DTS goes away I might get pissy.

Last edited by Dreamliner; 08-27-2014 at 02:35 AM.
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post #9093 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by batpig View Post
Well the 4520 already has multiple sub EQ, so no difference with the new models.

Atmos is obviously the biggest change. The other meaningful changes are ancillary features like wifi, Bluetooth, digital audio to zones 2/3. But in most other respects the 4520 actually outclasses the 4100/5200 models, as its true replacement (physical size, amp quality, 32 bit processing architecture) will be the X7200W which will probably retail for around double what you can probably get the 4520 for.

So I guess I endorse your decision if you like "flagship" quality and don't give a hoot about Atmos the a steeply discounted 4520 seems like a sweet buy.
Thanks for this post batpig.

While I hate the fact that my 1 yr old avr technically is soon to be out done to some degree. It is one impressive avr. Which im glad I didn't pay full price for. I only wish denon would treat it like one of their flagship avr's in the past. I saw for a 1000 bucks, send it in for a new board and firmware upgrade. I know it was a few yrs ago. And it was over 2 times the price of the 4520. But I'd consider doing that with my 4520.

Until the 7200 comes out, I really feel anything less would just be a tease.

But damn, I want atmos.
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post #9094 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Dreamliner View Post
I have a feeling it may be awhile until there are many Atmos Blu-rays. As it is there isn't a ton of DTS NEO:X.
Different things. Atmos is a codec, and movies are increasingly being mixed in Atmos. Neo:X is a surround upmixer and no movies are mixed in Neo:X. The proper comparison with Neo:X is Dolby Surround, which will mix legacy content to the full Atmos speaker set. So, although there aren't going to be many Atmos Blurays for a while, you would be able to use Dolby Surround to upmix all your current Blurays. By all accounts, DS is "very good".

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The only thing that concerns me is if Atmos takes off, I'm assuming the Blu-rays will be mastered with Atmos and Dolby TrueHD so I'd have only up to 7.1 information. If so, the Dolby processing is considerably older than NEO:X and I'd have to rely on Audyssey to uprez to 11.2, right?
Atmos Blurays use the TrueHD codec for delivery. If you have a non-Atmos AVR and an Atmos Bluray, you will get the 'core' TrueHD 5.1 or 7.1 track and your system will play it just like it does now. The all-new Dolby Surround upmixer (which replaces ProLogic in Atmos units) will upmix to all your speakers, other than Wides, which are not currently supported.

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All depends on if/when Atmos replaces DTS on Blu-ray. Since DTS-HD took off, Dolby TrueHD is practically extinct on new release Blu-rays. If a bunch of Atmos Blu's release next year and DTS goes away I might get pissy.
All Atmos Blurays will feature TrueHD. DTS is paramount now because it is faster/easier for the disc authoring houses than TrueHD that's all. There is no difference between a TrueHD track and a DTS-HD MA track as far as the end user is concerned, so why would you be "pissy" if the discs you buy in the future feature TrueHD and not DTS-HD MA? To you, they are the same thing.
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post #9095 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 05:26 AM
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Hdmi Pass Through on and off!

Hey guys,

Is there any way to turn on and off hdmi pass through with a press of a button without searching in the menu? I din't find anything in the remote code list. Is anything I can do? I don't want to turn on or off the hdmi control just the pass through functionality...

Thanks in advance
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post #9096 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 05:31 AM
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^^
Simply set the Video - HDMI Setup - HDMI Pass Through setting (p. 130 OM) to OFF.

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post #9097 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post
^^
Simply set the Video - HDMI Setup - HDMI Pass Through setting (p. 130 OM) to OFF.
Dear jdsmoothie, thank you for your reply.

You mean to do this by navigating the menu? What I want is to turn on or off hdmi pass through without navigating the menu (because many times I want pass through to be turned off and some other times I need it to be turned on), just with the press of a button as we can turn on or off the Dynamic EQ for instance. Is there a way to do that?

Thanks
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post #9098 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm confused. Why would you want to turn off HDMI passthrough "on the fly" with a button? It's a fairly fundamental setting that is done initially. Either you want the option of using it or you don't.

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post #9099 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post
All Atmos Blurays will feature TrueHD. DTS is paramount now because it is faster/easier for the disc authoring houses than TrueHD that's all. There is no difference between a TrueHD track and a DTS-HD MA track as far as the end user is concerned, so why would you be "pissy" if the discs you buy in the future feature TrueHD and not DTS-HD MA? To you, they are the same thing.
TrueHD would only provide up to 7.1 information to my receiver. DTS NEO:X can do up to 11.2 without relying on receiver algorithms to upmix. To be clear, I'd only be 'pissy' until my Dolby Atmos receiver showed up.
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post #9100 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 08:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dreamliner View Post
TrueHD would only provide up to 7.1 information to my receiver. DTS NEO:X can do up to 11.2 without relying on receiver algorithms to upmix. To be clear, I'd only be 'pissy' until my Dolby Atmos receiver showed up.
I think you're confused about several things which Keith has tried to clear up. Neo:X is not a codec, it's an upmix algorithm. There were a few (3?) blu rays that were specially coded to mix up to 11ch using Neo:X but that's not really a discrete encode.

The idea that Dolby does up to 7.1 but DTS can go to 11.1 and thus is better is, with all due respect, simply misguided. If you take a given blu ray soundtrack and and encode it in Dolby TrueHD vs DTS MA the decoded output will be IDENTICAL.

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post #9101 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by batpig View Post
I think you're confused about several things which Keith has tried to clear up. Neo:X is not a codec, it's an upmix algorithm. There were a few (3?) blu rays that were specially coded to mix up to 11ch using Neo:X but that's not really a discrete encode.

The idea that Dolby does up to 7.1 but DTS can go to 11.1 and thus is better is, with all due respect, simply misguided. If you take a given blu ray soundtrack and and encode it in Dolby TrueHD vs DTS MA the decoded output will be IDENTICAL.
It's very possible. I was under the assumption that NEO:X was a codec and/or Blu-rays could be encoded with 11.2 information. Even if it is just an algorithm, take a Blu-ray like Dredd, are you saying that if that was mastered in DTS-HD (which DREDD specifically says NEO:X on the cover), that the sound output from each speaker would be identical to if it was encoded with TrueHD?
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post #9102 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 08:40 AM
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3 or 4 BDs have been mixed with matrixed channels so as to be directly compatible with Neo:X decoding, The Expendables 2 and Dredd are two of them. DTS made a big deal of it when TE2 came out.

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post #9103 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 08:46 AM
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3 or 4 BDs have been mixed with matrixed channels so as to be directly compatible with Neo:X decoding, The Expendables 2 and Dredd are two of them. DTS made a big deal of it when TE2 came out.
No joke right? NEO:X was the primary reason I sprang for the 4311 -> 4520 upgrade.

I guess I'd be curious to know where the benefits of NEO:X begin and end. I've always assumed that NEO:X would be a better sound mode to use with any DTS-HD surround source with my 11.2 setup as opposed to Audyssey simply because the same people who made DTS-HD made NEO:X.

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post #9104 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 08:46 AM
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Isn't that no diffent than getting 6.1 from legacy DD or DTS? The extra channel is derived from the discrete channels in the 5.1 signal. So the extra channels of info on those Neo:X discs would be derived from the discrete 7.1 DTS-HD MA channels?

I never knew they had any discs encoded like this. I will need to check them out when I get my Front Heights setup. I just ordered them from Axiom Audio last night.

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post #9105 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by batpig View Post
I'm confused. Why would you want to turn off HDMI passthrough "on the fly" with a button? It's a fairly fundamental setting that is done initially. Either you want the option of using it or you don't.
For example when I' m watching a football match, or ganes or a documentary, or the news I don't need the receiver, the tv speakers are just enough. So at this time I want my receiver to be turned off with the pass through factionality enabled. When I watch movies or listening music I need the receiver to be turned on. But somedays I don't use it at all it so I prefer the standby mode with low electricity consumption which means the pass through must be turned off. Also sometimes I start watching with the receiver but after sometime I realize that I don't need it and I want to continue with only the tv speakers, so I need the pass through function to be turned on. That is why I need an easy way to turn on or off the hdmi pass through function. Is it possible?
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post #9106 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 09:14 AM
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Standby with passthrough on uses very little power, although, granted, it does use somewhat more than with passthrough disabled. The usage still is far less than when the receiver is on but not amplifying any audio.

i.e. one possibility would be to configure passthrough source to be the cable-tv box (permanently) and then just turn the receiver off when you want to listen using the TV's speakers.

Another option would be to get a programmable remote (like one of the Harmony remotes) and configure one of its action sequences to go through the receiver's menu settings to change the setting.

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post #9107 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post
Standby with passthrough on uses very little power, although, granted, it does use somewhat more than with passthrough disabled. The usage still is far less than when the receiver is on but not amplifying any audio.

i.e. one possibility would be to configure passthrough source to be the cable-tv box (permanently) and then just turn the receiver off when you want to listen using the TV's speakers.

Another option would be to get a programmable remote (like one of the Harmony remotes) and configure one of its action sequences to go through the receiver's menu settings to change the setting.
Thank you Selden,
The second idea is very interesting and I will give it a try. My only thought is when I press the menu on the receiver's remote if it always starts from the same point of menu (e.g audio) or from the last point of menu it was used, in this case the sequence (or macro) will not work. I will try it and let you know if you like.
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post #9108 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Dreamliner View Post
No joke right?
I don't know how you mean that comment: whether you're asking if I'm serious or if you're bitter about there being so few movies so encoded or something else. At any rate, you can get a list of the Neo:X encoded movies by searching for "11.1" on the Web page http://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=159814

Quote:
NEO:X was the primary reason I sprang for the 4311 -> 4520 upgrade.

I guess I'd be curious to know where the benefits of NEO:X begin and end. I've always assumed that NEO:X would be a better sound mode to use with any DTS-HD surround source with my 11.2 setup as opposed to Audyssey simply because the same people who made DTS-HD made NEO:X.
Neo:X is a way to expand a small number of channels into a larger number of speakers, including top-fronts. It doesn't really care what compression method was used. It works as well for Dolby TrueHD and LPCM soundtracks as it does for DTS-HD MA tracks which weren't specially encoded with DTS matrixed channels.

The word "Audyssey" by itself usually is taken to mean just the room EQ part of the package. I suspect you mean "Aucyssey DSX" which is the separate capability to expand a small number of channels into a larger number of speakers, including top-fronts. My understanding is that its results are much more "front centric" than either Dolby ProLogic II Z or DTS Neo:X, but that (other than for those few specially-encoded soundtracks) which of the three expansion algorithms you use is a personal choice. FWIW, most people do seem to prefer Neo:X.

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Isn't that no diffent than getting 6.1 from legacy DD or DTS? The extra channel is derived from the discrete channels in the 5.1 signal. So the extra channels of info on those Neo:X discs would be derived from the discrete 7.1 DTS-HD MA channels?
Not quite. ProLogic, Neo,and DSX can be used to expand 5.1 soundtracks to use more speakers, but that might or might not produce results that the people mixing the soundtracks intended. Similar to the Neo-encoded BDs, some DVDs and BDs intentionally have 6.1 soundtracks matrixed into 5.1 discrete channels, not simply 5.1 soundtracks. (Dolby 5.1 EX and DTS-ES, to be specific.)

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I never knew they had any discs encoded like this. I will need to check them out when I get my Front Heights setup. I just ordered them from Axiom Audio last night.
Step Up 4: Revolution 3D is the third such title listed at blu-ray.com. There were rumors of a 4th title, but I don't know what it is.

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post #9109 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by user222 View Post
Thank you Selden,
The second idea is very interesting and I will give it a try. My only thought is when I press the menu on the receiver's remote if it always starts from the same point of menu (e.g audio) or from the last point of menu it was used, in this case the sequence (or macro) will not work. I will try it and let you know if you like.
Thanks, please do. Maybe if one uses a large number of "go to previous menu page" commands that'd let you force it to go to the top menu. I'm not sure if giving too many "up" commands will stop at the top or exit.

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post #9110 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by user222 View Post
For example when I' m watching a football match, or ganes or a documentary, or the news I don't need the receiver, the tv speakers are just enough. So at this time I want my receiver to be turned off with the pass through factionality enabled. When I watch movies or listening music I need the receiver to be turned on. But somedays I don't use it at all it so I prefer the standby mode with low electricity consumption which means the pass through must be turned off. Also sometimes I start watching with the receiver but after sometime I realize that I don't need it and I want to continue with only the tv speakers, so I need the pass through function to be turned on. That is why I need an easy way to turn on or off the hdmi pass through function. Is it possible?
So am I correct in inferring that your ONLY concern is additional power consumption when HDMI Control is left on when not needed? Because in the narrative you described things would function perfectly if you simply left HDMI passthrough on the entire time. The only difference that I can see is that, at certain times, it will be off to reduce power consumption.

If that is the only reason then IMO it's a non-issue. There is very, very little additional power consumed in normal standby vs. the slightly more "alive" standby with HDMI passthrough enabled. The rating (pg 202 of your manual) is 0.1W of consumption in standby mode, and 0.5W of consumption in CEC standby mode. Using network standby (so you can turn it on/off remotely with a smartphone or computer) ups it to 5.1W of standby consumption.

So either way, the additional power consumption of CEC standby is virtually negligible. It's essentially irrational to worry about this when you probably do more damage by forgetting to turn the light off in the kitchen or bathroom for an hour. It's like a drop in the bucket compared to the energy consumption of the rest of your modern lifestyle.

Summary: forgot about complicated macros and just leave the dern passthrough thing on all the time.

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post #9111 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamliner View Post
It's very possible. I was under the assumption that NEO:X was a codec and/or Blu-rays could be encoded with 11.2 information. Even if it is just an algorithm, take a Blu-ray like Dredd, are you saying that if that was mastered in DTS-HD (which DREDD specifically says NEO:X on the cover), that the sound output from each speaker would be identical to if it was encoded with TrueHD?
Selden has already given great responses, but just to be clear, it's important to understand the difference between mastering techniques vs. codecs vs. upmixing.

The DTS/Dolby codecs like TrueHD, DTS-HD/Master, lossy Dolby Digital, etc. are simply compression algorithms. They take a soundtrack and pack it (encode) into a container that compresses the file size and saves space. On the other end, the decoder unpacks it from the container. With lossless compression like TrueHD and DTS-HD/MA, what comes out is EXACTLY the same as what comes in. The content is mastered as multiple channels of PCM, then packed into a codec (like zipping a file on a computer) and then when the receiver/processor decodes it, the same multiple channels of PCM are restored.

So in that sense, it's irrelevant whether the encode was DTS or Dolby with respect to how an upmixer works. The upmixer has no clue what the codec on the disc one, it (like any other post processing such as bass management or EQ) is operating on the decoded PCM audio channels. So you can take a soundtrack, pack it into TrueHD on one Blu-ray, and pack it into DTS-MA on another, and the two discs will sound IDENTICAL when played on your setup, regardless of whether you play it straight, add upmixing like DSX or Neo:X, etc. The only reason DTS has come to dominate Blu-ray audio is that it's cheaper and easier to use for the production facilities. Whether it's PLIIx from Dolby, DSX fop Audyssey, or Neo:X from DTS, there is absolutely zero benefit to "matching" the upmixer to the codec based on company.

Also, you can see how the idea of "mastered in DTS-HD" is really nonsensical. There is no such thing, the mastering (for channel based content) is done with PCM, and the DTS codec only comes into play when packing it onto a disc to save space.

The Neo:X 11ch movies don't come out of the cinemas natively. There is no such thing in cinemas. Basically, someone put in the time, money and effort to take a traditional 5.1 or 7.1 movie mix and REMIX it for release on Blu-ray, with special cues matrixed in to allow Neo:X to extract an "almost discrete" 11.1ch mix. As aaronwt pointed out, this is essentially the same in principle as DTS-ES / Dolby Digital EX from back in the 6.1 days, where that extra surround back channel was matrixed into the surround channels for easy extraction, but the payload was still a basic 5.1 track that would play normally on a 5.1 system.

Dolby Atmos is totally different because it is a completely new process for MASTERING the cinema soundtracks. There are already over 150 movies mastered natively in Dolby Atmos and the format has been adopted in hundreds of movie theaters. The important distinction is that more and more movies will be natively mastered in Atmos as we go forward, because it makes it easier for production purposes. The big benefit of object-based audio for production is that it breaks the "tyranny of channels" as I believe Roger Dressler put it. You just place the sounds where you want them and the renderer can theoretically scale the soundtrack to any given speaker layout. So instead of having to have to create separate mixes for stereo, 5.1, 7.1 etc. (and if you wanted something different like a Neo:X matrix mix for home it's even more effort), the content producers can create a single Atmos mix and it will scale to the layout.

This is a very, very important distinction between more gimmicky "for Blu-ray only" consumer tricks like Neo:X matrix encodes and Atmos, and it's why the paucity of Neo:X 11ch mixes isn't really relevant. The people making the movies (and the movie theaters playing them) are already transitioning to Atmos for native production. They don't have to extend additional special effort to take the cinema mix and translate it to this fancy "more than 7.1" home mix. The movies are being produced in Atmos from the start, and it will be easy to translate that to the consumer.

For home delivery, Dolby has also built the tools to piggyback on the "core + extension" structure of Dolby TrueHD codec and deliver Atmos through current Blu-ray technology. The mix is placed into the TrueHD container (with the objects utilizing the "extensions" for metadata) and (with Dolby's proprietary encoding tools) automagically folds into a 7.1+objects package. If played on a non-Atmos system, it will simply play like any other 5.1/7.1 TrueHD track. And you can then apply Neo:X or whatever upmixer you want if you want to do it the "old way" and upmix to your existing height/wide speakers. So if you stick with your 4520 and happen to buy a Blu-ray with Atmos TrueHD encode, it will play exactly like any other Blu-ray on your system. But if the processor has an Atmos decoder, it will be able to read the object metadata and render a "custom" sound mix based on your speaker layout, including that discrete vertical content that makes it a true 3D sound bubble.

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post #9112 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Dreamliner View Post
TrueHD would only provide up to 7.1 information to my receiver. DTS NEO:X can do up to 11.2 without relying on receiver algorithms to upmix. To be clear, I'd only be 'pissy' until my Dolby Atmos receiver showed up.
You've been given some great replies by the looks of it (not read them in detail yet). You are conflating two different things. TrueHD is a lossless compression codec. Audibly and functionally it is identical to DTS-HD MA from the consumer POV. Neo:X is an upmixer which will take 5.1 or 7.1 content, in either TrueHD or DTS-HD MA and upmix it to 11 channels by adding Heights and Wides. So you can use Neo:X on discs which are encoded with either True-HD or DTS-HD MA - it makes no difference. And when Atmos Burays are here, your Neo:X will work in just the same way.


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Originally Posted by Dreamliner View Post
It's very possible. I was under the assumption that NEO:X was a codec and/or Blu-rays could be encoded with 11.2 information. Even if it is just an algorithm, take a Blu-ray like Dredd, are you saying that if that was mastered in DTS-HD (which DREDD specifically says NEO:X on the cover), that the sound output from each speaker would be identical to if it was encoded with TrueHD?
Dredd is one of three discs experimentally 'optimized' for Neo:X. Other than those three, all the other discs you own will work the same with Neo:X as outlined above.


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Originally Posted by Dreamliner View Post
No joke right? NEO:X was the primary reason I sprang for the 4311 -> 4520 upgrade.

I guess I'd be curious to know where the benefits of NEO:X begin and end. I've always assumed that NEO:X would be a better sound mode to use with any DTS-HD surround source with my 11.2 setup as opposed to Audyssey simply because the same people who made DTS-HD made NEO:X.
No - it makes no difference to Neo:X what the content was encoded in - TrueHD or Neo:X. Once the content has been unpacked to PCM in the AVR then it is identical regardless of how it was (losslessly) compressed in the first place. Just like a Word document is the same regardless of whether it was sent to you as a .ZIP file or a .RAR file.
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post #9113 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 11:18 AM
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Isn't that no diffent than getting 6.1 from legacy DD or DTS? The extra channel is derived from the discrete channels in the 5.1 signal. So the extra channels of info on those Neo:X discs would be derived from the discrete 7.1 DTS-HD MA channels?
Yes - but those three discs were 'optimized' for Neo:X. AFAIK it was never revealed what that meant. They do sound impressive when played back via Neo:X though.
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post #9114 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 11:21 AM
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Selden has already given great responses, but just to be clear, it's important to understand the difference between mastering techniques vs. codecs vs. upmixing.

The DTS/Dolby codecs like TrueHD, DTS-HD/Master, lossy Dolby Digital, etc. are simply compression algorithms. They take a soundtrack and pack it (encode) into a container that compresses the file size and saves space. On the other end, the decoder unpacks it from the container. With lossless compression like TrueHD and DTS-HD/MA, what comes out is EXACTLY the same as what comes in. The content is mastered as multiple channels of PCM, then packed into a codec (like zipping a file on a computer) and then when the receiver/processor decodes it, the same multiple channels of PCM are restored.

So in that sense, it's irrelevant whether the encode was DTS or Dolby with respect to how an upmixer works. The upmixer has no clue what the codec on the disc one, it (like any other post processing such as bass management or EQ) is operating on the decoded PCM audio channels. So you can take a soundtrack, pack it into TrueHD on one Blu-ray, and pack it into DTS-MA on another, and the two discs will sound IDENTICAL when played on your setup, regardless of whether you play it straight, add upmixing like DSX or Neo:X, etc. The only reason DTS has come to dominate Blu-ray audio is that it's cheaper and easier to use for the production facilities. Whether it's PLIIx from Dolby, DSX fop Audyssey, or Neo:X from DTS, there is absolutely zero benefit to "matching" the upmixer to the codec based on company.

Also, you can see how the idea of "mastered in DTS-HD" is really nonsensical. There is no such thing, the mastering (for channel based content) is done with PCM, and the DTS codec only comes into play when packing it onto a disc to save space.

The Neo:X 11ch movies don't come out of the cinemas natively. There is no such thing in cinemas. Basically, someone put in the time, money and effort to take a traditional 5.1 or 7.1 movie mix and REMIX it for release on Blu-ray, with special cues matrixed in to allow Neo:X to extract an "almost discrete" 11.1ch mix. As aaronwt pointed out, this is essentially the same in principle as DTS-ES / Dolby Digital EX from back in the 6.1 days, where that extra surround back channel was matrixed into the surround channels for easy extraction, but the payload was still a basic 5.1 track that would play normally on a 5.1 system.

Dolby Atmos is totally different because it is a completely new process for MASTERING the cinema soundtracks. There are already over 150 movies mastered natively in Dolby Atmos and the format has been adopted in hundreds of movie theaters. The important distinction is that more and more movies will be natively mastered in Atmos as we go forward, because it makes it easier for production purposes. The big benefit of object-based audio for production is that it breaks the "tyranny of channels" as I believe Roger Dressler put it. You just place the sounds where you want them and the renderer can theoretically scale the soundtrack to any given speaker layout. So instead of having to have to create separate mixes for stereo, 5.1, 7.1 etc. (and if you wanted something different like a Neo:X matrix mix for home it's even more effort), the content producers can create a single Atmos mix and it will scale to the layout.

This is a very, very important distinction between more gimmicky "for Blu-ray only" consumer tricks like Neo:X matrix encodes and Atmos, and it's why the paucity of Neo:X 11ch mixes isn't really relevant. The people making the movies (and the movie theaters playing them) are already transitioning to Atmos for native production. They don't have to extend additional special effort to take the cinema mix and translate it to this fancy "more than 7.1" home mix. The movies are being produced in Atmos from the start, and it will be easy to translate that to the consumer.

For home delivery, Dolby has also built the tools to piggyback on the "core + extension" structure of Dolby TrueHD codec and deliver Atmos through current Blu-ray technology. The mix is placed into the TrueHD container (with the objects utilizing the "extensions" for metadata) and (with Dolby's proprietary encoding tools) automagically folds into a 7.1+objects package. If played on a non-Atmos system, it will simply play like any other 5.1/7.1 TrueHD track. And you can then apply Neo:X or whatever upmixer you want if you want to do it the "old way" and upmix to your existing height/wide speakers. So if you stick with your 4520 and happen to buy a Blu-ray with Atmos TrueHD encode, it will play exactly like any other Blu-ray on your system. But if the processor has an Atmos decoder, it will be able to read the object metadata and render a "custom" sound mix based on your speaker layout, including that discrete vertical content that makes it a true 3D sound bubble.
Wow. Informative and very clear. Thank you.

I'm fully aware Atmos is where its at, hopefully I can resist for awhile.

I watched my first movie in Atmos last month (Lucy). I normally watch movies in IMAX so it was tough to find a theater with quality picture to match Atmos (still not IMAX picture quality though). I wonder if IMAX will ever adopt Atmos?
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post #9115 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by batpig View Post
Selden has already given great responses, but just to be clear, it's important to understand the difference between mastering techniques vs. codecs vs. upmixing.

<snip>

So if you stick with your 4520 and happen to buy a Blu-ray with Atmos TrueHD encode, it will play exactly like any other Blu-ray on your system. But if the processor has an Atmos decoder, it will be able to read the object metadata and render a "custom" sound mix based on your speaker layout, including that discrete vertical content that makes it a true 3D sound bubble.

'Like' doesn't do that great post justice IMO, baptpig, so I am giving it a +1 from me instead! Great post!
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post #9116 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 11:25 AM
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Wow. Informative and very clear. Thank you.

I'm fully aware Atmos is where its at, hopefully I can resist for awhile.

I watched my first movie in Atmos last month (Lucy). I normally watch movies in IMAX so it was tough to find a theater with quality picture to match Atmos. I wonder if IMAX will ever adopt Atmos?
The new Atmos screen in our local multiplex has a thing they call XPlus which is a bigger screen (similar to a Liemax) with better quality projection, nicer seats, reserved seating and so on, as well as Atmos.

I doubt if IMAX will adopt Atmos. IMAX have their own sound format. Personally I have never once been impressed by the sound in an IMAX theater, but I do love the huge picture.
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post #9117 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 12:13 PM
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The new Atmos screen in our local multiplex has a thing they call XPlus which is a bigger screen (similar to a Liemax) with better quality projection, nicer seats, reserved seating and so on, as well as Atmos.

I doubt if IMAX will adopt Atmos. IMAX have their own sound format. Personally I have never once been impressed by the sound in an IMAX theater, but I do love the huge picture.
I found a Atmos theater with a 4K projector and a 70' wide screen, with reserved recliner seats. I was impressed. The lamp was replaced the day I watched Lucy, I just fear it may get too dim for 3D events.

I have a true IMAX screen nearby I don't go often because its a 45 minute drive and ticket prices are $18. I can drive 10 minutes for $10 LIMAX. They recently 'upgraded' to a digital projector and I have yet to see that. Word is, they'll bring back the film projector for Interstellar.

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post #9118 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by batpig View Post
Selden has already given great responses, but just to be clear, it's important to understand the difference between mastering techniques vs. codecs vs. upmixing.

The DTS/Dolby codecs like TrueHD, DTS-HD/Master, lossy Dolby Digital, etc. are simply compression algorithms. They take a soundtrack and pack it (encode) into a container that compresses the file size and saves space. On the other end, the decoder unpacks it from the container. With lossless compression like TrueHD and DTS-HD/MA, what comes out is EXACTLY the same as what comes in. The content is mastered as multiple channels of PCM, then packed into a codec (like zipping a file on a computer) and then when the receiver/processor decodes it, the same multiple channels of PCM are restored.

So in that sense, it's irrelevant whether the encode was DTS or Dolby with respect to how an upmixer works. The upmixer has no clue what the codec on the disc one, it (like any other post processing such as bass management or EQ) is operating on the decoded PCM audio channels. So you can take a soundtrack, pack it into TrueHD on one Blu-ray, and pack it into DTS-MA on another, and the two discs will sound IDENTICAL when played on your setup, regardless of whether you play it straight, add upmixing like DSX or Neo:X, etc. The only reason DTS has come to dominate Blu-ray audio is that it's cheaper and easier to use for the production facilities. Whether it's PLIIx from Dolby, DSX fop Audyssey, or Neo:X from DTS, there is absolutely zero benefit to "matching" the upmixer to the codec based on company.

Also, you can see how the idea of "mastered in DTS-HD" is really nonsensical. There is no such thing, the mastering (for channel based content) is done with PCM, and the DTS codec only comes into play when packing it onto a disc to save space.

The Neo:X 11ch movies don't come out of the cinemas natively. There is no such thing in cinemas. Basically, someone put in the time, money and effort to take a traditional 5.1 or 7.1 movie mix and REMIX it for release on Blu-ray, with special cues matrixed in to allow Neo:X to extract an "almost discrete" 11.1ch mix. As aaronwt pointed out, this is essentially the same in principle as DTS-ES / Dolby Digital EX from back in the 6.1 days, where that extra surround back channel was matrixed into the surround channels for easy extraction, but the payload was still a basic 5.1 track that would play normally on a 5.1 system.

Dolby Atmos is totally different because it is a completely new process for MASTERING the cinema soundtracks. There are already over 150 movies mastered natively in Dolby Atmos and the format has been adopted in hundreds of movie theaters. The important distinction is that more and more movies will be natively mastered in Atmos as we go forward, because it makes it easier for production purposes. The big benefit of object-based audio for production is that it breaks the "tyranny of channels" as I believe Roger Dressler put it. You just place the sounds where you want them and the renderer can theoretically scale the soundtrack to any given speaker layout. So instead of having to have to create separate mixes for stereo, 5.1, 7.1 etc. (and if you wanted something different like a Neo:X matrix mix for home it's even more effort), the content producers can create a single Atmos mix and it will scale to the layout.

This is a very, very important distinction between more gimmicky "for Blu-ray only" consumer tricks like Neo:X matrix encodes and Atmos, and it's why the paucity of Neo:X 11ch mixes isn't really relevant. The people making the movies (and the movie theaters playing them) are already transitioning to Atmos for native production. They don't have to extend additional special effort to take the cinema mix and translate it to this fancy "more than 7.1" home mix. The movies are being produced in Atmos from the start, and it will be easy to translate that to the consumer.

For home delivery, Dolby has also built the tools to piggyback on the "core + extension" structure of Dolby TrueHD codec and deliver Atmos through current Blu-ray technology. The mix is placed into the TrueHD container (with the objects utilizing the "extensions" for metadata) and (with Dolby's proprietary encoding tools) automagically folds into a 7.1+objects package. If played on a non-Atmos system, it will simply play like any other 5.1/7.1 TrueHD track. And you can then apply Neo:X or whatever upmixer you want if you want to do it the "old way" and upmix to your existing height/wide speakers. So if you stick with your 4520 and happen to buy a Blu-ray with Atmos TrueHD encode, it will play exactly like any other Blu-ray on your system. But if the processor has an Atmos decoder, it will be able to read the object metadata and render a "custom" sound mix based on your speaker layout, including that discrete vertical content that makes it a true 3D sound bubble.

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post #9119 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Dreamliner View Post
I found a Atmos theater with a 4K projector and a 70' wide screen, with reserved recliner seats. I was impressed. The lamp was replaced the day I watched Lucy, I just fear it may get too dim for 3D events.

I have a true IMAX screen nearby I don't go often because its a 45 minute drive and ticket prices are $18. I can drive 10 minutes for $10 LIMAX. They recently 'upgraded' to a digital projector and I have yet to see that. Word is, they'll bring back the film projector for Interstellar.
WoW! Around here the Imax lite ticket prices are around $16 or $17. I still need to visit one of the two Atmos theaters near me. The screen sizes are supposed to be similar to the Imax Lite Screen sizes.

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post #9120 of 10792 Old 08-27-2014, 02:14 PM
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Thank you Selden,
The second idea is very interesting and I will give it a try. My only thought is when I press the menu on the receiver's remote if it always starts from the same point of menu (e.g audio) or from the last point of menu it was used, in this case the sequence (or macro) will not work. I will try it and let you know if you like.
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Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post
Standby with passthrough on uses very little power, although, granted, it does use somewhat more than with passthrough disabled. The usage still is far less than when the receiver is on but not amplifying any audio.

i.e. one possibility would be to configure passthrough source to be the cable-tv box (permanently) and then just turn the receiver off when you want to listen using the TV's speakers.

Another option would be to get a programmable remote (like one of the Harmony remotes) and configure one of its action sequences to go through the receiver's menu settings to change the setting.
Looking at the IR codes manual (linked on page 1 of this thread I think) there are discrete codes for:
HDMI Audio Out Select
HDMI Audio Out TV
HDMI Audio Out AVR

I don't know for sure - but I expect these would be for respectively:
Toggle Passthrough
Passthrough On
Passthrough Off

If someone (batpig?) knows for sure what those codes do let us know. If my guess is right might work for user222 provided he can teach his remote some codes
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