I was in the last group to get the home theater demo. The room was not large but not small. Something of 25ft long, maybe 16-18ft wide and about 8ft tall. There were six seats right in the middle with a large table with computers and other various tech in the back. Erm, I didn't take a good long look at that stuff admittedly.
(actually I did get some video of the room. I'll see about an upload but it's not that great of a video.
) The room was equiped with a 50" lcd tv of sorts with a full 7.1.4 system both with "Atmos-equipped" and actual overhead surrounds. Also there was a soundbar that was covered. TBA, I'm sure.
So I sat down in the front row left seat. I had to let Gary Reber take the center seat. He's got a magazine to run, you know! I'm just some dude on the internetz.
So at this demo was the Atmos trailers from before but now in an HT environment. Played back in Atmos they sounded very convincing. Also played back was the same scene from Into Darkness but we had a chance to hear it in conventional 7.1 and again in Atmos. All the floor level speakers were quite low. Right at ear level. The difference was very noticable and in my opinion clearly improved in Atmos. The next and very interesting demo was a couple of sound only demos put together for demo purposes, obviously. The first was simply an object of a helicopter that would circle around the room. We had this played back in 7.1 then in Atmos with actual ceiling speakers and then again in Atmos but with the upfiring reflective method. All versions sounded different. The 7.1 had an excellent sense of being surrounded by an encircling helicopter but not like it was above me. Then when played back with the ceiling mounted speakers I could clearly hear that it was above me and encircling. Cool! Now... heh, the really neat part. Last was it played back with the upfiring speakers and boy was I impressed! I was not ready for it to sound that
good. (to be clear I have not been fluffed with any incentive. This is purely me speaking from the heart) It really did sound like there were speakers up above and the image was very stable. I had expected it to be much more diffuse and not very localizable but I could always tell if it was in front, behind and to the left or right. Very, very impressive.
Last up was another demo of similar playback but this time it was a recording of a thunderstorm. During this demo they had toggled between real and reflective heights and seriously could not tell the difference. Wow.
Just noticed how much time it took to type this so I'm going to wrap this up. Gotta close up shop.
I can't enough how eye (ear?) opening this experience was. It was really special.
I will come back to chime in if you guys are interested. I'm sure there is more left to mention about the day.