Originally Posted by Bumper
As I read it, you can use Front Wide (page 168) while NEO:X is selected and (page 209) Wide/Height is set to Default while still be able to play 7.1.4 with 4 Top speakers.
My setup will be: Assign Mode 11.1 with 4 height speakers (Top Front and Top Rear) with Wide Height set to Front Wide and Pre Out set to Top Rear.
This means that 11 speakers are connected to the unit and the Top Rears are connected using a pre amp on Pre Out Height 2.
With this config I ass-u-me that I can play 9.1 with Front Wide from NEO:X and 7.1.4 with Dolby Surround.
Please correct me if I am wrong. This is how I am setup right now and if it cannot be done this way I guess my Front Wides will have to sit until some next gen Denon arrives at the scene.
Again, I think there are two key restrictions that are inviolate:
1. You can only have FOUR elevated speakers (so you can't have four "top" speakers for Atmos and a separate pair of "Front Height" for Neo:X/DSX)
2. If you want to "share" one of those pairs of elevated speakers between Atmos and "legacy" non-Atmos height upmixers, the Height1 output must be designated as FRONT HEIGHT.
It may be academic if your forward pair of elevated speakers is placed within the angular range for BOTH the "Top Front" and "Front Height" assignments, but (based on the chart on pg 287) both DSX and Neo:X can only provide height output to the speaker pair designated as FRONT HEIGHT.
Beyond that, it appears to be free range to connect up to 13 speakers (4 high and 2 wide in addition to the standard 7.1) and switch among Atmos, Dolby Surround, Neo:X and DSX modes. Provided you have sufficient channels of amplification for all 13 speakers.
Anyway... all that being said, it sounds like you want to switch between 9.1 Neo:X (no height speakers, 7.1 + Front Wide) and Atmos in 7.1.4 (four "Top" speakers). This shouldn't be a problem, although again by designating the front pair of elevated speakers as "Front Height" instead of "Top Front" you could switch between 11ch DSX (7.1 + wide + height) and 7.1.4 Atmos. But if you prefer it that way to keep the Atmos config "ideal" with Top Front + Top Rear assignments, it will work.
However, unless I'm wrong it DOES appear you will need FOUR extra channels of external amps. This is based on the paragraph on pg 210:
When one set of pre-amp outputs are used, a maximum 11.1-channel audio can
be output when Dolby Atmos or Dolby Surround are played back. Furthermore,
when two sets of pre-amp outputs are used, a maximum 11.1-channel audio can
be output when Audyssey DSX® or Neo:X are played back in addition to when
Dolby Atmos or Dolby Surround are played back.