The official Dolby Atmos thread (home theater version) - Page 34 - AVS Forum
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post #991 of 9572 Old 07-13-2014, 10:47 PM
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As we've gotten into detailed discussion on how Atmos is setup for a cinema setting, I felt that it might have overshadowed the fact that Dolby has promised things will change in the future, and indeed, these upcoming Gen 1 AVR's aren't indicative of the breadth of what may come down the pike...

Getting ready to jump into a busy week... cowabunga!!! Hope everyone has a good one..

I don't agree with Simon's categorization that this is all smoke and no fire...

But thats just me..

Dolby Atmos Home Theater Questions Answered

======================================

"How is Dolby Atmos different than typical channel-based home theater systems?

Dolby Atmos is the first home theater system that is based not on channels, but on audio objects. What is an audio object? Any sound heard in a movie scene—a child yelling, a helicopter taking off, a car horn blaring—is an audio object. Filmmakers using Dolby Atmos can decide exactly where those sounds should originate and precisely where they move as the scene develops.

Thinking about sound in this way eliminates many of the limitations of channel-based audio. In a channel-based system, filmmakers have to think about the speaker setup: Should this sound come from the left rear surrounds or the left side surrounds? With Dolby Atmos, filmmakers just have to think about the story: Where is that yelling child going to run? The Dolby Atmos system, whether in the cinema or a home theater, has the intelligence to determine what speakers to use to precisely recreate the child’s movement in the way the filmmakers intend.

Dolby Atmos is also far more flexible and adaptable than channel-based home theater. In a channel-based system with channel-based content, the number of speakers is fixed—a 7.1 system always consists of seven speakers and one subwoofer. With Dolby Atmos, in contrast, you have amazing flexibility: you can get the full experience with just seven speakers or get an even richer, more detailed sound by adding more speakers. As you add speakers, a Dolby Atmos enabled receiver will automatically determine how to use them to create fantastic, immersive audio.


If Dolby Atmos allows me to add more speakers, why do I see A/V receivers with just 11 channels?

Many hardware partners are building or planning to build Dolby Atmos enabled A/V receivers and speakers. Those partners decide what product configurations make the most sense for their customers. But the Dolby Atmos system itself is almost unlimited. If you have the space and budget, you can build a Dolby Atmos system with as many as 24 speakers on the floor and 10 overhead speakers. One of our hardware partners is planning to release an A/V receiver with 32 channels.

If this is not a channel-based system, why are there predefined speaker positions?

Because Dolby Atmos is new to home theater, we defined a few “reference” speaker configurations to ensure that early customers could have a great experience while having the option to keep most of the equipment they already have.

Among those reference setups are the 5.1.2 configuration, which involves adding two ceiling or Dolby Atmos enabled speakers to a traditional 5.1 system, and the 7.1.4 configuration, which starts with a traditional 7.1 system and adds four ceiling or Dolby Atmos enabled speakers.

But we believe this is just the beginning. Because the Dolby Atmos object-based audio system is so adaptable, you can use many other speaker configurations. No matter what system you build, the Dolby Atmos format and system will adapt itself to output the best audio experience possible."

======================================

It's not that Dolby is stringently requiring certain locations for Home Atmos... it's how the first manufacturers have chosen to implement their initial iterations of the codec in their 2014 AVR lineup...

The last point definitely shows that there are other things to come down the pike in regards to the recent discussions here...

Again, I am sure there will be much more clarity about the system at CEDIA.. and again want to reiterate that our back and forth toady was regarding the realities of the cinema system... as many of us stated repeatedly we don't know exactly how that will fully translate as it makes its way into the home.
Dan Hitchman, kbarnes701 and nucky like this.

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post #992 of 9572 Old 07-13-2014, 10:48 PM
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post #993 of 9572 Old 07-13-2014, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by simon_templar_32 View Post
My statement refers to home-theater Dolby Atmos, not object-based audio in general.
I covered three topics: Number of speakers, sound/image scaling, and dynamic range control. All of these are well within the bounds of Atmos, even if not on the initial rollout talking points or first-gen AVRs.

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My points, I guess too hidden under the tongue in my cheek, are twofold. First, that the sorts of laudable things you mention largely can be done without having people drill holes in their ceiling, buy new speakers and new speaker modules, and boldly spend money like no one has spent before.
I agree (see Case 1, 3). But they cannot be done nearly as well without object-based audio.

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post #994 of 9572 Old 07-13-2014, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by FilmMixer View Post
I don't agree with Simon's categorization that this is all smoke and no fire...
Don't think that, didn't mean that, didn't say that.

With respect to "this," my sentiments are, to continue with your proverb-like starting point, closer to "there is no smoke without fire." Put in those terms, I'm trying to point out that we need to separate the (Mad-Men) smoke from the (AVScience) fire.

But, in fact, I've exhausted my interest. So I'll bow out.
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post #995 of 9572 Old 07-14-2014, 12:00 AM
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PM me with the Theater and Movie, please.
Here's one: Taken 2 at Sherman Oaks Arclight Cinema 1.
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post #996 of 9572 Old 07-14-2014, 12:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Atmos is a hybrid channel and object based format... [...] we all know what it is...
Really don't want to rub you the wrong way, but I think it is a stretch to claim everybody would know what it is (and what the implications are). The discussion following your post showed just that.

In Atmos there is channel-based content and it has the same requirements for speaker locations as it had in the past. Remapping isn't part of the package though it can be done as Trinnov showed.

In Atmos there's also objects that are panned in realtime based on speaker locations that are known to the AVR. These speaker locations don't necessarily need to conform to a specific speaker layout (but they have to in the first incarnation of Atmos enabled AVRs) as long as there's some useful speaker distribution throughout the room.
This type of object panning does NOT loosen the requirements for channel-based speaker placement.

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post #997 of 9572 Old 07-14-2014, 12:58 AM
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It's all fire and no smoke.
I think the manufacturers are desperately trying to flog more interest in people upgrading their systems. To me, this is the real point of the emphasis on 4K video and greater than 7.1 surround sound systems. 3D flopped as a mass-market format, so the TV and electronics manufacturers are desperately hoping that 4K and Atmos/Auro will be the next big thing.

My gut feeling is that unless and until the economy drastically improves, we're not going to see widespread adoption of new standards like this, especially on a mass-market scale. I don't think the amount of disposable income is there yet. And I also don't think the mass-market retailers are doing well at all. They're struggling to sell one-box 5.1 surround systems; I can just imagine how Best Buy and the others are going to sell 11.1+ surround.

I'm reminded of the old Steve Martin 1970s routine about how he was rejecting "quadraphonic" sound in favor of "milliphonic" sound, where you have a million speakers completely surrounding the walls, floor, and ceiling of your living room. Forty years later, we're pretty much getting to that point.

BTW, don't get me wrong: I've heard 64-channel Atmos here at theaters in LA and it sounds fantastic. I'm just very dubious on how well-suited it is for average homes.
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post #998 of 9572 Old 07-14-2014, 01:06 AM
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I think the manufacturers are desperately trying to flog more interest in people upgrading their systems. To me, this is the real point of the emphasis on 4K video and greater than 7.1 surround sound systems. 3D flopped as a mass-market format, so the TV and electronics manufacturers are desperately hoping that 4K and Atmos/Auro will be the next big thing.

My gut feeling is that unless and until the economy drastically improves, we're not going to see widespread adoption of new standards like this, especially on a mass-market scale. I don't think the amount of disposable income is there yet. And I also don't think the mass-market retailers are doing well at all. They're struggling to sell one-box 5.1 surround systems; I can just imagine how Best Buy and the others are going to sell 11.1+ surround.

I'm reminded of the old Steve Martin 1970s routine about how he was rejecting "quadraphonic" sound in favor of "milliphonic" sound, where you have a million speakers completely surrounding the walls, floor, and ceiling of your living room. Forty years later, we're pretty much getting to that point.

BTW, don't get me wrong: I've heard 64-channel Atmos here at theaters in LA and it sounds fantastic. I'm just very dubious on how well-suited it is for average homes.
Pretty much everything that goes from commercial to consumer flops. Even if the money was spent to do it right, the customer would not pay the price. I think it's a pretty slim market for a $7,500.00 AVR, don't you? And who makes one that price you might be asking, Denon.
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post #999 of 9572 Old 07-14-2014, 01:10 AM - Thread Starter
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I can see years of progress washed away in HT by not having the speakers in the right place.
Exactly my sentiments when people express fantasies about how Atmos for the home would suddenly allow the masses to place their speakers anywhere they want to.

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post #1000 of 9572 Old 07-14-2014, 01:23 AM - Thread Starter
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The new Pioneer Atmos speakers are crossed at 180Hz so clearly not much bass there
Mr. Jones claimed the AVR would redirect frequencies below the reflecting-speaker's high pass filter to the front speaker.

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post #1001 of 9572 Old 07-14-2014, 01:24 AM
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Exactly my sentiments when people express fantasies about how Atmos for the home would suddenly allow the masses to place their speakers anywhere they want to.
For me it is the bouncing the sound off the ceiling that hangs me up. All the years and years of controlling the sound bounce, now it is OK. I'm sure $$$ was spent to achieve this effect, but oh well, i guess if you aim the speakers to bounce the sound off the ceiling fan, the helicopter on the movie will sound very real.
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^
Well, I took a good beating (from the usual fanboy crowd one encounters in threads that have a brand name in their title) for being critical about these ceiling-reflecting speakers but I have to say that IF someone can't install ceiling speakers it is a solution that will give a sense of height. It's a compromise though. Time will tell how good or bad it works.
I hope people do listening tests comparing the cinema experience to home theater with speakers on the ceiling and those reflecting speakers. But marketing is already pushing "listen for yourself" as opposed to "compare for yourself". And hey, if it sounds-good-to-me™ then ceiling reflecting speakers might be even better than the real thing - of course NOT.

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post #1003 of 9572 Old 07-14-2014, 03:03 AM
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^
Well, I took a good beating (from the usual fanboy crowd one encounters in threads that have a brand name in their title) for being critical about these ceiling-reflecting speakers but I have to say that IF someone can't install ceiling speakers it is a solution that will give a sense of height. It's a compromise though. Time will tell how good or bad it works.
I hope people do listening tests comparing the cinema experience to home theater with speakers on the ceiling and those reflecting speakers. But marketing is already pushing "listen for yourself" as opposed to "compare for yourself". And hey, if it sounds-good-to-me™ then ceiling reflecting speakers might be even better than the real thing - of course NOT.
LOL. Yes i have the same views and experiences. A few weeks ago i was talked into "visiting" a HT. Actually i was dragged there. This guy had a 4K Barco, Dormei showvault, JSD-100 audio processor, Pyle pro Amps(yes, Pyle) pushing JBL pros. A $15 walmart table with a OPPO BDP-105D sitting on it with a HDMI cable to the Dormei and a TosLink cable to the JSD. I lost count of the UPS he had hooked up, 6 i think. All of this was in a room 20 foot by 22 foot, the projection booth was a closet, with a rack, and hangers on the rack, with shirts on the hangers. A 12 foot wide screen. I really couldn't believe what i was seeing. The walls, ceiling, and carpeting was some kind of florescent orange, right up by the screen, with a Barco 4K projector. By the screen he had it painted a florescent orange, and some kind of glass globes under the screen. This whole set up was so wrong on so many levels. I stopped him when he started talking about the three JBL pro 4645 subs he had behind the screen. I'm sure he did not like what i told him when i said you like watching your movies wearing sunglasses and cracking gypsum board in your house. For a room this size you need a something 4K and something AVR to match the Oppo, and sell your current set up and get a Ferrari. There are somethings i should not ever have to see, and that guys HT is in that group.

OK back on the subject, if it was me, even in a rented house or apartment or whatever, i would make some kind of speaker box and mount it to the ceiling for the over heads, even if i had to have the wires showing, no way would i want to "bounce" any sound off the ceiling. And more to the point if i had to do any of the above, i would completely rule Atmos out of the picture for a 5.1 or 7.1 set up.
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post #1004 of 9572 Old 07-14-2014, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by FilmMixer View Post
Absolutely... there is still latitude on the number of total speakers available.. and as Roger so eloquently explained, the RMU/850 does compensate for not only that, but differences in the shape and sizes of rooms....

I think there has been a general misconception from people that "object rendering" as it applies to Atmos means re-mapping based on any speaker setup and their placements, and that is a part of the system for theaters.

In the end the general take away is that it's going to require some effort on the end users part to implement it properly,

I think the end result is well worth it...



I will try and get that answer for you... give me a couple of weeks.
Maybe you can help clear up some of my confusion with regards to the 'latitude' to be offered by the home version of ATMOS. So we all pretty much know that home ATMOS is capable of having up to 10 overhead speakers and we also know that the upcoming 'Gen-1' ATMOS receivers will allow only 2 or 4 overhead speakers. So if the system is scalable as already stated, then what is the advantage of doing 4 overhead speakers vs. 2? Or 10 vs. 4 vs. 2? This is what I am not quite grasping the benefits of and am hoping you can shed some light on this for me. Does it simply boil down to how precisely an object will be placed in the 3D soundscape which would imply that you would only need to increase the number of ceiling speakers as the size (length?) of your HT increases? So there could become some kind of standard for the home like for example: home theater spaces that are 10 ft and shorter only need 2 ceiling speakers, 10-15 ft long space needs 4, 15-20 needs 6 ceiling speakers, etc.?

Now don't get me wrong, I am very excited about this tech, but I'm just not grasping the benefit or reason of this being scalable. Why the hell would I need 34 channels in my home theater? What is the point at which the law of diminishing returns kicks in? Maybe I don't understand ATMOS as well as I think I do.

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post #1005 of 9572 Old 07-14-2014, 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by FilmMixer View Post
Dolby Atmos Home Theater Questions Answered

======================================

"How is Dolby Atmos different than typical channel-based home theater systems?

Dolby Atmos is the first home theater system that is based not on channels, but on audio objects. What is an audio object? Any sound heard in a movie scene—a child yelling, a helicopter taking off, a car horn blaring—is an audio object. Filmmakers using Dolby Atmos can decide exactly where those sounds should originate and precisely where they move as the scene develops.

Thinking about sound in this way eliminates many of the limitations of channel-based audio. In a channel-based system, filmmakers have to think about the speaker setup: Should this sound come from the left rear surrounds or the left side surrounds? With Dolby Atmos, filmmakers just have to think about the story: Where is that yelling child going to run? The Dolby Atmos system, whether in the cinema or a home theater, has the intelligence to determine what speakers to use to precisely recreate the child’s movement in the way the filmmakers intend.

Dolby Atmos is also far more flexible and adaptable than channel-based home theater. In a channel-based system with channel-based content, the number of speakers is fixed—a 7.1 system always consists of seven speakers and one subwoofer. With Dolby Atmos, in contrast, you have amazing flexibility: you can get the full experience with just seven speakers or get an even richer, more detailed sound by adding more speakers. As you add speakers, a Dolby Atmos enabled receiver will automatically determine how to use them to create fantastic, immersive audio.

But doesn't home Atmos contain a 7.1 channel based tracks and the objects are added on top using the ceiling speakers and others?
If that is true, then home Atmos is channel and object based.


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post #1006 of 9572 Old 07-14-2014, 05:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Does it simply boil down to how precisely an object will be placed in the 3D soundscape [...] ?
Yes, that's what it boils down to. Furthermore phantom imaging (i.e. placement of a sound by playing it from two or more speakers) highly depends on the location of the listener. Hence the more speakers, the more accurately sounds will be placed for listeners sitting off-center.

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post #1007 of 9572 Old 07-14-2014, 05:18 AM - Thread Starter
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home Atmos is channel and object based.
Yes, that's what it is.

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post #1008 of 9572 Old 07-14-2014, 05:22 AM
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3D flopped as a mass-market format, so the TV and electronics manufacturers are desperately hoping that 4K and Atmos/Auro will be the next big thing.

I wouldn't say 3D flopped since there were (and still are) a lot of 3D TVs and blu-rays sold. Maybe it hasn't done as well as some expected, but to say it flopped is an exaggeration. It's being offered on almost all UHD TVs.


3D is an entirely video thing and Atmos is entirely audio so I don't get how AVR manufacturers are offering Atmos because 3D flopped. AVR sales by and large weren't driven by adoption of 3D.
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post #1009 of 9572 Old 07-14-2014, 05:25 AM
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Yes, that's what it boils down to. Furthermore phantom imaging (i.e. placement of a sound by playing it from two or more speakers) highly depends on the location of the listener. Hence the more speakers, the more accurately sounds will be placed for listener that are sitting off-center.
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Yes, that's what it is.

If that is the case, then this statement:


Quote:
"How is Dolby Atmos different than typical channel-based home theater systems?

Dolby Atmos is the first home theater system that is based not on channels, but on audio objects.

... is misleading.


Perhaps this is the first step toward an object oriented system, but over-selling Atmos could backfire in the marketplace.


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post #1010 of 9572 Old 07-14-2014, 05:31 AM
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Maybe you can help clear up some of my confusion with regards to the 'latitude' to be offered by the home version of ATMOS. So we all pretty much know that home ATMOS is capable of having up to 10 overhead speakers and we also know that the upcoming 'Gen-1' ATMOS receivers will allow only 2 or 4 overhead speakers. So if the system is scalable as already stated, then what is the advantage of doing 4 overhead speakers vs. 2? Or 10 vs. 4 vs. 2? This is what I am not quite grasping the benefits of and am hoping you can shed some light on this for me. Does it simply boil down to how precisely an object will be placed in the 3D soundscape which would imply that you would only need to increase the number of ceiling speakers as the size (length?) of your HT increases? So there could become some kind of standard for the home like for example: home theater spaces that are 10 ft and shorter only need 2 ceiling speakers, 10-15 ft long space needs 4, 15-20 needs 6 ceiling speakers, etc.?

Now don't get me wrong, I am very excited about this tech, but I'm just not grasping the benefit or reason of this being scalable. Why the hell would I need 34 channels in my home theater? What is the point at which the law of diminishing returns kicks in? Maybe I don't understand ATMOS as well as I think I do.

I would think the returns start to diminish after 4 speakers. Theoretically with 4 speakers you can position a sound at any point inside the 4 speakers. If you have a huge ceiling, you may benefit more with 6 or 8 speakers than you would if you had a small ceiling.
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post #1011 of 9572 Old 07-14-2014, 05:39 AM - Thread Starter
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misleading.

Well, we don't know how they package Atmos for the home. It could be solely object-based because a fixed 7.1 speaker layout is assumed. Channel-based beds could be funneled through objects, rendered at specific locations and end up in L, R, C, LS, RS, LS or RS speakers just like a channel-based 7.1 mix would.

Of course this is just semantics but would allow them to make the caim that "Dolby Atmos is the first home theater system that is based not on channels, but on audio objects". Marketing verbiage.

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post #1012 of 9572 Old 07-14-2014, 05:52 AM
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Well, we don't know how they package Atmos for the home. It could be solely object-based because a fixed 7.1 speaker layout is assumed. Channel-based beds could be funneled through objects, rendered at specific locations and end up in L, R, C, LS, RS, LS or RS speakers just like a channel-based 7.1 mix would.

Of course this is just semantics but would allow them to make the caim that "Dolby Atmos is the first home theater system that is based not on channels, but on audio objects". Marketing verbiage.
Atmos is backward compatible so the base 5.1/7.1 sound track must be present.
Metadata could exist identify objects within the source.


If there are benefits from an Atmos enabled soundtrack on an Atmos AVR for a 5.1 system, what are they?


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post #1013 of 9572 Old 07-14-2014, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post
Also wire for surround subwoofers that would go towards the rear of the room. Object based surround formats can have full frequency, full throttle audio in all speakers.

Humans hear subwoofer frequencies in mono no matter how many subs you have spaced around the room. Pre-wring for multiple subs make sense if you want an even room response, but it won't add any surround effects to subwoofer frequencies.
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post #1014 of 9572 Old 07-14-2014, 06:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Atmos is backward compatible so the base 5.1/7.1 sound track must be present.
Metadata could exist identify objects within the source.
Roger has shown how a downmix could be converted back to objects and rendered from that state. Of course this would not make much sense because the end result would be the same as the downmix (if the object extraction process is lossless).

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If there are benefits from an Atmos enabled soundtrack on an Atmos AVR for a 5.1 system, what are they?


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Height channels/objects that allow for elevated sounds IF top surround speakers are present. If those speakers aren't there then there's no benefit from having an Atmos enabled AVR.

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Last edited by markus767; 07-14-2014 at 06:47 AM.
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post #1015 of 9572 Old 07-14-2014, 06:57 AM
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I'm in the midst of a speaker upgrade when all this was announced. So, as I am redesigning my baffle wall and adding speakers, in addition to the 7.1 bed, I am doing two front heights above the screen and a bit forward of the LCRs and pointing to the main listening position and side heights and rear heights above the rear and side speakers pointing down to the main listening position. Worst case, I'll have to move them...


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post #1016 of 9572 Old 07-14-2014, 07:06 AM
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Roger has shown how a downmix could be converted back to objects and rendered from that state. Of course this would not make much sense because the end result would be the same as the downmix (if the object extraction process is lossless).



Height channels/objects that allow for elevated sounds IF top surround speakers are present. If those speakers aren't there then there's no benefit from having an Atmos enabled AVR.
However, Atmos for the home is being funneled through Dolby TrueHD as one backwards compatible package, not two separate tracks. So, that leads me to the conclusion that the 7.1 bed is the "normal" channel-based TrueHD track and the objects (how many there actually are) plus metadata are contained in extension files.

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post #1017 of 9572 Old 07-14-2014, 07:11 AM
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Humans hear subwoofer frequencies in mono no matter how many subs you have spaced around the room. Pre-wring for multiple subs make sense if you want an even room response, but it won't add any surround effects to subwoofer frequencies.
I'm sure that's true, but Dolby has recommended separate subwoofers for the surrounds in case you don't have massive speakers in those locations that can rock a full frequency sound. Many can't.

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post #1018 of 9572 Old 07-14-2014, 07:16 AM
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from the above post 1016: I am doing two front heights above the screen and a bit forward of the LCRs and pointing to the main listening position and side heights and rear heights above the rear and side speakers pointing down to the main listening position. Worst case, I'll have to move them...


How are you getting the signal to run the added side and rear heights?
Are you splitting a pre-amp output?

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post #1019 of 9572 Old 07-14-2014, 07:21 AM
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from the above post 1016: I am doing two front heights above the screen and a bit forward of the LCRs and pointing to the main listening position and side heights and rear heights above the rear and side speakers pointing down to the main listening position. Worst case, I'll have to move them...


How are you getting the signal to run the added side and rear heights?
Are you splitting a pre-amp output?
I will be using the Datasat with Auro 3-D (which will up-mix the 5.1/7/1 bed).


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post #1020 of 9572 Old 07-14-2014, 07:21 AM - Thread Starter
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However, Atmos for the home is being funneled through Dolby TrueHD as one backwards compatible package, not two separate tracks. So, that leads me to the conclusion that the 7.1 bed is the "normal" channel-based TrueHD track and the objects (how many there actually are) plus metadata are contained in extension files.
Likely. In that case the statement in Dolby's FAQ would indeed be misleading.

Markus

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