Originally Posted by Nightlord
Basic module 8 channels - matches what we have today. Each additional module, another 8 channels ( no one except the extreme enthusiasts will ever buy more than one, already 8 channels is more than WAF will allow for the majority of the population anyway... ).
You're basically just adding surround speakers into the mix for a more precise 3D audio experience (front wides, duplicate sides and backs, duplicate overheads) because 9.1 is the base channel bed configuration (front L/C/R, side left/right, back left/right, overhead left/right, LFE), and anything beyond that is for better sound spread and effects localization for the renderer to map to depending on the metadata positional cues of the original track.
So, they'd have to lay out these modular output units in accordance with that situation. The consumer then has multiple choices depending on how sophisticated he/she wants to go (with plug-in modular units available for even the most basic 5.1 model)...
A) The basic 5.1 layout with backs and overheads blended into the other channels and objects rendered to fixed locations within the 5.1 layout. Additional surround subwoofer outputs as an option via bass management.
B) An upgraded 7.1 layout with overheads blended into the other channels and objects rendered to fixed locations within the 7.1 layout. Additional surround subwoofer outputs as an option via bass management.
C) A deluxe 9.1 layout using all the channel beds and objects rendered to fixed locations within the 9.1 layout. Additional surround subwoofer outputs as an option via bass management.>>It's possible the renderer could create phantom speaker locations using psycho-acoustic means if there weren't extra speakers in locations it expects to find (like in one of these above scenarios). However, the more physical speaker locations you have, the more precise the presentation. That technique could be used even in the basic 5.1 models.<<
D) The full 9.1 channel plus objects soundtrack is decoded with full object x-y-z mapping. Object-based surround rendering available via outboard output device(s) for receivers (since there isn't enough room otherwise). Some pre-amps may be able add additional outputs beyond 9.1 to their base configuration since the chassis has more room due to the lack of built-in amplifiers with additional, output devices available as needed.
Object soundtrack audio data and renderer control data is made with one proprietary digital interconnect cable vs. the two Ethernet cables used in commercial applications when attaching the base unit and add-on output device(s).
Everything is completely scalable... a totally new approach to surround... something you absolutely cannot get on headphones and ipods or computers! Obviously, the surround processor chips in all these object-oriented soundtrack-friendly products will need to be more sophisticated and more powerful than previously available in consumer gear. Though, if most outdated analog A/V inputs/outputs (like composite, S-Video, and component video) were eliminated, that production cost could shift towards better processing chips.
An audiophile rebirth!Edited by Dan Hitchman - 9/28/13 at 1:09pm