Originally Posted by noah katz
Are you envisioning that the two height speakers on a side are receieving specifically encoded material?
For the moment, whenever PLIIz and Neo:X output stereo heights, that layout will give you some left-vs-right directionality in the heights. Even when the signal is mono, it will still give an impression of sound above you (think of where those four speakers will phantom image a mono signal).
This is different from what is currently being done with height processing from Dolby and DTS, where speakers above the mains help create the impression of a taller soundstage (rather than overhead imaging).
Eventually, I would hope that the four speakers in the diagram would be run independently, even when they're not reproducing different signals. If you send a signal to any pair of height speakers, you can steer the sound left to right or front to back above you. Send the sound towards any single height speaker and you can steer the sound diagonally above you.
As for specifically encoded material, who knows. When I was at CES earlier this year, DTS was demonstrating Neo:X with 4 height speakers (no wides). Maybe Lionsgate will encode some soundtracks with that configuration. But there is no established placement standard at the moment, so this is a good time to have fun experimenting. IF object-based mixes make it to home video, we'll have to see what the suggested layout will be.