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Dolby Atmos Theatre System

post #1 of 922
Thread Starter 
From the press release:

>>For the first time, Dolby Atmos introduces a hybrid approach to mixing and directs sound as dynamic objects that envelop the listener, in combination with channels for playback. Dolby Atmos enables adaptive rendering to ensure that the playback experience is as close as possible to the creator's original vision in any given environment, irrespective of the specific speaker configuration in the playback environment.<<

Link to the video.

Link to the white paper.
post #2 of 922
Ok, a gentle perusal of the press release and white paper seems to indicate this was developed for commercial cinemas and auditoriums, no?

Not that I'm uninterested, but is there a home app?

James
post #3 of 922
subbed
post #4 of 922
Another industry attempt to sell more speakers. aka DSX on steroids.
post #5 of 922
Ok...video was great imo.

Essentially: adding a considerable number of speakers with discrete info in gigantic spaces to better localize/image/"move" sound, but in a format that easily steps down into other (read smaller) spaces?

So with up to 11 channels/speakers already available in a home setting...what's the most we could see, another pair of surround speakers?

Seems 11-13 could accomplish 99% of this in a typical (even LARGE) consumer environment.

James
post #6 of 922
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary J View Post

Another industry attempt to sell more speakers. aka DSX on steroids.

Pretty much, correct? Perhaps in some theaters (that already have multiple surrounds on the sides and rears) the processing could be worthwhile (read: the ability to move effects from specific loudspeakers, rather than RIGHT SURROUND, RIGHT REAR, LEFT REAR, LEFT SURROUND), but when do you reach the point where human beings simply cannot differentiate where sound emanates from well enough to justify "x" number of speakers?


James
post #7 of 922
Quote:
Originally Posted by mastermaybe View Post

Pretty much, correct? Perhaps in some theaters (that already have multiple surrounds on the sides and rears) the processing could be worthwhile (read: the ability to move effects from specific loudspeakers, rather than RIGHT SURROUND, RIGHT REAR, LEFT REAR, LEFT SURROUND), but when do you reach the point where human beings simply cannot differentiate where sound emanates from well enough to justify "x" number of speakers?


James

Hmmm....isn't that the ultimate goal? Sound reproduction so perfect that it's completely immersive? Although from a one minute read of the PDF, I could see where this might make front heights more essential as an addition to a 5.1 system....non-trivial if you're space-limited on wides - or you've got mains that generates a wide sound stage, and buy the Audyssey argument that back surround isn't as essential as side surround, FW or FH...
post #8 of 922
^ correct. The question is: how many loudspeakers does it take to accomplish the goal?

In my 15X17 room for example, I seem to (admittedly, rarely) get extremely convincing panning when it's called for (and properly done). Perhaps in some l o n g e r HT's I could see adding a pair of surrounds, but at what point do you lose the ability to pinpoint speakers that may only be 5' apart and 10-15' away?

this is prolly OT anyway seeing this seems to really bea bout commercial apps.


James
post #9 of 922
This is for commercial cinema, right?
post #10 of 922
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pepar View Post

This is for commercial cinema, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mastermaybe View Post

Ok, a gentle perusal of the press release and white paper seems to indicate this was developed for commercial cinemas and auditoriums, no?

Not that I'm uninterested, but is there a home app?

Read between the lines: >>Launching in the cinema, Dolby Atmos...<<

Quote:
Originally Posted by mastermaybe View Post

Essentially: adding a considerable number of speakers with discrete info in gigantic spaces to better localize/image/"move" sound, but in a format that easily steps down into other (read smaller) spaces?

Yes.

Quote:


So with up to 11 channels/speakers already available in a home setting...what's the most we could see, another pair of surround speakers?

Seems 11-13 could accomplish 99% of this in a typical (even LARGE) consumer environment.

The primary benefits to consumers would be a) height effects (if one adds some overhead speakers aside from just front height), and b) a better translation of the soundtrack to any given speaker configuration, as opposed to the "dumb" downmixing used at the moment.

Quote:


Originally Posted by Gary J
Another industry attempt to sell more speakers. aka DSX on steroids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mastermaybe View Post

Pretty much, correct?

Not really like DSX in any respect other than added speakers for wides and front heights. The signals these speakers carry will be quite different between DSX and Atmos.

Quote:


Perhaps in some theaters (that already have multiple surrounds on the sides and rears) the processing could be worthwhile (read: the ability to move effects from specific loudspeakers, rather than RIGHT SURROUND, RIGHT REAR, LEFT REAR, LEFT SURROUND), but when do you reach the point where human beings simply cannot differentiate where sound emanates from well enough to justify "x" number of speakers?

Somewhere between the line arrays and the individually driven speakers. The ability to pan through the array's individual speakers is easily heard with moving objects -- so much smoother.
post #11 of 922
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

Read between the lines: >>Launching in the cinema, Dolby Atmos...<<

Sorry for needing bludgeoned with that.
post #12 of 922
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary J View Post

Another industry attempt to sell more speakers.

Actually this could result in less speakers, way better realism, sound quality and consistency. I'm thinking of headphone playback with individualized HRTFs and head tracking.
post #13 of 922
Now that the system has been announced to the world, I can give a few details.
The way ATMOS delivers sound into a theatre is different from previous sound systems. There are up to 128 audio objects at any one time available to the mixer. The first tracks still reference the normal speakers, Left, Center, Right, Left Side, Right Side, Left Back, Right Back, Left Ceiling, Right Ceiling, and LFE. The remaining source tracks are active objects. The audio along with the information produced by the mixer for the location of the sound. For example, a helicoppter flying in could use a few tracks to locate the turbine whine, the rotor noise, and the tail rotor sound, and they could all move as the image moves on or off screen, and over your head.

There is no longer any tie between the source tracks and the actual speakers in the room. When the system is setup, the location of each speaker is entered into the setup. So when a sound is to be at a certain location, the system routes it to the best speakers to produce that location in the target room. A Small room may get away with 3 speakers up a side wall and produce an excellent pan, but a room 100 feet long may require a speaker every 15 feet or less to create the same smooth pan from front to back. Since the system adapts to the room, a theatre can take advantage of the ATMOS process without adding any speakers at all. It will render the audio to best use what is there, yet take advantage of improvements later. Ceiling speakers do add a new dimension, but are not required. If they are not there, the existing side speakers will be used to give the best effect possible. Most average sized theatres today use at least 10 surround speakers to get decent coverage, but they only use 4 or maybe even 2 channels to drive them as a group. The biggest improvement in the audio location will come from splitting the existing surround arrays up so each speaker is now an individual speaker feed. The basic 9.1 channels are also dynamic to some degree. The installer decides which group of speakers in the room becomes the side surround arrays, back surround arrays, etc.

A theatre can upgrade incrementally, using the existing arrays now, split up the amps, then add ceilings, etc. Each step improves the accuracy of duplicating the original sound field.

As for the home, hard to say. My home setup does have 6 surround speakers now, I would love to add 4 on the ceiling to play ATMOS content on a 13.1 array of individual speakers. The theatre I setup for ATMOS uses 43.3 channels, but we hate to use the term as channels really do not exist in this format. I am sure there will be some form of this for the home. The playback does require a fair bit of processing power and an amplifier for each speaker. How many speakers will people want to hang in their room? It will work on 5.1 and just like the theatre, it could be added to later if you want smoother, more accurate location of the sound.

I can try to answer some specific questions, but I do not get on here as much as I used to. The system will be shown off this week in Vegas at Cinema Con. There will be alot more info showing up on the web as more people hear it and ask all the questions.
post #14 of 922
Quote:
Originally Posted by GXMnow View Post

I am sure there will be some form of this for the home. The playback does require a fair bit of processing power and an amplifier for each speaker. How many speakers will people want to hang in their room? It will work on 5.1 and just like the theatre, it could be added to later if you want smoother, more accurate location of the sound.

Yes more speakers, more amps, more wire, etc. to sell. Each of us get to do our own little cost/benefit analysis as to when enough is enough.
post #15 of 922
Interesting. I wonder how long it will take to 'trickle down' to consumer equipment?


Max
post #16 of 922
Subscribed.
post #17 of 922
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by markus767 View Post

Actually this could result in less speakers, way better realism, sound quality and consistency. I'm thinking of headphone playback with individualized HRTFs and head tracking.

Exactly right. And delivering object-based audio means more information comes to the playback system, thus allowing improved rendering even with existing speaker configurations.
post #18 of 922
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary J View Post

Yes more speakers, more amps, more wire, etc. to sell. Each of us get to do our own little cost/benefit analysis as to when enough is enough.

No, not necessarily. Additional speakers, amps, etc., appear to be optional. Rather, Dolby Atmos seems to use an audio object and vector encoding system to create on the fly a best effort mix within the constraints of the number and arrangement of channels in the individual playback system.

AJ
post #19 of 922
Time will tell.
post #20 of 922
Is this like imm sound?
post #21 of 922
Quote:
Originally Posted by pokekevin View Post

Is this like imm sound?

Similar, to the extent that they both use object-based mixing and rendering to a large number of speakers. But then SRS had a similar proposal, as did DTS (which just bought SRS). Looks like everyone was headed in that direction anyway.
post #22 of 922
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Similar, to the extent that they both use object-based mixing and rendering to a large number of speakers. But then SRS had a similar proposal, as did DTS (which just bought SRS). Looks like everyone was headed in that direction anyway.

Wonder what awesome name dts will call it! We all know dts is better
post #23 of 922
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Similar, to the extent that they both use object-based mixing and rendering to a large number of speakers. But then SRS had a similar proposal, as did DTS (which just bought SRS). Looks like everyone was headed in that direction anyway.

Very excited about this, which has indeed been a long time in the coming and with some very similar ideas which have yet to come to market.

One of the impediments to past efforts (i.e. Iosono, etc) was the cost and construction outlay...

My understanding is that Dolby has a great hardware "parnter" and a unique buisness model to help speed up the installation of Atmos systems in verues fairly quickly... and that at least one national theater chain already has a head start on adopting the technology sooner rather than later.

As others have stated, this isn't DSX or PLIIz... it is an entirely new way of creating content that can then be played back in a variety of environment regardless of how many physical transducers the space may or may not contain..

More than 7.1 (or even 6.1) this is the first technology that I am truly jonseing to get my hands on ASAP..
post #24 of 922
Mix Magazine Preview of Dolby Atmos

I am lucky to have spent the day with the above articles author... someone who's actually heard the system.

He was very impressed..
post #25 of 922
Quote:
Originally Posted by pokekevin View Post

wonder what awesome name dts will call it!

dtsrs
post #26 of 922
Quote:
Originally Posted by FilmMixer View Post


Very excited about this, which has indeed been a long time in the coming and with some very similar ideas which have yet to come to market.

One of the impediments to past efforts (i.e. Iosono, etc) was the cost and construction outlay...

My understanding is that Dolby has a great hardware "parnter" and a unique buisness model to help speed up the installation of Atmos systems in verues fairly quickly... and that at least one national theater chain already has a head start on adopting the technology sooner rather than later.

As others have stated, this isn't DSX or PLIIz... it is an entirely new way of creating content that can then be played back in a variety of environment regardless of how many physical transducers the space may or may not contain..

More than 7.1 (or even 6.1) this is the first technology that I am truly jonseing to get my hands on ASAP..

When might we see the first theaters get these systems??
post #27 of 922
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

dtsrs

Not exciting at all...

Time to watch as dolby and dts duke it out!
post #28 of 922
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Similar, to the extent that they both use object-based mixing and rendering to a large number of speakers. But then SRS had a similar proposal, as did DTS (which just bought SRS). Looks like everyone was headed in that direction anyway.

While I have stated in the past that IMM is object based, I have recently learned that the rendering is Ambisonics based (not sure if it high order or not). In one sense that is the beauty of object-based content delivery: it can be rendered with conventional panning (the 3D version being called VBAP, or vector base amplitude panning), or WFS as in IOSONO, or Ambisonics (or HOA), all from a single soundtrack.
post #29 of 922
Quote:
Originally Posted by pokekevin View Post

When might we see the first theaters get these systems??

Ivan's favourite AMC theatre in Burbank, which includes one of those ETX auditoriums, has a bunch of extra (height?) speakers installed. According to the Mix magazine article that Marc linked to, Dolby has been working/talking with AMC about this since 2007. Maybe some test installations already exist.
post #30 of 922
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

While I have stated in the past that IMM is object based, I have recently learned that the rendering is Ambisonics based (not sure if it high order or not). In one sense that is the beauty of object-based content delivery: it can be rendered with conventional panning (the 3D version being called VBAP, or vector base amplitude panning), or WFS as in IOSONO, or Ambisonics (or HOA), all from a single soundtrack.


Huh?
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