or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › Audio theory, Setup and Chat › Is Dolby Atmos Coming To HT?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Is Dolby Atmos Coming To HT?

post #1 of 148
Thread Starter 
I know there isn't a lot of info out there on this subject. But if this is to become a reality sooner or later I'd like to have a place to talk about it. It's a stretch of the imagination to believe many of us could introduce a 62.2 channel surround sound setup into our homes. I would like to know as much as possible from other members on this subject, so please post as many facts as you know. Do you think we will see it in our HT's? Will it take a special processor to reproduce Atmos, or 60 + different speakers, or will there be a "special" version released for HT with 20 or 30 speakers?

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_Atmos




http://www.cepro.com/article/dolby_atmos_622_surround_sound_coming_to_home_theater/





http://www.twice.com/blogs/dolby-atmos-coming-soon-home-theater-105693


Thanks,
John.
Edited by comfynumb - 10/15/13 at 4:41am
post #2 of 148
According to Roger Dressler, Dolby has already demoed Atmos on a non-standardized Blu-ray. For reasons of capacity, I would assume they were short clips, not an entire movie. I would also assume they were using TrueHD (aka Meridian Lossless Packing) to losslessly compress the main channel bed and then added the metadata controlled sound objects as extension files.

DTS probably would do something similar with a home-based Multi-Dimensional Audio (MDA) format (in fact, they also did an MDA demo using a Blu-ray disc). Both DTS and Dolby use "core + extension" type audio codecs. MDA was originally an SRS Labs invention tweaked by DTS after they acquired SRS.

However, adding a 2 hour or so video file in UHD to these object based audio codecs would require a disc well beyond the capacity of a 50 GB dual-layer Blu-ray today. Sony and Panasonic have come up with a 300 GB+ Blu-ray, so it'll be interesting to see if that's the platform they'd use.

A 7.1 channel-based track like on current Blu-ray's cannot create the pinpoint accuracy of an object rendered version using multiple speaker locations, nor does it have overhead channels. Atmos is 9.1 channels + objects (that's 7.1 plus dual overheads for just the channel bed).

Most of the electronics convention-held and private demos have relied on at most 20 or so speakers + subs. Today's upper tier consumer audio gear can output 11.2, so this is not beyond the realm of possibility in upscale home theaters, especially if they take a modular approach.

For the home, I would speculate the very basic object based layout for either Atmos or MDA would more than likely be 9.2. A 7.1 layout with two overhead speakers and an extra sub output (controlled by bass management). An object renderer can place sounds in a "phantom" location between two adjacent speakers if you don't happen to have a physical speaker in a location the original mix metadata told the renderer to place a particular sound object. Today's Atmos processor can do up to 64 speakers. If the theater doesn't have the entire 64, it does exactly that.

Today's channel based formats cannot do this level of precision.

Though, I doubt we'd be able to control 64 speakers at home. At most maybe half of that using modular devices added to a base surround processor at the consumer's leisure.

----

DTS MDA can either be in a 100% metadata embedded object bitstream or it can work like Dolby Atmos as a hybrid format with traditional channel beds + objects. Mr. Dressler was speculating that DTS would probably use the latter approach because things like sound effects ambiance, the music score, and primary dialog tracks would not need to be controlled with metadata and could be more easily anchored in channel beds.
Edited by Dan Hitchman - 10/14/13 at 9:07am
post #3 of 148
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

According to Roger Dressler, Dolby has already demoed Atmos on a non-standardized Blu-ray. For reasons of capacity, I would assume they were short clips, not an entire movie. I would also assume they were using TrueHD (aka Meridian Lossless Packing) to losslessly compress the main channel bed and then added the metadata controlled sound objects as extension files.

DTS probably would do something similar with a home-based Multi-Dimensional Audio (MDA) format (in fact, they also did an MDA demo using a Blu-ray disc). Both DTS and Dolby use "core + extension" type audio codecs. MDA was originally an SRS Labs invention tweaked by DTS after they acquired SRS.

However, adding a 2 hour or so video file in UHD to these object based audio codecs would require a disc well beyond the capacity of a 50 GB dual-layer Blu-ray today. Sony and Panasonic have come up with a 300 GB+ Blu-ray, so it'll be interesting to see if that's the platform they'd use.

A 7.1 channel-based track like on current Blu-ray's cannot create the pinpoint accuracy of an object rendered version using multiple speaker locations, nor does it have overhead channels. Atmos is 9.1 channels + objects (that's 7.1 plus dual overheads for just the channel bed).

Most of the electronics convention-held and private demos have relied on at most 20 or so speakers + subs. Today's upper tier consumer audio gear can output 11.2, so this is not beyond the realm of possibility in upscale home theaters, especially if they take a modular approach.

For the home, I would speculate the very basic object based layout for either Atmos or MDA would more than likely be 9.2. A 7.1 layout with two overhead speakers and an extra sub output (controlled by bass management). An object renderer can place sounds in a "phantom" location between two adjacent speakers if you don't happen to have a physical speaker in a location the original mix metadata told the renderer to place a particular sound object. Today's Atmos processor can do up to 64 speakers. If the theater doesn't have the entire 64, it does exactly that.

Today's channel based formats cannot do this level of precision.

----

DTS MDA can either be in a 100% metadata object bitstream or it can work like Dolby Atmos as a hybrid format with traditional channel beds + objects. Mr. Dressler was speculating that DTS would probably use the latter approach because things like sound effects ambiance, the music score, and primary dialog tracks would not need to be controlled with metadata and could be more easily anchored in channel beds.



That is some really good info! I figured with all the AV insiders that are on AVS that myself and others could learn what it might take take to reproduce this in an HT setting. Like I said its a stretch to believe that 99% of us will ever install 60 + speakers in our homes. What interests me the most is if it's possible to make Atmos happen as a format in say a 9.2 or 11.2 setup? I for one would welcome that.
post #4 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

That is some really good info! I figured with all the AV insiders that are on AVS that myself and others could learn what it might take take to reproduce this in an HT setting. Like I said its a stretch to believe that 99% of us will ever install 60 + speakers in our homes. What interests me the most is if it's possible to make Atmos happen as a format in say a 9.2 or 11.2 setup? I for one would welcome that.

I speculated above that the consumer renderer would probably react like a full blown commercial device (though at a scaled down version with maybe 20+ speakers/subs tops). If you don't have the expected 20+ speakers installed, you tell it how many of them you do have, and it will down mix accordingly. If a metadata controlled object needs to go to a particular speaker and you don't have it, the object will then be placed somewhere between the closest speakers in your layout. This is more than likely accomplished with phase shifting to create a phantom speaker location.

I would go further in expecting that surround speakers will need to be at least monopole in their dispersal pattern and at best 100% timbre matched to your main front speakers. The more full range they are, the better. Dipolar speakers would mess up the positional x-y-z sound cues already embedded in the object mix.
Edited by Dan Hitchman - 10/14/13 at 9:40am
post #5 of 148
I would suggest having a mod change the thread title to Dolby Atmos and DTS MDA Coming To HT? Just a suggestion. smile.gif
post #6 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post



A 7.1 channel-based track like on current Blu-ray's cannot create the pinpoint accuracy of an object rendered version using multiple speaker locations, nor does it have overhead channels. Atmos is 9.1 channels + objects (that's 7.1 plus dual overheads for just the channel bed).

A 7.1 channel-based track can come close. It will not be as pinpoint as Atmos, but it can have a similar effect. You would have to rely much more on phantom imaging but it would be close. A good example would be Brave. I heard the movie in Atmos a couple of times and when I heard it at home the results were very similar. I'm sure when Gravity hits Bluray it will sound very similar to the Atmos mix.

Also I don't think Atmos is based in any number of channels.
post #7 of 148
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivanpino View Post

A 7.1 channel-based track can come close. It will not be as pinpoint as Atmos, but it can have a similar effect. You would have to rely much more on phantom imaging but it would be close. A good example would be Brave. I heard the movie in Atmos a couple of times and when I heard it at home the results were very similar. I'm sure when Gravity hits Bluray it will sound very similar to the Atmos mix.

Also I don't think Atmos is based in any number of channels.



I wish I could hear Atmos in a theatre but sadly there are none close to me and I'd have to travel 2 or 2 1/2 hours to NJ or NYC.
post #8 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivanpino View Post

I don't think Atmos is based in any number of channels.
Atmos has a an optional 9.1-channel bed, but some consider that an option that was built in to help transition from channel-based mixing to object-based mixing. At some point in the future, recording engineers won't be thinking in terms of channels but reflexively in terms of where the sound needs to go in 3D space, making less and less use of the 9.1 channel bed option.
post #9 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

What interests me the most is if it's possible to make Atmos happen as a format in say a 9.2 or 11.2 setup?
That makes no sense, since Atmos isn't tied to the number of speakers. Atmos and any other object-based system is designed to work with everything from a soundbar to an elaborate multi-speaker layout.

It's the same with home audio right now. A 5.1 soundtrack can be scaled to an 11.1 speaker layout or downmixed for 2 speakers on your TV.

The only difference is that Atmos will be object-based rather than the current channel-based soundtracks.
post #10 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post


That is some really good info! I figured with all the AV insiders that are on AVS that myself and others could learn what it might take take to reproduce this in an HT setting. Like I said its a stretch to believe that 99% of us will ever install 60 + speakers in our homes. What interests me the most is if it's possible to make Atmos happen as a format in say a 9.2 or 11.2 setup? I for one would welcome that.

 

If the speakers were very small we might be able to accommodate quite a lot in a dedicated space. Wiring would be a PITA unless the room is being built from scratch though. Considering that very few people, relatively speaking use even 5.1 and even fewer use 7.1 and even fewer use 9.1 etc etc, I think this would be a very tough sell to anyone other than those with dedicated rooms.

 

I'd love to have a go with 20 or 30 small speakers - say capable to 120hz and then relying on subs. I have yet to hear Atmos but it must be spectacular.

post #11 of 148
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

That makes no sense, since Atmos isn't tied to the number of speakers. Atmos and any other object-based system is designed to work with everything from a soundbar to an elaborate multi-speaker layout.

It's the same with home audio right now. A 5.1 soundtrack can be scaled to an 11.1 speaker layout or downmixed for 2 speakers on your TV.

The only difference is that Atmos will be object-based rather than the current channel-based soundtracks.



I threw 9.2 and 11.2 out there as just a number. Then lets say 5.1 or 7.1, is there any reason it wouldn't work in one of those setups? Also if we can get up to 11.2 AFAIK from a 5.1 mix why wouldn't it work with Atmos? I started this thread because I'm not sure, the info online is very limited and I want to know more and inform others as well.
Edited by comfynumb - 10/14/13 at 12:23pm
post #12 of 148
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

If the speakers were very small we might be able to accommodate quite a lot in a dedicated space. Wiring would be a PITA unless the room is being built from scratch though. Considering that very few people, relatively speaking use even 5.1 and even fewer use 7.1 and even fewer use 9.1 etc etc, I think this would be a very tough sell to anyone other than those with dedicated rooms.

I'd love to have a go with 20 or 30 small speakers - say capable to 120hz and then relying on subs. I have yet to hear Atmos but it must be spectacular.



Exactly! Why not 20 or 30 speakers? I've yet to hear Atmos myself also but if my dedicated room is to happen within 5 years or so and I could implement this into it, I would seriously consider it. I do believe there will be some form of Atmos in our HT's in the future.
post #13 of 148
As mentioned earlier, one of the problems is connectivity when many speakers are involved. With passive speakers, you need to run individual speaker cables to each of them. With active speakers you could use a wireless signal connection, but you still need to get power to each of them. My pessimism suggests that wireless "near field power" connections wouldn't be adequate.
post #14 of 148
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

As mentioned earlier, one of the problems is connectivity when many speakers are involved. With passive speakers, you need to run individual speaker cables to each of them. With active speakers you could use a wireless signal connection, but you still need to get power to each of them. My pessimism suggests that wireless "near field power" connections wouldn't be adequate.



Well that would sure simplify things wouldn't it. As someone who has never had a wireless speaker in my setup, I'd like to know if they are as capable as a "normal" speaker?
post #15 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

... if we can get up to 11.2 AFAIK from a 5.1 mix why wouldn't it work with Atmos? I started this thread because I'm not sure, the info online is very limited and I want to know more and inform others as well.
The key here is that ATMOS is an object-based system. The soundtrack isn't recorded with any particular speaker locations in mind (at least, that ability is what makes it special).

Think of surround sound for video games, played back through headphones. The sound processor has the ability to make effects sound like they are originating behind, in front, or to either side. The magic of that is not just in separating left from right, but also in adjusting phase and level. Lets say that a game has a sound effect loaded for footsteps. When a character walks nearby, the processor is making on-the-fly adjustments to the sound of those footsteps based on the player's position and orientation, so that the sound corresponds to the appropriate location in three dimensional space.

The same is done with ATMOS, but with the processor making decisions about directing and manipulating the effects based on the number and position of loudspeakers in the room.

The sound designer codes the effect to pan from position 1 to position 2 - not from speaker 1 to speaker 2.
post #16 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

As mentioned earlier, one of the problems is connectivity when many speakers are involved. With passive speakers, you need to run individual speaker cables to each of them. With active speakers you could use a wireless signal connection, but you still need to get power to each of them. My pessimism suggests that wireless "near field power" connections wouldn't be adequate.



Well that would sure simplify things wouldn't it. As someone who has never had a wireless speaker in my setup, I'd like to know if they are as capable as a "normal" speaker?

Some are, some aren't. I don't know from listening to them myself, but a quick search for "wireless speakers" found them ranging from Bose to full-range 3-way speakers by Libratone. Most seem to use Bluetooth.
post #17 of 148
I don't know if Atmos can be switched over to a purely object based system. I think they were considering the fact that certain sounds and music don't have to be anchored or panned in x-y-z space coordinates like a separate sound object and can be traditionally mixed with fixed channels. For music, especially, that could get to be quite processor intensive if every single instrument had to be an object that is constantly rendered in space. Open-language DTS MDA, which is being pushed behind the scenes, can be a hybrid setup with fixed channels and objects like Atmos or just objects in a renderer controlled bitstream.
post #18 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

Then lets say 5.1 or 7.1, is there any reason it wouldn't work in one of those setups?
Your question still doesn't make sense. It's like asking whether a current 5.1 soundtrack will "work" on TV speakers. Why wouldn't it?

Soundtracks, whether channel based or object based, aren't tied to a certain number of speakers.
post #19 of 148
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

I don't know if Atmos can be switched over to a purely object based system. I think they were considering the fact that certain sounds and music don't have to be anchored or panned in x-y-z space coordinates like a separate sound object and can be traditionally mixed with fixed channels. For music, especially, that could get to be quite processor intensive if every single instrument had to be an object that is constantly rendered in space. Open-language DTS MDA, which is being pushed behind the scenes, can be a hybrid setup with fixed channels and objects like Atmos or just objects in a renderer controlled bitstream.



I know even less about DTS MDA, but I'm assuming it is the DTS answer to Dolby Atmos, although it appears to work a little differently.
post #20 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

I know even less about DTS MDA, but I'm assuming it is the DTS answer to Dolby Atmos, although it appears to work a little differently.

There have been articles posted about listening sessions at DTS open to the press. DTS (using SRS Labs techniques) has been selling the fact that MDA can be folded into a smaller array of speakers for the home (though, for best results, with more than the traditional amount) with more convincing phantom imaging to fill in the gaps in the speaker array like you'd get in a large auditorium. And they state their mixing software can create an even more enveloping 3D effect with objects by utilizing psychoacoustic modeling, so the sounds can seemingly leap from the speakers and travel all around you in a 360 degree pattern by tricking the ear/brain sensory connection. This is the same pschoacoustic technique used in DTS Headphones to simulate multi-channel surround.

In a home theater, the more speakers, the more precise the experience, however. DTS was using around 22 speakers plus subs, which is around the same amount as NHK's (Japan's Premiere Broadcasting network) proof-of-concept surround formats were using.
Edited by Dan Hitchman - 10/14/13 at 3:37pm
post #21 of 148
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

There have been articles posted about listening sessions at DTS open to the press. DTS (using SRS Labs techniques) has been selling the fact that MDA can be folded into a smaller array of speakers for the home (though, for best results, with more than the traditional amount) with more convincing phantom imaging to fill in the gaps in the speaker array liked you'd get in a large auditorium. And they state their mixing software can create an even more enveloping 3D effect with objects by utilizing psychoacoustic modeling, so the sounds can seemingly leap from the speakers and travel all around you in a 360 degree pattern by tricking the ear/brain sensory connection. This is the same pschoacoustic technique used in DTS Headphones to simulate multi-channel surround.

In a home theater, the more speakers, the more precise the experience, however. DTS was using around 22 speakers plus subs, which is around the same amount as NHK's (Japan's Premiere Broadcasting network) proof-of-concept surround formats were using.



The DTS MDA sounds much simpler to deploy in an HT setting. Both Atmos and DTS MDA sounds amazing and if history tells us anything they might both end up in our HT's.
post #22 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

The DTS MDA sounds much simpler to deploy in an HT setting. Both Atmos and DTS MDA sounds amazing and if history tells us anything they might both end up in our HT's.

It all boils down to whether or not there is a drawn out battle over the ideal amount of speakers and their locations in a home theater environment. If they go with the lowest common denominator user, then whatever is released will be severely compromised.

Another problem is the delivery methods chosen for UHD media. If it's streaming and/or downloads only (besides broadcasts)... the data will have to be far more compressed and stripped down compared to a high capacity disc format. And will there be yet another format war?
post #23 of 148
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

It all boils down to whether or not there is a drawn out battle over the ideal amount of speakers and their locations in a home theater environment. If they go with the lowest common denominator user, then whatever is released will be severely compromised.

Another problem is the delivery methods chosen for UHD media. If it's streaming and/or downloads only (besides broadcasts)... the data will have to be far more compressed and stripped down compared to a high capacity disc format. And will there be yet another format war?



Bite your tongue Dan, we need another disc format! Streaming/downloading only, will kill everything IMO, they can barely stream 1080 and forget about the audio it is no where near DTS or TrueHD.
post #24 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

I have yet to hear Atmos but it must be spectacular.

Unfortunately, you have led a deprived life. biggrin.gif The two best Atmos mixes that I have heard were: Oblivion and Gravity. The audio is simply very, very immersive.

The Atmos mix is dependent upon the theater, the size of the theater and how many speakers are available. So that two different theaters can easily sound different with the same Atmos mix. As to needing a gazillion speakers, it probably isn't necessary because Atmos will accommodate whatever number of speakers and subs are in the room. Dolby Atmos is something to look forward to in a home theater.
post #25 of 148
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fookoo_2010 View Post

Unfortunately, you have led a deprived life. biggrin.gif The two best Atmos mixes that I have heard were: Oblivion and Gravity. The audio is simply very, very immersive.

The Atmos mix is dependent upon the theater, the size of the theater and how many speakers are available. So that two different theaters can easily sound different with the same Atmos mix. As to needing a gazillion speakers, it probably isn't necessary because Atmos will accommodate whatever number of speakers and subs are in the room. Dolby Atmos is something to look forward to in a home theater.



It's not like the Atmos theaters have been around that long. The nearest one is over 2 hours from me, but I am going to make a special trip to experience it during my off season, if at all possible. Also I'm looking forward to Atmos at least being a possibility in the next few years in our HT's. We shall see.
Edited by comfynumb - 10/14/13 at 5:10pm
post #26 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

It's not like the Atmos theaters have been around that long. The nearest one is over 2 hours from me, but I am going to make a special trip to experience it during my off season, if at all possible. Also I'm looking forward to Atmos at least being a possibility in the next few years in our HT's. We shall see.

Gravity was definitely an earful if nothing else. It'll be interesting to check out what they do with The Hobbit Part 2's Atmos sound mix. Hopefully, those sound mixers utilize the overhead speakers far more than the Gravity mixers.
post #27 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

It's not like the Atmos theaters have been around that long. The nearest one is over 2 hours from me, but I am going to make a special trip to experience it during my off season, if at all possible. Also I'm looking forward to Atmos at least being a possibility in the next few years in our HT's. We shall see.

Take into consideration that all Dolby Atmos mixes are not equivalent. For better or worse, you may have to see a blockbuster movie to get a really good Dolby Atmos mix. Even then, there is no guarantee.
post #28 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

It's not like the Atmos theaters have been around that long. The nearest one is over 2 hours from me, but I am going to make a special trip to experience it during my off season, if at all possible. Also I'm looking forward to Atmos at least being a possibility in the next few years in our HT's. We shall see.

Gravity was definitely an earful if nothing else. It'll be interesting to check out what they do with The Hobbit Part 2's Atmos sound mix. Hopefully, those sound mixers utilize the overhead speakers far more than the Gravity mixers.

:off topic:
I've been trying to think what use the Hobbit might make of height channels beyond the obvious things like leaves rustling.

Spiders in the trees?
Smaug swooping overhead?
post #29 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by comfynumb View Post

The DTS MDA sounds much simpler to deploy in an HT setting. Both Atmos and DTS MDA sounds amazing and if history tells us anything they might both end up in our HT's.

It all boils down to whether or not there is a drawn out battle over the ideal amount of speakers and their locations in a home theater environment. If they go with the lowest common denominator user, then whatever is released will be severely compromised.
My hope is that they'll continue supporting multiple audio formats, essentially as an extension of what we have now: downmixing of both Dolby and DTS formats to match whatever speaker configuration the user has. Another all-out format war is not something we need.
Quote:
Another problem is the delivery methods chosen for UHD media. If it's streaming and/or downloads only (besides broadcasts)... the data will have to be far more compressed and stripped down compared to a high capacity disc format. And will there be yet another format war?
My (perhaps mistaken) understanding is that Sony's 4K resolution downloads are essentially full-resolution. If you aren't constrained by needing to stream in realtime, excessively lossy compression isn't necessary. Of course, it'd be more inconvenient than realtime streaming, since you'd have to decide well in advance what you'd want to watch experience. But that's already the case now if you want to play a shiny disc that you don't already have.
post #30 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

I've been trying to think what use the Hobbit might make of height channels beyond the obvious things like leaves rustling.
The first one had some of Gollum's dialogue in the height speakers.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Audio theory, Setup and Chat
AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › Audio theory, Setup and Chat › Is Dolby Atmos Coming To HT?