some questions about my (HT-S9800THX) please need your assist - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 6 Old 04-21-2019, 02:02 AM - Thread Starter
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some questions about my (HT-S9800THX) please need your assist

Greetings to all AVS members
I'm a newbie in speakers and AV-receivers world
and I would like your help please in some questions I have

2 weeks ago I've purchased the newest Onkyo Home Theater ( HT-S9800THX ) 7.1 which suppose to support Dolby Atmos
so the setup I made for 7 speakers is like 3 front left-right and center and Subwoofer
2 surround speakers left and right
2 back surround speakers left and right
so when I read about Dolby Atmos I should have 2 speakers up which will be directed down to where I seated and that's mean I have to remove 2 speakers
now my question is what are my options here ? and do I have to buy new speakers that are designed for Dolby Atmos ?and I just want to add that I didn't find any mod for Dolby Atmos while searching in the AV-R
here is a scheme for the home theater room

my second question is regarding the device I am using to play movies
so I am using my Laptop Msi GE72vr apache pro Specs
Windows 10 Pro
i7-6700HQ processor
I am connecting my Laptop using Hdmi to Onkyo receiver and from output to Tv
when I play movies in Neflix that shows in the movie details it's support 4k and 5.1
I don't hear the surround speakers working I don't know why even when I put the mode to Dolby THX
what is the problem ?

last question if I have to upgrade to other speakers for a better listening experience what is your recommendations and what speakers should I replace? ( budget 1500$ max )
thank you
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post #2 of 6 Old 04-21-2019, 02:04 AM - Thread Starter
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in the picture I meant Seating area sorry
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post #3 of 6 Old 04-21-2019, 02:56 AM
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Netflix etc. online streaming is stereo through a web browser even if you configure your PC for surround sound modes. The best you can do through a PC is use stereo mode in the PC setup menu so you don't get some weird upmix generated by the PC, and use the upmix in your receiver instead.

You need to use a Roku or smart TV if you want to play online streaming in surround format through your receiver.

The manuals for your HTIB are at this link:

You want to download the basic/advanced manual to find the Atmos configuration instructions:

After you open the PDF, click on the 'Advanced' link on the first page and it will put you at the table of contents for the advanced manual portion of the file.

Your receiver allows you to decode top rear speakers. You can make your rear speakers do double duty if you put them up high and aim them downward toward your ears. Then if you have sources with Atmos, you can decode the top rear channels, and if you have sources with rear speakers, you can decode those too, and both types of content will be reproduced somewhat accurately.

Alternatively, you can also put them above either your front or surround speakers to decode them as other ceiling channels, but you will lose compatibility with legacy 7.1 bitstreams and either the rear information will end up in the wrong place or you will need to enable a synthesis mode instead to create Atmos-like height channels from decorrelated content (ambient reverb, wind/rain, etc.).

If you put the ceiling speakers on tall stands or tall bookshelves, or on shelves installed at ceiling height, you will likely get superior performance compared to 'Atmos' (a misnomer IMO) highly directional speakers that aim at the ceiling and bounce the sound back down at you off the ceiling. Low frequencies are not directional from such small and simple speakers and the height imaging will suffer with reflecting designs. They are convenient though because they are simple to install. They sit right on top of your front or surround or rear speakers and aim up at the ceiling.

For HTIB in your setup I would not spend additional money on reflecting speakers since your rear speakers are small enough to install near the ceiling anyway. I would definitely put the rear speakers up high in the location you indicated to preserve compatibility with 7.1 bistreams. I would only suggest that you move them closer toward each other because bass-limited channel speakers tend to sound boxed in from the sidewall reflections when placed in corners. The reflections muddy the imaging with additional 'sources' mirrored off the walls, and the delayed sound from those reflections causes phase cancellations between direct and reflected sound that manifest as combing and lobing and colors the frequency response.

You have the same reflection issue with speakers in a bicorner near one wall and the ceiling anyway, but having them in a tricorner near a sidewall too just makes the problem worse.

You are likely going to have much more legacy 7.1 content available than Atmos unless either you subscribe to a streaming service with Atmos, or you invest a substantial amount of money in new media. It would probably pay off to maintain legacy compatibility, but maybe not if you are just getting started.

Also, the immersion of a pair of rear speakers from 7.1 content or even synthesized from 5.1 or 2.0 is superior to the immersion of a single pair of synthesized height speakers that are close to the front or surround speakers IMO. Rear speakers mounted high up are going to do more for your total experience than front high speakers or top middle speakers with most legacy content.

New content with Atmos from streaming services is likely going to have height information that decodes best on your receiver through a single pair of top middle or top front speakers. Top middle puts the height information up where it has good separation but requires special care for mounting.

Top rear or rear height decoded speakers behind you on shelving is probably going to be your easiest solution given the room layout you provided. I would probably default to that just for the sake of practicality. That's usually what dictates speaker location IMO. They end up where they fit regardless of what that does to the sound.
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post #4 of 6 Old 04-21-2019, 11:40 PM - Thread Starter
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thank you so much for your reply I really appreciate it !

I guess Xbox one will work fine with Netflix right ?

aaaah I wish I do have 9.1 system but it's too late for me ,
I could spend extra 1200$-1300$ max if this will get me 9.1 a decent av receiver and extra 2 speakers
but do you think it's worth it and if your answer is yes what are your recommendations ?
I found Denon AVRX4400H for 899$ should I get it ?

also based on your suggestions I do have 2 options
placing the rear speakers a bit higher aiming down toward my ears or taking the Side speakers and placing them front high .or I could place a designed speakers for dolby atmos on my front speakers so the sound aiming to the ceiling and reflect downward to me but I don't think it will work great
just want to mention that I can't place any speakers on ceiling only sidewall will that be a problem ?

Last edited by ofaisalo; 04-21-2019 at 11:52 PM.
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post #5 of 6 Old 04-23-2019, 03:08 PM
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Manuals for your HT-S9800THX describe 7.1 Speaker Configuration but FAIL to describe ATMOS Speaker Configuration, other than to state that ATMOS "Height" Speakers are connected in place of "Rear" Speakers.

Hence "Surround" Speakers CAN remain in their current 7.1 location more or less to the SIDES and the "Rear" Speakers can be simply moved UP when they are operated in ATMOS Mode. However, that means that when playing Surround with or w/o ATMOS, "Rear" Channel information will ALWAYS come from a HIGH Source, rather than "behind" you. IF this annoys you, you COULD buy another pair of Speakers and use an A/B Speaker Switch to connect AMP to either "Rear" or "Height" Speakers.

But that is NOT the only way you can configure your system. You COULD move the "Surround" Speakers more towards the "Rear". And, depending on your preference of WHERE you want the Helicopers (etc) to Hover, you could locate the "Height" Speakers either BEHIND you, in FRONT of you or OVERHEAD. [You would need two additional ATMOS speakers , and a pricey 5.4.2 or 7.4.2 AVR for a Fully Capable ATMOS configuration]. See my series of posts found here:
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-22-2019, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by ofaisalo View Post
I guess Xbox one will work fine with Netflix right ?

I found Denon AVRX4400H for 899$ should I get it ?
On a Windows PC you can download the Netflix app from the windows store and it will output surround playback (DD+/Atmos). Just make sure that you set the sound settings on your PC to the proper speaker setup (5.1, 7.1, etc.).

I use this application on my PC as well, so I can comfirm 100% that it works.

Also, if you have a Fry's Electronics near you, you can get the Denon X4500H for $849 right now. You can also check the "Deals Sticky" in the receivers forum for deals on them as well.

...and yes, if you can afford it, get it.

As for speakers for Atmos application, it is recommended to have in/on ceiling, but people have also recommended front/rear heights angled down towards the MLP, and have had decent results as well.

Hope this helps,


"Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken." - Tyler Durden

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Last edited by d-rail34; 05-22-2019 at 04:45 PM.
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