Atmos setup doesn't sound like 3d - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 102 Old 11-24-2018, 01:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Atmos setup doesn't sound like 3d

So I have just completed my home theatre and sat down to watch an atmos movie and am bitterly disappointed - it just sounds like my old 5.1 system from 15yrs ago


So my setup is Netflix through Xbox into a Marantz SR7012 and into a 5.1.4 speaker setup.
The Xbox is set to PCM and is showing Atmos on the movie details. The 7012 is set to Atmos on the sound parameter.
The room is set to Sepmeyer golden ratio dimensions and it sounds awesome in terms of sound quality and bass etc.
But there is absolutely no 3D sound effect and even very little surround sound effect.


When I do the speaker level test all my speakers are working and have a similar loudness.


Any idea what is wrong ?


Could it be because my projector is not UHD - I read somewhere that Netflix requires an UHD 4k display to stream atmos sound ??

Last edited by niterida; 11-24-2018 at 01:29 AM.
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post #2 of 102 Old 11-24-2018, 01:35 AM
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I think you need to stream un-decoded to the receiver - that is, not PCM. It should display ATMOS in the receiver when decoding/playing atmos. Try streaming dolby-hd from the xbox if you can.

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post #3 of 102 Old 11-24-2018, 02:25 AM
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Many users expect more from Atmos as it got hyped up...…..most artists/directors envision it as sounding real, which was not the vision the end user has, the end user envisions a lit up amount of sounds coming from overhead......its mainly ambience with ocassional noticeable effects from up top.


Most people at first crank the ceiling speakers 3 to 6 db over the bed layer channels to get this effect, then throttle back later.



When you have rain on a tin roof, then it sounds locatable and from the top, other than those instances it just creates a fuller more natural sound....many have commented/complained about this...…….some of the music makes use of the top channels more where they stand out and it is occasional in movies, some more than others.


Your receiver should display Atmos, the only way I was able to get it to work is to have the 4k plan, required and use windows 10 with the Netflix app......not just going to Netflix web page...…..on Netflix it will show supported devices to get Atmos..


Also positioning of the overheads is critical to making them more pronounced as is separation from the rears....



Keep playing with it, it gets better and when you get some good blurays that really light up the ceiling speakers you will see what it is capable of, unfortunately a lot of content seems to not fully take advantage of the ceiling speakers.....


Its the same as with 3D, the directors want to create a realistic image that simulates real life....the end users want stuff flyin out of the screen....the directors feel that is beneath them and are considered gimmicks and parlor tricks,....the same seems to be true with Atmos, they want to make it sound like normal or real, the end user wants the ceiling speakers lit up and blaring out effects.


Its getting better all the time with more effects from up top and now music is being made with that in mind and some of it really takes it to the next level.



Think of it this way, stereo was a new thing 50 years ago, it took 10 or 20 years for it to fully catch on and only really a handful of artists took full advantage of it and made the most of it with hard left to right pans and 2 different sound sets coming from each speaker which wowed people.

Atmos is in its infancy right now...….the gold is on its way......


Mixers are starting to let loose more and new artists are starting to use it, its only a matter of time before some one hits a home run.


On Netflix, Dark and Altered carbon are pretty good Atmos as is Luke cage,Jessica Jones,,,,the Rain and a few others that stand out.

Here is the Netflix check list....on what you need to make it work.

https://help.netflix.com/en/node/64066
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post #4 of 102 Old 11-24-2018, 02:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by UltimateUser View Post
I think you need to stream un-decoded to the receiver - that is, not PCM. It should display ATMOS in the receiver when decoding/playing atmos. Try streaming dolby-hd from the xbox if you can.
Yes I have Netflix set to output Atmos and the receiver is showing Atmos on the display.
To make things worse a mate just walked in and told me how awesome the soundbar atmos demo in the local store sounded with sounds all around him 😞
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post #5 of 102 Old 11-24-2018, 02:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niterida View Post
Yes I have Netflix set to output Atmos and the receiver is showing Atmos on the display.
To make things worse a mate just walked in and told me how awesome the soundbar atmos demo in the local store sounded with sounds all around him 😞

I have heard both and once you get yours dialed in, the soundbar is a joke compared to what you have.


They were probably playing some demo that has the speakers lit up, which there are no movies like that at all.....



Bump those ceiling speakers up about 6DB or more until you like it...…..that should get you where you want to be right now.


You do have speakers installed in/on the ceiling right ?

The room calibration mic is not ears, we do not hear omni directional....so bump the rear surrounds until you like what you hear, same with the ceiling speakers...crank them bad dads up...…

I was just listening to some Atmos music and had the ceilings bumped up 9db...…..in the channel level from calibration......

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post #6 of 102 Old 11-24-2018, 03:08 AM - Thread Starter
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I have heard both and once you get yours dialed in, the soundbar is a joke compared to what you have.


They were probably playing some demo that has the speakers lit up, which there are no movies like that at all.....



Bump those ceiling speakers up about 6DB or more until you like it...…..that should get you where you want to be right now.


You do have speakers installed in/on the ceiling right ?

The room calibration mic is not ears, we do not hear omni directional....so bump the rear surrounds until you like what you hear, same with the ceiling speakers...crank them bad dads up...…

I was just listening to some Atmos music and had the ceilings bumped up 9db...…..in the channel level from calibration......
Yes I have ceiling speakers

I just went and tried Dark, Altered Carbon etc and they all sound like crap - there isn't even any 2d surround effect

The setup sounds great when upmixing to Auro-3d so why so bad in Atmos ?

I still think it might be something to do with Netflix looking for a 4K display ??
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post #7 of 102 Old 11-24-2018, 04:12 AM
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Have you run an Audyssey calibration?
If so, how spaced out were the sampling points? Sometimes it's best to take all the samples in a tight 2'x'2 box at the MLP.

Download some of the Atmos demos that Dolby has put out, as those do move the sound around to show off the effect. If those sound flat, then you have other setup issues.

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post #8 of 102 Old 11-24-2018, 05:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Have you run an Audyssey calibration?
If so, how spaced out were the sampling points? Sometimes it's best to take all the samples in a tight 2'x'2 box at the MLP.

Download some of the Atmos demos that Dolby has put out, as those do move the sound around to show off the effect. If those sound flat, then you have other setup issues.
How do I get the atmos demos on xbox / netflix ??
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post #9 of 102 Old 11-24-2018, 05:07 AM - Thread Starter
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I just tried upping the height and surround levels by 6db and reduced the fronts by 5db - I can hear the heights and surround more but it still doesn't seem to be immersive - can't pinpoint noises and it still sounds worse than my old 5.1 😞
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post #10 of 102 Old 11-24-2018, 05:12 AM
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You probably need a way to eliminate the xbox and netflix and go from there as a starting point. Can you get ahold of madmax atmos bluray and test that? The beginning intro has voices that will be all around you, over your head etc. All the atmos demo disk content is also useful. None of this is going to work on netflix to test.

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post #11 of 102 Old 11-24-2018, 05:18 AM - Thread Starter
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I will have to buy an atmos blu-ray disc - there are no video hire shops where I live anymore
I did buy BladeRunner 2049 but didn't realise they come in non-atmos versions as well and guess which one I bought ......
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post #12 of 102 Old 11-24-2018, 07:03 AM
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Maybe you are for real hearing crap, but even if you weren't, a lot of people don't hear the difference because the brain gets used to the new stuff.

For example when I started using a 1080p display, it looked to me like 720p, and when I started using 4K it looked like 1080p to me, but when I compare them side by side, then I can see the difference. The mind is tricky like that.

The first time I heard Atmos, it sounded like stereo, but when directly comapring them, there is a significant difference. So even if you eventually fix your setup, it would just sound like 2.1 sounded back in the day, except the speakers are placed behind, or above.
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post #13 of 102 Old 11-24-2018, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niterida View Post
Yes I have ceiling speakers

I just went and tried Dark, Altered Carbon etc and they all sound like crap - there isn't even any 2d surround effect

The setup sounds great when upmixing to Auro-3d so why so bad in Atmos ?

I still think it might be something to do with Netflix looking for a 4K display ??
No, I have a 1080 PJ and no other display.....Netflix is not looking for a display.

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post #14 of 102 Old 11-24-2018, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by niterida View Post
I just tried upping the height and surround levels by 6db and reduced the fronts by 5db - I can hear the heights and surround more but it still doesn't seem to be immersive - can't pinpoint noises and it still sounds worse than my old 5.1 😞

I will try one more time...……



Those pinpoint sounds are far and few...…...Atmos got hyped up as more than it is and listeners worked themselves and others into a fit. They expected the sounds to come from the ceiling like 2 bullhorns with a drill sergeant yelling thru them. Which they can and do for very brief effects usually totaling in the seconds for a movie.



The directors intent, since no matter what system you have, we are at the mercy of the mixer which is under the guidance of the director as far as any content goes....they decide how much and what sounds good. The directors envision it sounding just like talking to your friend in a room, realistic, natural. When you talk to some one in your front room the sound is coming from behind you above you, but originating at the persons mouth. You do not notice the sound behind you and above you, it just sounds natural.


That's the vision some have for Atmos...….so best case in their vision, it just sounds natural, nothing special, completely normal.



Us as the consumer wants bullhorns from the sky...….loud discrete sounds from one speaker, massive swirls and pans...…...once again most directors consider that cheezy and parlor tricks those who lack talent use, so once again, we can only play content if it exists in that way.



What you envision for Atmos only comes in little few second bursts here and there on most movies...…


You are not alone, many of us want what you want......the content is just not out there, that's why they recommend demo material as it is created to show what is possible, but it is only possible when the content is created like that,.....the directors and artists are not creating it like that, so play play as you might, you will not hear what is not there...……...fleeting glimpses here and there of the glory that is possible.



Once you get over the bullhorns from heaven not being there, its pretty good for realism and outstanding for music …..



I say welcome to the club...………..a lot of us expected more, but once you settle in as already pointed out, and get used to it, as soon as it goes away, you will miss and notice it.

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post #15 of 102 Old 11-24-2018, 04:26 PM
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I suggest going to a retailer and listening to a demo of a receiver and speaker setup similar to yours. That's what I did before purchasing my new Denon; an upgrade from the old 2011 flagship model (4311). That was pre ATMOS but had Audyssy heights and wides. So I had 9 speakers on the floor at listening height and two up high on the front wall.


Now I have less speakers but it sounds better. It's a temporary setup, which is 5.1 plus 4 heights (one in each corner), giving me 5.1.4. But it still does not sound as good as the shop demo because that setup had 4 in-ceiling speakers, as opposed to my wall speakers. The ceiling speakers were able to give a great sense of movement from front to rear, most notably in the Mad Max ATMOS demo, near the end when he flicks sand out into the viewer's face. It actually produced the sensation that I was getting sprayed with sand. And yes, the voices were very impressive too.


That said, the shop assistant had not even run the calibration, and had a terrible mix between front and the rest of the speakers. Nevertheless, it gave me a good idea of what an ideal setup could sound like.


Also, I re-calibrated the setup a number of times and got the impression that the mic height has a larger impact on the sound mix. Specifically, just altering the height by 100mm. Try sitting up on your seat, then low down, and see if you notice the mix change.


I also think you need to get a good source to set things up.

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post #16 of 102 Old 11-25-2018, 10:51 AM
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Did you have your system calibrated? I don't have an Atmos system myself, but I know with my 5.1, fairly small imbalances can have a big impact on the sound field. I do my own level and EQ, but doing it right isn't a simple job if you've never done it before. It would be worth the money to bring someone in to make sure everything is set right.
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post #17 of 102 Old 11-27-2018, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I thought I figured it out - changed my rear heights from surround heights to rear heights in the setup menu - I have sound coming out of them now

Still doesn't sound any good though. I have upped the db in the rear speakers and dropped it in the front speakers, rerun the audyssey calibration with a boom stand for the mic, tried pointing the speakers at slightly different angles and it still doesn't sound as good as my old 5.1

Definitely have an Atmos source but it doesn't sound any different compared to upmixed non-atmos (on the same scenes with different source) or upmixed auro-3d !!!!!

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post #18 of 102 Old 11-28-2018, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niterida View Post
I thought I figured it out - changed my rear heights from surround heights to rear heights in the setup menu - I have sound coming out of them now

Still doesn't sound any good though. I have upped the db in the rear speakers and dropped it in the front speakers, rerun the audyssey calibration with a boom stand for the mic, tried pointing the speakers at slightly different angles and it still doesn't sound as good as my old 5.1

Definitely have an Atmos source but it doesn't sound any different compared to upmixed non-atmos (on the same scenes with different source) or upmixed auro-3d !!!!!
Maybe you are a realist, and you have discovered ATMOS is mostly a gimmick. I have never embraced it. Ask yourself if you ever hear in object based in real life.
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post #19 of 102 Old 11-28-2018, 10:13 AM
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Maybe you are a realist, and you have discovered ATMOS is mostly a gimmick. I have never embraced it. Ask yourself if you ever hear in object based in real life.
Couldn't disagree more. Just because you don't embrace it, does it make it a gimmick. No offense, but you sound a lot like those who are against any sort of surround experience. You know, it's a gimmick, carnival ride, two ears two speakers and so forth...

While the music industry hasn't fully embraced the idea yet, certainly movies have. Just curious, when you hear a helicopter flying overhead, do you hear it above you, or to the side?
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post #20 of 102 Old 11-28-2018, 10:24 AM
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@niterida your profile doesn't mention your location, but try using the Vudu app with the Dolby Atmos Experience bundle. This was free when I added it to my Vudu library, and may still be. These are official demos from Dolby.
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post #21 of 102 Old 11-29-2018, 09:09 AM
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The more speakers you add to a system, the harder it is to balance them properly. It also makes room acoustics more problematic. I'd suggest calling in an A/V tech. Just putting speakers in a room and twiddling the settings won't get you immersive sound. To create a true sound field, you need to have all the channels meshing perfectly. If one or two are out of calibration, it throws the whole room off. It's a balancing act.
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post #22 of 102 Old 11-29-2018, 02:25 PM
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Couldn't disagree more. Just because you don't embrace it, does it make it a gimmick. No offense, but you sound a lot like those who are against any sort of surround experience. You know, it's a gimmick, carnival ride, two ears two speakers and so forth...

While the music industry hasn't fully embraced the idea yet, certainly movies have. Just curious, when you hear a helicopter flying overhead, do you hear it above you, or to the side?
I do embrace surround for music. I just don't embrace ATMOS. I live 18 miles from Cherry Point Marine base and I hear helicopters regularly above my house. However, the sound is not above my house but it is omnidirectional and one cannot tell where it is coming from. Like I said, I don't hear ATMOS in real life and none of you hear it either. There is nothing wrong with justifying your purchase, however.
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post #23 of 102 Old 11-29-2018, 06:33 PM
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I do embrace surround for music. I just don't embrace ATMOS. I live 18 miles from Cherry Point Marine base and I hear helicopters regularly above my house. However, the sound is not above my house but it is omnidirectional and one cannot tell where it is coming from. Like I said, I don't hear ATMOS in real life and none of you hear it either. There is nothing wrong with justifying your purchase, however.

I am sorry you heard poor Atmos,...….what you point out is one of the main complaints about Atmos....people want to hear bullhorns from the heavens. The reality is, when properly set up you do not even notice Atmos,...it does sound like a omni directional helicopter in real life.


If you set up Atmos and notice the ceiling speakers are even there from sound, it was not done correctly...…..


For music it is even better, it sounds like standing in a concert with the crowd noise coming from all directions, including above you, like in real life, it becomes omnidirectional.


I can`t wait for the next iteration which will be in floor speakers.....


There are certain movie scenes where the sound does come from just the ceiling, like scenes with rain on a metal roof...…



Some people like it, some hate it...….to each their own, even the 2 channel people who watch movies, A OK in my book, I grew up on mono transitor radios, so I am good with whatever choice a person likes.


One thing most have in common was the perception of Atmos will be like bullhorns from the sky.....it was my expectation too, however after having it for almost 2 years now and hearing a bunch of varied content, upmixed content, I think it is much better the way it is, where it tries the best it can to be omni directional, bullhorns from the sky would not be near as realistic.


Just like 2 channels tries as hard as it can to be realistic...or 5 channels or 9 channels or Atmos with no channels using the number of speakers you have...….



After hearing music and concerts in Atmos there is no way I would be happy with just surround.....surround is much better than 2 speakers, but Atmos is better than surround alone.


It is like having the best steak you have ever tasted, then having a wagu steak, that best steak you ever tasted is like spam after that and never the same again...…



Everyone has their thing...2 channel guys bash the surround guys, surround guys with 5 speakers bash the 9 speaker guys and the Atmos guys bash the surround guys and even the 2 vs 4 vs 6 ceiling speaker guys debate with each other...….


Do whatever you like...….


If you hear something that you do not like in Atmos, it is more than likely the content/mix...poor content and mixes exist in all configurations...…...it`s not the configuration, it is the content. When I hear horrible mixes in stereo, I do not blame stereo......same with surround, when I hear poor content is surround it is the mixer or the content, not some flaw with surround....same with Atmos.


We are in the infancy of Atmos mixing, just like the late 50`s early 60`s with stereo....it took a while for musicians and mixers to even consider stereo and quite a while for them to have good mixes in stereo......some mixers and musicians thought stereo was gimmicky parlor tricks.....



Now that my system is dialed in and with a good mix, it sounds like sounds are coming from outside the room in all directions at different distances......Atmos movies get paused all the time because me or others think they hear something real outside the room or upstairs....lol
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post #24 of 102 Old 11-29-2018, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
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But my problem is that I am not even hearing omni-directional sounds. It all seems to be coming from the front, even with the rear speaker levels increased and the fronts decreased. The best I have heard is the rain scene from Lost in Space ep1 where the rain seemed to be coming down all around the outside of the room - not in the middle at all.

I bought 13hrs bluray and even the gunfight scenes seem to be 2.1 only. I can hear bullets going side to side but certainly not coming from behind or passing overhead.

Since there is at least sound coming from all my speakers, I guess it is a setup issue. so I will keep working on it.
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post #25 of 102 Old 11-30-2018, 12:06 AM
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If it seems like you have tried everything,....just go back to the basics...….are the right speaker wires hooked to the right places, your receiver should have a channel level so you can see if the wires are correct.


Are the speakers assignable on the receiver, some times you can assign the back posts differently in the settings.


When you put a bluray in with atmos, is the front of the receiver showing atmos....



That's not everything, but you get the idea......confirm and double check the basics...…….while you are on the channel levels....just listen and set them manually where they seem the same loudness all around.


I know this is crazy talk, but read thru the entire users manual......



Where are the atmos speakers located, you said top side walls ?
Are they pointed at the main listening position just like the mains or are they firing directly across at each other above your head ?

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post #26 of 102 Old 11-30-2018, 05:23 AM - Thread Starter
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I have height speakers in the corners above the mains because I actually set it up for auro-3d.
Turns out I just had the heights aimed too low.
I redid Audyssey and it sounded like Atmos with no tweaks- but I still added 3db to the rear just to make sure 🙂
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post #27 of 102 Old 12-01-2018, 01:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Just watched the entire 13hrs in Benghazi bluray - awesome !!!!
Gunfight battles were unbelievable (or should that be totally believable?) with munitions and debris flying around all over the place - FINALLY 🙂
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post #28 of 102 Old 12-01-2018, 01:24 AM
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Nice !


I knew you would get it dialed in.


There is a lot of great content out there...….and more is released all the time...….



Even some of the standard non Atmos content when upmixed is outstanding....

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post #29 of 102 Old 12-01-2018, 04:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately after building a dedicated theatre and buying an auro-3d/atmos receiver (AUD$4500) I find that auro-3d is not available at all and atmos is very limited where I am in a small country town in Western Australia. There is no video hire shops - just an automated kiosk and it has one bluray worth watching. Netflix is the only streaming sevice with Atmos and there is less than 30 titles and most of them are tv shows or netflix movies. And not all Aussie bluray discs have atmos or auro even if they do in other regions.
Thank goodness the Auro upmixer sounds pretty good - especially for music 🙂
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post #30 of 102 Old 12-02-2018, 02:28 AM
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Upmixed content on disks is on par with or sometimes better than native Atmos,...DTSX...…


I feel a lot of upmixed is just as good as the real thing...….I even have a few DVD`s that sound brilliant upmixed on par with Atmos.



If you like Floyd, then roger waters the wall in Atmos is pretty good......I REALLY like music in Atmos...….
meles and MJB1023 like this.

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