Tidal launches Dolby Atmos Music support for TVs, home speakers, and soundbars! - Page 3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #61 of 70 Old 06-30-2020, 11:42 AM
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Thanx, i have been listening to SACD’️d which are very expensive, Tidal seems to be a next step, i stopped archiving movies, music is next.....i know discs are the best source, but this is a trend for me, thanx again
However what I am content with is the fact that I'm able play Bit-perfect audio from the Nvidia Shield, whereas with many Audio streaming services, you're stuck with Android's audio stack which plays everything at 48Khz.
Hold the phone, i was listening to MultiCh+dts neural:X and i dont like 11ch of surround music :0/

I much prefer PCM 2.1 , as of last night Lol
It allows me BM&Audyssey

My guess there are certain albums and certain kinds of music that benefit from 11ch but i may explore Tidal for stereo for now....

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post #62 of 70 Old 07-01-2020, 03:14 PM
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I'd like your feedback regarding comparing SACD to Atmos with Tidal. I know there's more of a "surround sound" effect with SACD while Atmos would use Object base effects for height speakers or however your system is configured, but I find that with many of the titles available in Atmos on Tidal, it's not a good experience. With so many songs available in this format, I feel as if no one, including the artists, producers, arrangers, and engineers had a say in how their music should be presented in this format. Therefore, I don't listen to a lot of Atmos tracks from this service.
The same "growing pains" as it was with stereo and MCH
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However what I am content with is the fact that I'm able play Bit-perfect audio from the Nvidia Shield, whereas with many Audio streaming services, you're stuck with Android's audio stack which plays everything at 48Khz.

Outside of playing local media in this manner through the likes of Kodi/MrMC, Tidal is the only streaming service I've found that can playback music at higher quality on the Shield.
FYI the standard 44.1khz flac file on tidal will still be at 48k on the Shield, yes the infamous Android stack, the "master" or MQA files will be at the 88.2k or 96k depending how it was encoded and it represents the first "unfold" of the MQA origami file similar to their desktop app. The rest is on a MQA compatible DAC to get the full "resolution".

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post #63 of 70 Old 07-01-2020, 03:20 PM
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That's what I'm curious about regarding the MQA tracks. Personally I'm not a big fan of the MQA concept, but if I could find my DAC (missplaced while rearranging my living room) and connect it to my Shield and Playback those files without the use of an app such as UAPP, then that would be cool @thehun you just gave me an idea.

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post #64 of 70 Old 07-01-2020, 06:08 PM
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That's what I'm curious about regarding the MQA tracks. Personally I'm not a big fan of the MQA concept, but if I could find my DAC (missplaced while rearranging my living room) and connect it to my Shield and Playback those files without the use of an app such as UAPP, then that would be cool @thehun you just gave me an idea.

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Do you have a standalone DAC with an HDMI input? Other than AV products it's mighty rare...Is there a Shield model that has any other digital out other than HDMI?

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post #65 of 70 Old 07-01-2020, 06:18 PM
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I have a Meridian Explorer 2 USB DAC that I use with my laptop. It's MQA compatible.

In the past I have connected this DAC to my Shield and used UAPP (sideloaded) for Playback with Tidal, including MQA tracks.

USB to the Shield and to Analog inputs on my Marantz AVR. This was not an ideal setup because of the UAPP app. That app was not intended for an Android TV setup and a Keyboard/mouse was needed to facilitate navigation within the app.

My theory now is (if I could find the DAC) if I can connect it back to the Shield, hopefully Roon will See the Device (Roon recognizes the DAC when it's attached to my laptop). Then maybe I can play back hi Rez audio and bypass Android's Audio Stack.

But I'm thinking the Analog interface on the DAC may defeat the purpose.

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post #66 of 70 Old 07-01-2020, 11:00 PM
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I have a Meridian Explorer 2 USB DAC that I use with my laptop. It's MQA compatible.

In the past I have connected this DAC to my Shield and used UAPP (sideloaded) for Playback with Tidal, including MQA tracks.

USB to the Shield and to Analog inputs on my Marantz AVR. This was not an ideal setup because of the UAPP app. That app was not intended for an Android TV setup and a Keyboard/mouse was needed to facilitate navigation within the app.

My theory now is (if I could find the DAC) if I can connect it back to the Shield, hopefully Roon will See the Device (Roon recognizes the DAC when it's attached to my laptop). Then maybe I can play back hi Rez audio and bypass Android's Audio Stack.

But I'm thinking the Analog interface on the DAC may defeat the purpose.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
Hmm, yes a USB DAC could work and yes that will bypass the Android stack provided it was set up as such in the Android settings, [might have to go into the developer mode] but using it's weak analog section into an AV receiver's analog input might not be optimal indeed, and if you use Room EQ it has to be digitized then back again which could further degrade the signal purity.

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post #67 of 70 Old 07-09-2020, 05:52 AM
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Disappointing Launch

Wow, this "launch" of Atmos music on Tidal is really disappointing to me.

First of all, the bitrate is much too low (the whole reason I went with Tidal was for the lossless music) and, secondly, the audio level of all of the Atmos tracks is 15 to 20dB below other music. According to Tidal, this is Dolby's fault.

Some things sound OK with all of the bit reduction but others are atrocious. For example, they posted the entire new album from Gabby Barrett, Goldmine in Atmos and it is a complete swishfest. OK, not the greatest recording in the first place, but the low bitrate encoding is clearly audible to the point where it is unlistenable to me. Not to mention that the Atmos mixes are all over the place. Some are really nice and others sound rushed and obviously done without artist or original production team approval.

The folks at Dolby need to get their act together or they’re gonna have lawsuits for blown speakers and eardrums, not to mention another failed format. There is NO REASON why these Atmos tracks have to be 15 to 20 dB below other music. And it’s not like they have all this great dynamic range either. There’s some audio compression going on as well as the low bitrate compression.

It’s similar to what Disney is doing with the audio on their Blu-Ray and UHD movies. Low levels (albeit not this low) and strange audio compression there as well. I wonder if that was Dolby’s idea too.

Not a good start.

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post #68 of 70 Old 07-09-2020, 06:40 AM
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It may be that either Dolby or Tidal are at fault, but you also must take into consideration, that the vast majority of the music on Tidal was not meant to be heard in an environment beyond 2 channels. With the amount of music already in an Atmos format on this service, you have to ask yourself, if you were an engineer, producer, songwriter, or arranger, how and when did Tidal get permission to arrange your music in this manner, unless there's something in the contract which grants Tidal access to manipulate your product in however they feel suitable for their business.

This is one of the reasons why the "new car smell" of Atmos Audio did not last long with me, especially when there are products out there Specifically mixed for Dolby Atmos that sound 100 times better as a result.

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post #69 of 70 Old 07-09-2020, 08:20 AM
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I agree with the -db level, they are horrible if you forget to level back down. I do like the concept though, I was a 2.1 only music person, but the tracks on Tidal are pretty immersive. The song with James Brown is pretty cool, makes me feel like I am in studio. Sheryl Crowe's if flat out annoying. It will be very interesting to see how far this goes, it had piqued my interest in multi-channel music for sure.

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post #70 of 70 Old Yesterday, 05:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groove93 View Post
It may be that either Dolby or Tidal are at fault, but you also must take into consideration, that the vast majority of the music on Tidal was not meant to be heard in an environment beyond 2 channels. With the amount of music already in an Atmos format on this service, you have to ask yourself, if you were an engineer, producer, songwriter, or arranger, how and when did Tidal get permission to arrange your music in this manner, unless there's something in the contract which grants Tidal access to manipulate your product in however they feel suitable for their business.

This is one of the reasons why the "new car smell" of Atmos Audio did not last long with me, especially when there are products out there Specifically mixed for Dolby Atmos that sound 100 times better as a result.
As I understand it, Dolby is the one pushing all of this. They are trying to "mass-market" Dolby Atmos music and are the one paying for all of these Atmos remixes. Tidal is simply carrying what Dolby are shoveling out. Tidal has said they are working with Dolby on the low volume issue but they haven't said anything about the low bitrate issue.

I agree that most of these Atmos remixes are likely out of the artist's or original producer's control. and in many cases I would think that some artists would be upset with Dolby on the rushed mixes they are throwing out there in order to "launch" this format. The artists may have signed a contract with Dolby though, who knows?

Even with DVD-Audio, SACD and Blu-Ray Audio, the best surround mixes are always the ones where the original artist, producer and/or engineer is involved.

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