The official Dolby Atmos thread (home theater version) - Page 1950 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #58471 of 58864 Old 05-12-2020, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Ricoflashback View Post
***If I understand you correctly, you have a base Dolby Atmos mix (7.1.4?) and then "height" objects (or any other objects) get snapped to specific locations based on the number of speakers (channels) you have? Is this where calibration would come in for Trinnov or Storm Audio processors? Or is that an automatic process? As always, I'm sure the quality of the Dolby Atmos mix makes a difference in the sound. I wonder if there are certain movies via Bluray disc that sound better, for the lack of the right term, than other content with sophisticated processors past 7.1.4. Last question and I appreciate everyone's responses. How about plain old Dolby Atmos via DD+ (ARC)? Probably a basic mix that the processor handles and renders the objects to your channel locations?

By my understanding of your STANDARD home Dolby Atmos mix (as normally accomplished in a Pro Tools HD session with a consumer Atmos plug in), especially if coming from a professional theatrical Atmos session, you allocate 7.1 channels (the standard base bed layer) and two fixed objects in the Top Middle position (acting as the two overhead bed channels from the theatrical session). You then have a few leftover discrete objects that can move through any of 34 speaker positions in the lookup table depending on where you pan them (which creates metadata control packets). If your theatrical mix has more discrete objects than allowed in the home Atmos session, those get clustered with the handful of discrete objects available plus the 7 base speakers (now considered objects within the count too) using "spatial compression" based on object location metadata.



This spatial "zoning" feature of consumer Atmos limits the overall precision of the mix, but some engineers (like FilmMixer) seem to believe it is hard to discern much of a sonic difference in comparison to a theatrical Atmos mix with 118 or so discrete objects to play with at any one time. It may be because the busier the audio mix, the more the human hearing system lumps the sounds together anyway where you cannot pick out as easily discrete moments of pinpoint sound locations as one or more sound frequencies and volume levels output at once may mask others.
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post #58472 of 58864 Old 05-12-2020, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by MagnumX View Post
I see that you're once again back to claiming Atmos prouduces "new sounds" rather than ones that will already appear in those locations in a properly sized and set up home theater with phantom imaging. I thought we were past that, but clearly not.

FrankenAtmos? That's a new one I've not heard before with clear negative connotations. There's nothing "new" about matrixing. Mixers have been around forever and the effects of arrays are well known and still improve accuracy at least 50% (depending on how far off-axis you sit) over phantom imaging for off-axis seats due to the precedence effect. In fact, a highly regarded processor (The Lyngdorf-MP60) has it built-in to add up to four extra non-discrete channels. I didn't see anyone demeaning that unit when it came out, but now it's "FrankenAtmos" if you do it yourself. Gotcha. The speakers don't need to be changed if/when I get true discrete rendering either, but there is little to no benefit either way for the MLP in that size room (it is only 12' wide) based on my testing thus far. Matrixed front wides when you sit in the sweet spot also tend to sound virtually identical to discrete rendering to the same location as it is the 50% point and the rendered sounds end up there anyway. The only difference between matrixed and discrete is the array effect and it images in the same location when sitting halfway in-between the two speakers. That means, (you got it), it only really benefits off-axis seats to go to discrete.

As for not having a proper way to compare, I'm sorry to disappoint, but I also have a 7010 AVR here with actual Front Wide rendered outputs to compare that I used when I first set the room up. The various Atmos demos and movies tested sounded identical in terms of the imaging moving through that position when it was properly set up to switching the front wides off from the MLP. Identical meaning I could not hear any difference with the demos and movie selections with or without the front wides added from the MLP because they imaged in the same place. It's one of the reasons I didn't mind moving to the 7012 when the 7010 broke (I've since repaired the 7010 myself and it's now a backup). It's like trying to tell the difference between a center channel and phantom center imaging when 3 identical speakers are used and set up properly. They tend to sound the same (whereas using most of the so-called "center channel speakers" out there results in a clear difference because they're using different arrangements of drivers, if they're even the same drivers).
I didn't come up with the name... https://www.avsforum.com/forum/29-wh...ving-room.html
While I would never suggest such a system to a client, I absolutely appreciate the creativity. It probably isn't that much different than what DTS:X Pro is doing to increase their channel count beyond 7.1.4.

You keep moving the target here. New sounds, new speaker locations, etc. which are your words, and never stated by me. I'm not claiming either one. I also never said anything about you not having a way to make a direct comparison, or being disappointed by that. Please try not to put words in my mouth. You also mention mixing/matrixing, neither of which is happening in your system. You are cascading surround processors, and using ProLogic or some other center channel extraction to create your 11.1.6 system from 9.1.2.

It is a fact that that Dolby Atmos contains objects that are encoded with spatial coordinates, size, and diffusion characteristics, in addition to the bed channels. The Dolby Renderer takes into account the number of speakers in the playback system, and sends the appropriate content to the speakers. You are correct that no sound is lost when Atmos is played on a 5.1.2 system, and you won't hear anything extra on a 24.1.10 system.

However, spatial resolution certainly improves, along with overall immersion for everyone in the room, not just the MLP. Phantom imaging only works for one seat. In the case of "center channel vs phantom center", it has also been researched and proven that dialogue intelligibility improves when a dedicated center channel is used (large dip around 2kHz), so clearly not identical. In addition, when dialogue is constrained to the center channel, you can avoid masking of other sounds, by having the L&R speakers reproduce a phantom image for those sounds. This same effect applies to every possible stereo pair in the system.

In your cascaded surround processor system, imaging for voice, soundtracks etc is probably fine for your single middle seat. Looking at your room thread, the other seats are so close to speakers that I suspect those listeners are overwhelmed by the speaker in their ear. But even for the MLP, moving objects intended to travel in 360° around the room can't possibly sound the same as true discretely rendered outputs, and especially not for multiple seats.

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post #58473 of 58864 Old 05-12-2020, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by MagnumX View Post
[...]I also have a 7010 AVR here with actual Front Wide rendered outputs to compare that I used when I first set the room up. The various Atmos demos and movies tested sounded identical in terms of the imaging moving through that position when it was properly set up to switching the front wides off from the MLP. Identical meaning I could not hear any difference with the demos and movie selections with or without the front wides added from the MLP because they imaged in the same place. It's one of the reasons I didn't mind moving to the 7012 when the 7010 broke (I've since repaired the 7010 myself and it's now a backup). It's like trying to tell the difference between a center channel and phantom center imaging when 3 identical speakers are used and set up properly. They tend to sound the same (whereas using most of the so-called "center channel speakers" out there results in a clear difference because they're using different arrangements of drivers, if they're even the same drivers).
Thank-you for this analogy - very helpful
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post #58474 of 58864 Old 05-12-2020, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by appelz View Post
It probably isn't that much different than what DTS:X Pro is doing to increase their channel count beyond 7.1.4.
What DTS:X Pro does is exactly what I'm doing with Top Middle. I'm not trying to improve rendering panning "resolution" so much as to get solid imaging directly overhead in a room that's too long for just four overhead speakers. Panning resolution can improve with pre-rendered object data, but it's a question of whether it's really noticeable, particularly given off-screen sounds have no frame of reference as to where they 'should' appear. You will get different locations of overhead objects using "Tops" versus "Heights" as Tops only use 1/2 the ceiling and put more sounds directly overhead. Which is actually correct for where it's "supposed" to be. You'd need a Trinnov system with BOTH Heights and Tops to even figure that out. Beyond that it's subjective to whether "Heights" or "Tops" are preferred as one puts more sounds directly overhead and the other lets sounds pan further around the room and align better with music sources like Auro-3D that are designed to be played back with "overhead over bed" layouts.

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You keep moving the target here.
I haven't moved a darn thing. You say one thing, retract a bit and then say it again. It's hard to follow and frankly, I don't know what your point is other than my original assumption that you want everyone to believe higher speaker counts always equal "better" to push sales in that direction.

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You also mention mixing/matrixing, neither of which is happening in your system.
This is where you cross a line with me as you're basically calling me a liar about my own system when I know full well what's in it. This so-called "cascading" surround processors (there's nothing cascaded about them so I don't know WTF you come up with that term; there's exactly one processor per channel to extract a center-point, exactly as DTS:X Pro does with Neural X.) But that is ONLY for "Top Middle". As I'VE ALREADY SAID SEVERAL TIMES, my front wide and SS#2 speakers are MATRIXED (two channels added summed together with a +3dB correlated maximum and summed uncorrelated canceling each other out where equal) using ACTIVE MIXERS made by ROLLS. They are NOT using any kind of Pro Logic Decoder setup. That is EXACTLY what the Lyngdorf MP-60 does internally for its extra two matrixed channels. I've said that already. You seem to want to insist to dispose of what I actually said and make something up instead and then accuse me of putting words in YOUR mouth. Unbelievable.

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You are cascading surround processors, and using ProLogic or some other center channel extraction to create your 11.1.6 system from 9.1.2.
No. I'm not. I've tested 9.1.2 before, but I don't use it. I am creating 11.1.6 from 7.1.4. Top Middle is created using Steered Pro Logic (very similar as Neural X does internally). FW and SS#2 are matrixed from L/R Main + Side Surround = FW and Side Surround + Rear Surround = SS#2. They use ROLLS active mixers to do the summation and set levels, which allows me to actually MOVE the phantom image for side surround forward or backward as desired. This allows me to put the surround speakers in-between rows of seats (BTW, all surround speakers are over 3 feet from the listener save one beside the left middle seat, which is barely audible to that location given it's pointed away from it. NOTHING is playing into anyone's ears anywhere!

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It is a fact that that Dolby Atmos contains objects that are encoded with spatial coordinates, size, and diffusion characteristics, in addition to the bed channels.
You mostly argue about more panning precision with more speakers. That's fine, but when you have people here who cannot hear any improvement with 6 overheads than with 4 overheads in their "typical?" rooms, one has to question at what size room is the extra precision more or less inaudible or more to the point, meaningless? Assuming, an extra set of speakers correct the course of an object's travel through the room even by a couple of feet, can I hear that change reliably sitting 10 feet away? Does it matter if the helicopter veers 18 inches inward with the extra speaker than without it? Would I even notice it? As the room get larger, the margin of error increases and that object is "off course" by maybe 10 feet or more and perhaps that is objectionable sounding for some seats in a larger theater for some reason. But there are other issues as the theater gets larger that are far more important, like phantom images being solid between speakers when the speakers are getting ever further apart. That's why I'd prioritize more speakers for larger rooms or when there's more than one listening seat that's important to you that your guests get a great experience. That's what I've said from the start. Getting a slightly more accurate object travel path with no visual frame of reference is near meaningless and becomes ever more so the smaller the room gets.

To compare to something visual, it'd be like saying you need 4K with a 55" screen when you plant to sit 20 feet away. You couldn't tell 480p from 720p at that distance, let alone 4K. A 4K set may not hurt anything, but it's not going to improve anything either (excluding HDR).

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Phantom imaging only works for one seat.
Correct. But I said from the start that more speakers would improve accuracy for off-axis seating and for keeping panning resolution acceptable as the room size increases. Go back to my first post. That's EXACTLY what I said.

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In the case of "center channel vs phantom center", it has also been researched and proven that dialogue intelligibility improves when a dedicated center channel is used (large dip around 2kHz), so clearly not identical.
Tell that to my ears when I turned the phantom center on/off to compare my three identical B15 speakers in my original 6.1 setup. Whatever research "proved" I sure as heck couldn't hear any difference kicking it on/off instantly (Atmos systems are slow to switch but old school 5.1/7.1 systems were often instantaneous).

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In addition, when dialogue is constrained to the center channel, you can avoid masking of other sounds, by having the L&R speakers reproduce a phantom image for those sounds. This same effect applies to every possible stereo pair in the system.
You do realize you're arguing you need multiple speakers for better quality (less "masked" sounds from a speaker and yet everything you hear on the receiving end is heard by just TWO eardrums, right?) Personally, I'd question this. You'll get more interference and cancellation from using multiple speakers than just two. There's a reason some of the best loudspeakers in the world are two-way designs. My Carver AL-III ribbons cover 200Hz-20kHz with a single line-source ribbon. There's no "loss of resolution" or "more masking". Those are some of the finest reproductions of sound I've ever heard. I can often hear detail on those speakers I cannot on regular driver speakers. Line sources cancel the room out vertically, so the "extra resolution" is from less muddling of reflections from the vertical plane.

Frankly, I've grown tired arguing pointless details about something that is very subtle and subjective in smaller rooms at best and a waste of money at worst for a single listener. If you want to slam my post, go ahead. I'm done here.

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post #58475 of 58864 Old 05-12-2020, 03:17 PM
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I'm done here.
Ok.

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post #58476 of 58864 Old 05-12-2020, 10:30 PM
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But keep in mind that objects can mimic channels by: a) not moving throughout the movie, and b) being assigned to a speaker rather than an arbitrary location in 3D space. For all intents and purposes, those objects would be indistinguishable from height channels.
OK, now comes the tricky part - because these are objects and not dedicated channels (tied to specific speakers) - now the renderer has to find best output channels according to available speakers at hand. OK, maybe it is not that different from "downmixing" 7.1 content into 5.1 available speakers.
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post #58477 of 58864 Old 05-13-2020, 03:43 AM
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OK, now comes the tricky part - because these are objects and not dedicated channels (tied to specific speakers) - now the renderer has to find best output channels according to available speakers at hand. OK, maybe it is not that different from "downmixing" 7.1 content into 5.1 available speakers.
A "renderer" is basically an "automatic" panning/width system. Instead of panning manually sound effects across two or more channels and increasing the sound width by spreading it across the two or more channels, it does it automatically based on drawn "paths" of sound "objects". Object size tells it how "wide" to spread the sound and the path determines where and when to pan through various speakers (from staying in one with a "snap" assignment to coming out of all the speakers at various levels depending on how big the object is. Because the rendering is done on the fly, the "spatial resolution" is increased in the sense that it can smoothly pan more than just 7.1 channels. It can pan through up to 34 channels. Hence, Atmos. "Print through" soundtracks are more or less like the old 7.1 soundtracks pre-rendered or even manually controlled and assigned as stationary objects. They still pan, but it's all pre-done and therefore makes Atmos seem like a channel based system rather than an object based one. It also eliminates the ability to pan across more than the pre-rendered channels and thus you lose ALL the extra speakers beyond the stationary ones. Typically this means you're limited to 7.1.4.

DTS:X Pro uses something called Neural X to determine the mid-points (similar to the old Pro Logic "steering" mechanisms) and extract that audio out of the panning process and move it to an extra speaker in-between. It takes this to 32.2 speakers, however. This solves "part" of the problem. The spatial resolution is still lower because it's using pre-panned data (it can't make say a tiny course correction between just two of the 'extra' speakers like an object can), but it does let your system "scale" to larger sizes where phantom imaging falls apart, thus making 7.1.4 soundtracks completely viable in a very large home theater. It doesn't add more "panning steps" but it spreads it through the extra speakers, still helping to eliminate the precedence effect and giving hard locations to the sounds in the room and still behaving very much like a discrete system in that regard. For the way most soundtracks are done (very basic paths of object panning), you probably wouldn't notice a difference. DTS:X Pro can also use object rendering similar to Atmos, but thus far most DTS:X soundtracks have not used them much at all. But the capability is there. Auro-3D is a strict channel only based system for 8.1-13.1 sets of speakers. In theaters it used arrays to add more speakers until Auromax came out which is its object based system for theaters, but never came to the home environment.

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post #58478 of 58864 Old 05-13-2020, 07:43 AM
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OK, now comes the tricky part - because these are objects and not dedicated channels (tied to specific speakers) - now the renderer has to find best output channels according to available speakers at hand.
Atmos allows objects to be given x,y,z coordinates in 3D space or be tied to a specific speaker (e.g., Left Top Front). The Atmos test tones on Dolby demo discs are good examples of this. Those static objects (as opposed to dynamic objects) behave just like channels.
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OK, maybe it is not that different from "downmixing" 7.1 content into 5.1 available speakers.
IF the intended speaker is not configured, then the renderer will use nearby speakers. Like you said, not that different from downmixing (e.g., when the Centre speaker is not configured, the Centre channel just goes to the L/R speakers).
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Would you children give it a rest already. Is it so important to be right. Arguing a point over the internet seems kind of useless especially now that it's personal.

And to top it off, its people arguing over a system setup that 99% of us will never have.
Hey Rich,









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post #58480 of 58864 Old 05-13-2020, 09:35 AM
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Hey Terry. I know you have been in the unintended middle of a pi$$ing match over your choice of atmos speakers. Any word on said speaker install date yet or did I miss something and your up and running now.
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I often think Atmos largely hasn't turned out to be quite what it promised in terms of immersion with demos that do far more than actual soundtracks. I think part of the problem is Dolby has tried to upset the old school paradigm that believes that surround sounds are distracting and thus should only be used for high action moments and largely silent the rest of the time.

Old school film mixers seem to largely continue to do what they do best, making underwhelming soundtracks that fail to immerse 75% of the time. A couple of short overhead flybys or a helicopter taking off and cars that drive off-screen, but seem to audibly disappear before the barely make it to the side surround as if they've already driven a mile away seem to be all too common, IMO.

I just watched The Rise of Skywalker in 3D with Atmos added. It had to be the most underwhelming Atmos soundtrack (or any soundtrack as I heard the 7.1 only version also with Neural X and it wasn't that different) I've heard this year so far. Sonic The Hedgehog ran circles around it (quite literally) and it's only average for immersion itself, IMO.

It's sad when Groundhog Day's retrofit does a better Atmos soundtrack in terms of actual immersion and realistic surround effects (even when it's just normal town/street sounds, it at least truly attempts to make you feel like you're actually there rather than just watching a movie, which I naively thought was the entire point of a format that's short for "Atmospheric"). Groundhog Day also better dynamic range than Star Wars, which is absurd for a comedy to claim, yet it's true. So much for the inventors of THX. They apparently now cater mostly to TV speakers and sound bars now....
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I often think Atmos largely hasn't turned out to be quite what it promised in terms of immersion with demos that do far more than actual soundtracks. I think part of the problem is Dolby has tried to upset the old school paradigm that believes that surround sounds are distracting and thus should only be used for high action moments and largely silent the rest of the time.

Old school film mixers seem to largely continue to do what they do best, making underwhelming soundtracks that fail to immerse 75% of the time. A couple of short overhead flybys or a helicopter taking off and cars that drive off-screen, but seem to audibly disappear before the barely make it to the side surround as if they've already driven a mile away seem to be all too common, IMO.
I think (hope) there is still a learning/experience curve that hasn't been overcome yet. There were similar growing pains in each of the previous technological leaps in audio (mono>stereo>quad>DTS-Dolby-Auro3D). I'm sure some of you remember some truly horrible quad recordings with a 4 piece band and one musician in each speaker...

Initially, access to Dolby Atmos for film makers was a difficult and expensive process. Dolby has continued to improve their process, it is far more accessible, and on-line workflows and tutorials abound. So I remain optimistic that the content will improve. More affordable 16ch surround processors are entering the market, so consumer interest in higher channel counts will increase. New music, gaming and Netflix content will expose more end-users and content creators to the format, hopefully creating a demand for better mixes, and a personal desire for the content creators to release their products in a high quality format.
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post #58483 of 58864 Old 05-13-2020, 11:13 AM
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Hey Terry. I know you have been in the unintended middle of a pi$$ing match over your choice of atmos speakers. Any word on said speaker install date yet or did I miss something and your up and running now.
Rich
Rich,

If you by chance have not been over on my main dedicated thread for awhile ???
Left click on the link below and start reading from there and you will be 100% up to date once again.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/15-ge...l#post59577668

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post #58484 of 58864 Old 05-13-2020, 11:30 AM
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I think (hope) there is still a learning/experience curve that hasn't been overcome yet. There were similar growing pains in each of the previous technological leaps in audio (mono>stereo>quad>DTS-Dolby-Auro3D). I'm sure some of you remember some truly horrible quad recordings with a 4 piece band and one musician in each speaker...
What's not to like about having bass in the left surround and drums in the right surround? With vocals and organ in the left speaker and guitars in the right? LOL.
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post #58485 of 58864 Old 05-13-2020, 11:49 AM
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What's not to like about having bass in the left surround and drums in the right surround? With vocals and organ in the left speaker and guitars in the right? LOL.
Fond memories of your favorite album growing up??

That approach can be done well, of course. AIX records has quite a few multichannel "stage mixes", along with traditional stereo and audience 5.1 mixes.

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post #58486 of 58864 Old 05-13-2020, 12:12 PM
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3D Immersive Audio at this stage reminds me somewhat of the path 3D video has taken over the years. Early on, 3D movies were primarily a special effects extravaganza, with bodies and blood and swords and car wrecks etc etc jumping out of the screen into your lap. Amusing, but not terribly interesting, and it certainly didn't pull me into the movie. Then Avatar was released in 3D, and suddenly viewers got a true sense of depth and realism, of being there.

@MagnumX mentioned Groundhog Day as an example of how well that movie did the same for immersive audio. Hopefully we will hear more of that, as Immersive Audio matures.
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post #58487 of 58864 Old 05-13-2020, 12:22 PM
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Hey Terry. I know you have been in the unintended middle of a pi$$ing match over your choice of atmos speakers. Any word on said speaker install date yet or did I miss something and your up and running now.
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If you by chance have not been over on my main dedicated thread for awhile ???
Left click on the link below and start reading from there and you will be 100% up to date once again. [IMG class=inlineimg]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/IMG]

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/15-ge...l#post59577668

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post #58488 of 58864 Old 05-13-2020, 01:11 PM
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3D Immersive Audio at this stage reminds me somewhat of the path 3D video has taken over the years. Early on, 3D movies were primarily a special effects extravaganza, with bodies and blood and swords and car wrecks etc etc jumping out of the screen into your lap. Amusing, but not terribly interesting, and it certainly didn't pull me into the movie. Then Avatar was released in 3D, and suddenly viewers got a true sense of depth and realism, of being there.

@MagnumX mentioned Groundhog Day as an example of how well that movie did the same for immersive audio. Hopefully we will hear more of that, as Immersive Audio matures.
While avatar showed the public what is possible it did not result in 3d becoming the norm at home. I think the same could be true of immersive audio. Of the friends I have only 2 have surround in at least a 5 channel configuration, there systems are older dd, dts. They hardly use them too. I'm a contractor and in 17 years of business I have seen maybe a handful of surround systems in homes.
Which is all to say that at this point there is not enough skin in the game for studios/sound mixers to bother with great soundtracks. The public watches what they watch either in theatre or at home with crappy TV speakers or a crappy sound bar.
We had some old friends stay with us for a week when they moved back into town a while back. You should have heard the comments about how much more enjoyable viewing was. I offered them my old gear that is sitting in storage. This would have gotten them 5.1. It was free to them including my help with setup
They are now proud owners of a Vizio soundbar with atmos support. Haven't gotten Dave to admit it but I'm pretty sure waf was at play.
So again. Surround. Very small market. Atmos. Small market of a small market.
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post #58489 of 58864 Old 05-13-2020, 01:53 PM
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3D Immersive Audio at this stage reminds me somewhat of the path 3D video has taken over the years. Early on, 3D movies were primarily a special effects extravaganza, with bodies and blood and swords and car wrecks etc etc jumping out of the screen into your lap. Amusing, but not terribly interesting, and it certainly didn't pull me into the movie. Then Avatar was released in 3D, and suddenly viewers got a true sense of depth and realism, of being there.

@MagnumX mentioned Groundhog Day as an example of how well that movie did the same for immersive audio. Hopefully we will hear more of that, as Immersive Audio matures.
There are a lot of great Atmos soundtracks out there. I simply mention Groundhog Day because although I love the movie as a comedy, other than the opening song, I never noticed the surround in it at all on older releases (I had it on laserdisc when it first came out even). What's striking about the new Atmos version other than asking whether it even needed it is what a GREAT JOB the mixing guy did with it. While I don't recall a ton of overhead sounds (there's not a lot of things happening to put overhead, really), what I did notice in spades was that every little outside sound was present when Bill Murray's character goes around the town (indoors as well really). It was "almost" distracting it's so "atmospheric" but I think that's a good thing. It was like watching the movie again for the first time. My feeling is that older titles should probably include the original soundtrack (2-channel Dolby Surround if that's what it was in theaters, although I'm sure they could easily fit the prior 5.1 soundtrack in there too as Dolby Digital or whatever) for preservation sake, but then go wild with Atmos. If people don't like the end result, watch the original soundtrack.

I saw a lot of complaints by "purists" about the new Blade Runner 4K Atmos soundtrack retrofit on the Blu-ray.com site. Some were quite angry how aggressive it is compared to the original soundtrack. I think it's bloody brilliant, personally, but I can understand why some might be upset about it being so very different sounding. I mean it's night and day. I think I have every version of Blade Runner there is (even a VHS copy from the '80s) and the Blu-Ray box set that has all the versions prior to the 4K Atmos version (all 5 of them) to compare or even remux. Neural X does a credible job with the originals, but the Atmos version goes far beyond just putting various sounds overhead. It's also much more aggressive and dynamic. The only place it fails, IMO is there are some damaged bits (mostly red line clipping, if I remember correctly) that couldn't be completely corrected, but it's pretty darn good, IMO. I actually prefer the US and UK Release versions (the voiceover by Ford reminds me of Bogart film noir and really Blade Runner is kind of futuristic film noir, really and a detective story to some extent so it made sense. It's also good (but different) without the voiceovers. I'm not sure how I feel about the added unicorn dream sequence and even Harrison Ford disagrees with Scott about whether Decker was meant to be human or not (Since everyone knew him from long back, it doesn't make sense he'd be a non-expiring model that just came out and even that notion was added for a "happy ending" with Rachel, so it was all out there, really.

I actually love that Blade Runner 2049 leaves hints that still leave it somewhat open, although Deckard's apparent resilience to radiation in Vegas for being there so long might be considered a telling clue, but we don't know if he wore something outdoors, etc. so that doesn't mean the hotel itself was still contaminated inside or why people wouldn't raid Vegas for wooden items and ancient whiskey with radiation suits, especially given they have flying cars to get there and out again, but those are 2049 issues). Speaking of 2049, it may be the single most impressive over Atmos (or Auro-3D; I have both versions here) soundtrack there is in terms of overall dynamics, earth shaking bass and full use of all the available channels you can muster. I have better overhead examples, but the overall quality of Blade Runner 2049 is very impressive. The 3D version is excellent as well (I remuxed it with both Atmos and Auro-3D for my Zidoo X9S player so it's 3D video and audio).

The overall issue is that only about 15-20% of Atmos (or DTS:X for that matter) soundtracks are what I'd call "excellent". Another 25-45% are very good to just acceptable. The rest are disappointing in almost every possible way. When a 5.1 mix blows away an Atmos soundtrack, I'd say there's a problem and I could point to many excellent 5.1 soundtracks. In some cases (e.g. Labyrinth or Superman The Movie), it seems like they wanted to keep "most" of the original soundtrack intact and just enhance it here and there. The problem with that is it pleases neither purists or fans of Atmos. It's the worst possible combination, in my opinion. Other soundtracks (mostly Disney) are greater or lesser examples of "mix for the lowest common denominator" by the sounds of them. FilmMixer said he was surprised at the real reason they're doing print-through soundtracks with lower volumes, etc. (implying there IS a reason of sorts), but wouldn't tell us and Disney sure as heck has literally nothing to say about them. Given they bought Skywalker Sound, it's particularly distressing, IMO as they used to do some of the best soundtracks around in the 1990s. Even as recently as something like TRON: Legacy, the soundtrack (7.1) is just a spectacle. At some point after that movie (around 2014 or 2015?) they suddenly shifted into sub-grade soundtracks. Some are better than others, but none seem to rise to the standards of something like TRON: Legacy. I'm afraid they're just mixing for sound bars at this point.

I really wish they'd include a higher grade soundtrack, even if it's not the default. People who would accept those level soundtracks probably don't care one whit about Atmos anyway. Do what The Matrix did and include the old Dolby Digital track as the default if they're worried and use a better Atmos one (and even it suffers from a 6-8dB drop in maximum sound effect levels relative to dialog compared to the Cinema DTS (AptX) soundtrack I've got to compare them side-by-side. So it's not just Disney that's reducing maximum levels to 'improve dialog intelligibility" or whatever changes beyond just "near field" mixes (which most AVRs have a setting on them to compensate for anyway and by having both out there it's hard to know whether to use that setting or not; they should have had a flag embedded, IMO). I can play cinema mixes at reference levels (e.g. The THX rated Raiders of the Lost Ark BD mix) or at least close to it and they sound great (Paramount supposedly doesn't do near field mixes from what I read). Movies that have their sound effect levels reduced have too loud of dialog when raised to reference levels, forcing a level drop or having your ears bleed. It's not the near field part that screws it up, but the level ratio changes, which an interview I read with an industry guy made no bones about it. It's to "sound better on typical home theater levels and equipment" meaning people in apartments can't play loud if they wanted to and most people don't have equipment that cleanly plays to 105/115dB (Peaked average/LFE) anyway. Those of us that do, don't get to listen at those levels even if we want to with those kind of changes due to the loud dialog.

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post #58490 of 58864 Old 05-13-2020, 04:11 PM
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By my understanding of your STANDARD home Dolby Atmos mix (as normally accomplished in a Pro Tools HD session with a consumer Atmos plug in), especially if coming from a professional theatrical Atmos session, you allocate 7.1 channels (the standard base bed layer) and two fixed objects in the Top Middle position (acting as the two overhead bed channels from the theatrical session). You then have a few leftover discrete objects that can move through any of 34 speaker positions in the lookup table depending on where you pan them (which creates metadata control packets). If your theatrical mix has more discrete objects than allowed in the home Atmos session, those get clustered with the handful of discrete objects available plus the 7 base speakers (now considered objects within the count too) using "spatial compression" based on object location metadata.
(not picking on you specifically, Dan, just your comment spurred me to remember this) I'll raise up a minor nitpick that I didn't have a chance to follow up on from a few days back -- I think recent discussion of the info in the Atmos Renderer Guide has changed how we should be thinking of the structure of home Atmos mixes. It's a minor thing, but I do think it clarifies some of the behavior of home Atmos to think about it with the correct common framework of understanding.

TL;DR: We have tended over the years to think of home Atmos as "7.1 channels + objects", but I think it's more accurately "11, 13, or 15 objects (plus LFE), of which up to 9 of the objects mimic channels". In other words, the distinction you make between "7.1 channels (the standard base bed layer) and two fixed objects in the Top Middle position (acting as the two overhead bed channels from the theatrical session)" is actually a non-distinction. ALL NINE of those operate identically once the Atmos renderer kicks in, they ALL become "fixed objects acting as channels". If the cinema track had 9 beds + LFE, the home Atmos track will have 9 fixed bed-like objects + LFE.

I've shared these screenshots before, but see below for the actual text / graphics in the Renderer Guide. There's a few important highlights:

- Note that beds + objects can be combined in the spatial coding process, there's no distinction once the process is done, just a set of 11/13/15 "elements". Any of the 9 "fixed" elements will behave as channels, but could be a combination of original bed content + any clustered objects. Again, no distinction between the ear level "channels" and the two Top Middle "channels" in this process.

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In the example, the original presentation (the Dolby Atmos mix without spatial coding) includes nine bed channels (in red) and ten objects (in blue). Then, spatial coding is applied. The spatial coding dynamically and optimally aggregates the beds and objects into a target number of clusters (here, 11 clusters with representative position highlighted in red). Some clusters can comprise several original objects, or be the combination of an original bed and one or more original objects.

- This next quote is important IMO, note the comment that "spatial coding converts bed channels to equivalent objects at predefined canonical locations" -- again, no distinction between ear level and overhead, they all map directly into a "fixed object" when converted into home Atmos format. And then it continues and explicitly recommends "configuring spatial coding with 11 to 15 output objects and one bed channel for the LFE". The posted metadata from the media files when this came up a few months back corroborates this is happening, as every Atmos mix posted showed 1 bed (LFE) and 11/13/15 objects.

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In order to maximize efficiency, spatial coding converts bed channels to equivalent objects at predefined canonical locations. Because of this, the best results are generally obtained by configuring spatial coding with 11 to 15 output objects and one bed channel for the LFE. (This budget of audio signals is referred to as the number of elements in both the Dolby Atmos Renderer and the Dolby Media Encoder software application. Both Dolby Atmos Renderer software and Dolby bitstream codecs support choices of 12, 14, or 16 elements.)

- I also think there's a common false conflation with the 7.1 TrueHD downmix and the Atmos "bed" that has created this shared misconception that "home Atmos = 7.1 bed + objects". I've also seen people infer that because streaming Atmos is carried on a 5.1 DD+ track, that implies that "streaming DD+ Atmos has 5.1 channels + objects whereas TrueHD Atmos on Blu-rays is 7.1 + objects". I don't think that's accurate at all, and is a misunderstanding of how home Atmos works. Instead, I think that the 7.1 (or 5.1) mix literally ceases to exist once the Atmos OAR kicks in, it's completely broken apart into 11/13/15 objects/elements that are then rendered on the fly based on the speaker layout (again, with up to 9 of those elements mimicking channels).

Note the paragraph about delivery over TrueHD; it refers to the 7.1 mix as a "render of the objects" (i.e. it's a downmix, not the mix), and then later notes that when Atmos kicks in, it "losslessly reverses the downmixes and render to recreate the original spatially coded objects". In other words, the 7.1 render ceases to exist, it's converted back into the original output of the spatial coding process: 11/13/15 objects + an LFE channel/bed. The "7.1 channel render" and "the original spatially coded objects" are consistently referred to as mutually exclusive entities.

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Dolby TrueHD: In this case, the spatially coded objects are losslessly delivered to consumer playback devices. Typically, the Dolby TrueHD encoder creates a bitstream containing the spatially coded objects, a 7.1-channel render of the objects, and 5.1-channel and 2-channel downmixes. The 7.1-, 5.1-, and 2 channel presentations are backward-compatible with legacy Dolby TrueHD decoders. A Dolby Atmos capable Dolby TrueHD decoder losslessly reverses the downmixes and render to recreate the original spatially coded objects. Dolby TrueHD also supports independent 7.1-, 5.1-, and 2-channel presentations of 7.1.

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post #58491 of 58864 Old 05-13-2020, 05:00 PM
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(not picking on you specifically, Dan, just your comment spurred me to remember this) I'll raise up a minor nitpick that I didn't have a chance to follow up on from a few days back -- I think recent discussion of the info in the Atmos Renderer Guide has changed how we should be thinking of the structure of home Atmos mixes. It's a minor thing, but I do think it clarifies some of the behavior of home Atmos to think about it with the correct common framework of understanding.

TL;DR: We have tended over the years to think of home Atmos as "7.1 channels + objects", but I think it's more accurately "11, 13, or 15 objects (plus LFE), of which 7 or 9 of the objects mimic channels". In other words, the distinction you make between "7.1 channels (the standard base bed layer) and two fixed objects in the Top Middle position (acting as the two overhead bed channels from the theatrical session)" is actually a non-distinction. ALL NINE of those operate identically once the Atmos renderer kicks in, they ALL become "fixed objects acting as channels".

I've shared these screenshots before, but see below for the actual text / graphics in the Renderer Guide. There's a few important highlights:

- Note that beds + objects can be combined in the spatial coding process, there's no distinction once the process is done, just a set of 11/13/15 "elements". Any of the 9 "fixed" elements will behave as channels, but could be a combination of original bed content + any clustered objects. Again, no distinction between the ear level "channels" and the two Top Middle "channels" in this process.



- This next quote is important IMO, note the comment that "spatial coding converts bed channels to equivalent objects at predefined canonical locations" -- again, no distinction between ear level and overhead, they all map directly into a "fixed object" when converted into home Atmos format. And then it continues and explicitly recommends "configuring spatial coding with 11 to 15 output objects and one bed channel for the LFE". The posted metadata from the media files when this came up a few months back corroborates this is happening, as every Atmos mix posted showed 1 bed (LFE) and 11/13/15 objects.



- I also think there's a common false conflation with the 7.1 TrueHD downmix and the Atmos "bed" that has created this shared misconception that "home Atmos = 7.1 bed + objects". I've also seen people infer that because streaming Atmos is carried on a 5.1 TrueHD downmix, that implies that "streaming Atmos has 5.1 channels + objects whereas TrueHD Atmos on Blu-rays is 7.1 + objects". I don't think that's accurate at all, and is a misunderstanding of how home Atmos works. Instead, I think that the 7.1 (or 5.1) mix literally ceases to exist once the Atmos OAR kicks in, it's completely broken apart into 11/13/15 objects/elements that are then rendered on the fly based on the speaker layout (again, with up to 9 of those elements mimicking channels).

Note the paragraph about delivery over TrueHD; it refers to the 7.1 mix as a "render of the objects" (i.e. it's a downmix, not the mix), and then later notes that when Atmos kicks in, it "losslessly reverses the downmixes and render to recreate the original spatially coded objects". In other words, the 7.1 render ceases to exist, it's converted back into the original output of the spatial coding process: 11/13/15 objects + an LFE channel/bed. The "7.1 channel render" and "the original spatially coded objects" are consistently referred to as mutually exclusive entities.



Spoiler!
Spoiler!

I'm of the opinion (of course it's in hindsight given what we know now) that Dolby moved too quickly to add Dolby Atmos to the more limited Blu-ray spec and shoe horn it with existing TrueHD specs at the time rather than hold off for the BDA's next implementation of UHD Blu-ray. Given that UHD Blu-ray was to have a)greater storage and b) greater bandwidth, the immersive home format wouldn't have had to rely quite so heavily on spatial coding as you would have had more room for discrete 3D objects (also there's the fact that video is usually not allocated with as much bandwidth during encoding anyway even with the capability of 100 Megabits/sec peaks). Perhaps, objects would not have been necessary at all for a consumer immersive format and a lossless 22.2 channel (or similar) format layout (sort of like the NHK proposal, but without the center rear surround as this is not a good speaker position anyway) could have taken its place. Therefore, you wouldn't have this problem of studios locking Atmos mixes to 11.1 or 13.1 like they sometimes do (or have to do with DTS: X). Plus, this 20+ channel layout would cover most every home theater you could conceive of since the majority could not afford luxury private screening rooms and there most clients would opt for cinema gear anyway.

Listen up, studios! Dolby Atmos Lite™ print-outs must stop!!
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post #58492 of 58864 Old 05-13-2020, 07:18 PM
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The promise of object-audio was that what you described wouldn't be necessary -- the mix natively scales to any layout. When you hear a top notch Atmos mix it's clear that 15 elements is sufficient to create fantastic immersive audio on a home theater layout even with 15+ speakers. The problem isn't the technology, it's how it's being used. And, anecdotally, it's an outcome which Dolby was not anticipating and isn't happy about.
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post #58493 of 58864 Old 05-13-2020, 07:23 PM
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The promise of object-audio was that what you described wouldn't be necessary -- the mix natively scales to any layout. When you hear a top notch Atmos mix it's clear that 15 elements is sufficient to create fantastic immersive audio on a home theater layout even with 15+ speakers. The problem isn't the technology, it's how it's being used. And, anecdotally, it's an outcome which Dolby was not anticipating and isn't happy about.
But weren't Dolby Labs the ones who added the "feature" of locked Atmos encodes that they are now not happy about?? Talk about shooting your own toes off!

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I have to agree with the many comments about disappointing Atmos and extend that to surround sound in general. There are too many mixes that simply do not take advantage of what is possible. Atmos is by definition supposed to be 'atmospheric' but often is not. That is forsaken for a largely stereo mix with occasional audio 'bling', by which I mean e.g. the helicopter that zooms by. Then basic stereo again once it's gone.

Jungles are noisy places, with sound ALL AROUND. But in even an Atmos movie the sounds mainly emanate from the front, with just the occasional bird flying past (like the helicopter example). But with a decent surround setup, all those jungle sounds should be all around you, that's what would make it truly immersive and 'atmospheric' and encourage the viewer to feel like they are actually there, because that's what it's like in real life. A real jungle doesn't concentrate all the sound from in front of you. It's background noise and that means all around you. I have never heard what I would consider a true to life mix of this sort of movie scene.

As is typical in so many walks of life these days, the producers of prepared content we experience seem to not be interested in realism, but concentrate instead on flashy effects. Whether that be in the audio or visual realm. The statement (by producers of said content) that true immersive audio is too distracting is utter tosh. What is distracting is a helicopter or bird that suddenly appears behind you while all the rest of the sound is concentrated at the front. Same problem with 3D video. Mostly used for flashy 'shock' effects rather than to make the experience more lifelike which is what it should be used for.

I've been messing with home theatre surround sound for almost 30 years and yet, even with the advent of clever and extremely capable technologies like Atmos etc, I still find myself occasionally running the AVR's 'test tone' around all the speakers, just to confirm they are all still working. Maybe I should give in, throw away all the decent AV kit and just get a soundbar, to suit what the sound engineers seem to be aiming at.
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post #58495 of 58864 Old 05-14-2020, 02:26 AM
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But weren't Dolby Labs the ones who added the "feature" of locked Atmos encodes that they are now not happy about?? Talk about shooting your own toes off!
I'm pretty sure it is more of an unintended abuse of the Dolby tools as such a recording involves more steps in the workflow. First you do the proper object based encode, then render it (play it) in the target "printed" layout where those speaker outputs locations are recorded to be used as individual fixed objects in the final encode.
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post #58496 of 58864 Old 05-14-2020, 07:07 AM
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***RE: "So again. Surround. Very small market. Atmos. Small market of a small market."

That's their loss. I understand your well founded observation but with a little bit of effort, you can make most home Dolby Atmos layouts work. And what a huge difference in bringing to life to a movie or a TV show with a Dolby Atmos soundtrack via streaming & ARC & DD+ or a Bluray disc. I remember the first time I heard Saving Private Ryan in 5.1. A real game changer. As I've said before, outside of the switch from SD to HDTV, I can't think of anything else that has provided a bigger bang for the buck and enjoyment.

Yes, there will be the majority of home owners that use a soundbar or won't invest in any speaker setup at all. Part of that is education (Dolby Atmos isn't as complex and confusing as some folks think) as well as cost considerations (AVR/speaker cost/room limitations.) But most AVR's are Dolby Atmos capable. Hopefully, new house construction builds in wiring for an extended speaker layout in the main room or a separate, dedicated theater room. It always gets down to cost and what you value. How can Dolby expand this "small market of a small market" beyond us home enthusiasts?

Home Theater Setup
SONY 75X900F & 49X900E, Denon X6700H & Emotiva XPA-3, OPPO 103 - 9.1.4 Setup - Speakers - Studio 60's-V.5 (FL/FR), CC-690-V.5 (C), ADP 590-V.5 (SS), MilleniaOne 2.0 (BS) - Velodyne 810 Sub, Cornered Audio (FH/RH), Definitive Technology (Front Wides). Stereo 2 Channel Only - Dali Evidence 470 & MartinLogan Forte Amplifier/Streamer with ARC.
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post #58497 of 58864 Old 05-14-2020, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by UKenGB View Post

Jungles are noisy places, with sound ALL AROUND. But in even an Atmos movie the sounds mainly emanate from the front, with just the occasional bird flying past (like the helicopter example). But with a decent surround setup, all those jungle sounds should be all around you, that's what would make it truly immersive and 'atmospheric' and encourage the viewer to feel like they are actually there, because that's what it's like in real life. A real jungle doesn't concentrate all the sound from in front of you. It's background noise and that means all around you. I have never heard what I would consider a true to life mix of this sort of movie scene.

Same. After having watched a lot of atmos content, I still didn't get this feeling of getting surrounded especially during these scenes. I always used to think it was due to my setup with only 2 overhead speakers that none of them took advantage of. What really surprised me was the way DTS:X content sounded overall. I watched bourne trilogy and throughout most of the movies, I really felt like I was in the middle of the city with vehicle movements and ambient noise was all over me. This was even clearly felt during chase sequences. Also for atmos movies, I had to bump my overhead speakers by 2 or 3 db, but it wasn't necessary for DTS:X.

I'm planning to watch the entire harry potter collection with dts:x audio as I heard good things about that too.
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post #58498 of 58864 Old 05-14-2020, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Ricoflashback View Post
***RE: "So again. Surround. Very small market. Atmos. Small market of a small market."

That's their loss. I understand your well founded observation but with a little bit of effort, you can make most home Dolby Atmos layouts work. And what a huge difference in bringing to life to a movie or a TV show with a Dolby Atmos soundtrack via streaming & ARC & DD+ or a Bluray disc. I remember the first time I heard Saving Private Ryan in 5.1. A real game changer. As I've said before, outside of the switch from SD to HDTV, I can't think of anything else that has provided a bigger bang for the buck and enjoyment.

Yes, there will be the majority of home owners that use a soundbar or won't invest in any speaker setup at all. Part of that is education (Dolby Atmos isn't as complex and confusing as some folks think) as well as cost considerations (AVR/speaker cost/room limitations.) But most AVR's are Dolby Atmos capable. Hopefully, new house construction builds in wiring for an extended speaker layout in the main room or a separate, dedicated theater room. It always gets down to cost and what you value. How can Dolby expand this "small market of a small market" beyond us home enthusiasts?
Say what you will, but that's where COVID-19 may present an opportunity in the midst of the pandemic. If the large cinema model becomes an albatross due to the need for social distancing and (at least as important) the potential risk factor of contracting the disease for moviegoers, getting a blast of the "good old days" looks a lot better when you have a PJ, screen and an AVR with supporting speakers and sub(s). You don't need to exactly own a Trinnov (although it's recommended LOL) to do a reasonable job for an HT with a 7.1.4 system, a late model AVR that supports Atmos, and a used or inexpensive PJ + screen. All you need is a separate room or at least one with where you can have a drop-down screen (hell, you could do a bedsheet on a wall as a rough start) and a portable PJ. And in the area of perfect not being the enemy of the good, those Dolby Atmos Enabled speakers that it was fashionable to mock a few years ago look a LOT better for a midrange home A/V users with a spare room and minimal design skills.

It won't be like anything we'd do as best practice, but it can be affordable enough to be in the reach of at least upper middle class America. And if the studios are forced to move to a model where Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ are primary delivery vehicles, this change may eventually start to happen. The economics of how movie releases are priced, and what kind of movies get released will need some changes, though.
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Audio Gear: Trinnov Altitude 32 (24 channel), NAD M27 amps (3)
Video: JVC RS600, Seymour 100" UF Screen, Lumagen Radiance Pro 4444 (coming soon)
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post #58499 of 58864 Old 05-14-2020, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricoflashback View Post
***RE: "So again. Surround. Very small market. Atmos. Small market of a small market."

That's their loss. I understand your well founded observation but with a little bit of effort, you can make most home Dolby Atmos layouts work. And what a huge difference in bringing to life to a movie or a TV show with a Dolby Atmos soundtrack via streaming & ARC & DD+ or a Bluray disc. I remember the first time I heard Saving Private Ryan in 5.1. A real game changer. As I've said before, outside of the switch from SD to HDTV, I can't think of anything else that has provided a bigger bang for the buck and enjoyment.

Yes, there will be the majority of home owners that use a soundbar or won't invest in any speaker setup at all. Part of that is education (Dolby Atmos isn't as complex and confusing as some folks think) as well as cost considerations (AVR/speaker cost/room limitations.) But most AVR's are Dolby Atmos capable. Hopefully, new house construction builds in wiring for an extended speaker layout in the main room or a separate, dedicated theater room. It always gets down to cost and what you value. How can Dolby expand this "small market of a small market" beyond us home enthusiasts?
Say what you will, but that's where COVID-19 may present an opportunity in the midst of the pandemic. If the large cinema model becomes an albatross due to the need for social distancing and (at least as important) the potential risk factor of contracting the disease for moviegoers, getting a blast of the "good old days" looks a lot better when you have a PJ, screen and an AVR with supporting speakers and sub(s). You don't need to exactly own a Trinnov (although it's recommended LOL) to do a reasonable job for an HT with a 7.1.4 system, a late model AVR that supports Atmos, and a used or inexpensive PJ + screen. All you need is a separate room or at least one with where you can have a drop-down screen (hell, you could do a bedsheet on a wall as a rough start) and a portable PJ. And in the area of perfect not being the enemy of the good, those Dolby Atmos Enabled speakers that it was fashionable to mock a few years ago look a LOT better for a midrange home A/V users with a spare room and minimal design skills.

It won't be like anything we'd do as best practice, but it can be affordable enough to be in the reach of at least upper middle class America. And if the studios are forced to move to a model where Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ are primary delivery vehicles, this change may eventually start to happen. The economics of how movie releases are priced, and what kind of movies get released will need some changes, though.
The trouble with everything being produced for the small screen is that more and more audio mixes will be designed for the lowest common denominator, mainly soundbars and TV speakers. The bulk of the mixes will no longer be monitored in large auditoriums with powerful audio systems and multi speaker arrays in order to shave production costs.

Our A/V hobby and audio mixing and presentation quality in general are going to be hit as badly as the economy.
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Listen up, studios! Dolby Atmos Lite™ print-outs must stop!!
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post #58500 of 58864 Old 05-14-2020, 11:15 AM
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The trouble with everything being produced for the small screen is that more and more audio mixes will be designed for the lowest common denominator, mainly soundbars and TV speakers. The bulk of the mixes will no longer be monitored in large auditoriums with powerful audio systems and multi speaker arrays in order to shave production costs.

Our A/V hobby and audio mixing and presentation quality in general are going to be hit as badly as the economy.
***You're correct about the movie theater industry. From "The Motley Fool" last month - "The prognosis isn't getting any better for the movie theater industry. AMC (NYSE:AMC) -- in a letter obtained by Deadline -- wrote to its landlords late last month, explaining that it will stop paying rent this month. The sobering report finds Loop Capital analyst Alan Gould downgrading the stock to "sell" on Wednesday, concerned about the liquidity of the country's largest multiplex operator.

AMC argues that its theaters have been closed since mid-March. It has furloughed 25,000 employees, reduced salaries of its general managers, and slashed payroll at its corporate office. It can't afford to pay the lease on theaters it can't use. Gould sees bankruptcy a "distinct" possibility for AMC, and even if it can line up financing, it will be highly dilutive. He is lowering his price target on the stock from $4 to $1."

Like Mr. Drucker said - - the entire motion picture industry "model" will have to change with the temporary home delivery of first run films. (But not at the ridiculous price of $20 for a movie like the "Invisible Man" from Comcast. They have to be out of their minds.) I'm not sure how much production costs can be saved on the audio side - - it would seem that on the video side, location selection as well as actors' salaries would make much more of an impact on the bottom line.

I do know one thing - - cash will be "King" in the next couple of years and you'll be able to get some incredible deals on lots of things besides home theater equipment. A very unfortunate outcome of the Coronavirus. I just don't see peoples' spending habits going back to what they were before COVID-19. Many folks will be digging out from the lost income.

Home Theater Setup
SONY 75X900F & 49X900E, Denon X6700H & Emotiva XPA-3, OPPO 103 - 9.1.4 Setup - Speakers - Studio 60's-V.5 (FL/FR), CC-690-V.5 (C), ADP 590-V.5 (SS), MilleniaOne 2.0 (BS) - Velodyne 810 Sub, Cornered Audio (FH/RH), Definitive Technology (Front Wides). Stereo 2 Channel Only - Dali Evidence 470 & MartinLogan Forte Amplifier/Streamer with ARC.
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