Originally Posted by sdurani
Atmos uses objects to feed the height speakers.
Yes, I said that already. But what is an object? As best I can find, it's a mono or surround channel with panning information data imbedded in it. Panning is a mixing technique, not a recording technique. Again, Atmos is designed for studio mixing. I suppose you could send an entire recording out an "object" with no panning included to play back a fixed multi-channel recording. Are there any available like Auro 3D? I don't know. How do they compare?
Objects can move around or remain at a speaker location to mimic channels. Auro doesn't have that option (channels only). How does the lack of options make Auro "superior"?
I guess it depends on how you define superior. The layout alone is superior, IMO. Not having to mount speakers in a ceiling is a huge improvement in terms of looks and a PITA to wire. Feasibility is 9/10 of whether someone will bother to do something. Wall mounting is a breeze by comparison (even fishing the wires through the wall is much easier due to gravity being helpful) and front height or rear can often go on an existing bookshelf or other item (easy to do front height in my room as there are fixed bookshelves on either side of the drop down screen. The room is on the lower floor so the ceiling is not easily accessible AT ALL for hiding wiring. Running wires across the ceiling looks like garbage. The layout makes more sense as well. Height layers are used instead haphazard putting speakers like some hopscotch pad.
I'm sure none of those things matter to you. Perhaps you have an unlimited budget and work as a carpenter? I can see how Atmos makes much more sense, then.
"9 foot ceiling" has never been a requirement for home Atmos.
I could have sworn I read that somewhere. My mistake. Dolby suggests 7.5 foot minimum. That's not helpful either. My home theater room is only 7 foot ceiling and again, no easy access.
Every demo I've heard of upfiring speakers not only creates the impression of sound from above but also has phantom imaging between ear level and the ceiling.
How is that desirable one iota (the so-called phantom imaging)? The entire reason Atmos doesn't really want dipoles or bipoles used for side surrounds anymore is that they are too dispersed and not pin-point enough to image well in a system designed to move objects around the room. Upfiring speakers create a giant smear of sound between the speaker and the ceiling and THAT is supposed to be better?
Even used in award winning home theatres, like AVS member Ash Sharma's:
That's a very pretty looking room. However, how a home theater room "looks" has almost NOTHING to do with its function (outside it being preferable to not have parts of it within your vision be very visible in a dark room). If it has upfiring speakers, I don't see how it won any sound-based award. If the award was for a pretty, neat install, I can believe that. When I visited numerous castles in England, I thought all those rooms I saw with ceiling paintings and other art were pretty like a museum. However, I'd never want a too posh room like that at home. In any case, I'd take a crappy looking room with better sound over a pretty one with inferior sound. Upfiring is inferior technology and I'm not crazy about ceiling speakers either. If Dolby adjusted (via their SO SUPERIOR positional object-based system) for where you put your speakers in the room (as DTS claims their system can do if it were implemented properly by the AV companies), yes, I would be impressed. But the bottom line is you STILL have to conform to their layout pattern.
What good is positional object based audio if it can't take advantage of whatever layout you can make work in a given room? I can't put a speaker where my half bathroom is located. It just doesn't work. I can't afford to build a home or add-on to the house from scratch that is better suited to home theater requirements. My house is a half century old. They didn't do home theater back then. For an object based system, Atmos is incredibly inflexible, IMO about the layout pattern. Having to use "bounce" speakers over wall speakers mounted near the ceiling makes no sense to me at all. Why would an object based system "care" where you put the speakers? The fact it "does" apparently tells me that it's not really a positional system AT ALL, but rather a PANNING based system that can pan between set distances in a given plane. Putting a speaker somewhere more complex than just x/y would probably require more computational power to determine the correct panning amounts over multiple speakers to approximate the object's position in the room and Dolby must not be capable of this or you could just drag/drop your speaker to where you could put in a virtual room of said dimensions.
Now Auro 3D is not really flexible either about placement, but they are more reasonable about what constitutes an average home and where you might be able to actually put higher height speakers (i.e. where one speakr can go, usually another speaker can go higher up in the air in the same location as vertical space isn't used much in houses, not like "footprint" space. Heck, you could mount height speakers on a pole like a lamp with speakers at different levels on it. That's a far cry from cutting into the ceiling. Again, what constitutes a superior "system" ? Just the objects? You must believe yes. Just objects.
In both cases you assign a speaker to each microphone feed. Doesn't make Auro any more "real" than Atmos.
An object is ideally located at one point in space. Atmos makes any object rendered to come from a bare minimum of three points in space (save right AT the speaker). Auro 3D would only need two speakers to place an object space vertically at any point between the two speakers (top/bottom pan). In terms of stereo imaging between speakers that may not be exactly identical (ceiling versus "bed"), this tells me the Auro 3D system is much more likely to achieve seamless "imaging" than Atmos. In other words, if you took two stereo speakers and place one at a different distance in front of or behind or not equidistant from the listener, it's NOT going to image very well across pans. You can test this yourself my just moving a single speaker around the room in stereo setups or even just moving yourself to a point where you are no longer sitting the same distance from one speaker relative to the other. This applies to height also, but now drag this into the three dimensional imaging plane and which system is going to image better? One that varies bed/height data from two different points in the room or one that uses the SAME point with only the height varying? I don't think it's a far fetched mental exercise to suggest the bottom/top system will work better than one with the height speakers 25% in front of the side surround speakers so it has to image in multiple planes for every aspect of the stereo image in "3D" space. Again, what's "superior" about Atmos? Just objects?
Auro 3D has a theater based object system and yet I would think the same imaging patterns would still have an edge in a scaled object version of Auro 3D as well. The speaker placement source points are simply superior all around because they are more symmetrical and symmetry is needed for any kind of stereo imaging illusion to work really well.
Even if you don't buy that argument, it's still PITA to install compared to Auro 3D in most rooms. How many people will bother with a real ceiling speaker Atmos setup? What's the point of a format if it's not used correctly? Most people have a hard time placing stereo speakers correctly....
Like they have a choice? No need for "theater-like sizes" to do 13 or 15 speakers. Will easily fit in a domestic sized room.
I think you missed the entire point of what I was saying. I was saying objects are probably not actually needed
until there's MORE than 13-15 speakers in a given room (i.e. more than 2-3 rows). Those are all discrete locations up until that point. It where the older theaters switched to duplicate arrays (to give each row a similar sound perspective) that Atmos can provide a different
experience depending on where you're sitting at a given moment in time (closer to a real object moving through the room instead of just a single front-back pan with a time delay on an array all playing the same signal). I've seen at least one person say they actually don't like Atmos because of that (they prefer a panned single array setup where more or less everyone gets the same experience regardless of where they sit).
Now IF Atmos could object/positionally adapt to putting a speaker anywhere in the room I could make it work, YES, I would rate "objects" the best thing since sliced bread! I wouldn't even have to necessarily align speakers left to right or front to back evenly if there was something in the way and it would take care of the imaging. But no...no I was told you can't do that with Atmos or any system. They still need to be pretty darn close to the prescribed alignments for that system or they won't sound right. Well, WTF!? What good is an object based system, then? But that goes right back to my argument that the more symmetrical "layer" format of Auro 3D probably images better for just that reason. Symmetry matters and Auro 3D is far more symmetrical than Atmo in the layout (true cube layout versus a cross sitting over top of a box).
Hey, maybe I'm wrong with these assumptions. Maybe the functional difference with most material is insignificant and other than the PITA room layout requirements, neither system sounds better in a simple configuration. I'm going more by what I've read from people that have a dual-layout or watched a given movie in both an Auro 3D and an Atmos theater (no X theater to compare to since DTS got out of the theater business).
Didn't stop DTS from convincing studios like Universal and Well Go USA to go almost exclusively DTS:X, resulting in almost 100 titles so far.
DTS has been well established since the 1990s. They were far more common on Blu-Ray than Dolby. In other words, they're ALSO a "big player" compared to Auro 3D (i.e. It'd be closer to Microsoft and Apple's OS versus Linux in the home desktop computer market).