The official Auro 3D thread (home theater version) - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 6481 Old 09-13-2014, 09:05 PM
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Here is the HT of the month,no expense spared high end Auro 3D. Notice the speaker layout.
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post #32 of 6481 Old 09-13-2014, 09:08 PM
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Another view.
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post #33 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by SoundChex View Post
One major problem I see with "wide acceptance" of Auro-3D is that the minimum Auro-3D speaker configuration today is 9.1 (5.1.4 in Dolby parlance) which provides 'full channel-to-speaker mapping' for 8.0|9.1 Auro-3D source material. What would appear to be missing is an "Auro-3D 5.1.2" playback speaker configuration which would allow use of 7.1 AVRs...?!
The main reason being is that the 5.1.2 setup does NOT create a three dimensional sound field with a hemisphere of speakers/sound around the MLP, it purely adds height to the front soundstage, and I can only guess has been included in the initial Dolby spec to capture those people already with Neo:X/PLIIz setups - one of many moves by Dolby to try and gain mass adoption, at the detriment of of the objective the tech was originally designed for.


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Absent such an adaptation, we are still left with the issue of establishing a dual-use speaker configuration for future Atmos+Auro-3D AVRs. The classical 9.1 Auro-3D speaker configuration

In the second Auro Technologies graphic, the "invisible" Height Center speaker (midway between the Height Left and Height Right speakers shown) would seem to be definitively placed at a +30° elevation. I'm under the impression that this setup is consistent with an Atmos 5.1.4 configuration using Front Height and Rear Height on-wall speaker pairs.


_
Agreed, I think, in a room if normal ceing height, 5.1.4 translates very well to Auro 9.1 (5.1 bed) or 11.1 (7.1 bed).
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post #34 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 03:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Wookii View Post
The main reason being is that the 5.1.2 setup does NOT create a three dimensional sound field with a hemisphere of speakers/sound around the MLP, it purely adds height to the front soundstage, and I can only guess has been included in the initial Dolby spec to capture those people already with Neo:X/PLIIz setups - one of many moves by Dolby to try and gain mass adoption, at the detriment of of the objective the tech was originally designed for.

Agreed, I think, in a room if normal ceing height, 5.1.4 translates very well to Auro 9.1 (5.1 bed) or 11.1 (7.1 bed).
I have a speaker layout question which you maybe will be able to give a statemen on. To combine Atmos and Auro I was thinking of having one pair of back speakers which will both be rear height for Auro and top rear for Atmos. Now according to the Datasat speaker placement chart the rear height for Auro should be over to side surrounds and not as in my case over the back surronds. Do you think I will have issues which this placement?
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post #35 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 04:21 AM
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Originally Posted by westmd View Post
I have a speaker layout question which you maybe will be able to give a statemen on. To combine Atmos and Auro I was thinking of having one pair of back speakers which will both be rear height for Auro and top rear for Atmos. Now according to the Datasat speaker placement chart the rear height for Auro should be over to side surrounds and not as in my case over the back surronds. Do you think I will have issues which this placement?
I think that would be absolutely fine - if you look at the very last layout on the Datasat sheet, it shows a 15.1 system , which is how I have my room set-up. This copies the output from the surround heights to a pair of rear heights. This would essentially create a phantom image between each pair of height surrounds at roughly an equal point between them. From what you describe, this should match up with your intended 'top rear' n ceiling positions(?).

Remember also that Auro has slightly different objectives to Atmos. The latter is about accurately rendered audio 'objects', the former is about create a very natural hemispherical ambient sound field. That would lead me to feel that accurate, to the inch, speaker placements are far more important with Atmos, and quite less important with Auro.
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post #36 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 04:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wookii View Post
The main reason being is that the 5.1.2 setup does NOT create a three dimensional sound field with a hemisphere of speakers/sound around the MLP, it purely adds height to the front soundstage, and I can only guess has been included in the initial Dolby spec to capture those people already with Neo:X/PLIIz setups - one of many moves by Dolby to try and gain mass adoption, at the detriment of of the objective the tech was originally designed for.
The only reason that the 5.1.2 setup has been included in the initial Dolby spec is because Atmos is not limited by the channel-based nature of Auro. This frees up the 2 height speakers to be placed above the listener to create a three dimensional sound field with true overhead localization rather than merely adding height to the front soundstage.

Once the Atmos decoder is aware that the speakers are placed in the Top Middle range rather than the Front Height range, it will adjust the rendering accordingly. And because the rendering engine can adjust its output based on speaker placement, the system is more forgiving, allowing for placement within ranges rather than to the inch.

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post #37 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
The only reason that the 5.1.2 setup has been included in the initial Dolby spec is because Atmos is not limited by the channel-based nature of Auro. This frees up the 2 height speakers to be placed above the listener to create a three dimensional sound field with true overhead localization rather than merely adding height to the front soundstage.

Once the Atmos decoder is aware that the speakers are placed in the Top Middle range rather than the Front Height range, it will adjust the rendering accordingly. And because the rendering engine can adjust its output based on speaker placement, the system is more forgiving, allowing for placement within ranges rather than to the inch.
True Sanjay, but does the current implementation of Atmos, as currently released in he recent crop if AVR's (which is what I was referring to in my post) allow the user to specify where their two Atmos speakers are positioned? (Genuine question - I don't know what setup options are available)

Even if it does, I struggle to see how a single pair of height speakers can accurately render audio objects in the 360 degree hemisphere about the MLP. They can give height cues for sure, but the listener won't be able to distinguish if those height cues are up in front or behind, or indeed anywhere within the 360 degrees of the height layer as they would with the four height speakers.

I'm just surmising here, so don't take this as me disagreeing with you, per se. I just think two heights is one of a number of moves by Dolby to gain as wide a customer acceptance as possible. I actually think that is a very good and sensible strategy, I'm all for as many people adopting as many of these new surround formats as possible, because that is the only way we'll see extensive native material being released on disc. But I do think two heights only is a severe compromise and won't deliver what is intended by Atmos, or indeed any of the new surround formats.
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post #38 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 05:22 AM
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My understanding is that when there are only two overhead speakers, the optional placement is directly over the MLP, with the speakers designated Top Middle. When sounds are overhead, I could imagine Atmos using the front and rear ear-level speakers to provide some directional information. When a sound is from the front and overhead, for example, Atmos might provide most of the sound from the appropriate overhead speaker plus a little from the appropriate Front Main ear-level speaker. I don't know if this actually is the case, though.
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post #39 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wookii View Post
True Sanjay, but does the current implementation of Atmos, as currently released in he recent crop if AVR's (which is what I was referring to in my post) allow the user to specify where their two Atmos speakers are positioned?
First gen AVRs allow the user to specify which of 5 ranges their speakers fall into. For example, speakers at 30° elevation would be in the Front Height range, speakers at 50° elevation would be in the Top Front range, speakers at 80° elevation would fall into Top Middle range, etc.
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They can give height cues for sure, but the listener won't be able to distinguish if those height cues are up in front or behind, or indeed anywhere within the 360 degrees of the height layer as they would with the four height speakers.
When an overhead sound is also output from the Front speakers, the sound will image forward of the Top speakers. When an overhead sound is also output from the Rear-Surround speakers, the sound will image rearward of the Top speakers. A single pair of speakers overhead doesn't mean the sound is limited to imaging at that location only.
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I do think two heights only is a severe compromise and won't deliver what is intended by Atmos, or indeed any of the new surround formats.
We might disagree about the severity of the compromise, because I do think a 5.1.2 set-up can deliver what is intended by Atmos: object-based rendering that allows the listener to separate sounds in front of them vs sounds around them vs sounds above them. More speakers above can do a better job of it, but that doesn't mean two speakers above are unable to do it.

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post #40 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Wookii View Post

Remember also that Auro has slightly different objectives to Atmos. The latter is about accurately rendered audio 'objects', the former is about create a very natural hemispherical ambient sound field. That would lead me to feel that accurate, to the inch, speaker placements are far more important with Atmos, and quite less important with Auro.
I’d think the opposite. Atmos uses a sort of 'triangulation' method to place sounds very precisely in the soundstage regardless of the number of speakers or their location (within reason - 2 speakers won't do!). The renderer works out where the sound should be placed, and the number of speakers it has to work with, and then uses that info to put the sound as closely as it can to the intended location, using combinations of speakers plus phantom imaging to do so. Auro, OTOH, is a channel-based system, like 5.1/7.1, so I would expect that the speakers need to be placed where the mixer expected them to be placed.
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post #41 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 06:44 AM
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I’d think the opposite. Atmos uses a sort of 'triangulation' method to place sounds very precisely in the soundstage regardless of the number of speakers or their location (within reason - 2 speakers won't do!). The renderer works out where the sound should be placed, and the number of speakers it has to work with, and then uses that info to put the sound as closely as it can to the intended location, using combinations of speakers plus phantom imaging to do so. Auro, OTOH, is a channel-based system, like 5.1/7.1, so I would expect that the speakers need to be placed where the mixer expected them to be placed.
Again, Keith I was referring to the implementation on current AVR's which will require fairly accurate speaker placement to perform that triangulated imaging accurately. Obviously when Atmos gets released in later iterations and the user has the ability to tell the AVR/processor precisely where the speaker is located, then I agree, Atmos will become incredibly flexible.

When that happens, a dual Atmos/Auro (and hopefully DTS-UHD) system should be fairly easy to implement.
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post #42 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
First gen AVRs allow the user to specify which of 5 ranges their speakers fall into. For example, speakers at 30° elevation would be in the Front Height range, speakers at 50° elevation would be in the Top Front range, speakers at 80° elevation would fall into Top Middle range, etc. When an overhead sound is also output from the Front speakers, the sound will image forward of the Top speakers. When an overhead sound is also output from the Rear-Surround speakers, the sound will image rearward of the Top speakers. A single pair of speakers overhead doesn't mean the sound is limited to imaging at that location only. We might disagree about the severity of the compromise, because I do think a 5.1.2 set-up can deliver what is intended by Atmos: object-based rendering that allows the listener to separate sounds in front of them vs sounds around them vs sounds above them. More speakers above can do a better job of it, but that doesn't mean two speakers above are unable to do it.
Fair enough, I see what you are saying.

So say the mix includes a height object that pans from the front (heights only) to the rear (heights only) the rendered will know in a 5.1.2 system that it needs to use the fronts and surrounds to track the object, rather than it just appearing in the two heights?

(Sorry if we're getting a bit OT here)
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post #43 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 06:56 AM
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Again, Keith I was referring to the implementation on current AVR's which will require fairly accurate speaker placement to perform that triangulated imaging accurately.
But it doesn't! The angle range is huge - 65-100° for example for Top Middle. In practical terms, for a typical room with typical ceiling height, that range can cover 3 to 4 feet of ceiling.


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Obviously when Atmos gets released in later iterations and the user has the ability to tell the AVR/processor precisely where the speaker is located, then I agree, Atmos will become incredibly flexible.
This is a desirable feature I agree, but it will only be relevant to those who can't meet the currently prescribed speaker angles. Although, there may be some benefit to be had in telling the renderer exactly where the speaker is I guess - ATM we don't know how big that benefit will be, or even if it is a benefit at all.

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When that happens, a dual Atmos/Auro (and hopefully DTS-UHD) system should be fairly easy to implement.
I hope so. I can't see much Auro content coming along TBH but it would be great if we could cater for both layouts with a single speaker config I agree.
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post #44 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 06:56 AM - Thread Starter
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My understanding is that when there are only two overhead speakers, the optional placement is directly over the MLP, with the speakers designated Top Middle. When sounds are overhead, I could imagine Atmos using the front and rear ear-level speakers to provide some directional information. When a sound is from the front and overhead, for example, Atmos might provide most of the sound from the appropriate overhead speaker plus a little from the appropriate Front Main ear-level speaker. I don't know if this actually is the case, though.
This is what Dolb states in their White Paper:

Dolby recommends installation of four Dolby Atmos enabled speakers whenever possible. Use of four speakers will make the placement of overhead sounds more accurate, and you’ll get more precise, realistic sounds when an object, such as a helicopter, passes overhead. Two of the speakers (whether they are integrated speakers or add-on modules) should be in the front left and front right speaker locations of your system. The other two should be positioned in the surround sound speaker locations, ideally at the rear surround speakers, if you have them.
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post #45 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 06:59 AM
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Fair enough, I see what you are saying.

So say the mix includes a height object that pans from the front (heights only) to the rear (heights only) the rendered will know in a 5.1.2 system that it needs to use the fronts and surrounds to track the object, rather than it just appearing in the two heights?

(Sorry if we're getting a bit OT here)
That is my understanding. It's part of the reason we need to tell the renderer which speakers are in use. If you have 5.1.2 the renderer will know to use the front speakers and back speakers in conjunction with the Top Middle. If you have a 5.1.4 system it will be able to use just the Top Front and Top Rear, with maybe a small contribution from the front and back speakers, if appropriate. One of the things I find really clever about Atmos is how it uses whatever speakers it finds in the system to render the sounds in the intended location, or as close to it as the speaker layout permits.
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post #46 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 07:06 AM
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Does anyone else feel the need to wait for Auro to be added to receivers hopefully next year ? I was all over the 7200, but I feel there is going to be major additions coming next generation gear
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post #47 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post
But it doesn't! The angle range is huge - 65-100° for example for Top Middle. In practical terms, for a typical room with typical ceiling height, that range can cover 3 to 4 feet.
I understand those are the recommendations Keith, but that is surely born out of Dolbys desire to be as flexible as possible. The physics can't be defeated, there will be an accurate point within that range that produces precise triangulated imaging of the audio object, with positions outside of that point still providing 'acceptable' but less accurate imaging of the audio object.

Once you can tell the AVR the exact position of each speaker, it will be able to exactly triangulate the audio object without compromise.

I'm not trying to argue the toss here, just trying to highlight that current focus of the Atmos roll out is apparent flexibility for greatest possible mass market acceptance, not surround sound accuracy.
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post #48 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 07:20 AM
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Does anyone else feel the need to wait for Auro to be added to receivers hopefully next year ? I was all over the 7200, but I feel there is going to be major additions coming next generation gear
It depends on whether or not the equipment vendors have included provisions for firmware upgrades to add more audio decoders. The manuals for the 2014 D+M Atmos-capable models describe a firmware "upgrade" option in addition to firmware "update", so one has reason to be optimistic about the addition of decoders. Unfortunately, I haven't seen any official announcement confirming it.

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post #49 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 07:21 AM
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Does anyone else feel the need to wait for Auro to be added to receivers hopefully next year ? I was all over the 7200, but I feel there is going to be major additions coming next generation gear
Its a difficult decision for sure. Personally I'm not one to wait, but there may be merit in letting the dust settle - even if that is to simply allow the more advanced generations of Atmos to become available.

If it were me I'd jump right in, but budget for upgrading in a year or two if that's the way things happen.

There is also the possibility that Auro or DTS-UHD could be firmware upgradable into this years or next years units.
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post #50 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 07:26 AM
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Here is the HT of the month,no expense spared high end Auro 3D. Notice the speaker layout.
Yeah, that's Jeff's (thebland) very nice looking room - he has opted for an 11.1 Auro layout with additonal rear heights, which should translate nicely a for Atmos when it is released on the RS20i early next year.
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post #51 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 07:43 AM
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It depends on whether or not the equipment vendors have included provisions for firmware upgrades to add more audio decoders. The manuals for the 2014 D+M Atmos-capable models describe a firmware "upgrade" option in addition to firmware "update", so one has reason to be optimistic about the addition of decoders. Unfortunately, I haven't seen any official announcement confirming it.
Yes same here, the tight lipped info on how far firmware will go creates some skeptism.It just seems they possibly rushed into Atmos. The option though of engaging Auro for music too sure has my interest.was there any mention of atmos for music too ?
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post #52 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 07:57 AM
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Yes same here, the tight lipped info on how far firmware will go creates some skeptism.It just seems they possibly rushed into Atmos. The option though of engaging Auro for music too sure has my interest.was there any mention of atmos for music too ?
At least one music BD (MAGNIFICAT) with both Atmos and Auro soundtracks (in addition to DTS-HD MA and LPCM) has been announced by 2L for delivery in October.
http://www.2l.no/pages/album/106.html

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post #53 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 08:01 AM
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I understand those are the recommendations Keith, but that is surely born out of Dolbys desire to be as flexible as possible. The physics can't be defeated, there will be an accurate point within that range that produces precise triangulated imaging of the audio object, with positions outside of that point still providing 'acceptable' but less accurate imaging of the audio object.
Definite maybe on that! I was referring to your remark that it will "require fairly accurate speaker placement to perform that triangulated imaging accurately". We don't currently know how much difference it will make. Dolby's technology allows right now for the mapping or input of speaker position information but the AVR manufacturers (mostly) have chosen not to implement that aspect. The very fact that Dolby have made this optional suggests to me that it is perhaps of less importance than one might imagine. Certainly the demos I heard gave very precise imaging from the current implementation options.

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Once you can tell the AVR the exact position of each speaker, it will be able to exactly triangulate the audio object without compromise.
Yes of course. The question is, how much of a compromise is it currently? We don't know.

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I'm not trying to argue the toss here, just trying to highlight that current focus of the Atmos roll out is apparent flexibility for greatest possible mass market acceptance, not surround sound accuracy.
Again, we don't know. You are making that assumption - we have no idea at this stage how much the 'accuracy' would be improved if we were able to input precise speaker locations and angles. Maybe a lot, maybe not much. What we do know is that the current implementation allows for very accurate placement of sounds. How accurate is unknown.
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post #54 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 08:05 AM
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Its a difficult decision for sure. Personally I'm not one to wait, but there may be merit in letting the dust settle - even if that is to simply allow the more advanced generations of Atmos to become available.

If it were me I'd jump right in, but budget for upgrading in a year or two if that's the way things happen.

There is also the possibility that Auro or DTS-UHD could be firmware upgradable into this years or next years units.
Certainly the 'upgrade' (as opposed to 'update') options in the Denons is intriguing.. what could the units be 'upgraded' to? Maybe it will allow the input or measurement of precise speaker locations as we were just discussing? That is the one reason that would make me upgrade. Auro and DTS-UHD? Well, yeah, maybe, if there is ever any content for the former and if the latter ever actually happens. One of the things I like about Atmos is that I can have it NOW.
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post #55 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Michaeldef View Post
Does anyone else feel the need to wait for Auro to be added to receivers hopefully next year ? I was all over the 7200, but I feel there is going to be major additions coming next generation gear
I personally will wait for the next Auro announcement on compatible processors/receivers which I think will happen within the rest of the year. I was told by Auro that such an announcement will be happening!
In the meantime I will suck all information as well as first user observations up on what works and what doesn't to install one speaker layout as good as possible for both Atmos and Auro!
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post #56 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 09:15 AM
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One major problem I see with "wide acceptance" of Auro-3D is that the minimum Auro-3D speaker configuration today is 9.1 (5.1.4 in Dolby parlance) which provides 'full channel-to-speaker mapping' for 8.0|9.1 Auro-3D source material. What would appear to be missing is an "Auro-3D 5.1.2" playback speaker configuration which would allow use of 7.1 AVRs...?!

The main reason being is that the 5.1.2 setup does NOT create a three dimensional sound field with a hemisphere of speakers/sound around the MLP, it purely adds height to the front soundstage, [. . .]

I have to wonder if something like Pioneer Virtual Height Speaker or Yamaha Virtual Presence Speaker technologies might allow a 5.1.2 speaker configuration to deliver a credible approximation of 9.1 Auro-3D using two Front Height speakers . . .



Note that in the 1990s, the Yamaha CinemaDSP soundfield was optimally delivered using a 2.x.4 speaker configuration;..?!


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[. . .] and I can only guess [5.1.2] has been included in the initial Dolby spec to capture those people already with Neo:X/PLIIz setups - one of many moves by Dolby to try and gain mass adoption, at the detriment of of the objective the tech was originally designed for.

It would be interesting to find out how many 5.1.2|7.1.2 configured systems and how many 5.1.4|7.1.4 configured systems are emplaced in the next 5 years.

After doing some back of the envelope geometry calculations, it's clear that fundamentally VBAP requires only ONE height speaker to generate 3D audio images (use of one left|right speaker PAIR avoids some possible perceptual image-reversal issues). Additional height speaker pairs better compensate for speaker location errors and|or room acoustics problems and increase the size of the sweet spot . . . plus presumably allow for any deliberately diffuse overhead imaging.

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post #57 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Wookii View Post
The main reason being is that the 5.1.2 setup does NOT create a three dimensional sound field with a hemisphere of speakers/sound around the MLP, it purely adds height to the front soundstage, and I can only guess has been included in the initial Dolby spec to capture those people already with Neo:X/PLIIz setups - one of many moves by Dolby to try and gain mass adoption, at the detriment of the objective the tech was originally designed for.
Dolby recommends to use the top middle positions for x.1.2 systems. Front height is an option.

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True Sanjay, but does the current implementation of Atmos, as currently released in he recent crop if AVR's (which is what I was referring to in my post) allow the user to specify where their two Atmos speakers are positioned? (Genuine question - I don't know what setup options are available)
Yes.

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Even if it does, I struggle to see how a single pair of height speakers can accurately render audio objects in the 360 degree hemisphere about the MLP. They can give height cues for sure, but the listener won't be able to distinguish if those height cues are up in front or behind, or indeed anywhere within the 360 degrees of the height layer as they would with the four height speakers.
Until people hear it, the degree of "accuracy" remains an open question.

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post #58 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 10:30 AM
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So say the mix includes a height object that pans from the front (heights only) to the rear (heights only) the rendered will know in a 5.1.2 system that it needs to use the fronts and surrounds to track the object, rather than it just appearing in the two heights?
Sure, the same way current systems will know to split dialogue to the L/R speakers to make up for a missing centre speaker. A rendering engine should do a better job of downmixing to adjacent speakers since it know which pair of overhead speakers you're using (e.g., Top Middle).

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post #59 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 11:35 AM
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Once you can tell the AVR the exact position of each speaker, it will be able to exactly triangulate the audio object without compromise.
Somewhere between the "without compromise" you mention above and the "severe compromise" you mentioned earlier is the real-world situation. The Atmos renderer has some idea where your overhead speakers are, though not down to the precise degree, but that's still better than having no idea where those speakers are. By comparison, how does Auro compensate for variations in height speaker placement?
Quote:
I'm not trying to argue the toss here, just trying to highlight that current focus of the Atmos roll out is apparent flexibility for greatest possible mass market acceptance, not surround sound accuracy.
I think the flexibility is more for manufacturers than consumers.

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post #60 of 6481 Old 09-14-2014, 04:44 PM
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Dolby recommends to use the top middle positions for x.1.2 systems. Front height is an option.

At least theoretically, any Atmos x.1.2 speaker configuration should be able to render VBAP'd objects correctly is space regardless of which of the 5 possible height speaker pairs is selected. However, a quick look at the vector geometry calculations involved suggests that the Top Middle speaker pair position is likely least affected by (similar size) azimuth and|or elevation discrepancies between the nominal and actual height speaker positions . . . and that the Front Height and Rear Height speaker pair positions are likely most affected. (Had I designed the rendering algorithms, I would have attempted to compensate for this issue through biasing computation 'to favor' more accurate Main Layer speaker placement, so it's hard to estimate just how much "relative disadvantage" there is in deciding to use, e.g., a Front Height speaker pair rather than a Top Middle speaker pair...?!)

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