Originally Posted by Ellebob
I know Atmos and DTS-X are object oriented data, I didn't know object oriented data was available under Dolby True HD/ DTS Master Audio encoding. I thought that encoding was channel based and currently limited to 8 channels. I am glad they can do object oriented data, that way it doesn't matter how many speakers you have. As long as the processor knows where the speakers are placed and aimed it should present the best representation possible.
TrueHD and DTS-HD MA are channel based, 8 channels max. Atmos and DTS-X are not TrueHD/DTS-HD MA, though my understanding is that they are based on them. I assume it's similar (in concept at least if not implementation) to DTS (core) vs DTS-HD MA. A DTS-HD MA stream consists of the core, DTS (limited to lossy compression, and 6 channels), and extension that extends that out to 7.1 lossless compression. If you play it on DTS compatible system you just get the 5.1 DTS (core), if you play it on a DTS-HD MA compatible system, you get the full 7.1 DTS-HD MA stream.
Atmos and DTS-X work the same way, they start on a 7.1 channel base (TrueHD/DTS-HD MA respectively) and if you're using an Atmos/DTS-X compatible decoder, it reads the extension which contain the information for up to 30/32 objects and their locations, which it then steers to whatever your speaker configuration happens to be.
I think a big part of the ".4" (ie 4 new Atmos/DTS-X "speaker locations"), beyond limiting channel count, is to vastly simplify setup. If you build AVRs with "standard" speaker layouts, you can continue with the current paradigm of speaker configurations, ie, do you have fronts, center, sides, rears, front ceiling, rear ceiling. And you can build your audio processing/steering in a pretty standard way. Where as (I imagine) with something like a Trinnov Altitude, you can configure exact locations for all your speakers, degrees of azimuth and elevation plus distance, or x, y, z cooridinates, which requires a much more advanced setup, more advanced user to do the setup, and more advanced processing/steering.