I've got another pair of PSB T45 speakers on the way to finally replace my front left and front right mains, which I then plan to move back between the side surround and rear surround speakers ("rear wides" as it were for lack of a better term).
It seems I will have to use an active mixer (matrixed) output like I did with front wides as I see no way to do a Pro Logic extraction without needing either multiple full AVRs or another 7.1 receiver for amplification for each set in order to play the side/rear channels with the in-phase material removed (as I do for Top Middle, sending all six speakers to their own amplifiers). I simply don't have the room for that many amplifiers (i.e. I'd want front wides extracted too). This will bring me to 11.1.6 (7.1.4 + full extracted top middle + matrixed front wides + matrixed rear wides + dialog lift). The matrixed front wides actually work pretty well in a narrow room so I'm hoping rear wides will make the back room imaging a bit tighter for all rows than without (basically I'll have an extra set of B15 speakers and stands so why not?) I'll probably look at possibly adding a second sub for the back half the room to get more even coverage after that (11.2.6).
I've got two more chairs (rocker/recliners this time) being delivered in a couple of days (to replace the outgoing couch). This will give me 5 permanent seats (two suede manual rocker recliners and three powered leather recliners (with "lift" mode, which can get you out of your seat or just raise you up to see above the guy in front of you). I've got one extra cushioned chair (from a dining set I got on closeout when a furniture place was closing) that I can add to the front or back of the room to seat 6. I can probably fit one more of those narrower "lift" chairs in the front if I want (could then seat 7 with extra chair in back).
I'll need to look at drapery for the front half of the room (tame reflections a bit and more importantly darken the "white" walls without having to paint them).
Meanwhile, I went back through some older pages to look for something and I ran into a couple of things I thought I'd ask a few questions about.
Originally Posted by Josh Z
You're right, that doesn't make sense.
In a regular setup with just one A/V receiver, the parameters you set will not interfere with ProLogic II decoding. What we're talking about specifically is using the pre-outs from one AVR to feed the PLII decoder in a second AVR (or two). In that case, the input signal that the second AVR receives must be identical in all respects in order for PLII decoding to work. Otherwise, if there's any difference between the right input channel and the left input channel, the second AVR will interpret a mono signal as stereo and will not properly collapse it to the center. You can change the distance/crossover/trim parameters in the second AVR as much as you need.
I was always under the impression that Pro Logic primarily used the phase information between channels to extract a center. I assume the levels might be used to "steer" it even tighter (less channel bleed) for mono information, but does PLII really cease to work if the levels are off? I'm pretty sure my original Pro Logic decoders (Onkyo ES-Pro 600) used for Top Middle aren't getting identical levels between front/rear heights as I have them adjusted for even levels in the room and the front height has further manipulation for dialog height, etc. using a mixer before the final amp. The helicopter test sounds pretty good and the 9.1.6 Atmos test tones work fine for top middle. I might try playing with it a bit more. Perhaps it might become even smoother or something (it always seems like the helicopter spends a little bit more time at the middle point than in-between, but I assumed that was due to not being able to set a delay for the channels or even perhaps the steering logic being a little too aggressive (pulling faster towards center) as it's not adjustable for width as PLII is. I've never noticed the effect not being perfectly smooth with pans anywhere else but that demo.
Originally Posted by Nalleh
Let me put it this way: with just heights, the chopper goes in a wide, big, circle at some height around you.
With just tops, it goes in a much narrower circle almost on top of you. But with both AVR's on, it has a perfect big circle clearly from above you. So kind of the best from two worlds.
Does the helicopter actually move in a "circle" around you? It moves in a square when I only have 7.1.4 setup (which I can still do thanks to the monoprice switchbox I use for Auro-3D, which can also be used to move to 7.1.4 for only the front half of the room). Basically, it flies around the perimeter (front height left to rear height left to rear height right to front height right to front height left). It does not move "inward" at any point in-between to create a circular pattern, but traces straight lines from speaker to speaker. With 7.1.6 (full length of 24' long room), it traces a rectangle instead as the room is 2x as long as it is wide). It does not fly in "circles" at all. We are talking about the Dolby Atmos helicopter demo, correct?
Originally Posted by Scott Simonian
That was an excellent write up and jives with my own experience with Atmos-EX 7.1.6 sound. Critical listening to some Dolby demo disk reveals some limitations of this arrangement. You can improve from there though. But still, demos like the helicopter a really rough. Sounds bad. The 747 I thought sounds better when processing with MUSIC mode, oddly enough. Including some others. I highly recommend you test with MUSIC mode if you find MOVIE mode doesn't sound well enough.
Actual movie watching OTOH sounds really good with a great sense of front, back and direct overhead imaging.
I'm curious what you meant by it sounding "really rough" ? Was the movement not smooth or did it bleed locations or blur or what, exactly? As I mention above, I get a slightly longer amount of time where the helicopter is at the middle location (as if it were slowing down a bit there before moving on). I did not get this "slow down" when I used only four overheads (FH+RH). It kept a constant pace. That was with the same exact speakers and locations except for not using the rear heights (i.e. middle height became rear height).