Originally Posted by batpig
Situations like this make me so frustrated with the state of immersive audio. All this promise of scalable speaker layouts to accommodate high channel counts basically wasted. Especially with the Front Wide speakers, which have the most potential to add to the 7.1.4 layout but are worthless 95% of the time.
I have no idea what makes you think wides have any great potential to add anything. Wides are fronts + sides. Stereo mains can already image in the exact vicinity with out-of-phase information. But ignore that and just combine fronts + sides and it will phantom in the exact same position. Wides are good for off-center seats that can't phantom image that location well (locks them down or at least improves them). I suppose if you had your wides in a position where they wouldn't naturally phantom image or your speakers don't image very well to begin with, they could make a real improvement for the MLP, but here when I used my 7010, the Atmos/X demos sounded them same with or without the wides turned on (in 9.1.2 versus 7.1.2) from the MLP.
DTS basically sh&t the bed completely and hoped nobody would notice because they have a lot of fluffy marketing copy and very few people will have anything beyond 11 channels.
Given Atmos limitations, I don't know why you're so upset with DTS. This could be a simple bug/glitch they missed in the newer update cycle and will gladly fix if you make D&M and DTS aware of it. I'm also guessing DTS:X Pro will eliminate all these issues when it comes out some time this year. I don't know of any plans from Dolby to add wides support beyond direct soundtrack support (which often ignore wides making all those claims of 'object based' sounds seem kind of moot when they don't mix for them.
Atmos at least can scale, but a significant number of Atmos tracks either underutilize the wides or ignore them completely (and of course some of the latter won't scale at all being "fixed" mixes). And since arrays aren't supported for bed/channel content with home Atmos even someone with a Trinnov and extra side surrounds isn't going to benefit from spreading the sound out for multiple rows because only the primary "side surround" will be active most of the time.
So those of us with a 9.1.4+ layout basically run in 7.1.4 except for those occasions when we watch a good Atmos mix with very active use of objects in the ear level layer.
All of this makes me increasingly more interested in just dropping the SB channels in favor of a 5.1+FW base layer and adding a cheap used AVR to extract SB from the Surrounds. Then the FW will be much more active with a wider variety of content, and it's a pretty straightforward one-extra-box solution without the headaches of the dual HDMI AVR setup. But that also presents some issues. First, the SB will be dual-mono as you're pretty much stuck using a mono center extract like PLII. Also, in theory freeing up that pair of channels means I could run 7.1.6 on my X8500H and do a full 9.1.6 with the matrixed SB, but the 8500/8805 doesn't allow for a .6 overhead Atmos layer with no SB speakers.
I'd wait and give DTS:X Pro a chance. Meanwhile, hybrid/matrix systems (homemade matrix/extraction or the Lyngdorf processor) don't have these issues at all. All my speakers work all the time save Auro-3D mode where my back bed rears don't work and in the (thankfully few) cases where "snap to" is enabled (I can think of two movies, Gravity and Hunter Killer, that use 'snap to' a lot and even if you have those speakers, they still don't phantom image as "snap to" prevents ALL phantom imaging when it's turned on from what I can hear. The sound snaps to the nearest speaker on a pan, which is both weird and awful, IMO.)