Originally Posted by Charles R
I first ran across this feature with the Sherwood Newcastle R-972 A/V Receiver (a decade ago). It had a cult following because of the Trinnov Audio Optimizer which was way ahead of its time. When you turn the feature to its highest setting it would routed the vocals to the surrounds/rear surrounds (too).
It pretty much placed them "in the center of the room" and it felt like you were in the middle of the conversation. I have tried using no center speaker/virtual center as well and for my room it becomes too directional unless you are sitting in the middle seats.
I think you're talking about 3D remapping, which uses multiple speakers as necessary based on physical locations to replicate an ideal speaker placement (which back then was either "music" or "movies", based on the recommended 2.0/5.1/7.1 layouts). The 3D part was that it took both azimuth (horizontal angels) as well as elevation (vertical ones) into account. One nice thing you could do is have a 5.1 layout with a horizontal center speaker, add a secondary speaker above it, and use 3D remapping to lift that center channel up to better match the "ideal".
The late R-972 was problematic as an AVR, but the Trinnov capabilities were SOTA for the time (circa 2009), as a hard-wired version of default settings in their more sophisticated pro audio and now their high end A/V products. I doubt I'd have wound up with a Trinnov Altitude for my HT if I hadn't had a Sherwood first.
Audio Gear: Trinnov Altitude 32 (24 channel), NAD M27 amps (3)
Video: JVC RS600, Seymour 100" UF Screen, Lumagen Radiance Pro 4444 (coming soon)
Speakers: PSB Imagine T3 LCR, Imagine T Wides/Side Surround 1, T2 Side Surrounds, Imagine XB rears, Image B6 screens, PSB CS1000 ceilings (6), HSU ULS-15 Mk 2 subs (4) - 13.4.6
HAA HT1 and HT2 Certification