Originally Posted by rontalley
Are Front Wide Speakers a Matrix of Front and Surround Sides or are they something different?
Wides first gained usage on home theatre systems with the introduction of Audyssey DSX several years ago, which used concert hall acoustics as the basis for its processing. The front L/R channels were copied to the Wides with a bit of reverb & delay added to simulate early sidewall reflections of a larger space.
By comparison, DTS Neo:X (and now Neural:X) upmixing didn't generate reverb for the Wide speakers like Audyssey did but instead relied completely on extracting common info from the Fronts and Sides (or Fronts and Surrounds in a 5.1 set-up). Think of it as a centre output between a pair of adjacent channels; those sounds would have phantom imaged there anyway.
With Atmos, Wides are fed discrete content from the rendering engine; sounds/objects tagged with the x,y,z coordinates for that location are sent to speakers at that location. Without Wides, those audio objects are sent to the Front and Side speakers, so they phantom image at the intended location.
Hence the Yes at the beginning of my reply. There isn't just one method for feeding the Wides speakers.