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post #61 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 11:44 AM
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DIYer Options for Atmos Enabled Speaker add-ons

As an avid DIYer, I can't find myself willing to purchase 4 ATMOS enabled add-on modules from the various manufacturers for my existing 7.2 home theatre system. It seems most DIYers go with ceiling mount speakers (i.e., small DIY coaxes from diysoundgroup.com, etc.). What guidelines are available for a DIYer to build his own Atmos enabled add-on speaker modules to compliment his existing speakers?

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post #62 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Bboo419 View Post
Have you heard anything from cable companies or the broadcast world in regard upgrading to HD/Immersive sound formats in the coming years to go along with their cable broadcasts? I can think of nothing more amazing than being able to watch TV in the latest fully immersive audio formats.
The Dolby Atmos standard does support streaming, so for channels like Vudu there is some Atmos-capable content (supposedly Netflix is working on it). On the broadcast side there are no immediate plans, but the forthcoming ATSC 3.0 broadcast (due in a year or so) will use Dolby AC-4, which can provide immersive audio via the same Dolby Digital Plus standard used for streaming.
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post #63 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 11:45 AM
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I live in a condo and have a 5.1 set up with really no ambition of upgrading speakers at this point to have the atmos ceiling speakers or replacing towers. That being said, would it be worthwhile upgrading my receiver to one that has sound vectoring like atmos or would the difference not be noticeable?
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post #64 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 11:45 AM
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AVSForum member 1ofakind asked:
“In terms of receiver(s), what is an affordable way to create a 7.2.4 setup using the speakers I have? Also, in optimal rooms for Atmos performance, how well do up-firing add-on speakers recreate the immersive audio experience as opposed to add-on speakers or other dedicated speakers installed in the ceiling?”

While early Atmos-enabled receivers were a bit pricey (such as Sony’s $2,799 STR-ZA5000ES, which is still on the market, BTW), the past year or so has seen the introduction of several Atmos-capable AV receivers under $1,000 and even a few under $500. The giveaway prize for this AMA, for example, is Sony’s STR-DN1080 AV, which lists at $599. Later this spring, Sony will have four other additions to their custom installer focused ES line of AV receivers that support Atmos and DTS:X, ranging in price from $799 to $1,699. Other good Atmos-capable receiver options include models from Yamaha, Pioneer, Denon, and Onkyo.

As you might expect, receivers that provide power for 11 or more different speakers cost most more than those that support, say, 7 (which is the minimum that you’d need for a 5.1.2 configuration with an unpowered subwoofer output). In fact, one of the most critical specs to check for on AV receivers is the number of power amps available and how they can be configured. Typically, you’ll need to add together the two outer numbers in a desired speaker configuration (5.1.2, 7.1.4, etc.) to figure out the number of amp channels you need. Most subwoofers integrate their own power amp, so they don’t usually figure into the equation, but if you have an unpowered sub (or two), you’ll have to incorporate them into your totals as well. Note that some receivers support the ability to have different configurations—nine power amps, for example, could theoretically support 7.1.2 or 5.1.4 setups—but not all do, so be sure to check.

Also note that some receivers have functions that can emulate more channels than they have actual power amps. For example, the Phantom Back feature on Sony’s receivers will emulate the two extra surround back channels found on 7.1 systems with only five speakers. If the soundtrack has a full 7.1 mix, the two extra tracks will appear to come from two virtual speakers behind you (leveraging some signal processing and psychoacoustic principles) even though they’re actually coming from just your existing surround speakers. If, on the other hand, the soundtrack is a 5.1 mix, it will upmix to 7.1 and then play the virtualized tracks on the virtual “phantom” speakers—sort of a virtualization squared.

In addition, some receivers have the ability, but not the power amps, to support these extra channels. In those cases, you’ll find unpowered surround back outputs that can be sent to a separate power amp (or even an older AV receiver) to drive the extra speakers. You will have to be careful about balancing the levels between your main AV receiver and the extra amp in this situation, but it is an option.

To address the second part of your question, as mentioned in a previous answer, in ideal rooms, four ceiling mounted speakers will likely give you the best possible sound for an Atmos environment. However, that’s a lot of wire to run and ceilings to cut/mount to and in many situations, it’s just not practical. If you have that flexibility, more power to you. If you don’t, however, then you’ll want to investigate the reflection-driven speaker options. You can find offerings from Klipsch, Definitive Technology, Pioneer, PSB and ELAC that can likely meet your needs.
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post #65 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 11:46 AM
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AVSForum member NuDLP asked:
“Is the benefit of full range from surround speakers useful in a traditional 5.1 system (or 7.1) when playing an Atmos encoded disc? Will a player or processor downmix to remove the ceiling or height channels and then leverage the encoded benefit of full range surround material?”

The short answer to your first question is yes and to your second is, it depends. On an Atmos encoded disc—that is, one with an Atmos logo that specifically includes an Atmos mix—the primary audio track will be an Atmos-capable track encoded in the lossless Dolby TrueHD format. What this means is that there will be a multichannel mix of many audio elements, sometimes called the “bed”, similar to what you would find in a non-Atmos Dolby TrueHD format. The key difference, however, is that the Atmos mix will also have height data and up to 128 different audio objects at any one time that will be dynamically integrated into the final audio output. These objects include metadata about their relative positioning in the audio field and, depending on the speaker configuration you have (and that you’ve “told” the Atmos-enabled decoder in your AVR or soundbar through the initial configuration/setup process), they will be positioned accordingly.

If you have a 5.1 (or 7.1) speaker configuration attached to an Atmos-capable AV receiver, then it will position all those audio objects within a typical surround sound field, including data originally intended for the height channels. In other words, you’ll end up with a 5.1 (or 7.1) soundtrack that is conceptually similar to a dedicated 5.1 (or 7.1) mix, but instead of being prearranged, was created on the fly. In practical terms, depending on the quality of the decode process, that means you could end up with an audio experience that wasn’t quite as good as a dedicated mix, or it could even be better. However, if you have the height speakers (delivered either via bounced speakers or in-ceiling speakers), or even if you have more surround speakers (and amps for them), the dynamic mix from an Atmos disc will automatically take advantage of those new capabilities and give you a much more comprehensive, hemispherical surround experience.

Remember, also, that many discs have multiple mixes available to choose from. Virtually all of them will have a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround mix (which has lossy compression, BTW) as a fallback option because it will play on virtually any surround system. In addition, some may have Dolby TrueHD dedicated 5.1 or 7.1 mixes. Generally speaking, you’re always better off selecting the audio mix (typically through an Audio settings menu on the BluRay disc) that matches your current configuration.
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post #66 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 11:46 AM
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Cross over frequency - Sony STR-DN1050 as AV receiver and Bose Acoustimass 15

I have a 5.1 setup using Sony STR-DN1050 as AV receiver and Bose Acoustimass 15. 
Still struggling to find the right cross over frequency at the receiver as If I use the auto setup it set's it at 160 Hz while I read at other places that the correct cross-over should be around 60 - 80 hz. As in this setup, the feed for all channels are going to the electronic circuit in the Bose Amp so is it ok to leave the crossover at 160 and let Bose electronic distribute the correct signals to it's amp and various channels.

Last edited by Mike Lang; 03-07-2017 at 11:50 AM.
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post #67 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 11:48 AM
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non atmos speakers

Wood regular speakers angled towards the ceiling at the right angle work well as Atmos speakers if there at the top of a bookshelf near the ceiling?
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post #68 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobOD View Post
A soundbar is going to be your best bet from an audio perspective, but the physical size is something only you can determine. Unfortunately, I don't know of any soundbar that has outputs that you can attach to your existing ceiling speakers. To use them, you have to get an Atmos or DTS:X-capable receiver and then plug those in.
Thanks for reply Bob. I was thinking, perhaps i could get by with soundbar (and not using the ceiling speakers). If in the future if I desired more, I could get a fancier av receiver and plug soundbar into that along with existing ceiling speakers.

I've got my head swimming a bit about using HDMI-arc vs optical input into soundbars. I have a contact that would allow me to get bose soundbar 300 are great price. but there are an alarming number of reviews/complaints on how its not working correctly via HDMI-arc with new samsung tv.

I'm in over my head trying to research a decent sound bar. I like the idea of some type of virtual surround. that seems to be available on higher cost models.
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post #69 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by GurusInc View Post
Do any or all of the immersive audio receivers use Audyssey or something like it, for adjusting speaker delay/volume for room size and shape, or will I have to go through entering the distance to each speaker manually, like the old days?
All immersive audio receivers do have some form of room calibration that is at least similar to Audyssey, but each tends to use its own proprietary solution. In the case of the Sony receiver being given away as part of this AMA (and other Sony Atmos-capable receivers), they use something called DCAC (Digital Cinema Auto Calibration) to compensate for speaker location (including the height speakers) and it can even let you know if the correct speakers (like surround left) are connected to the proper terminal on the receiver.
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post #70 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by CNLiberal View Post
Has there been any consideration of floor speakers? Something that points up to give a true 3D effect?
As far as I know, nothing like this is being considered for the home.
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post #71 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by quicky422 View Post
Great opening! I currently use a Yamaha RX-V667 with Polk speakers, 7.1 setup. Are all manufacturers incorporating the newest decoders? Which ones are "ahead of the pack"? and is there a way to add the newest decoding technology with an older receiver, say, with an add on component?
Thanks. Manufacturers always try to incorporate the latest versions of the decoders they can when building their AVRs and, thankfully, many of them are upgradable via firmware updates. As to adding just the Atmos decoding, you could do that via a preprocessor that essentially functions like an AVR without the power amps but most of them are fairly expensive (more than most Atmos-capable AVRs).
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post #72 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 11:56 AM
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Who makes decent immersive audio soundbars and blu-ray players?
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post #73 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Samshort View Post
I have vaulted ceilings in my house.Would a Atmos system work in it?
Unfortunately vaulted ceilings are not ideal for immersive audio systems and definitely wouldn't work with upfiring speakers. You could get away with aim-able ceiling-mounted speakers if you can make that work.
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post #74 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 12:00 PM
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Traditional home stereo systems are designed looking at a 2d room when determining speaker positions and angling and best location for seating. These type of rooms tend to be geometrically easier to design. When considering sound coming from above my room has ceilings that take off on skewed angles with no flat surfaces for sound to bounce down at the listener. Does this Preclude one from taking advantage of the immersive experience or how does one compensate for the different ceiling angles.
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post #75 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 12:00 PM
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Can you talk about how you see the market for the various systems as of today? There are still various 'platforms' widely available. 5.n, 7.n, atmos, etc. What is your view (albeit perhaps with Sony angle) on how these will continue to be sold in the next few years? How do you think they're going to drive speaker sales, equipment upgrades, etc. [I ask as someone still several generations behind on a new surround system (5.1, AC-3/DTS) who finds it quite workable for most of my content, who every time he goes out to buy, continues to see the next thing coming in 6 months].
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post #76 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by teleted View Post
I'm not clear if receivers that support both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X can do so with the same speaker setup, allowing consumers to watch content from either standard with one 7.1.2 speaker setup. I have installed Atmos ceiling speakers above the listening position. The Denon AVR-S910W seems to not support that speaker position for DTS:X. Should I expect a receiver to support both standards at the same time with this 7.1.2 configuration?
Yes, you can use the same speaker setup for both Atmos and DTS:X. Since Atmos is a bit more rigid in its requirements, you're better off placing the speakers according to its requirements because DTS:X is more flexible and can compensate more for where the speakers positions are.
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post #77 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 12:01 PM
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Perhaps it has been answered, but is digital sound processing effective on so many channels? It would seem to be a rather large task to balance so many speakers...
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post #78 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 12:01 PM
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AVSForum member antennahead asked:
“Am I correct in my assumption that if running a 5.1 or a 7.1 system, the height channel information present in an Atmos disc is folded back into the respective (closest adjacent) channel? Front height info, for example, would now be included in the main R&L channels?”

As I discussed in a previous post, the answer is it depends. First, remember that if you play an Atmos disc through a receiver that does not have an Atmos decoder (in other words, a non-Atmos receiver or soundbar), the Atmos mix will be ignored and a traditional 5.1 (or 7.1) mix will play instead. If, however, you play an Atmos disc through an Atmos receiver but only have a 5.1 or 7.1 speaker configuration enabled, then yes, it will dynamically mix the height channels and audio objects into the traditional 5.1 mix.
A related point that needs to be mentioned is that you may have to adjust the settings on your Blu-ray player to allow Atmos mixes to play. Many Blu-ray players default to an audio output mode that sends out the signal via PCM or even a Secondary Audio option. To ensure the Atmos mix is sent from the player to the receiver or soundbar, you need to turn on bitstream audio output.
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post #79 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 12:02 PM
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Upper Speaker Placement

In the case of 7.2.4, where would be the optimal placement of the upper speakers and the angle of the drivers (examples: 1) side wall facing upward, 2) front wall facing downward, 3) side wall facing straight, or 4) ceiling facing straight down)? Also, how far from front and rear walls?

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post #80 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 12:02 PM
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Can Optical or coaxial cable support Atmos

I currently have a 25 foot coaxial cable connecting my 4K Sony up scaling Blu Ray player to a legacy Denon 5.1 AVR. If I replace the AVR with a Dolby Atmos AVR and get a UHD Blu Ray player can I still use coaxial cable to carry Atmos encocded data or do I need to use a high speed 18Mbs HDMI cable?
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post #81 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by finley106 View Post
I have a great room, half of which is my living room. This is where our entertaining is done. One complete side is open, about 25 feet. The entire room is about 30 x 25. Does the auto setting on these systems compensate for this?
Additional info...the open side is the left side of the room. It is approximately 12 ft to the tv.
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post #82 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 12:03 PM
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Hello sir,

I am using Bose speakers for my home theater. I have 901 for the front, 301 for the sides, 601 for the rear, Bose sub-woofer, and a Bose sound bar.
My question is; these Bose being reflective speakers, is it necessary to have ceiling mounted speakers for Atmos/ immersion? I am researching, but perhaps I am too old school... connect the wires, turn on the receiver, and adjust lol.

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post #83 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by BobOD View Post
According to Denon's product page, the AVR S710W already supports Atmos and DTS:X, so you should be all set. Just plug in some height speakers, get some Atmos-enabled content and enjoy!
I had missed that entirely. Thank you!
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post #84 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobOD View Post
AVSForum member b0rnarian asked:
“I already have a 7.1 Home Theater system and want to upgrade to Atmos. Can I just buy Sony's newly announced 7.1 Atmos enabled soundbar to make it work in conjunction with my existing system or are these two different systems that aren't supposed to work with each other?”

You can use your existing speakers with an Atmos system, but unless your current AV receiver supports Atmos, you’ll have to replace it. The most critical piece of an Atmos (or DTS:X)-enabled system is the decoder, which is typically integrated into a receiver, but can also be incorporated into a soundbar. Without the decoder, you can’t make Atmos work.

A few newer soundbars, such as Sony’s HT-ST5000, support Atmos as well. In fact, the HT-ST5000 offers a 7.1.2 configuration. However, modern soundbars incorporate their own amplifiers, as well as the speakers, so they are designed to be used instead of a receiver/speaker combo and not along with one. In theory, it would be possible to create a soundbar that incorporated the Atmos decoder, just the two upward firing speakers, and speaker outputs for existing 7.1 speaker setups, but because it would also need to have the power amps to drive all of those speakers, it’s not a very practical possibility.
Thank you for the reply Bob.

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With a large number of ceiling speakers, do you think the aesthetics of that will limit this to high end homes with home theaters? I would imagine my wife would not like to see 11 speakers on the ceiling all the time.
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Atmos in a small room

I have a 7.1 receiver but I'm only using a 2.0 setup now but am getting ready to add surround sound speakers and a sub. My room is relatively small...Around15X10 with a ten foot ceiling. My question is, would going for ATMOS enabled surrounds make a noticeable difference in such a small space?
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I am curious as to how this receiver will reproduce audiophile stereo music.
Can it produce vocals and instrumentation on par with high quality two channel integrated amplifiers?
Id say 30% of my current AVR is used to play CDs. through stereo speakers.


Thanks
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post #88 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcdorfman View Post
How do you characterize the immersive nature of atmos enabled speakers as compared to direct radiating on/in-ceiling or on wall setups. Can atmos enabled speakers be used effectively in DTS:x based or or Auro based 3-D audio systems?
I responded to this in post 5, but the bottom line is this really depends on the nature of your room. To your second question, as I mentioned in post 77, Atmos and DTS:X are fairly compatible but Auro has different requirements that don't ideally match Atmos.
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post #89 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 12:09 PM
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Does Sony make atmos sound bases for under tv?
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post #90 of 185 Old 03-07-2017, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finley106 View Post
I have a great room, half of which is my living room. This is where our entertaining is done. One complete side is open, about 25 feet. The entire room is about 30 x 25. Does the auto setting on these systems compensate for this?
The auto calibration systems will do their best and in many situations the results may be just fine, but depending on the exact conditions of your room, your mileage may vary (YMMV)...
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