Quick perusal of The Wardog's
activity here would suggest he is one to be ignored, and as such I shall do so. I could offer comment on what little detail is provided by his signature (why a 65" TV instead of a projector and much larger AT screen which would allow "proper" placement of the all important center channel because in that guy's world any compromise should just mean giving up and listening to the radio; or why not list details regarding the ideal 9.X.6 setup he boasts)...but I won't do that. 🙂
Back to the helpful adults in the room; I'm just looking to gauge whether adding front heights (at appropriate Dolby angles) to existing top middles would be positive or negative and gain any insight from others who have already tried. I know firsthand that a properly oriented set of four true overheads trumps anything with front heights, but as I stated adding top rears would essentially require lifting half my house. I assure all that I have spent many moments of agony attempting to figure out something reasonable to no avail (best option would be digging basement deeper).
Forgive the remnants of movie night with the kids, but notice the bulkhead just behind the first row (and heaven help us if The Wardog
notices those two lally columns😱scandal even though the second row has clear visibility past them and they disappear from peripheral in the black hole, and surround locations have been chosen to avoid blocking line of sight to front row ears). The back half of the ceiling continues at about that same bulkhead height towards an addition over a crawlspace, so rear overheads wouldn't have much angular separation from the rear surrounds. It's my understanding/experience that content which Atmos (or other formats) attempts to place above but slightly behind would be split between top mids and rear surrounds anyway, so adding a true channel at a nearly identical angle doesn't make sense (to me).
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This is intriguing. If Atmos is truly going to "relocate" the virtual front-back centerline of the height layer halfway between top mid and front height, then I agree adding front heights to existing top middles would be a definitive negative. Objects intended to be 100% in the rear of the height layer presenting in the top mids wouldn't work, and objects 100% in the front of the height layer being only 20-30° off front soundstage would diminish the overhead feel.
Is there any sort of document or technical talk you pulled that info from, or did you already try this oddball setup yourself? If the renderer behaves as you said it would seem the rearmost pair in any configuration of four are always thought of as behind MLP, which would be an odd decision by Dolby and would invalidate Denon/Integra have distinct configurations for FH+TM vs FH+TR. If so, top mids should really just be called/identified as (improperly placed) top rears if front heights are added.