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I just picked up Ayreheart's Barley Moon music blu-ray album. It has 14 tracks with Auro-3D 11.1 plus DTS-HD MA 5.1 and PCM Stereo 2-channel (59:55 run time).



This is my 5th Auro-3D Music BD (others being Mando Daio's Aelita, Tiesto's Elements of Life, Spektral Quartet's Serious Business and Lichtmond 3 - Days of Eternity; the Lichtmond album has video with the music) and I have 11 movies in Auro-3D plus both Auro-3D Demo Discs. Considering how poor it's doing, that's not too bad (I currently have 40 DTS:X movies and 74 Dolby Atmos movies on disc plus probably twice that more through streaming iTunes in less than three years). I feel like I've got to get some use out of that decoder (unlike some I'm not crazy about the Auro-3D upmixer for music; I prefer stereo for stereo albums, but it probably does the least damage for expanding the sound through surround and at least fills the room is I have all three rows filled with people as stereo sounds too front centric the further back into the room you go).

The album consists of what sounds like a combination of medieval troubadour music with some Irish folk bits thrown in for good measure, at least to my ears (I'm no expert on either type of music). Some of the tracks were more interesting to me than others, but the overall sonic quality was excellent. If there was one complaint about it being Auro-3D, it's that in many of the tracks, you barely notice the surround speakers, let alone overhead speakers, but if you listen carefully on many of the tracks, you can hear all the reverb echoes of the room its recorded in (it certainly doesn't sound like my home theater room which is very dead sounding, while this was quite lively). On a few tracks, the instruments go much further in terms of the spread around to the sides (usually they spread out to where my front wides are located, but on these tracks they go all around to perhaps 110 degrees and the final track has a lot of percussion that echoes all around the room. Many percussive effects throughout have reverb echoes that come right off the ceiling somewhere above as well. It's an interesting album, but I wouldn't make it a first choice to demo a home theater, let alone Auro-3D. For that, something more Mando Daio's Aelita or Tiesto's Elements of Life that use all of the speakers frequently would be a better choice (former being more pop/rock like, the latter more electronic synth/house beat based).
 

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I see the movie DOMINO (2019) is now available with Auro-3D in English. It has some of the stars from Game of Thrones (namely Carice Van Houten and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). The site that the Auro-3D web page takes me to doesn't mention Auro-3D in the details, however. I don't want to order the wrong disc (seeing as how many times it's only in Auro-3D on certain versions or from certain countries). In fact, looking on Blu-Ray.com, it seems quite evident it's not in Auro-3D on most versions, which makes no sense since all those discs are in 5.1 DTS so why NOT include the Auro-3D track? It's mind-boggling, really.

As near as I can tell, only the "Dutch FilmWorks (DFW)" Blu-Ray is in Auro-3D (back cover shown):



I was going to order this directly from Bol.com (that has the Dutch version) to check it out, but the shipping cost is INSANE (the movie is only like 8 euros, but the shipping to the US was 29 euros or about $32 USD, which is RIDICULOUS, IMO). If anyone knows of a better site (does the Netherlands have an Amazon?) to order it from, let me know. Edit: I've searched everywhere and there doesn't appear to be any other sites that have that version that I can locate anywhere on Earth. It's things like that which make Auro-3D impossible to support, really. I don't think I've ever paid more than $30 for a movie other than one that came with 4K+3D+2D all in one package (like the Japanese version of Ralph Breaks The Internet, which was the ONLY version that came in 3D, but it at least had the 4K version with it also in Atmos). This being a poorly rated movie in general can't possibly be worth it. Who knows if they even did a good job with the 11.1 soundtrack.
 

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Not that desperate for a Auro 3D mix :rolleyes:
 

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Amazon.nl (Netherlands) has Domino with Auro-3D in stock (I searched by EAN number which brought it up under "DVD" but it shows the Blu-Ray box), but of course neither seller (one of which is Amazon.nl itself) will ship to the USA. It's clear that Auro-3D wants to make it as difficult (or as expensive with that $32 shipping OUCH) as humanly possible to find titles with it. If the company had put 1/100th the effort into making Blu-Rays more easily available with it that they did in making the format itself, they might have at least carved out a niche, but it's clear they have almost no clout at all. Turbine was announced to do like 11 new titles in Auro-3D last year, but I've only seen ONE appear (Death Machine) so far. Are they figuring on doing one a year or something? Sony released I think 9 titles in Auro-3D on Blu-Ray, but for some bizarre reason they only included them in like ONE country
s version for each one, even though it sits right over the 5.1 soundtrack that's already on those other released versions. It's almost like Sony changed its mind and got out of the contract by fulfilling it to the letter of the contract, but not the general idea (mass distribution). For most titles, this doesn't matter since an Atmos version is available, but some of these new smaller releases only have 5.1 on them otherwise (e.g. Red Tails, Death Machine, that Russian Space station movie I can't pronounce and some foreign movies like The Banker are Auro-3D only titles). But then Sony didn't exactly put much advertising into SACD or Mini-Disc either that I noticed and they were their own products.

I just got done watching all of Game of Thrones for the first time, so Domino sounded like a good movie to see two of my favorite actors from it again and given 5.1 versus 11.1, the choice seems obvious of which I'd rather listen to it in, but $40+ (plus the hassle of registering on a foreign site that doesn't translate very well) is a bit ridiculous for a title whose US version can be had for under $15. I suppose that's like the "free" demo disc that charged over $20 shipping from Belgium. Maybe an eBay reseller will pick it up eventually (e.g. You can get the that Russian space station movie that way in Auro-3D, but it doesn't even have English subtitles; you'd have to rip it and then add them yourself, unless of course you speak Russian in which case you won't need them. Most US releases have like 32 countries subtitles included plus 6 language soundtracks these days, but far be it for Auro-3D to make sure its titles at least have subtitles included....) Those are the little details they should have spent more time dealing with as it greatly affects the end product.
 

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Sadly their entire behavior doesn’t seem to be consistent at all with someone that is third in a market and is now trying to grow their share or at least establish themselves firmly in a specific niche. Perhaps they think that their technology is so superior, that it will prevail no matter how difficult it is to use it - or they have written it off, cashed the check from the AVR vendors and just do the absolute minimum to fulfill some residual obligations.
Not that DTS-X is getting a whole lot of traction, but their approach is at least closer to what you would expect to see.
 

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Not that DTS-X is getting a whole lot of traction, but their approach is at least closer to what you would expect to see.
Yup, over 130 DTS:X titles on home video here in the US. About a third to a quarter of Atmos titles, but still pretty good. Plus, the number of channels in a DTS:X track can be upmixed to the number of speaker in your layout (up to 30 speakers), which Atmos and Auro can't do.
 

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Sadly their entire behavior doesn’t seem to be consistent at all with someone that is third in a market and is now trying to grow their share or at least establish themselves firmly in a specific niche. Perhaps they think that their technology is so superior, that it will prevail no matter how difficult it is to use it - or they have written it off, cashed the check from the AVR vendors and just do the absolute minimum to fulfill some residual obligations.
Not that DTS-X is getting a whole lot of traction, but their approach is at least closer to what you would expect to see.
I get the feeling they are barely hanging on. They seemed to be doing OK on the theater end for several years, but that's stopped too. If you look at the theater information, they used to get quite a lot of commercial conversions. Heck, there used to be an Auromax theater
 

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Finally decided to give some pure Auro a try after all this time, eh? ;)

One of his tracks was on Demo Disc 2 (Bones Akimbo).
I have the demo disc, that's all. Never bought any of the movies, nothing I was interested in.
 

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I had this notion I could order more than one movie from bol.com to get the overall shipping price per movie down. So I thought I'd order both Domino and Banker of the Resistance too, which they have also in Auro-3D. It's in Dutch, but you can get English subtitles for it online. I went to order it and it said unfortunately I could not order using credit cards at this time. Choose another payment method. The only other methods are banks in Europe. I guess they don't want any outside business. Amazing.... It's the 21st Century and web sites still don't have their stuff together. No wonder Amazon rules the world. They wouldn't let me order things like Auro-3D music albums either way since they were apparently from 3rd party sellers (they had an Icelandic Orchestra Auro-3D album I was interested in). Ridiculous.
 

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All they had to do was support using the extra 2 channels on popular 11-channel AVRs for rear surrounds with front/rear heights and that would have been a fully compatible layout with Atmos. But sticking to your guns when you're a small company (compared to Dolby) doesn't really work.
That is very true. You have to be quick and flexible if you are the smallest player. An approach supporting all common speaker layouts, in spite of the fact that they consider theirs to be superior, would have gone a long way. I am not even sure if that would have been super hard. Even just splitting the signal between the surrounds and the SBs may have been better than keeping the SBs silent.
Apparently, based on what you described on the status of the company, they didn’t manage to change course before it was too late. That is too bad. It happens too often to technology pioneers overestimating the edge they have on the competition.
 

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Yup, over 130 DTS:X titles on home video here in the US. About a third to a quarter of Atmos titles, but still pretty good. Plus, the number of channels in a DTS:X track can be upmixed to the number of speaker in your layout (up to 30 speakers), which Atmos and Auro can't do.

Hi,

Just as a correction, it’s the other way around. DTS X can’t go beyond 7.1.4. That’s the reason they are releasing their new codec DTS X Pro. Dolby Atmost is the one that can go to the number of speakers your processor can handle.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Plus, the number of channels in a DTS:X track can be upmixed to the number of speaker in your layout (up to 30 speakers), which Atmos and Auro can't do.
Just as a correction, it’s the other way around. DTS X can’t go beyond 7.1.4. That’s the reason they are releasing their new codec DTS X Pro. Dolby Atmost is the one that can go to the number of speakers your processor can handle.
Atmos and DTS:X are hybrid formats, using channels and objects. As I said, the number of channels in a DTS:X track can be upmixed to the number of speakers in your layout. Atmos cannot do the same: it has no capability to upmix channels.

DTS:X has always had this capability to upmix channels. If you bought a receiver in 2015, configured your layout for 9.1.2 and played a DTS:X 7.1.4 soundtrack, it would extract Wides. The only limitation is that you couldn't configure for more than 11 speakers. All DTS:X Pro does is lift the 11-speaker limit.
 

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I see the movie DOMINO (2019) is now available with Auro-3D in English. It has some of the stars from Game of Thrones (namely Carice Van Houten and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). The site that the Auro-3D web page takes me to doesn't mention Auro-3D in the details, however. I don't want to order the wrong disc (seeing as how many times it's only in Auro-3D on certain versions or from certain countries). In fact, looking on Blu-Ray.com, it seems quite evident it's not in Auro-3D on most versions, which makes no sense since all those discs are in 5.1 DTS so why NOT include the Auro-3D track? It's mind-boggling, really.

As near as I can tell, only the "Dutch FilmWorks (DFW)" Blu-Ray is in Auro-3D (back cover shown):



I was going to order this directly from Bol.com (that has the Dutch version) to check it out, but the shipping cost is INSANE (the movie is only like 8 euros, but the shipping to the US was 29 euros or about $32 USD, which is RIDICULOUS, IMO). If anyone knows of a better site (does the Netherlands have an Amazon?) to order it from, let me know. Edit: I've searched everywhere and there doesn't appear to be any other sites that have that version that I can locate anywhere on Earth. It's things like that which make Auro-3D impossible to support, really. I don't think I've ever paid more than $30 for a movie other than one that came with 4K+3D+2D all in one package (like the Japanese version of Ralph Breaks The Internet, which was the ONLY version that came in 3D, but it at least had the 4K version with it also in Atmos). This being a poorly rated movie in general can't possibly be worth it. Who knows if they even did a good job with the 11.1 soundtrack.
Just bought this one, will let you know what its like (Shipping nowhere near as bad to me).
 

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Random Auro Notes

I keep meaning to write this up and never get around to it. The recent discussions about Auro's lack of good back surround support, and theories about the best way to do a layout that handles both Auro and Atmos, prompt me to finally lay this out.

The thing to remember with Auro-3D is that it was designed originally as a *music* format, developed out of experiments done with adding a height layer to the front sound stage and only layer adding height to the surrounds. Upon adding height to the front, the inventor was really surprised (and pleased) with how much realism was added; even though a band or orchestra is located in front of you (well approximated by base level speakers), being able to reproduce height reflections with height speakers added a tremendous amount of realism, especially for music being recorded in a somewhat reverberant space.

Adding surround speakers to that concept didn't add all that much, but augmenting the surrounds with a surround *height* layer likewise led to another leap in realism. So the initial concept was Auro-3D 8.0. Realizing that there would be a market for this idea with film soundtracks as well, this was quickly expanded to be Auro 9.1 (adding the Center Channel and LFE). In order to deliver this Auro 9.1 track they developed their codec to hide the height channels in the base 5.1 layer for delivery, and the heights were extracted upon decoding.

Had they been developing for the cinema from the start, they would have started with 7.1 - but they did not, and that sort of explains how they wound up where they are.

In my opinion, the kludge of enabling Rear Surround Heights to stand in for Surround Heights (in a bid to maximize compatibility with Atmos/DTS:X) is where things really went sideways. The whole point of Auro-3D was the realization that the vertical stereo field could work such wonders for realism. Auro 9.1 music, natively recorded as such and played back in a properly set up 9.1 room, really is magical. But to get there you need the surround heights to be placed directly above the surrounds, with the vertical elevation within the parameters specified by Auro. Having the surround heights on the back wall just doesn't do much.

In retrospect Auro should have encouraged AVRs to support only 9.1, and for those with 7.1 layouts to array the surround channels with the back surrounds, and adding both surround height and rear surround height, also arrayed. And rather than using a separate, centrally located VOG speaker, to array the four Top Surrounds in a typical Atmos room into a single arrayed mono VOG channel.

If I had an unlimited budget I'd use a Trinnov and design a room in just this way.
 

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In my opinion, the kludge of enabling Rear Surround Heights to stand in for Surround Heights (in a bid to maximize compatibility with Atmos/DTS:X) is where things really went sideways. The whole point of Auro-3D was the realization that the vertical stereo field could work such wonders for realism. Auro 9.1 music, natively recorded as such and played back in a properly set up 9.1 room, really is magical. But to get there you need the surround heights to be placed directly above the surrounds, with the vertical elevation within the parameters specified by Auro. Having the surround heights on the back wall just doesn't do much.
You've got some good points there about Auro, but having played around with my setup, I'd still have to disagree about the rear heights not doing much. I've got 18 Auro-3D discs now (11 movies, 5 music albums and 2 demo discs) and I've got three rows of seats to experiment with, which leaves two rows behind all the Auro speakers in a "pure" 9.1 configuration. This sounds great from the front row and still provides a decent 'surround' experience for the 2nd row, even though surround effects are mostly in front of the row (although with the matrixed surround#2 speakers added, they technically reach just a bit behind that row). The rear row, however sounds kind of distant from the action. Fortunately, in my home theater there's only one chair back there (still great for sports games and a truly 'tunnel' like layered experience of massive surround effects with Atmos that I think few people have ever heard at home).

I can also then mimic what a real Auro 11.1 theater does, which is "copy" the surround height speakers into the rear heights as well and then turn down the signal 3dB to compensate. This puts out sound to 6-channels overhead (side heights and rear heights are arrayed). Now on the bed level, I've got matrixed front wides and surround#2 speakers so technically in this mode the side surrounds are arrayed between side height and surround#2 , which more or less ends up with an arrayed 'center' above/below between rear and sides creating a fairly "true" Auro-3D aligned theater using 15.1 speakers. This mode sounds almost exactly the same from the front row (surround effects are moved backward slightly further from 100 degrees to perhaps 110 degrees, but still in a good supported virtual location) and now the 2nd row sounds fully immersed with sounds going well behind it as well. The third row now has bed level sounds that seem to reach back to it (some phase induced arraying may make it seem lower as well with some sounds) and overheads go all the way back and behind that 3rd row seat). Mando Diao's Aelita album sounds amazing from all three rows in this configuration, for example. You get more surround drum and echo effects in the back but a bit stronger vocals in the front/middle so it's interesting from any of the seats. But the rear heights make all the difference here. This mode could be improved if I'd bother to connect a 2nd mixer to 'copy' the side surrounds to the rear surrounds (which the Auro 11.1 theaters also do). That would give equal experiences at that point to the 2nd/3rd rows, I believe. The important part is not where the surround speaker are located (the 11.1 theaters array them all around the back), but that the sound field is held intact top/bottom. That's where copying the sides to the rear in this mode would make it perfectly even like it is for the 1st/2nd rows.

I have a 3rd mode as well and this is the "Scatmos" extracted Top Middle mode. It uses rear heights but extracts a point in the middle for top middle using Pro Logic center output. I've experimented with this mode with Auro as well and it works surprisingly well. It's not perfectly above/below since once again the rear speakers aren't active, but they are up to surround #2 which is within 5 feet of the rear heights, so it's slightly skewed on the bed level, but my ears can't tell something is wrong, really and certainly for most movies, effects are not "layered" like Auro-3D music, so it ends up just sounding much more like Atmos, for the most part with movies. But this mode has sounded surprisingly good with music albums from all seats, sounding much closer to what I'd expect a music album in 13.1 would sound like if they ever recorded them that way.

Furthermore, you could set up a home theater by that method whereby you send the side surround signal to the rear surrounds and then "extract" a side surround on the bed level the same way for both layers. This would give perfectly even top/bottom layering and you'd end up with 13.1 Auro-3D using a 7.1.6 layout and it should be nearly 100% for Auro-3D (like a having a 9.1 mode fit into a longer room). It could also work for Dolby Atmos as well (stretching out a 5.1.4 layout into 7.1.4 by creating the sides in-between instead of using the renderer). It might not be quite as good for Atmos 7.1.4 as regular rendered Atmos 7.1.4, but it'd be interesting. With some switchboxes and menu loads, you could of course switch to either layout on demand.

I guess my point is they could have made 13.1 audio music the same way they did 8.0, 9.1 and 11.1 because clearly the speaker layouts simulating longer rooms sound pretty darn good here. They would have just needed a more microphones added to the stand. Atmos could do print-through 7.1.4 music albums that way if the really wanted to bother, but somehow I doubt we'll ever see (or rather hear that). Meanwhile, if Auro had supported rear beds from the start on 11.1 AVRs, all they would have had to do was add the extra bed microphones to the stands (what's important is the top/bottom layers continue) and redirect copies of the channels on 8.0 and 9.1 recordings for arrayed rears). This would have given truly amazing music albums in larger rooms and it would have been fully compatible with Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 as you'll notice the ONLY real difference in Atmos 7.1.4 compared to Auro-3D 13.1 is the position of the "top middle" versus "surround height" speakers. Dolby has them in a straight line with the front/rear heights whereas Auro-3D has them above the side speakers on the side-wall. That's a mixing difference that could probably be compensated for with DSP adjustments to the rendering path if the two had worked together from the start for compatible layouts while it matters very little in relatively narrow width rooms as the difference in location is only a few feet (I can't tell here at all that objects flying straight back are 'widening' or moving outward or whatever as it's too small a distance off the path for most sounds).

In retrospect Auro should have encouraged AVRs to support only 9.1, and for those with 7.1 layouts to array the surround channels with the back surrounds, and adding both surround height and rear surround height, also arrayed. And rather than using a separate, centrally located VOG channel, to array the four Top Surrounds in a typical Atmos room into a single arrayed mono VOG channel.

If I had an unlimited budget I'd use a Trinnov and design a room in just this way.
The only problem with not having a real VOG speaker is that you 100% lose the anchoring stability of a center channel speaker overhead. In other words, the one problem I have in my home theater (and in any Atmos theater) is that if you sit off to the far left or far right, sounds that are supposed to go directly overhead straight through the middle of the theater "pull" to the left or right due to the precedence effect. Center Height and Top Surround solves that problem by putting real hard discrete speakers in the middle of the room allowing sounds to hard track from directly above the center of the screen straight down through the middle of the room for every single seat in the theaters. That's why hard sources are always better than phantom sources when you can use them.
 

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I have the demo disc, that's all. Never bought any of the movies, nothing I was interested in.
I just listened to Mando Diao's Aelita album in Auro-3D again. It's very impressive for the surround use and quite listenable to boot. I gather this was a synth-rock departure from their more "Beatles" sound, but definitely reminds me more of Alan Parsons or Pink Floyd's more synth based songs than the Beatles, but with a sound of its own as well. It's mixed better than any Pink Floyd surround album ever made, IMO. The whole room comes alive. There was even some bits directly overhead, especially on one of the songs. Given your Gilmour Avatar, I think you'd do well to give this one a try and get some more use out of the Auro-3D decoder. ;)
 

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Just bought this one, will let you know what its like (Shipping nowhere near as bad to me).
I tried to order it from that site but the US is not listed in shipping destinations so I don't think we can get it in the US at least not from that site.

Edit, they do ship to the US it is listed as Verenigade Staten

However they will not ship Domino to the US I got this when I tried (Translated):

We draw your attention to the following:
Unfortunately "Domino (Blu-ray)" from the order cannot be delivered to the country of your delivery address. Please enter a delivery address in another country, or remove the item from the shopping cart. Tip: By setting the country flag to your country in the account settings, you will only see items that are available in your country.
 
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