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Bass Enabler
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Has anybody out there upgraded there height channels from small satillite to bigger driver speakers. I built a system with used speakers. Monitor 7 V2 fronts cc370 centre, mini monitors for surrounds and currently cinema 70 for heights. I just found a set of 4 atom v2 for a good price. Would I notice any difference. All being powered by avr4300h.
Rich
I am not familiar with those speakers but upgrading to more capable overhead/heights is always welcome when applicable.

When possible, try to match them with your surrounds (or whole system).

Bottom line, there are two competing factors:
1) All channels are "full range", and there are definitely some movies that have powerful effects in the heights, and when that happens you will notice the difference
2) On the flip side, it doesn't really happen that often, and it's also the area where our hearing is least sensitive so you can "get away" with more compromises above you

So if you're happy with the current setup, and you don't want bigger speakers hanging off the ceiling, just enjoy what you have. BUT, if you're willing to have bigger speakers, and you're itching to upgrade those and have the heights be more well-matched in capability to the surrounds, it will be an upgrade.... not a HUGE upgrade, but there will be times where you will appreciate the additional impact and dynamics above you.

Whether it's worth going to the trouble for an upgrade that will only be noticeable ~10% of the time.... that's up to you :)
Good perspective.

There's another solution but AFAIK it can only be done on the Altitude.
I've got a chalkboard up somewhere that tracks: Stuarts posts without Trinnov Altitude mention

I have yet to write a 1 on that board.

:p
 

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To those who are successfully running .4 TF/TR with in-ceiling speakers and a couch against the wall, did you go with the Dolby recommended 30 - 55 degree placement for the top fronts?

Or a larger or smaller angle, given that the top rears are basically straight above or very slightly behind, so we're not exactly doing this by the book anymore? Or did you determine the angle based on the speaker's off-axis dispersion?

I have my top rears in place - that was the easy part, as an immovable couch and wall determined their position. I'm just struggling to decide on the optimal angles for the top fronts.

Opinions from people without couch/wall restrictions also welcome.
 

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I've got a chalkboard up somewhere that tracks: Stuarts posts without Trinnov Altitude mention

I have yet to write a 1 on that board.

:p
Wrong! Check out a certain Home Theater Group you're familiar with where I'm a virtual member. LOL.

And only 21 days ago here :D :
 

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To those who are successfully running .4 TF/TR with in-ceiling speakers and a couch against the wall, did you go with the Dolby recommended 30 - 55 degree placement for the top fronts?

Or a larger or smaller angle, given that the top rears are basically straight above or very slightly behind, so we're not exactly doing this by the book anymore? Or did you determine the angle based on the speaker's off-axis dispersion?

I have my top rears in place - that was the easy part, as an immovable couch and wall determined their position. I'm just struggling to decide on the optimal angles for the top fronts.

Opinions from people without couch/wall restrictions also welcome.
I would keep them as close to the MLP as possible or the sound will seem to come from the LCR.

If you have your main listening position against a wall I do not feel that four overhead speakers add any value. I have six overhead speakers and two rows of seating. If I were to do it over I would likely only have one row of overhead (top) atmos speakers directly over the front row. For your case I would mount one row of overheads about 18” in front of your ear position (ceiling mounted). Too many rows makes it indistinguishable from the LCR as sound moves from rear to front or vice versa.

It’s also critical to have “enough” acoustic panels so that reflections and echo are very well controlled or your ceiling speakers can bounce off walls and the sound will be too diffuse and blend with surrounds. For this reason I mounted my top speakers about four feet from the walls and I still have some issue with sound from top speakers bleeding into surrounds.(I plan to add more acoustic panels).... see photo below:








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5.1.2 is still great for Atmos/DTS:X and DSU&NeuralX. Enjoy your setup!!

yeah, so BTTF 4K Dolby Atmos; the Atmos is a big letdown. Once again; the movie sound engineer for this disc release fails us again! it just baffles the mind. Its as if Dolby needs to quality check these sound mixes before they get released, if the movie studios would let them. We know the sound mix can be done for creative reasons; IE not wanting to change anything; but not taking advantage of the technology is a big miss entirely.
 

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Has anyone heard the Atmos mix for Beetlejuice? I was thinking of getting it, but after the disappointment that is Back to the Future I'd hate to find out it's no better than my old bluray.
 

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I just watched Back To The Future Part II in Dolby Atmos. I'd say this soundtrack was a little better than the first movie in Atmos, probably because there was a lot of flying car sounds that used the overhead speakers, but even so, it could have been a lot more immersive overall. Even with the thunder at the end, it was mostly in the front height overheads. It only occasionally used the top middle or rear locations (it seemed to use them more during the 2015 storm when the DeLorean landed).

But what's sad is I just watched a movie from 2005 called "Skeleton Key" and it had only 5.1 sound, but upmixed with Neural X, it used the overheads MUCH more than either Back To The Future movie in actual Atmos, especially for storms which were really spread out overhead across the whole room. In fact, with a bit of an almost haunted theme, it had a lot of surround effects used well throughout and upmixed very well. I'm more convinced than ever that a very competent soundtrack in 5.1 upmixed with Neural X beats a poor Atmos soundtrack any day of the week.
 

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How are you able to watch the Back to the Future 4k releases? I thought they weren’t out till the 20th. Thanks for the review on them though.
 

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How are you able to watch the Back to the Future 4k releases? I thought they weren’t out till the 20th. Thanks for the review on them though.
iTunes has them now so my digital copies from the previous boxset got upgraded to 4K + Atmos and they are available now. Streaming seems to get releases before Blu-Rays these days.

I'm sure there's at least a couple of people (from previous cases) that think the iTunes versions sound completely different from the TrueHD based UHD discs, but that's simply not the case anymore than an AAC music track "sounds different" from a CD version (any differences are nearly inaudible or the lossy codecs aren't doing their job). They are more or less identical sounding to the ear every time I've compared them so I think they are still a fair indication of how the UHD discs will sound and certainly will not change the fact they hardly use the surrounds and overheads compared to other Atmos movies like Overlord (which is quite active on both the disc and iTunes versions).
 

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If you have your main listening position against a wall I do not feel that four overhead speakers add any value. I have six overhead speakers and two rows of seating. If I were to do it over I would likely only have one row of overhead (top) atmos speakers directly over the front row. For your case I would mount one row of overheads about 18” in front of your ear position (ceiling mounted). Too many rows makes it indistinguishable from the LCR as sound moves from rear to front or vice versa.
Your setup looks very nice so I can't really understand why you recommend only 2 overhead speakers unless it's because you seem to prefer overhead sounds to be directly overhead and moving forward/backward lowers their effective angle and they sound closer to the front/rear walls (based on the rest of your post where you seem to hate them blending into the side surrounds and front mains).

The person you're talking to, however, should be aware that with only 2, one won't get any front to back overhead panning (e.g. The Dolby Atmos helicopter demo would have the helicopter just moving left to right and right to left rather than in a circle overhead). Personally, I don't care if the guy's couch is against the rear wall. He'll still get better overhead sound with 4 overheads than 2. I can shrink my setup down to 5.1.4 with my speaker switchbox and settings (using top middle as rear height or top rear) and it still sounds excellent (to my ears) that way and the top middle speakers are only a little behind the first row, but it sounds good from the 2nd row even with all four in front of the seats as you can still hear the helicopter traveling in a circle instead of just a line.

It’s also critical to have “enough” acoustic panels so that reflections and echo are very well controlled or your ceiling speakers can bounce off walls and the sound will be too diffuse and blend with surrounds. For this reason I mounted my top speakers about four feet from the walls and I still have some issue with sound from top speakers bleeding into surrounds.(I plan to add more acoustic panels).... see photo below:
If your ceiling speakers don't "blend" with the surrounds then instead of a bubble, you'll have more of a hemisphere with a dead zone between the two. I think sounds should be able to pan upwards into the ceiling from the surrounds without skipping over a spot in-between. In other words, there should be a continuous sound field, not two completely separate ones as you seem to imply. I believe your remaining "issue" is how it's actually supposed to work with the speakers "disappearing" and sounds simply coming from wherever they are meant to come from in the room. Still, life is subjective and if you prefer more overhead isolation, that's what you prefer.

You could bring them even closer together (in all directions) overhead and it would both limit their travel (more directly overhead) while having some movement and isolate them further from your lower speakers. That is not how it's designed to work, but I think people should be happy with their systems and it's become clear to me over the past couple of years that some people prefer most of the overhead sounds directly overhead rather than towards the walls, be they side walls or even front walls so as to emphasize the overhead effect to a place they never heard sounds anywhere near with 5.1 or 7.1 only or at least that's been my impression and probably the reason why many prefer "tops" speakers over "height" speakers as they eliminate half the ceiling travel in the front/rear direction in total (being typically 25% into the room in either direction front/back to get the 45 degree angle) as opposed to height speakers which typically start directly above the screen or closer to it and tend to cover the same distances as the lower ear level speakers (and in my case needed top middle to get strong imaging overhead when something is supposed to be halfway in-between them).

If I'm misreading your post, please feel free to clarify.
 

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Another recent Apple development. It seems Apple has come to some kind of an arrangement with Disney as previously, their movies were unavailable in 4K and/or Atmos (as Apple did not want to allow Disney to charge more than $20 for a film, which caused a riff between them), is now no longer the case. All my Disney movies on iTunes that Disney has in 4K and/or Atmos on Disney+ are now upgraded as well in the iTunes store, including all the Star Wars and Marvel films. I've noticed the new Mulan is for sale at $29.99, but given it didn't go through the traditional movie theater showing first, I don't know if that will only apply to new releases or whether they will no allow Disney to charge >$20 at all times if they so desire.
 

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iTunes has them now so my digital copies from the previous boxset got upgraded to 4K + Atmos and they are available now. Streaming seems to get releases before Blu-Rays these days.

I'm sure there's at least a couple of people (from previous cases) that think the iTunes versions sound completely different from the TrueHD based UHD discs, but that's simply not the case anymore than an AAC music track "sounds different" from a CD version (any differences are nearly inaudible or the lossy codecs aren't doing their job). They are more or less identical sounding to the ear every time I've compared them so I think they are still a fair indication of how the UHD discs will sound and certainly will not change the fact they hardly use the surrounds and overheads compared to other Atmos movies like Overlord (which is quite active on both the disc and iTunes versions).
Is it not true that most steaming providers , including iTunes , “compress” the digital audio (Atmos) stream? I recall seeing comments this processing worsened the dynamic range especially in the
bass frequencies.

If this is the case , I am surprised as you would think the Audio track would just be a fraction of the total file size ie compared to video - why compress it at all.


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Is it not true that most steaming providers , including iTunes , “compress” the digital audio (Atmos) stream? I recall seeing comments this processing worsened the dynamic range especially in the
bass frequencies.

If this is the case , I am surprised as you would think the Audio track would just be a fraction of the total file size ie compared to video - why compress it at all.


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I've read all manner of "audiophile-like" claims against Dolby Digital Plus that are based on hearing claims rather than any kind of actual proof. Limited dynamic range through compression would normally result in more (louder) bass like in the so-called "loudness wars" on CD not less bass. AppleTV does seem to output lower average levels than Bluray players for unknown reasons as are the mp4s that Dolby themselves released, but that is not the same thing.

Even if it were true, the placement of objects and amount of surround effects would be unaffected. The Atmos demos from Dolby in MP4 with DD+ sound the same once level matched (although some changed a thing or two like front wides not using "snap to" in the channel tests that were used on the demo discs).

As for file size type compression, lossless compression of audio actually takes up a lot of space (around 6GB on a typical movie). Video is also compressed on both formats, but typically 2-3x more for streaming. It has also been claimed on here that TrueHD is not viable for streaming at current average Internet speeds and ping times, but I've seen little more than posturing (I.e. Take my word for it) as proof of this. Streamers can prebuffer as much as needed before starting playback based on average transfer rates. They do not need to be sent in real time for movie playback. Size is money, however regardless and lossless music only files are still not the norm in 2020 that we had clear back in 1983 with Compact Discs. Unlimited streaming has made this less likely in many cases, but competition may improve things as some services are upping quality to differentiate themselves from one another.
 

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Discussion Starter #59,215 (Edited)
Is it not true that most steaming providers , including iTunes , “compress” the digital audio (Atmos) stream? I recall seeing comments this processing worsened the dynamic range especially in the
bass frequencies.

If this is the case , I am surprised as you would think the Audio track would just be a fraction of the total file size ie compared to video - why compress it at all.


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Maybe you're confusing audio compression (Dynamic range compression - Wikipedia) and data compression (Data compression - Wikipedia)? They are two completely different things. Data compression doesn't result in dynamic range compression and vice versa.
 

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as if having a lackluster dolby atmos soundtrack on the BTTF 4k trilogy disc release was bad enough, who @ universal designed the horrible new artwork on all the packaging? it is atrocious, its as if someone designed it has no idea what these films mean, why they are important, etc. what a joke!
 

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I guess no one has heard the Beetlejuice Atmos track. The "Pro" reviews can't be trusted either as they routinely just praise everything, in my experience, making them utterly worthless as sources of information.
 

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I guess no one has heard the Beetlejuice Atmos track. The "Pro" reviews can't be trusted either as they routinely just praise everything, in my experience, making them utterly worthless as sources of information.
 

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I moved a little over a month ago. My new place was pre-wired in-ceiling for 5.1. I’m using the in-ceiling surrounds as my surrounds. I don’t have the space for ear level speakers. I also put in 2 ceiling speakers where the front left and front right are. I’m using these as Atmos speakers. They are directly above my tower speakers. Should I designate them as “top front” or “front height” on my Denon?
 
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