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Why is the Dolby recommended setup for 4.1.4 different than 5.1.4 in terms of surround placement? I currently have my 4.1.4 system set up in a 5.1.4 manner (similar but not exact). Is the center channel supposed to have that big of an effect?

Do I really have to get a center channel if I wish to keep my current placement for optimal results? It's mostly just a one man theater.
 

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I apologize in advance if this has been covered earlier, but are bipole surrounds counterproductive in a Dolby atmos environment? I was planning to add (Bipoles) as side/surrounds but I’m not sure if that’s going “against the grain” so as to speak. I intend to place them on stands at ear level.
Dolby do not recommend bipoles and after testing them, neither do I.
I set up a pair as side surrounds and it killed the surround sound effect - when a sound travelled from front to back it would be very louad and pronounced coming from the rear and then it would 'jump' to the front instead of seamlessly travelling the whole length of the room. Surround sound (and especially Atmos) works on the premise that sound is directed at a point in space - if a speaker is outputting the exact same sound but in 2 different directions then it just won't sound right.

Sure you can use them and it will possibly still sound ok (as others seem to have done) but it will not sound as good as using direct firing speakers, assuming you don't have any weird room, furniture or speaker placement constraints.
 

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Why is the Dolby recommended setup for 4.1.4 different than 5.1.4 in terms of overhead placement? I currently have my 4.1.4 system set up in a 5.1.4 manner (similar but not exact). Is the center channel supposed to have that big of an effect?

Do I really have to get a center channel if I wish to keep my current placement for optimal results? It's mostly just a one man theater.
I don't know where you read that but the only difference between 5.1.4 and 4.1.4 is the missing centre channel and the surrounds are moved back a bit further - overheads are exactly the same.
 

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Yes, surround placement. My question still stands
oops sorry I thought you meant the heights - this is an Atmos thread so I assumed you were talking about Atmos speakers - my bad.
I wouldn't worry too much about the surrounds - if you can't move them just leave them.
 

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I apologize in advance if this has been covered earlier, but are bipole surrounds counterproductive in a Dolby atmos environment? I was planning to add (Bipoles) as side/surrounds but I’m not sure if that’s going “against the grain” so as to speak. I intend to place them on stands at ear level.
Dolby do not recommend bipoles and after testing them, neither do I.
I do not have an opinion one way or the other on this subject, but I am unaware of any Dolby guidance against using bipole speakers in this context. Do you have a source?

For the record, here is the published Dolby guidance:

Most existing speakers within current home theaters will work for Dolby Atmos playback.
Floor-standing, stand-mounted, on-wall, and in-wall speakers that currently produce audio at
the listener level can be complemented with overhead speakers and/or Dolby Atmos enabled
speakers to generate the height plane of overhead sounds. You can also add more speakers
at listener level or above, if the AVR or preprocessor supports them, to add greater precision
to object audio placement and movement. With the exception of the center and center
surround speakers, all speakers in a Dolby Atmos playback system must be added in pairs.
Note: Dipole surround speakers are not recommended for use for Dolby Atmos playback.


Dolby Atmos® Home Theater Installation Guidelines
 

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I do not have an opinion one way or the other on this subject, but I am unaware of any Dolby guidance against using bipole speakers in this context. Do you have a source?

For the record, here is the published Dolby guidance:
[...]
Note: Dipole surround speakers are not recommended for use for Dolby Atmos playback.

Dolby Atmos® Home Theater Installation Guidelines
I predict there will not be a source forthcoming and it's the same mistake many people have made, thinking that bipoles and dipoles are both recommended against when nothing could be further from the truth. Bipoles are absolutely fine. It is, and only ever has been, dipoles that Dolby recommends against.
 

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You can still find the Onkyo tx nr 797 for around 800 I have the tx nr 787 an older model running a 5.1.4 system and it has been fantastic. Onkyo does not have any new models I currently see which is unfortunate because they were pushing affordable 9 channel av recievers. There is no question idf i neede a 9 channel reciever I would have zero hesitation buying the 797 vs higher priced marantz denon etc. It has worked flawlessly for me.
A little over a year ago, the 787 was available at a price that forced me to buy it even though I had no plans to upgrade my existing 7.1 system and was convinced that ATMOS/DTS X was a gimmick. After sourcing out matching speakers for the height channels and using ONKYO's improved setup procedure, I fell deeply in love with 3D audio.

It's a dual edged sword. Like GOLFA (garage), I had limitless placement possibilities in my basement setup. I opted for a 7.2.2 setup with middle heights. I sought out as much ATMOS content as I could find and went back into my catalogue and tried upsampling many titles with the amp's built in DSU. IT WAS AWESOME!!! ...and of course led to questions like -If two height channels are good, would 4 channels be better? If ADVANCED EQ is this good, can AUDESSEY be better?

In December, a DENON X4500h came up on Amazon warehouse at a price that once again forced me to buy it. With external amplification, I can now support 4 overhead channels and have fallen down the AUDESSY rabbit hole. I've answered my questions definitively.

My advice to GOLFA, would be to go the same route. Pickup up a low priced ONKYO for now, save up for the increased channels later. As long as he has the flexibility in speaker placement, he can enjoy 3D audio now and improve upon it later.
 

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are bipole surrounds counterproductive in a Dolby atmos environment?
On the contrary, IMO.

My experience is that the closer to omnidirectional (leaving aside dipoles and their out-of-phase drivers) a surround speaker is, the better; otherwise they're prone to drawing attention to themselves as sound sources.


I set up a pair as side surrounds and it killed the surround sound effect - when a sound travelled from front to back it would be very louad and pronounced coming from the rear and then it would 'jump' to the front instead of seamlessly travelling the whole length of the room.
Sounds like they needed more level.


Surround sound (and especially Atmos) works on the premise that sound is directed at a point in space - if a speaker is outputting the exact same sound but in 2 different directions then it just won't sound right.
Every speaker puts out the same sound in many directions; what we hear is the sum.

That's also counter to the many successful omnidirectional speaker designs.
 

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I have a question for all the Atmos Experts here: If one is limited to one pair of height (ceiling) speakers, about 3 feet in front of the MLP, 8 foot ceiling, but well in front to the LCR, should those speakers be designated top front or top middle?

Thanks for everybody's thoughts on this.
 

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I have a question for all the Atmos Experts here: If one is limited to one pair of height (ceiling) speakers, about 3 feet in front of the MLP, 8 foot ceiling, but well in front to the LCR, should those speakers be designated top front or top middle?

Thanks for everybody's thoughts on this.
Full disclosure: I’m definitely not an expert. Lol.

I would assign them as front heights since it’s in front of the MLP, irrespective of the distance. And when you decide to add 2 additional channels in the future, I would place them directly above or just behind the MLP.

Secondly top middles are not recognized by Auro-3D, in case you decide to utilize that format at a later stage. So you get a more Universal layout with front heights. Ideally you should have top middles, when you have 6 Dolby atmos channels.
 

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Dolby do not recommend bipoles and after testing them, neither do I.
I set up a pair as side surrounds and it killed the surround sound effect - when a sound travelled from front to back it would be very louad and pronounced coming from the rear and then it would 'jump' to the front instead of seamlessly travelling the whole length of the room. Surround sound (and especially Atmos) works on the premise that sound is directed at a point in space - if a speaker is outputting the exact same sound but in 2 different directions then it just won't sound right.

Sure you can use them and it will possibly still sound ok (as others seem to have done) but it will not sound as good as using direct firing speakers, assuming you don't have any weird room, furniture or speaker placement constraints.
***No. Way too general of a statement. It’s totally room dependent. In my smaller man cave (9.1.4 with Front Wides) and 7’ 6” ceiling, bipole side surrounds went off like firecrackers. It sounded like a gun going off every time they engaged. It totally destroyed my Atmos setup. I switched to Paradigm Dipoles and problem solved.

OK - follow Dolby’s advice for bipoles IF your layout permits. Most larger rooms shouldn’t have any problem. But if your layout is like mine, don’t be afraid to go with Dipoles for side surrounds.
 
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I have a question for all the Atmos Experts here: If one is limited to one pair of height (ceiling) speakers, about 3 feet in front of the MLP, 8 foot ceiling, but well in front to the LCR, should those speakers be designated top front or top middle?

Thanks for everybody's thoughts on this.
I’d assign them as top fronts since that’s closer the the actual top front location. It won’t matter though. If only using 2, they get the same content anyway.
 

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I apologize in advance if this has been covered earlier, but are bipole surrounds counterproductive in a Dolby atmos environment? I was planning to add (Bipoles) as side/surrounds but I’m not sure if that’s going “against the grain” so as to speak. I intend to place them on stands at ear level.
Question is, how did you decide on bipoles? In a narrow room, they seem to work ok but just wondering how you got there. Ime, monopoles work better in creating more precise placement and clearer soundfield. They might hotspot a little though if they’re too close.
 

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I’d assign them as top fronts since that’s closer the the actual top front location. It won’t matter though. If only using 2, they get the same content anyway.
I’m not sure this is correct. If I play the Atmos helicopter demo there is a quite noticeable difference between TF and TM. Is it possible that different receivers process Atmos differently?
 

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I had posted this on the denon forums as well.


Just finished watching the SpareChange live stream on YouTube featuring the famous German Youtuber Patrick from Grobi tv.

Very interesting exchange on the Dolby atmos implementation for 6 height channels. Patrick was alluding to the fact that on most of the Dolby atmos supported movies (Kong Skull island/ Ready player one etc.), only the top middles were active and the rest (front and rear height channels) were essentially silent/inactive.

This is the video (1:03:00 onwards):

 

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I’m not sure this is correct. If I play the Atmos helicopter demo there is a quite noticeable difference between TF and TM. Is it possible that different receivers process Atmos differently?
Hi Dave. I’m curious what it is that you found to be different. The receivers should process Atmos the same since what’s on the track is on the track, and the decoders are the same(afaik). Differences you might hear between differences AVR’s would likely be attributed to a “sound mode” like Yamaha uses, or maybe differences in EQ between ypao or audyssey, or Dirac etc. Playback differences in top/height designations I can’t say. I have .4 tops and only select between DTS-NX or DSU. I have two versions of the helicopter demo. One atmos, and one not. When I upmix via DTSnx the helicopter is definitely “lower” in my room while DSU puts it more between the height and bed layer(iirc). The Atmos version is all above. Not sure that has anything to do with the conversation lol.
 
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