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DIY Surround Pre-Pro: Apple Logic Pro + Dolby Atmos

kongwee

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LPX totally not for enjoyment app. You can't decode encode on fly, not to mention about the audio interface.
 

chris719

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Mediocre compared to what actual product that is on the market?

Go find me a 13-channel DAC that includes channel delay and level set, decent room correction and bass management for less than the price of an X3700H($1600 currently, apparently) and has >97dB SINAD. Completely ignoring codecs, video inputs, etc.

The only things I know that even come close to that price per channel and performance are pro audio interfaces, and they usually can't do room correction or bass management internally.

Balanced outputs are nice-to-have but don't actually do anything unless you have serious ground loop problems or the like.

Mediocre is perhaps the wrong word, but this is far from an ideal product compared to what should and would be on the market if HDMI, HDCP, and Dolby codecs were open to licensing with reasonable terms for small businesses.

I don't want a huge box with 11+ channels of power amplifiers in it just so I can ignore them. I agree it's not a big issue, but I believe all products should have balanced outputs, because ground loops do still happen, especially as you add more devices to a chain. Not everything is or will be Class II double insulated construction. Referencing your signal to an inter-chassis connection is not ideal. I'd also appreciate some options with fewer channels, more Dirac options, and MiniDSP-like capabilities.

I suspect that many companies have wanted to make devices like this but haven't been able to risk the outlay required. My dealings with the HDMI Forum have been unpleasant enough while working for a large multinational corporation. Good luck buying transceivers that support the latest standards, even if you don't need HDCP.

You're not wrong, but my overall point is that the current state of affairs is not great, and Dolby's business model is indirectly contributing to it. Options for separates and processors have been steadily decreasing. Once soundbars and lock-in eat what's left of the AVR market, what then?
 

Sancus

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You're not wrong, but my overall point is that the current state of affairs is not great, and Dolby's business model is indirectly contributing to it.
I don't disagree with you at all, my problem is people complain about this kind of stuff but they're generally not willing to put their money where their mouth is.

The stuff Dolby does costs money to do, they've chosen to charge businesses directly as their model. I'm all for open standards, but unfortunately a lot of the time doing that means that the folks who build the specs and the software don't get paid. This is a topic of some discussion in the open source community right now, but it's always been a problem.

All that said, if I was running Dolby, I would probably make their licensing more friendly to smaller businesses. They're no doubt losing some revenue because of how difficult they are to work with. But considering their near-monopoly status in Film/TV and accelerating growth in music, it's hard to argue that they've made the *wrong business choices* in general.

Are those business choices bad for consumers? Certainly, but until we figure out how to do a better job of funding open source there's not a lot of great business model choices for R&D/spec companies like Dolby.
 

chris719

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I don't disagree with you at all, my problem is people complain about this kind of stuff but they're generally not willing to put their money where their mouth is.

The stuff Dolby does costs money to do, they've chosen to charge businesses directly as their model. I'm all for open standards, but unfortunately a lot of the time doing that means that the folks who build the specs and the software don't get paid. This is a topic of some discussion in the open source community right now, but it's always been a problem.

All that said, if I was running Dolby, I would probably make their licensing more friendly to smaller businesses. They're no doubt losing some revenue because of how difficult they are to work with. But considering their near-monopoly status in Film/TV and accelerating growth in music, it's hard to argue that they've made the *wrong business choices* in general.

Are those business choices bad for consumers? Certainly, but until we figure out how to do a better job of funding open source there's not a lot of great business model choices for R&D/spec companies like Dolby.

You raise some valid points. I don’t even think the standards need to be purely open source development efforts. It can work out pretty well when chip companies or industry working groups develop a spec, because they are using it to drive chip sales and not relying on it as a major source of revenue. USB is a good example of this working. Then again, HDMI didn’t turn out as friendly.

Agree that some tweaks to how they do business would go a long way. If Dolby were more open on decoders, that would probably help consumers. Same thing with licensing terms to encourage startups. I’m afraid that many of Dolby’s key customers like the current state of affairs, though. If you’re a big consumer electronics company, you don’t really want to lower any barriers to entry.
 
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phoenixdogfan

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Mediocre compared to what actual product that is on the market?

Go find me a 13-channel DAC that includes channel delay and level set, decent room correction and bass management for less than the price of an X3700H($1600 currently, apparently) and has >97dB SINAD. Completely ignoring codecs, video inputs, etc.

The only things I know that even come close to that price per channel and performance are pro audio interfaces, and they usually can't do room correction or bass management internally.

Balanced outputs are nice-to-have but don't actually do anything unless you have serious ground loop problems or the like.
Have to agree on this one. I would strongly prefer to run all Codecs on a small, Windows or Apple box, pipe lpcm out via usb to a multi channel dac or dacs, control volume via software such as Jriver, have multi-channel dsp, peq, bass management and video rendering with no lip sync issues in a single software player with whatever required plugins for Dirac, etc. And I can do that--up to 7.1 with JRiver, but no further b/c the owners of the object based Codecs (Atmos and DTS-X) and the most advanced channel based codec (Auro 3D) will not allow their proprietary codes to run on a PC.

So, I do have a Smyth A16 Realizer which will already do ATMOS and DTS-X, and soon Auro 3D, and that's my route forward. Only problem is PEQ and DSP by channel are currently non-existent, but may be added in the future via firmware download--if (and it's a mighty big if) Smyth remains solvent and a going concern. If they do remain solvent, I have both a viable home theater processor and the gold standard for binaural audio speaker emulator for headphones already paid for and sitting in my equipment rack. From there it's a relatively trivial matter to buy a couple of Aiyima A07's and four used surround speakers to serve for height channels.
 
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