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Dolby Atmos

FrantzM

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Hi

Confinement is a beach (on-purpose play on spelling)... I am forced to come up with ways not to get bored to death. We all are.

I am working on a separate 2-channel system. I have opened a thread on that and am making sloooow progress. I already have a decent HT with the following components
Denon AVR-X3400H
3 JBL LSR 308 for LCR
2 JBL LSR 305 for Surround
3 Parts Express Subwoofers
BenQ HT2550A PJ
Electric Screen ( Soon to be a Stewart)
Samsung BD Player
Mostly Netflix and Amazon Prime but acquiring some BD material from time to time... This system works, it is surprisingly good. It reaches in my concrete 6 x 4 x 2.5m, concrete room, deafening SPL, 110 dB was measured in an Aquaman and I think it could go higher. I rarely surpass 95 dB at the listening position, which to me, is unbearably loud.

I am interested in Dolby Atmos. I find that good audio adds to my enjoyment of many movies. For some movies it is only the clarity of the dialog but on some, the sound add a new dimension to the actions , even romantic movies profit from great audio ... YMMV. Atmos seems to pass through Dolby True HD or Dolby Digital va HDMI, a requirements it seems. I have that, my AVR can decode Atmos and DTS-X... I suppose my ultra-El Cheapo BD-player will at least pass the Atmos information to the Denon AVR X-3400H which in my system works as a Pre/Pro with 9 channels of amplification unused. My questions:

Will the Samsung BD-5700 send Atmos to the AVR? (I use it as the streaming gateway, it has the Netflix and Prime apps)
Do Netflix or Prime encode the Atmos info in their 5.1 data stream if it is present in the original?
Can I use any vaguely decent speakers on the ceiling, and enjoy Atmos? I suppose they must be able to play loud, I am not trying to put a Neuman KH 8341 up there on account of perfect fidelity... does Atmos require that?

All that in the context of Home Theatre/Movies. I am not yet interested in MCH for music.

Your learned replies will be most appreciated.


A corporate customer for whom I was installing a Video Conference system offered me a pair of Bose 161:facepalm: for close to nothing ...
 
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Dj7675

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Will the Samsung BD-5700 send Atmos to the AVR? (I use it as the streaming gateway, it has the Netflix and Prime apps)
Yes for Blu-ray discs. Not sure if the Amazon and Netflix app on that device send Atmos or not. Seems like the various bluray players apps are hit/miss on sending atmos. This caused me to get just a streaming device. I went with the AppleTV 4K. It is excellent and supports atmos for the various services that supports it.
Do Netflix or Prime encode the Atmos info in their 5.1 data stream if it is present in the original?
Both Amazon and Netflix have some Atmos movie/series content (As does Apple). With Amazon you get it when you subscribe to prime, with Netflix, you have to subscribe to their most expensive plan I believe. I don’t subscribe to the netflix plan that offers atmos, so nothing to share there. Some of the Amazon original series have atmos but I haven’t noticed many movies with atmos. In the cases were no atmos is present you can upmix via the dolby or DTS upmixers and it works pretty well. The best is disc based viewing. A surprisingly good source is your local library where you can check them out or Redbox of course. I will generally look at blue-ray.com for reviews to see the audio formats available. Some blu-rays will have atmos/DTSx and sometimes only the 4K disc will have atmos/dtsx.
I would encourage you to try it out as it is very enjoyable. Check out Dolby.com of course for speaker layout guidlines. For 2 height channels I believe they want them directly overhead or slightly Forward of your listing position. I prefer small bookshelves mounted and aimed at you but many like in ceiling as well. I don’t think I would go crazy on the cost of them.
 
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FrantzM

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Yes for Blu-ray discs. Not sure if the Amazon and Netflix app on that device send Atmos or not. Seems like the various bluray players apps are hit/miss on sending atmos. This caused me to get just a streaming device. I went with the AppleTV 4K. It is excellent and supports atmos for the various services that supports it.

Both Amazon and Netflix have some Atmos movie/series content (As does Apple). With Amazon you get it when you subscribe to prime, with Netflix, you have to subscribe to their most expensive plan I believe. I don’t subscribe to the netflix plan that offers atmos, so nothing to share there. Some of the Amazon original series have atmos but I haven’t noticed many movies with atmos. In the cases were no atmos is present you can upmix via the dolby or DTS upmixers and it works pretty well. The best is disc based viewing. A surprisingly good source is your local library where you can check them out or Redbox of course. I will generally look at blue-ray.com for reviews to see the audio formats available. Some blu-rays will have atmos/DTSx and sometimes only the 4K disc will have atmos/dtsx.
I would encourage you to try it out as it is very enjoyable. Check out Dolby.com of course for speaker layout guidlines. For 2 height channels I believe they want them directly overhead or slightly Forward of your listing position. I prefer small bookshelves mounted and aimed at you but many like in ceiling as well. I don’t think I would go crazy on the cost of them.

THANKS!!!

The more I read about Atmos (and DTS-X) , the more I find it exceptional. The way it scales up for example... Manyhink in term of 7 or 5 channels MCH( I'll conveniently forget the .1, an issue in itself as it doesn't mean a sub but a LFE channel ...) Atmos scales to any number of channels your system has, I believe up to 21!!! If the soundtrack is in Atmos, the device places the sound in the appropriate channel depending on availability!

Now I need to find if the Universal players I have in mind (SONY, LG, Samsung) do indeed passthrough the Atmos info from their apps... I''ll share what I have found with you. I may go for a wide dispersion JBL speaker to stay in the family at a cheap price :) but the price of the offer for the 161 is mighty tempting. Now does Audyssey XT32 EQ work with Atmos?
 
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MZKM

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Audyssey works with Atmos.

I am not 100% sure if your streamer/player will pass Atmos. It does pass thru as Dolby TrueHD from streaming sites, but I don’t know if it’s the same as the codec for TrueHD when your player was released.

There is an easy way to check though. Find a title that has Atmos, tell your receiver you have Atmos speakers (Front Height for instance), and see if the receiver says Atmos when playing it.

To be extra sure, take a pair of your surrounds and unplug them from the surround preouf on the AVR and use the Atmos preout, and see if audio plays thru them when you tell the AVR you have Atmos speakers.
 

jhaider

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Confinement is a beach (on-purpose play on spelling)... I am forced to come up with ways not to get bored to death. We all are.

You could try keeping a 6 year-old entertained and a 3 month old alive. You won't ever be bored! :)

Can I use any vaguely decent speakers on the ceiling, and enjoy Atmos? I suppose they must be able to play loud, I am not trying to put a Neuman KH 8341 up there on account of perfect fidelity... does Atmos require that?

I don't have any experience with big, elite speakers for heights. We use good looking but relatively small speakers (Tannoy Revolution XT Mini). They seem to work pretty well, though my interest is more music than cinema. I would say try what's available and if you like the concept but need better speakers the hard part (running wires and mounts) will already be done.
 
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FrantzM

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You could try keeping a 6 year-old entertained and a 3 month old alive. You won't ever be bored! :)



I don't have any experience with big, elite speakers for heights. We use good looking but relatively small speakers (Tannoy Revolution XT Mini). They seem to work pretty well, though my interest is more music than cinema. I would say try what's available and if you like the concept but need better speakers the hard part (running wires and mounts) will already be done.

Good advice on the wires, I will get the Bose 161 :) , install the ceiling speakers and run Audyssey App later today
@MKZM
thanks for your replies. My streamer doesn't do the job on Netflix, perhaps time to acquire a more serious one, will have to check online which models passes through the Atmos info. Returning a unit that doesn't work for my application is not easy in my location.
 
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FrantzM

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Hi

I acquired yesterday an Apple TV 4K and a pair of Bose 161 and installed them. I had, as recommended by MKZM earlier, "suggested" to the Denon AVR-X3400H , the presence of height speakers to check on my BD player. it was playing nice with Atmos. the Apple TV 4K does output Atmos.
I used the Audyssey $20 App, it correctly identified and integrated the Atmos speakers in my mix of speakers. Audyssey crossed over the height speakers at 120 Hz perhaps the lower limit of the Bose 161 or is it an Atmos thing? I am learning to use RatBuddyssey, although it crashes often on my laptop, to apply a bit of "house curve" in the lows.
Fired up a regular 5.1 movie, not much difference but with an Atmos movie, such as Black Panther , the difference is NOT subtle. Atmos brings a lot to the table, a sense of envelopment that "5-channel" doesn't. It could be movie or soundtrack dependent but it does work.
I am very pleased.

I ran into a strange issue concerning the Apple TV 4K device, movies seemed pixelated in comparison to the Samsung BD-5700j (2015 model) I was using. I upgraded late at night its firmware and will report... There are many variables as my Internet service is not the greatest, although the local ISP recently "upgraded" the service to a "blazing" 9 Mb/s. We'll see tonight.
Frankly Atmos brings a new dimension to the experience of MCH. I would suggest to anyone interested in HT to give it a try, Not that complicated ti implement. One doesn't seem to have to go all audiophile-OCD on the ceiling speakers... I followed these guidelines from Dolby Labs:
https://www.dolby.com/about/support/guide/speaker-setup-guides/5.1.2-overhead-speaker-setup-guide/

Thanks to all!!
 
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frangle

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Regarding the importance of the fidelity of the ceiling speakers, it depends a bit on the content directed to the height channels (little content, less importance). However, it is generally a good idea to get a reasonable level of tonal balance between speakers in a multi-channel set-up otherwise panning effects can become disjointed and seem unnatural.
 

PaulD

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I suppose they must be able to play loud, I am not trying to put a Neuman KH 8341 up there on account of perfect fidelity... does Atmos require that?

I run a an Atmos post studio with 3 x JBL708p for the LCR, and 22 x JBL705p for the surrounds. I've forgotten what the subs are, except that it was a lot of palaver getting them from Harman. I would suggest similar to what frangle said, that you do not need super fidelity in the overheads, a tonal and level match would be fine. However, bear in mind that I actually also know nothing about domestic installations! I am not well versed in what happens for domestic playback, and I am suspicious of how this is handled in a domestic situation. I have heard a demo of one of those systems that supposedly bounced the overhead sound off the ceiling and I thought it was completely appalling - compared to a studio or high-quality cinema setup.

I do know that Atmos will "fold down" relatively sensibly on replay because there is some intelligence in the playback and a separation of the speaker positions in the production process - you don't just create speaker feeds in Atmos production (all ideas it took from ambisonics useful because of the untenable nature of continued channel count creep).

For me, I would be happy with a high quality 7 channel system in a home cinema and if I could get some height somehow with decent tonal balance I would accept it as a good achievement given that the room is not purpose designed for the system.
 
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FrantzM

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Did I read 22 as in twenty “dos” 705?
 

Dj7675

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Hi

I acquired yesterday an Apple TV 4K and a pair of Bose 161 and installed them. I had, as recommended by MKZM earlier, "suggested" to the Denon AVR-X3400H , the presence of height speakers to check on my BD player. it was playing nice with Atmos. the Apple TV 4K does output Atmos.
I used the Audyssey $20 App, it correctly identified and integrated the Atmos speakers in my mix of speakers. Audyssey crossed over the height speakers at 120 Hz perhaps the lower limit of the Bose 161 or is it an Atmos thing? I am learning to use RatBuddyssey, although it crashes often on my laptop, to apply a bit of "house curve" in the lows.
Fired up a regular 5.1 movie, not much difference but with an Atmos movie, such as Black Panther , the difference is NOT subtle. Atmos brings a lot to the table, a sense of envelopment that "5-channel" doesn't. It could be movie or soundtrack dependent but it does work.
I am very pleased.

I ran into a strange issue concerning the Apple TV 4K device, movies seemed pixelated in comparison to the Samsung BD-5700j (2015 model) I was using. I upgraded late at night its firmware and will report... There are many variables as my Internet service is not the greatest, although the local ISP recently "upgraded" the service to a "blazing" 9 Mb/s. We'll see tonight.
Frankly Atmos brings a new dimension to the experience of MCH. I would suggest to anyone interested in HT to give it a try, Not that complicated ti implement. One doesn't seem to have to go all audiophile-OCD on the ceiling speakers... I followed these guidelines from Dolby Labs:
https://www.dolby.com/about/support/guide/speaker-setup-guides/5.1.2-overhead-speaker-setup-guide/

Thanks to all!!
Very cool. Couple of others recently I found were particular well done atmos were Angel has Fallen and Midway. There are quite a lot to choose from. On the streaming side of things Apple has a series call See in Atmos. Not sure what to think of the series itself, but the opening music track is really amazing as an Atmos demo.
 

PaulD

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Did I read 22 as in twenty “dos” 705?
Yes, 22. It's a medium scale pro installation. Sounds awesome! :D A large scale mix stage is as big as a cinema.
Not suitable for the home however...
 
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FrantzM

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Ok
IT was too beautiful to last :(... FOr some odd reasons which I am researching and sharing with you here. Now I don;t even get an indication of "Dolby Surround", let alone "Dolby Atmos" on my receiver. Mind you the sound is clearly multi-channel but not knowing what to expect ... I can't tell if it is Atmos or not, at least 5.1 .. No longer does the "Dolby Atmos" lights up... I've always used the cheapest HDMI available with great results. In the Apple Forum they seem to suggest to use a Belkin High Speed HDMI cable .. What I don';t get is that it worked for a while !!
It shouldn't be that complicated ... I will get back to you on this... I
 

frangle

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I ran into a strange issue concerning the Apple TV 4K device, movies seemed pixelated in comparison to the Samsung BD-5700j (2015 model) I was using. I upgraded late at night its firmware and will report... There are many variables as my Internet service is not the greatest, although the local ISP recently "upgraded" the service to a "blazing" 9 Mb/s. We'll see tonight.

Thanks to all!!

Streaming service picture quality is nothing like blu-ray, and more significantly, varies considerably according to connection speed.

It’s likely that your loss of Dolby Surround (I’m guessing with DD+) is due to the Apple switching to a lower quality stream. 9Mbps doesn’t sound like enough for a 4K stream. Amazon say 15Mbps, but I find that it needs to be much higher to reliably stay on the 4K streams.
 
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FrantzM

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Streaming service picture quality is nothing like blu-ray, and more significantly, varies considerably according to connection speed.

It’s likely that your loss of Dolby Surround (I’m guessing with DD+) is due to the Apple switching to a lower quality stream. 9Mbps doesn’t sound like enough for a 4K stream. Amazon say 15Mbps, but I find that it needs to be much higher to reliably stay on the 4K streams.
Thanks frangle but the Apple TV is set for 1080p, so the stream is a 1080p. Turns out that shows can be in Atmos one season and not on another. SO far Netflix and Apple TV+ are pretty consistent: If a movie is marked "Atmos" it shows on the AVR. On that front Netflix and Apple TV have hundred of contents in Atmos. Prime VIdeo? Not so. not even a dozen film and/or shows.

A bit off-topic from the OP :D ... I am not sure of the Apple TV+' value proposition, besides the Apple UI and a good number of Atmos movies.. I mean, you pay the Netflix subscription, and you have tons of content (however poorly organized and suggested they are :( ) but Apple TV+ ??? Anything you care to watch has to be purchased or rented ...
 

Neddy

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Very interesting topic, thanks @FrantzM !
So I'm curious about Apple TV+ : Is their hardware box required for Atmos/DTS support, or does their app on Roku support it as well?

As for the value proposition - also a concern, but willing to try it out if only for the Greyhound movie coming out soon - that should be pretty good in full surround.

Is there a subscription fee just for access, PLUS a fee for each viewing (are the 'rentals' or purchases?).
Hard to tell from all their glitzy 'sell' pages.

I'd be ok with a service where I only pay for what I watch, less ok with a subscription+rental fee model (like Prime, though not an apples to apples! comparison:)

I've just gotten my Big System (PC/NUC based) back to HT/BR 'compatibility' and am now looking into streaming surround sources, and not finding much. (I'd be using an Oppo103 HDMI input for decoding to it's analog outputs; it supports Atmos and DTS.)
If I have to wait for BDs to drop, I'm willing to do that, but streaming (even in 'just' 1080) would be fine, at least until such time as I upgrade to a newer projector.

Purchasing Yet Another streaming box/ecosystem?? Meh. Not so much.

Thanks!
 
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