5 Reasons Dolby Atmos May Be DOA

Dan Madden

Dan Madden

Audioholic
Atmos requires special mixing and encoding that costs money to do for something that 99.5% of the population does not have or in the opinion of many, do not need. That's the problem. It's the same problem that SACD and DVD-Audio had. It's that 'cool' factor that they tried to sell telling people that they needed a new player that could play these formats and that they would be blown away at how much better it was. With Atmos, they are expecting people to toss out there legacy DD and DTS AVR's (Which most....including me are perfectly happy with!) and go out and spend lots of money on a new AVR.......Piles of speakers etc for the next 'cool' factor in HT. In my opinion, substantially less than 1% of the population will do this........so where does that leave the format moving into the future?
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic General
It's the nature of the electronics industry. After all, when your stuff can no longer be repaired, you too will be in the market for what ever is out there you see as being able to restore or possibly enhance your pleasure. It's the this enhancement of pleasure lure which will likely cause you to consider advances in technology, whether real or imagined.
 
Dan Madden

Dan Madden

Audioholic
It's the nature of the electronics industry. After all, when your stuff can no longer be repaired, you too will be in the market for what ever is out there you see as being able to restore or possibly enhance your pleasure. It's the this enhancement of pleasure lure which will likely cause you to consider advances in technology, whether real or imagined.
I think we're at the point of saturation in HT and audio. Back in the early 80's when CD digital audio was first introduced, it was something that no one had seen before. Ease of use, great sound......no wear and tear....the ability to instantly change tracks etc. People bought into that and the price of players and discs became affordable and mainstream. HT is a different story. Once flat panels replaced CRT TV's, people slowly bought into it and eventually 1080P "Full HD" became standard. Then, they introduced 4K sets and put the cart before the horse because there was....and still is a lack of readily available pure 4K content available. Broadcast TV is still in most cases 1080i and to all honest with you, it looks just fine. People are saturated. I like 1080P and have no intention to 'move up' to 4K in the near future. If and when I buy my next TV, it will probably be a 4K set but I'm not expecting miracles. I have a 'legacy' 5.2 surround setup and I just watched "Sully" the other day with my friends in standard DD and it rocked the room. Better sound and picture than in most commercial crappy theaters. I'm fine and good.

Was SACD and DVD-Audio better than CD's.......Yep......I had a player and heard it. The deal breaker for me was having to turn on the TV to configure it. I don't like a TV on when I'm listening to music. However, a well recorded and engineered CD is also just fine. I, like many others find a good 5.1(2) HT setup just fine. As stated above, Atmos requires a whole new setup...more speakers and processor and I don't believe, like CD's did back in the day, the technology will become mainstream and therefor, will eventually die. That's just my opinion though.......and I consider myself a HT and audio enthusiast too.
 
Klipschhead302

Klipschhead302

Senior Audioholic
Dan Madden,

As somebody who just upgraded my AVR a year ago and recently started acquiring speakers and amplifiers for an 11.2 (soon 11.3) channel configuration I sure bought into the hype.

I have my old Marantz SR5003 AVR in a spare bedroom that is only 10x11 and I have it running 7.1 with surround and surround back, only because I had extra speakers to run it this way, not out of any need and it sounds incredible. I watch TV in that room every night and the cost to entertainment ratio awesome.

My living room HT now has a Marantz SR7009 and in my signature you can see I have everything but rear top covered due top a lack of processing and a refusal to figure out a way to add two more to the insanity.

It's configured 9.2.2 with .2 as top not height so Atmos works or I can use an upmixer mode which I often do now. Was it worth the cost and anxiety to get this working, well, it's not done yet, there are still Audyssey issues I'm working out but last night we watched Passengers and turned off Atmos in favor of NEO:X upmixing which frankly sounded better since it incorporated front wides and the top channels.

It sounds more intense with the extra channels and Atmos demos sound insanely good because they have the wides included where Passengers did not which is befuddling.

I bought two used Marantz MA-6100's for the top channels, while cheaper than buying true Atmos upfiring speakers I'm not sure it was worth it although I love the amps and if I downsize this configuration they will be used for a 2ch system, we'll see.

I was probably better off going straight 9.2 and calling it a day but the bug bit and I had to do it... the wife thinks I'm nuts, so of course now I'm thinking of going with 3 subs...
 
Y

yepimonfire

Audioholic Samurai
I don't see atmos going anywhere.
It's already being implemented into cheap consumer "garbage" like htibs and sound bars. Even though atmos enabled speakers don't sound quite as good as overhead speakers, they still add enough depth to the sound to be convincing.

Even if you only set up a 7.1 or even 5.1 system with no heights, it sounds better than plain 7.1. Why? Because objects can be appropriately placed in the sound field regardless of your setup.

Speaker setup for 5.1 in atmos is different than traditional 5.1 Previously it was recommended that the surrounds be placed directly to the sides of the listening position and elevated about 2'. With atmos, they should be exactly at ear level and about 110-130 degrees behind the listening position. Why is this? Well, If you've got an atmos receiver and are running 5.1.2, download the 9.1.4 or 7.1.2 atmos test tones from dolby's website. You'll see that the surround channels are imaged as a phantom between the front and surrounds, and the rears are phantomed between the two surround channels. The front wides are phantomed between the fronts and surrounds as well. All of this is given the proper phase delay to convincingly place objects where they belong.

Traditional 7.1 played back through a 5.1 system just folds the rears into the surrounds. With atmos, sounds can be accurately placed in a 3D space regardless of your speaker configuration. It's much more than just having height channels.

Sent from my SM-G360T1 using Tapatalk
 
M

Mechanizmo

Audiophyte
Atmos requires special mixing and encoding that costs money to do for something that 99.5% of the population does not have or in the opinion of many, do not need. That's the problem. It's the same problem that SACD and DVD-Audio had. It's that 'cool' factor that they tried to sell telling people that they needed a new player that could play these formats and that they would be blown away at how much better it was. With Atmos, they are expecting people to toss out there legacy DD and DTS AVR's (Which most....including me are perfectly happy with!) and go out and spend lots of money on a new AVR.......Piles of speakers etc for the next 'cool' factor in HT. In my opinion, substantially less than 1% of the population will do this........so where does that leave the format moving into the future?

Hey Dan. Your estimate of 99.5% is my guess as well. Even those deep in the HT hobby will probably not go with Atmos. I've never heard DTS-X, but I'd imagine it's the same deal. People should invest in better speakers....
 
Klipschhead302

Klipschhead302

Senior Audioholic
Hey Dan. Your estimate of 99.5% is my guess as well. Even those deep in the HT hobby will probably not go with Atmos. I've never heard DTS-X, but I'd imagine it's the same deal. People should invest in better speakers....
I can't do DTS:X because it's not in the Marantz SR7009, I wish it was I'd give it a try.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
If you can get your system to sound awesome, it doesn't matter if it's ATMOS, DTS:X, TrueHD, DTS-HD MA, or just plan DD & DTS; and it doesn't matter if you have 11 speakers or 5. :D
 
Y

yepimonfire

Audioholic Samurai
Hey Dan. Your estimate of 99.5% is my guess as well. Even those deep in the HT hobby will probably not go with Atmos. I've never heard DTS-X, but I'd imagine it's the same deal. People should invest in better speakers....
I'd totally do 9.6.2 if I could afford the avr and speakers.

Sent from my SM-G360T1 using Tapatalk
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic General
I think we're at the point of saturation in HT and audio. Back in the early 80's when CD digital audio was first introduced, it was something that no one had seen before. Ease of use, great sound......no wear and tear....the ability to instantly change tracks etc. People bought into that and the price of players and discs became affordable and mainstream. HT is a different story. Once flat panels replaced CRT TV's, people slowly bought into it and eventually 1080P "Full HD" became standard. Then, they introduced 4K sets and put the cart before the horse because there was....and still is a lack of readily available pure 4K content available. Broadcast TV is still in most cases 1080i and to all honest with you, it looks just fine. People are saturated. I like 1080P and have no intention to 'move up' to 4K in the near future. If and when I buy my next TV, it will probably be a 4K set but I'm not expecting miracles. I have a 'legacy' 5.2 surround setup and I just watched "Sully" the other day with my friends in standard DD and it rocked the room. Better sound and picture than in most commercial crappy theaters. I'm fine and good.

Was SACD and DVD-Audio better than CD's.......Yep......I had a player and heard it. The deal breaker for me was having to turn on the TV to configure it. I don't like a TV on when I'm listening to music. However, a well recorded and engineered CD is also just fine. I, like many others find a good 5.1(2) HT setup just fine. As stated above, Atmos requires a whole new setup...more speakers and processor and I don't believe, like CD's did back in the day, the technology will become mainstream and therefor, will eventually die. That's just my opinion though.......and I consider myself a HT and audio enthusiast too.
I suppose, some folks can predict the future, I'm a marketing and advertising guru, and yet I would not have expected a resurgence in vinyl even though, I'm a vinyl enthusiast. What we can predict however, since folks watch movies at home, is these folks will want to get an "immersive" experience; and therefore, as long as some sort of hardware is needed to enjoy such an experience, these folks will want to buy something that they perceive will deliver it, perhaps at a TV. Now, today TV's come mostly in 1080 and 4k with 4k HDR advertised as being the best. Whether it is actually the best is moot, as consumers just want what they perceive as best within their budget. This means most with an interest in getting the best picture will want the 4k HDR, no matter that they really can't distinguish that it is better. It's this psychology that assures there will be eventually an 8k and then a 16k, it's inevitable, since manufacturers must sell and the only way to assure sales is through innovation of products as appearing better than what competitors offer. I look at it not as whether Dolby Atmos will succeed or not but instead I wonder how long will the concept stand in the overall evolution of surround sound.
 
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Klipschhead302

Klipschhead302

Senior Audioholic
I have the same Samsung 8500 series 55" from 2010 in my HT right now, to this day people ask if it's 4k the picture is that good. What does that have to do with this subject, not sure.....
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Has ANYONE not experienced ATMOS at movie theaters?

It seems like every time I see a big movie at the theaters, it is in ATMOS.
 
Klipschhead302

Klipschhead302

Senior Audioholic
Has ANYONE not experienced ATMOS at movie theaters?

It seems like every time I see a big movie at the theaters, it is in ATMOS.
My local theater has a an insane Atmos implementation speakers are everywhere on the ceiling, side walls, the back.... sounds pretty good.
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Samurai
Hey Dan. Your estimate of 99.5% is my guess as well. Even those deep in the HT hobby will probably not go with Atmos. I've never heard DTS-X, but I'd imagine it's the same deal. People should invest in better speakers....
Wouldn't the WAF be more prominent with Atmos than for subwoofers?
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
My local theater has a an insane Atmos implementation speakers are everywhere on the ceiling, side walls, the back.... sounds pretty good.
I figured that ATMOS has been implemented for a while now, so most of us have experienced ATMOS enough to know how we feel about ATMOS.

If we think ATMOS is a huge improvement or is very fun and exciting, then we may want to implement ATMOS at home.

If we think ATMOS is a 100% waste of time and money, then, of course, we won't. :D

No right or wrong here. Just personal preference.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Ninja
I figured that ATMOS has been implemented for a while now, so most of us have experienced ATMOS enough to know how we feel about ATMOS.

If we think ATMOS is a huge improvement or is very fun and exciting, then we may want to implement ATMOS at home.

If we think ATMOS is a 100% waste of time and money, then, of course, we won't. :D

No right or wrong here. Just personal preference.
Very true.

The thing is people are going to spend money on what they want. Some things are really niche and SACD and DVD-A are both in there. Some things are mainstream in the sense that studios and theaters are going to use it whether the general consumer does or not. Atmos is one of those things. Just like TrueHD and DTS-MA, DD and DTS, and lastly Pro Logic it is the new standard and will only go away when something new replaces it.

Saying that because it requires tons of speakers and nobody wants that makes it niche isn't correct. If you really think about it separate receivers and tower speakers are niche as well. I know a very small percentage of people even have a simple 5.1 setup in their house simply because of the WAF. When I sold A/V I could sell TVs like they were going to stop making them. Audio was almost impossible. Everyone wanted something un-obtrusive. Hidden. Can't run wires. There are tons of reasons, but most of all people simply don't want to see the speakers and have no clue what they're actually missing. Most don't give it a thought so they don't care.

I think the more accurate statement is that receiver brands are going to start disappearing before the audio codecs do. Pioneer is already among them. I never would have thought I'd see the day Onkyo owned the Pioneer receiver brand.

I'm just glad we still have receiver choices. It seems this hobby is getting more niche by the day. Atmos may just help bring it back a bit. Maybe not.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Spartan
I'm so glad that 2ch stereo is my main goal. I'm running a simple 5.2 with the speakers in the right places. For me that's plenty for the occasional movie we watch. I've not really heard more than that outside of a theater. Not many folks I know are into audio like I am, so I don't really get to listen to other systems.

I wish I had more friends into this hobby. Most of them just think I'm nuts.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Ninja
I'm so glad that 2ch stereo is my main goal. I'm running a simple 5.2 with the speakers in the right places. For me that's plenty for the occasional movie we watch. I've not really heard more than that outside of a theater. Not many folks I know are into audio like I am, so I don't really get to listen to other systems.

I wish I had more friends into this hobby. Most of them just think I'm nuts.
Most people think we're nuts for spending money on sound like we do. Even if it's not very much.
 

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