5 Reasons Dolby Atmos May Be DOA

M

mikey d

Junior Audioholic
Exactly. It's more than just having plane flyovers, it's about the sound stage having depth, something that traditional 7.1 lacks.
I don't notice the rear heights are as dramatic an improvement as the front heights were. It's difficult to point them at the MLP in my room and still be asthetically pleasing. I've been considering moving the rear heights to in ceiling.
 
T

Tankman

Audioholic
I don't think I could ever go without a subwoofer though. It's not like wouldn't miss a 5.2 setup, it's great for movies. I wouldn't be that upset though, if I didn't have surround as long as my stereo set up is awesome.
Same here, music in 2.1 is my main use, then moves in 5.1. Back in my teen years when Pink Floyd came out with dark side of the moon and that dude is running and breathing hard from left to right channels back and forth It what was the coolest thing man. Fast forward to now, I sometimes sit and think when I am watching a move with a good surround and think back to the days of past listening to that Pink Floyd on 8 track, and go dam them dudes where way ahead of their time.
 
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yepimonfire

Audioholic Samurai
Same here, music in 2.1 is my main use, then moves in 5.1. Back in my teen years when Pink Floyd came out with dark side of the moon and that dude is running and breathing hard from left to right channels back and forth It what was the coolest thing man. Fast forward to now, I sometimes sit and think when I am watching a move with a good surround and think back to the days of past listening to that Pink Floyd on 8 track, and go dam them dudes where way ahead of their time.
Does anybody use Dolby's surround upmixer for 2ch music? I find it does a very good job at getting rid of the flatness of stereo. 2ch is great and all but in the real world nothing is in 2ch, even music. After using pro logic II and Dolby surround for music for such a long time stereo just sounds incomplete. The lack of a center channel is really the biggest problem. Unless you sit directly in the center at the sweet spot the stereo image collapses. With dolby surround, it sounds three dimensional from everywhere in the room.

Sent from my SM-G360T1 using Tapatalk
 
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Tankman

Audioholic
Does anybody use Dolby's surround upmixer for 2ch music? I find it does a very good job at getting rid of the flatness of stereo. 2ch is great and all but in the real world nothing is in 2ch, even music. After using pro logic II and Dolby surround for music for such a long time stereo just sounds incomplete. The lack of a center channel is really the biggest problem. Unless you sit directly in the center at the sweet spot the stereo image collapses. With dolby surround, it sounds three dimensional from everywhere in the room.

Sent from my SM-G360T1 using Tapatalk
You have a point, in two channel or 2.1 or 2.2 you do have to sit in the sweet spot. With all the different sound fields today we do have a lot to choose from. I have tried just about all, some I like some I don't. On my unit it has a music optimizer setting I like very much. Now as some of the ole timers may say, sound fields "color" the sound. True as it may be, I find that tone controls do the same. I for one don't like tone flat settings at all or pure direct. Tweeting my music just the way I like it to be, for me it is what makes this hobby so enjoyable. We all hear differently as to likes or dislikes. Me being old school coming from the old days of just two channels only or just a/b speaker setting, like 4 speakers running just in two channel stereo, as to what is out today I thought at first was a waste. Now I won't have it any other way.
As for speakers? to me you can never have to many if them. As I am sure you know like most of us, you can never have to much power. Let me get my hands on Pass gear or Krell just to mention a few I would be like a kid with his first bicycle. :D
 
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yepimonfire

Audioholic Samurai
You have a point, in two channel or 2.1 or 2.2 you do have to sit in the sweet spot. With all the different sound fields today we do have a lot to choose from. I have tried just about all, some I like some I don't. On my unit it has a music optimizer setting I like very much. Now as some of the ole timers may say, sound fields "color" the sound. True as it may be, I find that tone controls do the same. I for one don't like tone flat settings at all or pure direct. Tweeting my music just the way I like it to be, for me it is what makes this hobby so enjoyable. We all hear differently as to likes or dislikes. Me being old school coming from the old days of just two channels only or just a/b speaker setting, like 4 speakers running just in two channel stereo, as to what is out today I thought at first was a waste. Now I won't have it any other way.
As for speakers? to me you can never have to many if them. As I am sure you know like most of us, you can never have to much power. Let me get my hands on Pass gear or Krell just to mention a few I would be like a kid with his first bicycle. :D
I believe the music optimizer attempts to restore content lost with heavy compression, so unless you're listening to 128kbps mp3s you're just coloring the sound.

I wouldn't call dolby surround or prologic II sound fields nor would I say they're coloring the sound. Sound fields like those gimmicky "jazz hall" settings do alter the sound by adding things like reverberation in attempt to emulate different acoustic environments, and I'm not a fan of those because the do color it.

Prologic II and Dolby surround claims to create a 5.1+ mix based on cues already present in stereo content, and that's literally what it does. Let me explain.

Dolby surround is probably the most advanced matrix decoder ever designed. Surround and height channels are derived from cues in both the frequency and time domain. It works by first splitting the signal into 20 separate frequency bands, this is important for two reasons, one, it allows the decoder to steer sounds independently throughout the mix, and two, it allows the decoder to determine the direction the sound is coming from, such as a reflected sound, which would have an altered frequency response compared to the origin sound. This information can be used to determine the z axis of the sound.

From here, sounds are now processed in the time domain. If you place two microphones in stereo in a room, sounds from different areas of the room will arrive at the microphone at different times, for example, if a car drives by for a total distance of 20 feet, the phase would change from +20ms to -20ms. This would be translated by the decoder as a panning from the front to the surrounds. When it comes to extraction of height information the decoder extracts diffuse sounds and routes them to the height channels. Not only does a typical stereo recording pick up height information as diffuse, but film mixers more often than not mix height sounds, such as helicopters, as diffuse rather than direct sounds.

The result of all of this is a nearly perfect reconstruction of the original three dimensional sound stage. I've been to many live orchestras and know exactly what it sounds like in a large auditorium. Stereo playback fails to reproduce that accurately, but it does not fail to capture it, that's where Dolby Surround works it's magic to pull the three dimensional information hiding in stereo out.

It's not coloring the sound or adding things that aren't there, just pulling them back out of the mix and appropriately re routing them.

Quite honestly I'm surprised stereo is still a default music format. Unfortunately, multichannel music recording outside of film scores has all but died out, probably because of playback impracticalities.

Sent from my SM-G360T1 using Tapatalk
 
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A

alex30

Enthusiast
I must admit that initially I was thinking that I didn't want Atmos. However I did want surround sound and didn't have a surround receiver, I only had a stereo amp.
Not wanting to buy too cheap and regret it I decided to go for the then top of the pile Marantz, the 7010. This is a nine channel receiver and of course comes with Atmos and DTS:X processing.

The only semi suitable room I had was an attic conversion with sloping ceilings either side of the centre point. Not ideal for Atmos but I decided to bracket mount four bookshelf speakers and see how things worked out.
I could only get the speakers six feet from the floor and with only five feet separation right to left.
I had to play around a lot with the speaker orientation and also the volume going to the speakers but I have now achieved reasonable results. I would agree though that sometimes the results can be a little muddled and this may be as the article said, more to do with our hearing mechanism than to do with the format.
Sometimes I have achieved what I can only describe as spectacular results. One such film being Master and Commander. My copy is a DTS version but the Marantz does a fantastic job of up mixing this to DTS Neural:X. It sounds so real and convincing and is much more satisfying than when played just as DTS. In fact it sounds better than any Atmos movie that I have heard, and that is quite a few.

Fom me the only extra cost, as I needed my first surround AVR, was the two sets of bookshelf speakers (Q Acoustic 2020i @ £100 a pair) some extra cable (£1 per meter) and two sets of brackets (£25 per set) I used my stereo amp , fed from Marantz Front pre outs, to power my fronts and thus have a 7.2.4 set up.

Am I glad that I decided to go Atmos ? Absolutely ! It just adds another dimension (literally) to the sound and adds to the overall enjoyment. And this is in a room that is far from ideal from a set up point of view.
For any one who is contemplating Atmos I would say go for it and don't even worry about lack of content because the up mixing can be brilliant.

The attached photo shows the front ceiling mounted speakers in the part finished room. Someone did comment that my subs are not well positioned but I can say they were put there after extensive try outs in all the recommended positions (and in all the NOT recommended positions) and after doing the sub crawl and making measurements. They work brilliantly in this position, it wasn't done for aesthetics or convenience but purely for performance.
 

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Dan Madden

Dan Madden

Audioholic
I must admit that initially I was thinking that I didn't want Atmos. However I did want surround sound and didn't have a surround receiver, I only had a stereo amp.
Not wanting to buy too cheap and regret it I decided to go for the then top of the pile Marantz, the 7010. This is a nine channel receiver and of course comes with Atmos and DTS:X processing.

The only semi suitable room I had was an attic conversion with sloping ceilings either side of the centre point. Not ideal for Atmos but I decided to bracket mount four bookshelf speakers and see how things worked out.
I could only get the speakers six feet from the floor and with only five feet separation right to left.
I had to play around a lot with the speaker orientation and also the volume going to the speakers but I have now achieved reasonable results. I would agree though that sometimes the results can be a little muddled and this may be as the article said, more to do with our hearing mechanism than to do with the format.
Sometimes I have achieved what I can only describe as spectacular results. One such film being Master and Commander. My copy is a DTS version but the Marantz does a fantastic job of up mixing this to DTS Neural:X. It sounds so real and convincing and is much more satisfying than when played just as DTS. In fact it sounds better than any Atmos movie that I have heard, and that is quite a few.

Fom me the only extra cost, as I needed my first surround AVR, was the two sets of bookshelf speakers (Q Acoustic 2020i @ £100 a pair) some extra cable (£1 per meter) and two sets of brackets (£25 per set) I used my stereo amp , fed from Marantz Front pre outs, to power my fronts and thus have a 7.2.4 set up.

Am I glad that I decided to go Atmos ? Absolutely ! It just adds another dimension (literally) to the sound and adds to the overall enjoyment. And this is in a room that is far from ideal from a set up point of view.
For any one who is contemplating Atmos I would say go for it and don't even worry about lack of content because the up mixing can be brilliant.

The attached photo shows the front ceiling mounted speakers in the part finished room. Someone did comment that my subs are not well positioned but I can say they were put there after extensive try outs in all the recommended positions (and in all the NOT recommended positions) and after doing the sub crawl and making measurements. They work brilliantly in this position, it wasn't done for aesthetics or convenience but purely for performance.

I love your room Alex !!! Really cool !!
 
A

alex30

Enthusiast
I love your room Alex !!! Really cool !!
Thanks Dan,
Your kind comment has made my day.
I am not yet finished in there, I need a new carpet and a TV stand, although I am considering mounting the TV on the wall behind it . I also need to get my seat in through the Velux roof window because it won't fit through the narrow doorway into the attic !
I must say I do enjoy the room but those sloping ceilings do present a challenge. Not least running the cables for the four ceiling speakers. It took me and a friend two hours to run each of the cables because the space between roof felt and plasterboard was totally filled with foam insulation boards. I could have surface mounted but that would have been a mess so we took the long slog.
 
VonMagnum

VonMagnum

Senior Audioholic
I ran into this article while being bored at break at work. Boy does this article look stupid now...and yet the reasons it gives are true. But those of us that like Atmos don't care if cheap or erroneous systems are out there or Atmos phones even so long as the content keeps coming! I have over 200 Atmos, X and Auro-3D movies (whether streaming or on Blu-ray) in less than two years. I'd call that a success, but then again I also have over 200 3D movies in the same time period (with much overlap, often thanks to remuxing) and 3D us considered dead.....

I agree 100%.
There will be people who want extra speakers. If you encourage people to hook 20 speakers to their amps, some people will do it. But I don't think there will be enough adopters to make ATMOS successful.
Dude.... WTF?!? :)

And that's 17.1, not 20..... :p
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
I ran into this article while being bored at break at work. Boy does this article look stupid now...and yet the reasons it gives are true. But those of us that like Atmos don't care if cheap or erroneous systems are out there or Atmos phones even so long as the content keeps coming! I have over 200 Atmos, X and Auro-3D movies (whether streaming or on Blu-ray) in less than two years. I'd call that a success, but then again I also have over 200 3D movies in the same time period (with much overlap, often thanks to remuxing) and 3D us considered dead.....



Dude.... WTF?!? :)

And that's 17.1, not 20..... :p
I would characterize Atmos as a failure in that it did not fulfill the potential of object-oriented soundtracks, in fact, it has fallen well short of of that. Furthermore, for all the whiz-bang Atmos demos I have heard, I haven't felt it was that much better over regular surround sound mixes.
 
VonMagnum

VonMagnum

Senior Audioholic
I would characterize Atmos as a failure in that it did not fulfill the potential of object-oriented soundtracks, in fact, it has fallen well short of of that. Furthermore, for all the whiz-bang Atmos demos I have heard, I haven't felt it was that much better over regular surround sound mixes.
I can only surmise you've either not heard very good Atmos mixes or haven't heard them on very good systems. I've heard plenty of "so what" Atmos mixes, but I've also heard some amazing ones (e.g. Jumanji, Overlord, Fury, etc.) and I've also heard non-Atmos mixes sound better than ever with upmixing. I just watched Biggles, adventures in time in 2-ch upmixed via Neural X and the planes would pass overhead despite being mixed back in 1986.

I am disappointed that Atmos can't adjust to layouts and that the number of objects are so limited in the home version (DTS:X Pro has more promise for accuracy to the master mix since it doesn't combine nearby objects to meet the limit, but just expands the core outline rectangular mix with more hard sources),but the overall effect in a good system is still quite an improvement and it has made many more 7.1 mixes available as a result of backwards compatibility as well and even 5.1 downmixes often are more adventurous on average than they used to be.
 
RichB

RichB

Audioholic Field Marshall
I would characterize it as a success since it secured Dolby's dominance in streamed and physical media and has spawned dubious products that include Atmos soundbars. Sales people have a new must-have logo. The number of households willing to install height channels will remain miniscule but hardware churn has been achieved for enthusiasts.

I'd be happy with a fully-balanced high-performance 7.1 channel product or even a 13.1 channel product but the battle is afoot in the 16 channel processors. Most of which will be sold to people that never deploy those channels.

- Rich
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Dude.... WTF?!? :)

And that's 17.1, not 20..... :p
I know you're just giving me a hard time. :D

But, dude, that was almost 6 YEARS AGO!

Isn't there like a statute of limitation on quoting someone? :D

Up until I experienced Atmos in my own home (how time fly, maybe 2 years ago?),I never experienced Atmos in a HOME environment.

So for a long time, I only experienced Atmos in commercial movie theaters.

And I will say again that I think commercial Atmos theaters suck compared to a good home Atmos setup.

So when I was dissing Atmos (almost 6 YEARS AGO),I was referring to the experiences I had with the commercial Atmos theaters.

But you know exactly how I feel about Atmos and DTSX TODAY!

I love Atmos and DTSX when they are done right (or close to it).

As far as "success", I think Atmos is a huge success because almost EVERY SINGLE BluRay released has an Atmos soundtrack. If that's not the definition of success, I don't know what is!

That's pure objective proof by the numbers, not subjective opinions.

Now Subjectively, I think Atmos/DTSX is a huge success because of both the contents and the UPMIXERS - NeuralX and DSU.
 
E

Erod

Junior Audioholic
So far, I think Atmos/DTS:X is somewhat of a miss. I don't think the game's over by any means, but to date, I find most of the mixes just lackluster. Either it's non-existent, or the sound mixers just pick a spot or two during the film to kind of force it on us. It comes across ill-applied.

However.....

The upmixers really add a ton to 5.1 and 7.1 movies, as well as 2-channel music. That's where I really feel like adding the additional speakers to my ceiling paid off.

Overall, you can't really tell that much of a difference between Atmos and a good upmix. In fact, The Revenant might be as immersive as anything out there, and it's in 5.1.

Is it worth it? Absolutely. Is it object-based immersion yet? Not by a long shot.

But there's still time, especially if more people will take up this hobby of ours.
 
VonMagnum

VonMagnum

Senior Audioholic
By "ill applied" I'd say that means the guys mixing these films are afraid to go all out on immersion. They're still of the mind set that surround effects are DISTRACTING and therefore should be minimized. I don't know how many films I've watched lately where atmospheric things like insects or the wind or birds are at VERY LOW VOLUME in the surround channels and sometimes NOTHING is there until a major action part where a car door breaks off and flies off to the right and then suddenly, "Hey! I have a right side surround channel!" 7.1 movies are notorious for ignoring the rear channels at levels you might actually be able to hear them at (remember your ears are fighting the much larger sounds in the main front channels for attention so even though there might very well be "sounds" in those channels, you can't hear them because they're are being drowned out by the front channels). I dare say it does NOT work that way in real life. If someone is talking and some guy on the street behind you decides to honk his horn, by god, good luck hearing what the person is saying!

So there's this conflict between "what's important" and "what's realistic" going on and I think several films go in opposite directions. One example of an extremely immersive soundtrack in Atmos is GROUNDHOG DAY, believe it or not. Whomever remixed it went out of their way to make every sound on the street AUDIBLE during outdoor scenes. It's unbelievable. It IS distracting, but I LOVE IT! It's a comedy! It doesn't even "need" surround sound as the jokes are supposed to take center stage. But that's just it. This movie is what IMMERSIVE is SUPPOSED TO BE/DESIGNED TO BE!

I think it's really simple. Include TWO surround tracks on movies. One is a truly no-holds barred IMMERSIVE track that by god uses ALL the surround speakers as much as would happen if that was the real world! The other can be the "I can't take it" track with mostly center dialog and nothing else. IT doesn't even need to be stereo. Just a mono center channel. That's what some people WANT, believe it or not (gauging by comments from people at work). Their older parents struggle to tell one sound from another so dialog is all the want. Everything else is NERVE DEAFNESS. My own mother is getting that way. She can't focus on individual elements. I made and mixed my own rock album. I can hear every instrument and mix decision in it. I can't get my mother to hear a sound to save my life that I think is LOUD. If I use Logic Pro to remove all the other instruments, she's SHOCKED this or that bit is in the song! "You should use that!" I DID use it! It makes me wonder what other people hear or even see, really. Is what I call "blue" appear as "green" to you but since you are told it's blue you call it blue but if I had your brain/eyes I'd call it green? It's impossible to know. There is no way to know for certain what another person sees/hears. We can do ink blot tests galore, but that just screens out the spectrum, not the actual PERCEPTION.

In any case, Atmos was designed to do more than just overhead sound at the theater. Theaters went from giant zones of left wall, right wall, rear wall to actual points along the wall that sound can physically move now. But at home, it's different. We don't need 64 speakers to move sound around. 9 or 11 speakers can often do the same as 64 in a large theater. The ONLY real speakers that make a huge difference compared to 7.1 before Atmos are the overhead ones. Everything else could be phantom imaged already.

So the ONLY thing we find ourselves really listening for (some strange front wide people aside who apparently have poor imaging in that area without the wides) are things overhead. People like FilmMixer at AVS might think 60% overhead and 80% overhead make a real differnence, but I don't hear DIRECT ABOVE sounds until it's MOSTLY IN PHASE at least 45-135 degrees in angle (i.e. halfway between front heights and top middle and the same behind) and at 90-100% mix (otherwise, it starts blending with the side channels and things imaging in the middle of the room near my head sound very odd and hard to distinguish from the visual reality of nothing being there). Very VERY little material images in that quadrant. That is WHY I think Auro-3D chose to have a single overhead "Voice of God" channel with height speakers instead of these front/middle/back/rear "TOP" speakers. Mixing for Auro-3D leaves little doubt when you want something to be DIRECTLY OVERHEAD. It should be in the Voice of God channel.

Now a typical Atmos theater will have the surround speakers at "height" levels (30 degrees up or so) and the overhead speakers are WAY up on the ceiling overhead with 20-50 foot ceilings or more. THERE ARE NO "EAR LEVEL" speakers WHATSOEVER in an Atmos cinema theater. That only exists at home because your entire ceiling is only 8-10 feet at most in a typical room and to get separation you need the bed surrounds LOWER. This creates a problem, though if you have more than one row as ear level speakers tend to be blocked by chair backs! That is why some theater guys commented in early articles that about 1-3 feet ABOVE ear level would be best at home, even if you lose a bit of separation because otherwise, you're compromised with multiple viewers blocking the sound...even with their heads! That can be hard to do with a drop down screen of any size as unless it's audio transparent, the speakers need to go UNDER it or off to the sides. Both create ERRORS in imaging rendering. The home experience is COMPROMISED in most setups. Fortunately in that regard and most unfortunate for guests at their homes, most people only really care about ONE spot, their own at the MLP location.

But my point is where *I* want to hear overhead sounds is actually a narrow window (sound wise) between front and rear heights all across the ceiling. But that leaves AT speaker and out-of-phase out of the question and mixing with bed channels at locations in-between which typically just sound like a larger side surround speakers. Those may use height/top speakers in combination with beds to phantom at locations in-between, but they're not really on the ceiling and our OLD SETUPS with 5.1/7.1 had surrounds typically 3 feet above head level anyway, which created this diffuse surround field above us anyway. So did I really hear something "NEW" with Top Gun in Neural X compared to in 6.1 with my old setup? NO, I did not. I was happy that the jets were at least still ABOVE my head in the new setup (They are NOT using DSU or true direct 6.1 rendering as those speakers are now at ear level where they were above my head before!) No, the "NEW" speaker locations are BED LEVEL/EAR LEVEL for those of us with the old setups and directly on the ceiling. Everything in-between was already in play to some extent.

My screen is at eye-level up (hanging from ceiling). Any lower and I'd be blocking my speakers below them. So in a way it's weird hearing "ear level" sounds when the typical car on-screen was already a bit above ear level before. The regular surround speakers could handle that 3 feet above my ears in the old setup. What's NEW pussycat?

I think THAT is the real reason some of us find so many Atmos/X soundtracks underwhelming. They're not REALLY delivering as many new sound locations as they'd have you believe at home. Only lower bed (if you had the correct over ears surrounds before) and directly overhead (on the ceiling between the speakers) is really new and even there just the height has changed. Movies COULD image in-between overhead (albeit 3 feet overhead) with the old 7.1 system, but they just DIDN'T because that would mean using 7.1 fully (in-phase between side and rear surrounds to get sounds in those places and most movies avoided using in-phase material in surround because in a 5.1 setup that meant the "6.1" or "7.1" "REAR" surround locations, which may or may not be overhead. You couldn't count on any of it. Movies like Top Gun just did what they did and hoped for the best at home, but counted on surround speakers behind overhead in the theater, at least. They could have used binaural recorded helicopter sounds played back in 5.1/7.1 speakers and they would sound overhead without any height speakers. You can use DTS Virtual X and at the MLP, it sounds almost as good as real speakers!

Where's the NEW? Where's the sounds UNDER MY FEET??? Yeah, it's not really a 360 degree bubble when there's no floor speakers! They still can't make a pair of scissors appear to give me a haircut with Dolby Atmos! It's too imprecise at imaging out in the seating area because the speakers are all on the side walls! Human hearing doesn't "phantom" the same in all directions to do it properly with just speakers. You need BINAURAL effects.

Frankly, we'd all be 1000% better off having headphone mixes that truly use binaural sounds to place them literally ANYWHERE a real sound could be! Then people would WHINE about having to wear headphones the same way they whine about having to wear 3D glasses to create a more immersed reality. It would be one hell of a lot CHEAPER to implement, though, especially for only a few viewers. You wouldn't need ANY speakers, just 3-6 pairs of wireless headphones. But it'd never truly catch on because of the headphones.
 
GO-NAD!

GO-NAD!

Audioholic Ninja
I would characterize Atmos as a failure in that it did not fulfill the potential of object-oriented soundtracks, in fact, it has fallen well short of of that. Furthermore, for all the whiz-bang Atmos demos I have heard, I haven't felt it was that much better over regular surround sound mixes.
I have yet to hear an Atmos system in a home environment. I'm not even certain I've heard one in a theatre...I go out to see movies once or twice a year. And, at this point, I have no big urge to upgrade to such a system either. If my RX-V1800 were to die on me, I'd consider it, but I'd need to hear some demos first, before I'd consider the extra speaker installation.

I'm curious as to the proportion of HT owners who decided to upgrade from perfectly functioning conventional multi-channel systems to Atmos.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
I have yet to hear an Atmos system in a home environment. I'm not even certain I've heard one in a theatre...I go out to see movies once or twice a year. And, at this point, I have no big urge to upgrade to such a system either. If my RX-V1800 were to die on me, I'd consider it, but I'd need to hear some demos first, before I'd consider the extra speaker installation.

I'm curious as to the proportion of HT owners who decided to upgrade from perfectly functioning conventional multi-channel systems to Atmos.
You have a good point.

I upgraded to Atmos because my Denon AVP-A1HDCI malfunctioned.

I'm not sure if I would have upgraded to Atmos if my AVP-A1 were still working. :D

I don't have any close friends or relatives who have Atmos in their homes.

But I am 100% glad that I have an Atmos Home Theater. :D
 
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VonMagnum

VonMagnum

Senior Audioholic
I upgraded because my AVR was ancient (it had 7.1 output, but it could only do 6.1 EX/ES soundtracks and used DSP for 7.1 at most. But it had a 7.1 multi-channel input so I bought a 7.1 decoder box for cheap to test and I was sold on some of the better 7.1 soundtracks and then did some testing with overhead speakers (using dialog lift on the old Yamaha that supported 5.1 + Presence with dialog lift) and THAT I loved. Then I read about creating in-between channels using Dolby Pro Logic center extraction and testing showed I only got a solid overhead image across the entire room with 6 overheads (I could have done 4 for 1/2 to 2/3 the room) and then after connecting that up and finding even more of my PSB speakers (B15) I used for most surrounds on sale on eBay for dirt cheap, I started playing with matrixed versus discrete front wides as well and then finally found with three rows, an extra side surround worked great matrixed in with matrixed front wides (which let me alter where the speaker sounds like it's coming from versus where it actually is for all rows).

Now it's just a matter of trying out full 11.1.6 discrete at some point when an AVR becomes available that can handle it (I think I can do it with the next gen ones by using pro logic for top middle still since many soundtracks don't support that from Disney anyway so I'd hate to give up the one I actually "Need" to keep imaging correct. The only question is whether these new AVRs coming out that do 15.1 support surround #1 (extra side surround). Otherwise, I'm back to the 8500 13-channel with two sets of extracted/matrixed extra speakers.
 

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