Dolby Restricting Use of 3rd Party Upmixers on Atmos Products

gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
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4,160 20 9
#1
Variety is said to be the spice of life. Why only eat cherry Starbursts when you can sample orange, watermelon, lemon, etc? The same applies to multi-channel surround sound upmixers. But the folks at Dolby® apparently want you to eat ONLY one flavor. Their flavor. Dolby recently issued a mandate to ALL of their Atmos licensee partners to restrict usage of 3rd party upmixers with ANY Dolby signals including 5.1/7.1 DD, DD+, TrueHD and Atmos.

1200px-Starburst-Candies.jpg



What implications will this have in your system?

Read: Dolby Restricts 3rd Party Upmixers on Atmos Based Products
 
O

Ovation

Audiophyte
Ratings
1
#3
Isn't this problem largely (albeit not entirely) bypassed by having various devices send a PCM signal to the AVR?

I understand it prevents applying DTS (or other) to Dolby Atmos, as that must be bitstreamed, but surely nearly all other options can be converted to PCM before they get to the AVR?
 
H

hmarkstrom

Audiophyte
#4
PCM is also a problem because DSU works for Youtube demos for Dolby Atmos and Youtube videos has PCM.
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
176 5 1
#5
Well, we see Dolby's motivation; and, we also see the manufacturers being held hostage. Nothing we can do about it. It's just Dolby's strategy to thwart competition, made possible by the markets recognition and perceived need for an AVR with Atmos. Remember, this market essentially knows nothing about AVRs, just relying on what they've been told will deliver the best experience, which, right now, is Atmos.
 
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F

frans callebaut

Audiophyte
#6
hello gene,

i have a yamaha cx-a 5100 just like you. so i will have no problems even if i do firmware upgrades in the future ?
best regards,
frans callebaut
 
H

hk2000

Junior Audioholic
Ratings
17
#7
I don't care- Atmos is impractical for me, and I suspect for a whole lot of home theater enthusiasts, and I refuse to believe in bouncing sound off the ceiling, it's just silly. They keep adding processing features to these receivers at the expense of real power capability, reliability and build quality. A 5.1 channel receiver used to weigh over 40lbs routinely, now you find a 7.2, 9.2 or even 11.2 receiver "rated" at 120 watts per channel and weighing in at under 30lbs!
 
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S

Scott Y.

Enthusiast
Ratings
1
#8
hello gene,

i have a yamaha cx-a 5100 just like you. so i will have no problems even if i do firmware upgrades in the future ?
best regards,
frans callebaut
Good question, or should we stop doing updates so they can’t sneak it in on us?
 
Stanton

Stanton

Audioholics Contributing Writer
Ratings
40
#9
This doesn't make a lot of sense from the user/consumer perspective (choice is always better). If Dolby is in fact worried about 'quality control', there's a whole lot of other factors that can affect what the user hears (like crappy speakers). This does make me wonder about the implementation differences between Yamaha and Denon/Marantz: why does Denon maintain a "Chinese Wall" between DD/DTS DSP while Yamaha does not? Was this due to some sort of licensing deal as opposed to processing hardware (as originally claimed)?
 
A

Artsmart

Audiophyte
Ratings
1
#10
Dear Gene. Thanks for the best HT website.
While I commend your Starburst analogy I must say that too many choices in the sound format world is getting downright overwhelming. At the end of the day I pop a disk in the machine and watch my movie. Most of us don't get mired in the meanings of twenty different codec sound format acronyms and whether my machine has it or not. A little consolidation in this department might be just what we need. Cheers.
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Ratings
4,160 20 9
#11
hello gene,

i have a yamaha cx-a 5100 just like you. so i will have no problems even if i do firmware upgrades in the future ?
best regards,
frans callebaut
I just did the latest FW update for my CX-A5100 and I can still crossmix upmixers so nothing to worry about yet.
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Ratings
4,160 20 9
#12
Dear Gene. Thanks for the best HT website.
While I commend your Starburst analogy I must say that too many choices in the sound format world is getting downright overwhelming. At the end of the day I pop a disk in the machine and watch my movie. Most of us don't get mired in the meanings of twenty different codec sound format acronyms and whether my machine has it or not. A little consolidation in this department might be just what we need. Cheers.
That is a valid point and one of the things I dislike about Yamaha is it's very easy on their products to accidentally hit a DSP mode leaving neophyte transported into the bathroom halls of a German Cathedral with no way out. ;)
 
B

B-A-H-9907

Audiophyte
#13
Dammit Dolby, I should be free to virtualize and upmix Dolby tracks however I want.

I’m a big believer in virtualized 3D sound with a mimimum of drivers and speakers ever since Aureal A3D 3D sound blew my mind back in the day (15 or more years ago) with just two speakers.

Ain’t nobody got type to to buy all those speakers and move em around all crazy like.

Dolby, just let me take my 5.1 setup and expand my experience with DSP, jeez.
 
RichB

RichB

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
418 6 1
#14
I have no personal experience with the up-mixers but if the Dolby up-mixer bests DTS, perhaps they are attempting to get users to request Atmos over DTS-X and as Gene points out put a nail in the coffin of Auro-3D.

Has DTS made a similar restriction?
The side effect of this restriction may be to get DTS to improve their up-mixer by 2019. ;)

- Rich
 
J

John S Smith

Audiophyte
#15
I don't know what percentage of households own something with a "Dolby" logo, but it must be large. Very, very few owners could explain what anything "Dolby" does, and fewer still could offer opinions on Dolby vs. DTS or Atmos vs DTS:X based on experience. I'm sure that most followers of this forum realize that most other people aren't going to ever understand anything about home theater beyond adding a shoebox-sized subwoofer to their TV speakers. For every one of us that knows about 720, 1080, and 4k, there are two people with HD TVs hooked up with yellow RCA cables. However, we few, we lucky few, are the people that drive the development of what eventually shows up in the mass market. If we hadn't purchased the first expensive VHS-HiFi VCRs, Laserdiscs, and early surround systems, there wouldn't be "home theater" or even dinky $80 subwoofers. If the people running Dolby want to promote and protect the Atmos franchise, it needs to get and keep people like me (and "us"...) on board. When 5.1 went to 7.1, I bought the new processor, speakers, and two more amp channels. I did the same when 7.1 became 11.1, too. I put out the big bucks and spent many wretched hours under my crawlspace and up in my attic, following Dolby's instructions regarding in-ceiling placement, and am delighted with the impressive results. I am one of the obsessive control freaks who actually purchase new A/V technologies before they filter down to the mass market bargain bin. If it wasn't for me (us..) Atmos and all the rest would have been limited to movie theaters. And, I (we ..) am/are control freak(s),dammit! I like to mix and match Dolby/DTS source coding with Dolby/DTS and Anthem surround processing. I like to change the settings and override what my processor's internal calibration thinks best for my room. If I didn't want to be able to do this, I wouldn't have bothered to get the new Atmos/DTS processor, speakers, wires, and amps. I put out big bucks and effort to have the Atmos set-up, but I feel I should be entitled to fiddle around and play with all the options paid for, and not have them limited at the next software update. Dolby should rethink wanting to freeze out the OCD early adopters who get new technologies established, and definitely rethink relying on just those consumers who are happy to be limited to an existing default, because those people won't tend to care about whatever is dreamt up next.
 
S

Schrodinger23

Enthusiast
Ratings
8
#16
This is a bad move my Dolby. I was planning to get the new 13 channel Denon receiver, once the new HDMI 2.1 chips were out so that I could have 7.1, plus top fronts and tops rears and front wides. The Dolby surround upmixer doesn't put anything in the wides (channel) though. Also recent discs, like Thor: Ragnarok, list that they are 7.1.4, since the mixers don't want to do the extra channels as objects. So again, any additional speakers would be silent. The only silver lining that we had before, was using the DTS Neural X upmixer on legacy content to get the wides to play and hoping that sound mixers can broaden their horizon's and start mixing with objects on Atmos soundtracks so that wides could play. I guess this news about Dolby tells me that I shouldn't be planning on the new 13 channel Denon receiver. What is the point, if these wide speakers would be silent with most of the content? Dolby's plans wouldn't be so bad if they could "fix" their upmixer to be able to upmix to all of the new speaker configurations that we can have with 13 channels.
 
RichB

RichB

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
418 6 1
#18
This could really put a damper on the current crop of sound bars.
The main advantage of a sound bar is the step up in sound quality from TV speakers.
It's all custom DSP stuff anyway to simulate surround and height and that wont change because of Dolby restrictions.

I am sorry but I can't take the "Atmos" part of a sound bar seriously.

- Rich
 
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Matt34

Matt34

Moderator
Ratings
2,782 2 1
#19
The main advantage of a sound bar is the step up in sound quality from TV speakers.
It's all custom DSP stuff anyway to simulate surround and height and that wont change because of Dolby restrictions.

I am sorry but I can't take the "Atmos" part of a sound bar seriously.

- Rich
Nonetheless, what I said is true. This will effect what they are able to do with soundbars.
 
RichB

RichB

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
418 6 1
#20
Nonetheless, what I said is true. This will effect what they are able to do with soundbars.
Generally, DSPs are used to use spread and delay the sound. Proprietary algorithms are used which are unaffected by the Dolby restrictions. There are no height channels and there is no spoon :)

In what way will sound bars be affected?

- Rich
 

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