Google is taking on Dolby Vision/ATMOS!

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Movie2099

Audioholic General
Interesting article on what Google is doing to create a "royalty-free" alternative to Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

The article says "The company charges TV manufacturers $2 to $3 to license Dolby Vision". Dolby has not released how much they charge companies to use Atmos.

 
j_garcia

j_garcia

Audioholic Jedi
Google says a lot of stuff and not all of it works out. Example: Stadia, officially killed off today.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
Interesting article on what Google is doing to create a "royalty-free" alternative to Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

The article says "The company charges TV manufacturers $2 to $3 to license Dolby Vision". Dolby has not released how much they charge companies to use Atmos.

The last thing we need is another competing system. This will increase the expense of hardware and add to the design difficulty of rooms. Auro D is now bankrupt. Trying to install a speaker layout for competing systems is a nightmare. In addition we don't need productions produced in competing formats. That is the stuff of real confusion. That will lead to massive customer resistance. Google need to forget this nonsense pronto.

I built my room to Dolby specs, and that is the way it will stay.
 
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M

Movie2099

Audioholic General
Google says a lot of stuff and not all of it works out. Example: Stadia, officially killed off today.
I saw that as well. I never thought it would last. But it's Google. They have endless supplies of money. Stadia going belly up is nothing to them. They'll gain back the hundreds of millions they lost in a few months. Google could purchase Dolby if they wanted to. Would be pennies to them. I just think Google is going the way of Apple and doing their own "spatial" audio format. Who knows what will happen with it. But interesting to read about.
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
From what info I've read on it so far, they talk about google creating a royalty-free container to support surround audio and HDR, not necessarily brand new codecs. Not 100% how they intend to get it done and how it might affect existing hardware we'll see, but it shouldn't be like brand new codec like VP9.
 
F

fmw

Audioholic Samurai
I wish them failure. Google has cost me a fortune in internet sales and I always enjoy it when they fail at something.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Staff member
I have always thought a royalty-free spatial audio format would be really good. Atmos can definitely be improved upon, and there are a lot of missed opportunities in that technology. However, I was hoping to see something like this from the open-source community, not Google.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
I have always thought a royalty-free spatial audio format would be really good. Atmos can definitely be improved upon, and there are a lot of missed opportunities in that technology. However, I was hoping to see something like this from the open-source community, not Google.
We seem to have two threads on this topic, the other from Wade. I posted on his thread already. As far as I can tell there is a lot of work to be done on Atmos to make it a useful thread for music. So I will post what I said on Wade's thread here.

[This will just add software bloat to devices. I see problems of conflict galore. Google could try and do a deal with Dolby. Something like making Dolby Atmos and HDR free to developers and hardware and agreeing on a user fee, on steaming volume. Dolby could then devote time to further developments, and making money on mixing programs. Streaming Atmos music via the NET has severe limitations due to Dolby enforced specs. So a high degree of cooperation would benefit all.​

There is a problem around Dolby Atmos being a cinema codec, and it is not well thought out for music. That includes mixing and production issues. It could turn out that immersive audio needs it own protocols distinct from cinema movie based ones. This whole issue, as I have investigated it, is just not fit for prime time as an "immersive" audio format. Currently it is well wide of the mark. There is much work to do here, in microphone technique, mixing and also which channels are required. For music there is data, that front floor channels may well be as important, and likely more important than height for music.

Double blind listening studies in the UK, have shown blind listener tests show a definite preference in concert recordings for the inclusion of floor reflections from the venue.

The issue also becomes, is how complex a system as this is evolving into will get any significant market penetration? The complexity issue alone is already a huge barrier to acceptance, and it can only get worse.]
 
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gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Interesting article on what Google is doing to create a "royalty-free" alternative to Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

The article says "The company charges TV manufacturers $2 to $3 to license Dolby Vision". Dolby has not released how much they charge companies to use Atmos.

We literally have an article on the homepage about this: https://www.audioholics.com/audio-technologies/google-dolby-royalty-free-competition
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
I think there are far more questions than answers in using Dolby Atmos for music recording, especially in the classical music arena, Gene.

Dolby Atmos is a movie sound medium. It is object based, and primarily designed to produce a realistic rendition of moving objects in a 3D environment.

In a music recording, opera excepted, then the location of the sounds are almost always essentially static. So the intent is to more realistically preserve and reproduce the audio characteristics of the venue, creating a more realistic spatial environment.

At the current time, there are problems related to the unsatisfactory Dolby specs for the streaming of musical programs. I have posted about this recently.

Another problem, is that appropriate microphone arrangements are far from settled practice. I, and others, think to do this probably means going back to relatively "hair shirt" co-incident microphone techniques. It seems intuitive that if you place microphones here there and everywhere, you will not produce a realistic rendition of space. It seems that an extended form of the old Decca Tree microphone arrangement is gaining popularity. This is the center omni and two fairly closely spaced cardioids either side, hung above the front of the players. There are various additions of upward, backward and downward facing mics to modify the technique for Atmos recordings.

As I mentioned previously, the stringent Dolby Atmos streaming specs, currently imposes severe limitations for using streaming as a good way of distributing Atmos music streams. This needs to change. So the only way to really evaluate this arena now is via Dolby Blu-ray audio only discs. There are precious few of these.

Then we get to the absurdity of means of reproducing this. I especially site Atmos sound bars, Atmos Alexa speakers and nonsense of this nature.

The next issue is a lack of honesty and transparency. The BPO have recently offered Dolby Atmos concerts. The results in my room have been far less than stellar. I now find that these recordings are actually two channel stereo, up mixed in some fashion. All I can tell you is that the Dolby Digital upmixer is far superior to what the BPO is using. As far as I'm concerned that makes the BPO Atmos stream pointless, and a massive downgrade from their excellent loss less stereo stream.

I note that some BD and streaming offerings, are from recordings before this Atmos object based system was even thought of!

I find these trends highly disturbing, and likely to really set genuine progress back.

I personally do not think it is settled that the object based Dolby Atmos system is the best route to "spatial/immersive" audio, or whatever you want to call it.

One thing I do know, it that strict coincident mic techniques do give an excellent sense of space via the Dolby Digital upmixer, including remarkable lateral and rear localization. I site the Scott Brothers Duo and their excellent organ recordings. Also this last season of BBC broadcasts of this last Prom season from the RAH, using the Decca Tree, were superb.

To end this I have just ordered my first Audio Only Blu-Ray Atmos disc, on the DGG label. I think it is the genuine article, but I can't be certain. A stereo CD is also included, so I will be able to compare the Atmos disc, with the CD via the DD upmixer. If it does not convince on this rig, it won't on anything. I will of course give a full report on this in due time.
 
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