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Thread: Dolby Atmos Coming To Blu-Ray

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    Dolby Atmos Coming To Blu-Ray



    One of the big innovations filmmakers have been pushing recently is Dolby’s Atmos system, which is an immersive surround set-up which involves the sound not only surrounding you but also a series of speakers mounted overhead.

    So now, Dolby Labs is bringing its Dolby Atmos surround-sound technology to the home via Blu-ray Disc, and the company’s doing it without the need for Blu-ray player owners to upgrade their hardware.

    "Our partners will also offer home theater receivers to decode and deliver the Dolby Atmos experience in your home,” Brett Crockett, director of sound research, wrote in a blog post. Existing players that fully conform to the Blu-ray specification will be able to support Dolby Atmos content on a Blu-ray Disc.

    Home entertainment set-ups that have ceiling speakers will get the most out of Dolby Atmos. But for those who can’t install speakers in the ceiling, Dolby’s hardware partners will offer Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers that produce overhead sound from where conventional speakers are regularly located. Or, without upgrading speakers, the company is also offering a Dolby Atmos-enabled speaker module that complements existing speakers.



    Dolby Atmos: What is it? How can you get it? | whathifi.com

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    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Pioneer is making their Elite speakers to benefit from the Atmos system.

    Elite Speakers | Pioneer Electronics USA
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    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    I hope this makes it past the censors, but mentioning DA on this website is going to go nowhere.

    Most here are stuck in 2.0 channels, and there is no way in hell you are going to convinced anyone here to go to 11.1. Not going to happen.

    Smoke, thanks for the info, but I am afraid it is a waste on this crowd.

    As it stands now, how many here own a 7.1 system? So few of us, it is not worth mentioning. How many own a 5.1 system. A larger but smaller percentage of the folks that own a 2.0 system.

    If you had mention this on AVSforum two months ago, it would have been a buzz. They have been talking(and quite frankly installing) 11.1 system there for at least that long. I installed a 12.4 system in my reference room 4 months ago - in spite of the fact there is only one Bluray disc that takes advantage of it. Because of Neo:X, I have been able to hear a ton of soundtracks with a matrixed height channel.

    Pioneers idea of Atmos is totally low budget. Having actual information coming from above you(as opposed to reflecting from above you from ear height) does not afford the same effect. Pioneers effort is based on a non object based channel assignment. Those of use who have installed 4 discrete channels above us are at least ready for single object based Atmos(or four object based ceiling channels), so as the technology is scaled upwards for hometheater(it is unclear what is expected or desired now), it is not behind the times.
    Last edited by Sir Terrence the Terrible; 07-03-2014 at 01:47 PM.
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    Suspended Smokey's Avatar
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    Thanks JohnMichael for link

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible View Post
    Because of Neo:X, I have been able to hear a ton of soundtracks with a matrixed height channel.
    I am guessing with low number of true Atmos coded blurays (discrete channels) available, for most blurays Atmos coded act like Neo:X and upmix height channels. Some poeple might say why even bother to upgrade-as you said, currently there is only one Bluray disc that takes advantage of it.

    Pioneers idea of Atmos is totally low budget. Having actual information coming from above you(as opposed to reflecting from above you from ear height) does not afford the same effect.
    So would you say upgrading to Atmos would be a waste for those that can not install ceilng speakers? Unless one have dedicated HT, most will fit into that catagory.

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    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    I am guessing with low number of true Atmos coded blurays (discrete channels) available, for most blurays Atmos coded act like Neo:X and upmix height channels. Some poeple might say why even bother to upgrade-as you said, currently there is only one Bluray disc that takes advantage of it.
    Right now I would not bother doing the upgrade, but I sure would be thinking about the pathway to the upgrade. With the Datastat processor, It can derive height channels by looking at the action in the 4 surround channels, and pull common information upwards. It can do this on a 5.1 and 7.1 soundtrack. It is not Atmos, but the effect is very dramatic and effective. Also the Datastat will be upgraded for 16.4 discrete channels later this year from 12.4. It can currently do Aero 3D 11.1 sound, but there is no soundtrack available to take advantage of it.

    The price of the processor was right, so I jumped in.





    So would you say upgrading to Atmos would be a waste for those that can not install ceilng speakers? Unless one have dedicated HT, most will fit into that catagory.
    I would not say a waste, but the effect is greatly diffused - which is quite a different effect than ceiling mounted speakers.

    I got a chance to hear Pioneer's Atmos set up, and I was impressed, but not fully satisfied. The ceiling effect was there, but the surround channels(because of the high location of the speakers)caused sound to pool around the speakers, giving them a bit to much directivity for my taste). Pioneers demo would have been better if all of the surround speakers were a bit lower to the ground, to match the fronts. That way the top mounted Atmos speaker would pool so much around the surround.

    If you are on a budget and want Atmos, the pioneer speaker option is quite good. There will also be add on Atmos speakers you can put atop your existing speakers, but I find that option unpalatable.

    Give Atmos another year or so, and it would be something for somebody to take a look at. 3D video with 11.1 sound(even no object oriented) is quite addicting, and I am glad I made the upgrade.
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    3db
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    All the big AVR manufacturers are releasing their new line with Dolby Atmos. The problem I see that a lot of us, me included do not have a dedicated HT room. Alot of the setups are in living rooms or dual purpose rooms (thats me). My room is not large enough to support 7.1. I have a 6.1 set up. Although I may benefit slightly from the 2 or 4 extra ceiling speakers, I don't think its worth the cash out lay. To make it worth one's while, I think that Dolby Atmos is only worth having in dedicated room. The other thing is getting Dolby Atmos source material and a player to support it.

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    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3db View Post
    All the big AVR manufacturers are releasing their new line with Dolby Atmos. The problem I see that a lot of us, me included do not have a dedicated HT room. Alot of the setups are in living rooms or dual purpose rooms (thats me). My room is not large enough to support 7.1. I have a 6.1 set up. Although I may benefit slightly from the 2 or 4 extra ceiling speakers, I don't think its worth the cash out lay. To make it worth one's while, I think that Dolby Atmos is only worth having in dedicated room. The other thing is getting Dolby Atmos source material and a player to support it.
    3db, I think in your case the Pioneer option will work great. I heard the system in both a living room like environment, and a dedicated hometheater, and both approaches while not near perfect, were very effective. If your ceiling height is between 8-15ft high, the Pioneer solution will work. If you have a ceiling higher than that, then overheads are far more effective than the Pioneer solution.

    The effect of Atmos is quite profound. Even a mono ceiling based system adds much to a 5.1 or 7.1 setup. An object based system(like mine is based on) is even more effective than that. A lot more.

    Because there is no exact standard based on Aero 3D or Atmos(and DTS Neo as well) then my advice is to wait this out until there is. My system can be moved and optimized, a lot of people only have one chance to get it right based on their budget.
    Last edited by Sir Terrence the Terrible; 07-05-2014 at 02:58 PM.
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    Thanks Sir TT

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible View Post
    I got a chance to hear Pioneer's Atmos set up, and I was impressed, but not fully satisfied. The ceiling effect was there, but the surround channels(because of the high location of the speakers)caused sound to pool around the speakers, giving them a bit to much directivity for my taste). Pioneers demo would have been better if all of the surround speakers were a bit lower to the ground, to match the fronts. That way the top mounted Atmos speaker would pool so much around the surround.
    But wouldn't lowering surroud rear speakers to front level compromise its performance as rear speakers?

    Hopefully Atmos sofeware configuration take into acount the height of rear speakers for optimization of surround top firing speakers or module

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    3db
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible View Post
    3db, I think in your case the Pioneer option will work great. I heard the system in both a living room like environment, and a dedicated hometheater, and both approaches while not near perfect, were very effective. If your ceiling height is between 8-15ft high, the Pioneer solution will work. If you have a ceiling higher than that, then overheads are far more effective than the Pioneer solution.

    The effect of Atmos is quite profound. Even a mono ceiling based system adds much to a 5.1 or 7.1 setup. An object based system(like mine is based on) is even more effective than that. A lot more.

    Because there is no exact standard based on Aero 3D or Atmos(and DTS Neo as well) then my advice is to wait this out until there is. My system can be moved and optimized, a lot of people only have one chance to get it right based on their budget.
    I wonder how a modded version of Mirage's Omni SAT line would compare to the Pioneers? I'm also of teh mindset that the speakers offered by Pioneer would offer up more limitations based on placement than if one went with ceiling speakers.

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    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    But wouldn't lowering surroud rear speakers to front level compromise its performance as rear speakers?

    Hopefully Atmos sofeware configuration take into acount the height of rear speakers for optimization of surround top firing speakers or module
    You answered your own question Mister. Atmos software configuration will take into account where all your speakers are positioned, and then adjust the coding to work with that arrangement.

    This is called adaptive decoding.
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    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3db View Post
    I wonder how a modded version of Mirage's Omni SAT line would compare to the Pioneers? I'm also of teh mindset that the speakers offered by Pioneer would offer up more limitations based on placement than if one went with ceiling speakers.
    I would not use the word limitation, because Pioneers implementation does pseudo effectively get the job done. I think "compromise" is a better word than limitation. Pioneers implementation would definitely compromised an object based Atmos application. An object based system would use identical horizontally based speakers, and ceiling speakers that have more directivity(point sourced specifically), so individual objects can be floated at any point within the space.
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    3db
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible View Post
    I would not use the word limitation, because Pioneers implementation does pseudo effectively get the job done. I think "compromise" is a better word than limitation. Pioneers implementation would definitely compromised an object based Atmos application. An object based system would use identical horizontally based speakers, and ceiling speakers that have more directivity(point sourced specifically), so individual objects can be floated at any point within the space.
    I actually meant to say compromise .... thanks for picking up on that .

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    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Now that I have been to at least three Pioneer sponsored demo's of Atmos, things are getting a little more clear to me. First, the early options for Atmos with be 5.1.2, 5.1.4, 7.1.2 and 7.1.4. The 5.1.4 and 7.1.4 require more processing power than the 5.1.2 and 7.1.2, as you will be able to skate individual objects across more point in space.

    The "renderer" will decode the metadata from the disc, and use any single or multiple speakers to put the object at a certain point in space. Obviously the 7 channel "bed" has a advantage over the 5 channel bed, and the four channels overhead will have an advantage over the two channels overhead in terms of absolutely spatial accuracy.

    Pioneer did their demonstrations using their Atmos enable speakers. The first demo I heard was in a 5.1.2 configuration with ceiling mounted speakers. While I loved the ceiling mounted height channels, the 5 channel "bed" speakers had problem with presenting side information because of the distance between the L/R fronts, and the L/R surrounds. The next demo I heard was a 5.1.4 setup with up firing Atmos speakers. I found the ceiling pretty enveloping, but individual objects appeared diffused to me ears as a result of bouncing discrete information off the ceiling first, before hitting the ears.

    The last demo I hears with a full blown 7.1.4 system with Triad speakers. Now this demo was VERY impressive. The 7 channels "on the ground" were much more accurate spatially with channel based panning of effects, and the 4 ceiling mounted speakers really added to the accurate movement of objects over your head, or from the main channels through the ceiling mounted channels, and back down to the main channels. You could easily hear things like objects halfway up the wall, and over your shoulder to the left or right. Rain sounded like it was coming from everywhere. Helicopters flew through the room with total accuracy.

    While I will be the first to admit that Atmos is not as good as the Iosono demo I attended three years ago, it is much easier to implements(Iosono required 360 speakers, and two slaved computer renderers) and much cheaper as well(far less speakers to install).

    While Atmos products are being rolled out as we speak, I still think it will take a couple of more years to get the software and the hardware issues worked out(more DSP power in decoding chips, better mixing techniques to better utilize the technology). Still, I believe in forward thinking when it comes to my HT's, so I already have a 7.1.4 system already set up, and starting on a 7.1.2 system as well.

    I strongly believe that this new sound technology(it is not really a new format as it is based on PCM encoding) has ton's of promise for those who are really in to their home theater setups(and the big caveat) and have the dedicated space to set it up optimally.

    The first Onkyo receivers has exchanged Audyssey EQ for a cheaper less comprehensive setup just to offer Atmos. This seems to be a processing power issue. All Denon's and Marantz Atmos receivers will have Audyssey premium processing along with Atmos processing, so they are not giving up anything to get something.
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