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A Guide to Dolby Atmos in the Home

gibbsy

Moderator
This may have been answered in the previous 114 pages but here goes. I have finally purchased 4 ceiling speakers to complete a 7.1.4 Atmos installation. I already have the other speakers ready to go wired in to an Arcam receiver and 2 further power amps. Finally I have an old HD TV that I simply intend to use for testing purposes until the final save for the UHD TV that will replace it.
My questions are -
1 How/where do I source an Atmos film trailer to test out the audio and how do I play this through the receiver.
2 More long term how will I view/stream Atmos TV/films when I upgrade to a modern TV? I don't want to buy discs, I will never use any Sky product, and I'd prefer not to pay (but that might not be an option!) Is anything on BBC iplayer currently streamed with Atmos or will this come in the future? What about Freeview content?
thanks
BBC don't at this time have any Atmos content, indeed I don't believe they broadcast or stream in the Dolby Digital Plus stream that would be needed for Atmos. Netflix, Amazon and other streaming services use DD+ with any Atmos content. This may be affected by the reduction in bandwidth currently because of Covid-19.

To get the best Atmos experience you will need to get discs, either blu ray or UHD that come with either an Atmos or DTS:X soundtrack.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
This may have been answered in the previous 114 pages but here goes. I have finally purchased 4 ceiling speakers to complete a 7.1.4 Atmos installation. I already have the other speakers ready to go wired in to an Arcam receiver and 2 further power amps. Finally I have an old HD TV that I simply intend to use for testing purposes until the final save for the UHD TV that will replace it.
My questions are -
1 How/where do I source an Atmos film trailer to test out the audio and how do I play this through the receiver.
2 More long term how will I view/stream Atmos TV/films when I upgrade to a modern TV? I don't want to buy discs, I will never use any Sky product, and I'd prefer not to pay (but that might not be an option!) Is anything on BBC iplayer currently streamed with Atmos or will this come in the future? What about Freeview content?
thanks
You'd need a device of some description to play the content. AV receivers have no inbuilt ability to play video files.

There are demo files available from Dolby themselves and other third party sites. but as I said, you'll need a device to play those files that has the ability to either bitstream TrueHD or DD+ inclusive of Atmos metadata.


You don't even get 5.1 via iPlayer, let alone Atmos.
 
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markharro

Novice Member
Thanks - can you not download a demo file onto a memory stick and plug it in to the AV receiver - or connect a laptop somehow? If not, what's the cheapest "device"? thanks
 

dion 6

Active Member
Thanks - can you not download a demo file onto a memory stick and plug it in to the AV receiver - or connect a laptop somehow? If not, what's the cheapest "device"? thanks
Yes you can I use these two files Leaf and Amaze trailer good demo of atmos

 

Steve Webb

Active Member
Yes you can I use these two files Leaf and Amaze trailer good demo of atmos

You cannot play video files from a USB stick plugged into the AVR. You need a player such as an Nvidia Shield. I don’t believe a PC running Windows supports Atmos, but I could be wrong. Failing that I would suggest the newest Nvidia Shield which sell for circa £150, so not expensive and they support Dolby Atmos on Netflix and Amazon Prime and will support Dolby Atmos on Disney + once Disney offer it (they’ve limited Audio to Dolby Digital for the time being).
 

Steve Webb

Active Member
You cannot play video files from a USB stick plugged into the AVR. You need a player such as an Nvidia Shield. I don’t believe a PC running Windows supports Atmos, but I could be wrong. Failing that I would suggest the newest Nvidia Shield which sell for circa £150, so not expensive and they support Dolby Atmos on Netflix and Amazon Prime and will support Dolby Atmos on Disney + once Disney offer it (they’ve limited Audio to Dolby Digital for the time being).
You’ll also be able to rip and playback Atmos capable discs through Kodi in full HD Audio to include Atmos and DSTX on the Nvidia Shield.
 

dion 6

Active Member
You cannot play video files from a USB stick plugged into the AVR. You need a player such as an Nvidia Shield. I don’t believe a PC running Windows supports Atmos, but I could be wrong. Failing that I would suggest the newest Nvidia Shield which sell for circa £150, so not expensive and they support Dolby Atmos on Netflix and Amazon Prime and will support Dolby Atmos on Disney + once Disney offer it (they’ve limited Audio to Dolby Digital for the time being).
Yes I agree thought his laptop might be capable if not like you said you need a media player I play my atmos and DTSX test files form my vero 4k connected to my avr
 

markharro

Novice Member
Thanks - the Shield gadget looks very well regarded. Can you tell me how it connects to the TV and your AV receiver? Also I take it that its doesn't provide Freeview channels?
 

JoeSepi

Well-known Member
Thanks - can you not download a demo file onto a memory stick and plug it in to the AV receiver - or connect a laptop somehow? If not, what's the cheapest "device"? thanks
What TV are you getting? LG's have a Dolby App on them with ATMOS demos and obviously Netflix, Amazon, Rakuten and Apple TV apps which have ATMOS content - just wait till you get your TV
 

markharro

Novice Member
The "good" TV will probably not be purchased for another year - too many other projects on atm. So its just a cheap short term measure that allows a flavour of what Atmos can bring. That's interesting about the newer LG TVs. So if you bought one of those would it make something like the Shield redundant or would the Shield give better performance/higher quality vision/audio?
 

martimu

Well-known Member
I've run the demos via laptop with hdmi output to the hdmi in on my receiver. You need to download the free Dolby app from Microsoft store in order to enable Atmos. Think it's called Dolby access, but type in Dolby and it will come up. It has got a couple of demos built into the app itself too.
 

Steve Webb

Active Member
Thanks - the Shield gadget looks very well regarded. Can you tell me how it connects to the TV and your AV receiver? Also I take it that its doesn't provide Freeview channels?
No it’s basically an android TV box. It does have all the catch-up and streaming services.
 

Steve Webb

Active Member
The "good" TV will probably not be purchased for another year - too many other projects on atm. So its just a cheap short term measure that allows a flavour of what Atmos can bring. That's interesting about the newer LG TVs. So if you bought one of those would it make something like the Shield redundant or would the Shield give better performance/higher quality vision/audio?
In terms of streaming, all but the current LG OLED’s are exceptional, and as good if not better than any separate streaming box (the current iteration of OLED’s don’t have the catch-up apps yet). However, if your looking to playback video files you might need a separate device and in my opinion the Nvidia Shield is the best for that As it supports all video and audio codecs unlike the Apple TV. The LG OLED’s have the PLEX app built in but the app doesn’t support HD audio.
 
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markharro

Novice Member
In terms of streaming, all but the current LG OLED’s are exceptional, and as good if not better than any separate streaming box (the current iteration of OLED’s don’t have the streaming apps yet).

Sorry if I have this wrong but are you saying the most recent generation of LG OLEDs have a worse streaming performance/don't have streaming apps? If so that seems to defy logic - why would they make their new products less functional? So the current TVs don't have iplayer/netflix etc?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
The new LG models that replace the 9 models from last year don't as yet include the apps associated with UK catch up services because LG forget to renew the licencing associated with them. LG suggest that they'll be adding them at a later date though.

The models being replaced are basically better than those being introduced because they come with the UK centric apps and because you'll get them for a lot less than you'll be paying for the models that replace them. The additional Filmmaker mode you get can simply be emulated on the older model by using the ISF Dark Mode and configuring the picture settings accordingly. The panels used are the same panels and the processing is basically the same as well.

Save yourself some money and just buy a model from last year.

What are my alternatives?

To a certain extent, LG is its own worst enemy because if you’re looking for an alternative the obvious choice is the LG E9. This TV has an equally striking picture-on-glass design, and is also extremely well made. The performance is superb, and the features just as extensive. The E9 doesn’t have Dolby Vision IQ or Filmmaker Mode, but the former isn’t essential because you can just switch between the Cinema and Cinema Home modes. In the case of the latter, as we’ve discovered in our testing, you can simply use the ISF Dark Room setting as a proxy for the Filmmaker Mode. In fact, the E9 has a few of advantages of its own – it’s cheaper for a start, and comes with a stand included. It also has Freeview Play and a complete set of UK catch-up TV services, which is something the GX currently lacks.
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
The majority go for the C9. THe B9 models have a less powerful processor. so you'd ideally want a C9 or above.
 

Steve Webb

Active Member
The majority go for the C9. THe B9 models have a less powerful processor. so you'd ideally want a C9 or above.
If you turn off all video processing as most do, the B9 is more than capable. I chose the 65in B8 over a C8 in Aug last year as Richer Sounds had them available for £1500 - I don’t regret it.
 

iangreasby

Well-known Member
If you turn off all video processing as most do, the B9 is more than capable. I chose the 65in B8 over a C8 in Aug last year as Richer Sounds had them available for £1500 - I don’t regret it.
I also bought the 65 B8 from RS for £1,500. It was a fantastic upgrade after my previous Samsung LCD, OLED is simply much better. Problem is I'm already getting upgraditis (only had the B8 since Feb 2019) and am now very tempted by the 77 C9 given that it's come down in price from £7,500 about 12 months ago to £5,000.
 

Steve Webb

Active Member
Mmmm.. 77in OLED 🥰. That’s my next TV too, although Micro LED might be available by the time I upgrade.
 

iangreasby

Well-known Member
Mmmm.. 77in OLED 🥰. That’s my next TV too, although Micro LED might be available by the time I upgrade.
I've even marked it out on the wall to gauge what it would look like! I imagine it would be so much more immersive. I should wait until BF for even lower prices but I am finding it difficult not to pull the trigger! o_O
 

Steve Webb

Active Member
Sorry if I have this wrong but are you saying the most recent generation of LG OLEDs have a worse streaming performance/don't have streaming apps? If so that seems to defy logic - why would they make their new products less functional? So the current TVs don't have iplayer/netflix etc?
Sorry I meant catch-up apps not streaming apps. Netflix etc is there, but BBC iplayer and ITV hub aren’t - not yet anyway.
As Dante01 points out, last years 2019 model is your best option.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
If you're asking questions specific to LG TVs then please use the appropriate Forum and not here. Thanks.
 

ispeck

Member
Hi all
I haven't been able to find the answer to this anywhere

Will an A/V receiver passthrough Dolby Atmos to a soundbar connected via HDMI?

I will basically be using my Onkyo TX-NR676 receiver as a glorified HDMI switch after moving it into another room and hooking up a Vizio Atmos soundbar system.

It handles 4k/HDR/Dolby Vision pass through and can process Atmos when discreet speakers are hooked up but I am just going the soundbar route for this room and want to be able to hook up multiple consoles and streaming devices.

Nothing I have found tells me if the Atmos content will passthrough from something like an Xbox One X, through the receiver and to the soundbar. I can't think of a reason why it SHOULDN'T work as long as I have good cables but I don't know if anyone has tried it.

thanks!
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
There's no reason why you cannot passthrough the HDMI signal to a soundbar, but an AV receiver would require that you configure it to do so via its HDMI configurations.

It should also be noted that some AV receiver's will not allow you to both process audio being input via HDMI while simultaneously passing it through. If the receiver is configured to pass the signal through then the receiver would not then process the audio, amplify it and then output it via the speakers connected to the AV receiver. I think Onkyo receivers allow you to pass a signal through while still being able to process it though?

Those AV receivers that do allow both the HDMI signal to be passed through while simultaneously processing it themselves will however be compromised by the capabilities if the soundbar. The soundbar's capabilities would be what the HDMI source uses to determine what the source can output. If the soundbar is less capable than the AV receiver then the AV receiver will be denied access to the superior formats it may have had access to had the HDMI signal not been passed through to the sounddbar.

Begs the question, why use the soundbar and not simply use the AV receiver? The results you'd get using the AV receiver and speakers would surpass what you'll get using the soundbar.


Also note that if wanting to cpnvey the signal over distances greater than 6m then you may experience signal dropouts. THis will especially be the case in association with higher bandwith UHD sources. Conventional copper HDMI cabling isn't designed to carry signals over longer cable runs and you'd be advised to look at over options such as HDMI over fibre.
 
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