A Guide to Dolby Atmos in the Home

ispeck

Member
Thanks for the reply

The receiver won't have any speakers connected and won't be processing anything so it will simply be passing through all A/V signals.

It was my receiver for my main setup for a few years but has been replaced.

I am setting up a secondary game room and will be connecting about 6 devices (mostly game consoles) to a single TV and I figured I might as well use this receiver since I already have it instead of looking for an HDMI switch capable of connecting 6 devices with 4k/HDR/Atmos

I don't have any additional speakers outside of my main set up but still want some good surround sound and am eyeing the Vizio 5.1.4. atmos soundbar setup to make it an easy set-it-and-forget-it solution.
 

Webbserver

Active Member
I’d personally prefer a 3.1 standard speaker system (LCR and sub if poss) than a sound bar. You won’t get Atmos, but with good speakers you’ll get a better experience.
 

ispeck

Member
Well for anyone curious how this worked out.
I picked up the Vizio SB36514 system and have all devices running through the Onkyo receiver to to it and then have the Soundbar connected via ARC to the TV.

The trick is to have the receiver in Standby and the Standby setting set to "Last" so it simply passes through the data untouched AND I can change between inputs even with the receiver off.

When the receiver is on, I still get HDR but any Atmos metadata appears to get stripped out (I assume it's because the Onkyo is trying to process it). With the receiver on standby, the soundbar indicates a green light for Atmos and I can easily switch between inputs and everything works perfectly.

Even non Atmos content is upmixed and sounds really great on this setup.

I appreciate the replies and hopefully my experience helps someone looking for the same answers I was.



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.
 

jontell

Active Member
Anyone know how come when I play a film with a DTS HD MA track with no upmixer selected, I get sound out of the atmos speakers? Tried 2 discs now. Doesn’t do it with DD encoded discs unless I select an upmixer.
 

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gibbsy

Moderator
Anyone know how come when I play a film with a DTS HD MA track with no upmixer selected, I get sound out of the atmos speakers? Tried 2 discs now. Doesn’t do it with DD encoded discs unless I select an upmixer.
What speaker set up do you have as the output is showing a 3.1.2.
 

jontell

Active Member
That’s what I mainly use although I do have surround speakers connected. Just tried a 3rd dts disc and it does the same. Atmos discs play fine as expected but can’t work out why dts just uses the atmos speakers without me telling it to.
 

jontell

Active Member
Just turned the surrounds on and then I just get sound from the 5.1 layout. If I put my ear right on top of an atmos speaker I can hear a very faint buzz, is that normal? The Denon app still shows 5.1.2 output though with no upmixer like this.
 

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