A Guide to Dolby Atmos in the Home

Nobbler

Distinguished Member
Just a comment on what your resident expert said.

It's a myth that you need overhead speakers to engage Atmos. Any time you go beyond 7.1 (e.g. 9.1 with front wides or even a Trinnov with up to 24 ear-level speakers), Atmos is used to decode objects to the speakers beyond the base layer standard track. D&M start using Atmos at even 7.1 because some 5.1 Atmos soundtracks (streaming) still support 7.1 when decoded to Atmos.

One could easily have an awesome Trinnov based 24.1.0 system (no overheads whatsoever but 24 ear level speakers and of course it would use Atmos decoding). Objects aren't limited to overhead locations.
Saucer of milk over here please!
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
No one has said that Atmos is limited to the on ceiling, height or upward firing speakers. The fact is that up until recently, you'd not be able to get an AV receiver to even acknowledge the presence of Atmos metadata if your setup hadn't ceiling, height of upward firing speakers present. Even now, you still need to engage Dolby Virtual Height processing in association with a setup devoid of such speakers in order for it to portray Atmos.

Atmos for the cinema has a 9.1 channel based layer and it is this that facilitated the inclusion of width speakers, not the object based element of Atmos. To quote Dolby:

Dolby Atmos and sound objects
Dolby Atmos is based on the concept of sound objects. In the cinema, Dolby Atmos relies on a combination of 9.1 ‘‘bed’’ channels and up to 118 simultaneous sound objects to deliver an enveloping sound stage. Every sound in a scene----a child yelling, a helicopter taking off, a car horn blaring----can be a separate sound object. Each of those sounds comes from a specific location in the scene, and in some cases, they move. The car careens from left to right, while the yelling child runs up a set of stairs.

Using sophisticated content creation tools that represent the sound objects in a three-dimensional space, filmmakers can isolate each of the sound objects in a scene and decide exactly where they want them to be and how they want them to move. In the final sound mix, the sound objects are combined with positional metadata----additional data that describes a number of parameters about the sound object, including its location and movement, if any.


The first generation of Atmos soundtracks released for home consumption lackd this 9 channel layer and reduced it to 7. This is why the first generation Atmos home theatre soundtracks have no width channels and why Dolby omitted the ability of a setup to handle them relative to Atmos decoding. Dolby have since rectifies this and more recent soundtracks and home theatre setups can now portray the width channels associated with Dolby soundtracks.


Dolby Atmos in home theater
Dolby has developed the technology required to translate the Dolby Atmos experience in cinema to home theaters. In the case of the home theater, every sound in the mix is represented as an audio object. When you set up your Dolby Atmos enabled AVR, you inform your receiver how many speakers you have, what type of speakers they are (large, small, overhead, and/or Dolby Atmos enabled), and where they’re located. Armed with this information, a sophisticated processor in your AVR----the Object Audio Renderer or OAR----analyzes the positional metadata and scales each audio object for optimal playback through the connected speaker system. This process include includes determining in real time exactly which speakers it needs to use from moment to moment in order to reproduce the sounds of the car careening across the screen and the child fleeing up the stairs. That detailed, very specific movement of sound helps your brain suspend disbelief and feel as if what you’re watching is real.
Key to the reproduction of this three-dimensional soundfield is the creation of a layer of sound above the listener. This is achieved through the introduction of overhead or Dolby Atmos enabled speakers in the home theater system. Later we will describe how that is achieved.

The flexibility of Dolby Atmos object-based sound makes it incredibly adaptable. A Dolby Atmos movie can be played back on nearly any speaker configuration in the home. You’ll be able to hear the placement and movement of sound in a Dolby Atmos movie whether you have a system with five speakers on the floor and two overhead or 24 speakers on the floor and 10 overhead (the current maximum for a Dolby Atmos supersystem) or any variety between. The more speakers you have, the more precise the audio positioning becomes.

And you have lots of flexibility to upgrade your system. Adding more speakers to the system will provide a higher level of object resolution and even more detailed, richer sound.



As to Atmos and the number of channels. This is not limitless and there is a limit even in a cinema. A Dolby Atmos setup can potentially have up to 24 speakers on the floor and 10 overhead speakers. THat is the limit defined by what is done in cinemas and what Dolby have included in the tools they've developed to create Atmos soundtracks.

Irrespective of this, you'd also need the processing power to handle more channels if wanting to add more speakers. THe higher the number of speakers the greater the processing requirements. Atmos may not be channel based, but the AV receiver has to create individial channels for each speaker present, map the objects (up to 118 of them at any one time) to thses speakers as the objects move around a room and kepp track of the size of e=ch of these objucts while doing this.

And no, you cannot have a Atmos setup consisting of just ear level speakers. not without employing processing to create virtual height, ceiling or upfiring speakers. As said, the processor would simply ignore the Atmos metadata in the absence of such speakers or virtual representations of such.
 
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shmerls

Active Member
This is the first I've heard about not needing overhead speakers. I was set on the Denton X6700H which is an 11.2 system. My plan was to have 7.2 on the floor and 4 height speakers. If not mounted in or on the ceiling, where could the 4 Atmos speakers go? Do you have diagram maybe? Thanks so much for opening this door!
 

shmerls

Active Member
No one has said that Atmos is limited to the on ceiling, height or upward firing speakers. The fact is that up until recently, you'd not be able to get an AV receiver to even acknowledge the presence of Atmos metadata if your setup hadn't ceiling, height of upward firing speakers present. Even now, you still need to engage Dolby Virtual Height processing in association with a setup devoid of such speakers in order for it to portray Atmos.

Atmos for the cinema has a 9.1 channel based layer and it is this that facilitated the inclusion of width speakers, not the object based element of Atmos. To quote Dolby:






The first generation of Atmos soundtracks released for home consumption lackd this 9 channel layer and reduced it to 7. This is why the first generation Atmos home theatre soundtracks have no width channels and why Dolby omitted the ability of a setup to handle them relative to Atmos decoding. Dolby have since rectifies this and more recent soundtracks and home theatre setups can now portray the width channels associated with Dolby soundtracks.











As to Atmos and the number of channels. This is not limitless and there is a limit even in a cinema. A Dolby Atmos setup can potentially have up to 24 speakers on the floor and 10 overhead speakers. THat is the limit defined by what is done in cinemas and what Dolby have included in the tools they've developed to create Atmos soundtracks.

Irrespective of this, you'd also need the processing power to handle more channels if wanting to add more speakers. THe higher the number of speakers the greater the processing requirements. Atmos may not be channel based, but the AV receiver has to create individial channels for each speaker present, map the objects (up to 118 of them at any one time) to thses speakers as the objects move around a room and kepp track of the size of e=ch of these objucts while doing this.

And no, you cannot have a Atmos setup consisting of just ear level speakers. not without employing processing to create virtual height, ceiling or upfiring speakers. As said, the processor would simply ignore the Atmos metadata in the absence of such speakers or virtual representations of such.
Thanks for your amazing reply and lesson! Awesome. As you might have seen in my other reply, I narrowed down to the Denton X6700H 11.2. My plan was/is 7.2 on the floor and 4 Atmos.

I've read that Atmos speaker mounted in the ceiling has limitations which makes sense as there is no speaker cabinet. I hadn't gotten to the Atmos configuration but since we're here, which do you like most between ceiling mounted, slanted down mounted on the walls at ceiling level, or upfire speakers? Again I was planning on 4.

Thanks!
 

ATMOS7

Active Member
This is the first I've heard about not needing overhead speakers. I was set on the Denton X6700H which is an 11.2 system. My plan was to have 7.2 on the floor and 4 height speakers. If not mounted in or on the ceiling, where could the 4 Atmos speakers go? Do you have diagram maybe? Thanks so much for opening this door!
There are many situations such as renting an apartment where you are not allowed to put holes in the wall or ceiling. In that case, you can get (I think they are called ATMOS Ready) floor standing speakers with additional speakers mounted on the top of the floor standing speaker. The theory is that these speakers are pointed towards the ceiling and the sound reflects down from the ceiling. Obviously, not as good as ceiling mounted ATMOS speakers but a good compromise. Frankly speaking I have not experienced this setup first hand to pass any judgement.
 

MagnumXL

Active Member
This is the first I've heard about not needing overhead speakers. I was set on the Denton X6700H which is an 11.2 system. My plan was to have 7.2 on the floor and 4 height speakers. If not mounted in or on the ceiling, where could the 4 Atmos speakers go? Do you have diagram maybe? Thanks so much for opening this door!

It depends on the processor. Most consumer AVRs only handle 7 to 11 channels or so and so their abilities are very limited and some processors simply don't support speaker locations outside the 7.1 format (e.g. My Marantz 7012 does 7.1 on the ground and 4 overhead; that's it, but my older Marantz 7010 supported up to 9.1 on the floor and up to 4 overhead. So you could choose to do a 9.1 layout (that would need Atmos decoding to place the front wide speakers properly) or a 9.1.2 layout (7.1 + front wides + 2 overhead).

Your Denon X6700H is a 13.2 capable processor (with 11.1 channels of amplification built-in). It supports front wides (9.1 on the floor) and up to 8 speaker locations on the ceiling (Top/Heights + Top Middle + CH/TS, but I don't think it would allow 5.1.8 for DTS:X, even though it could be made to work). If you only did 9.1 (7.1 + front wides), it would use Atmos to decode everything because you've gone beyond the base level backup tracks's maximum of 7.1 channels. Overhead channels are NEVER in the base track specification so of course using any overhead speakers will trigger Atmos decoding, but so will using front wides on the floor. Your options using 11-channels are 9.1.2 or 7.1.4. If you use all 13 available channels, you can do 9.1.4 or 7.1.6.

The full Atmos specification supports up to 24 speakers on the floor and 10 overhead (plus the sub channel). AFAIK, only the Trinnov Altitude-32 supports that full layout. It's a $30k+ beast of a computer-based processor (using Intel processors) and with it you could have 24 speakers on the ground and zero overhead and it would work just fine with Atmos signals like that. Without Atmos decoding, the most you can get from any source is 7.1 (UHD Blu-Rays have 7.1 base tracks; streaming (using DD+) usually has 5.1 base tracks, but can support 7.1 base tracks as well). Anything beyond 7.1.0 need Atmos decoding for certain. 5.1 Based Streaming tracks need Atmos decoding to do 7.1 output even. It's as simple as that.
 

MagnumXL

Active Member
You shouldn't technically be able to either process or portray Atmos without having either physical or virtual heights.

No idea as to what you are experiencing is normal or just a foible associated with your or other Denon AVRs?

You'd ordinarilly just get the DD+ or TrueHD formatted audio without the physical or virtual height speakers being present. In your case, multichannel PCM if accessing Atmos via an AppleTV 4K due to its reliance upon Dolby MAT.
No one has said that Atmos is limited to the on ceiling, height or upward firing speakers.

You said it yourself above in this very thread (see bold above). :rolleyes:

The fact is that up until recently, you'd not be able to get an AV receiver to even acknowledge the presence of Atmos metadata if your setup hadn't ceiling, height of upward firing speakers present.

This is simply not true. My Marantz 7010 from 2016 (just two years after Atmos came out), supports FRONT WIDE speakers in Atmos and DTS:X. It turns on Atmos processing if front wides are used. Period.

It also turns on Atmos processing for 7.1 because many streaming Atmos soundtracks are 5.1 based and they can output 7.1 with Atmos processing. Why on Earth would they limit you to the base/backup 5.1 track when it can output 7.1 or 9.1 with Atmos processing? The answer is they don't. Atmos is engaged with those speaker setups regardless of whether you have ANY overhead speakers or not.

A Trinnov Altitude-32 can do 24.1.0 with no overhead speakers and most certainly uses Atmos meta data processing in that configuration! It's been available since 2014!!!

Even now, you still need to engage Dolby Virtual Height processing in association with a setup devoid of such speakers in order for it to portray Atmos.

That is 100% INCORRECT. If he uses front wides with his Dolby X6700H in a 9.1 (9.1.0) configuration, it will engage Atmos. Period. It will engage it even for 7.1 only (due to 5.1 streaming Atmos being able to output 7.1).
 

shmerls

Active Member
Thanks for your amazing reply and lesson! Awesome. As you might have seen in my other reply, I narrowed down to the Denton X6700H 11.2. My plan was/is 7.2 on the floor and 4 Atmos.

I've read that Atmos speaker mounted in the ceiling has limitations which makes sense as there is no speaker cabinet. I hadn't gotten to the Atmos configuration but since we're here, which do you like most between ceiling mounted, slanted down mounted on the walls at ceiling level, or upfire speakers? Again I was planning on 4.

Thanks!
@dante01: since my first post about this in June 2021, I've decided to take the plunge since I have an unfinished basement with normal 8' ceiling, and an alcove area that is 12' wide and up to 18' long which since I'll be creating my HT space from scratch I can set the length dimensions to optimum. 18' is obviously too long. I have to find out what the optimum length would be for a 12' wide area with an 8' ceiling.

The room area has one small 12x24" window which will be covered up acoustically. I can't finished the walls with studs and sheetrock, so I'm looking into sound absorbing panels and/or sound absorbing fabric curtains all in black. The walls are poured concrete and the ceiling is rafters with exposed typical fiberglass insulation. I have to learn and determine if I should sheet rock at least the ceiling or is the open rafters possibly better for sound absorption and then I can simply put sound insulation in place of the fiberglass or whatever I learn here at AVF.

With this new approach to my HT, I'm learning that I can cross from HT to Home Cinema and think about a projector vs TV. The more I learn from all of you the deeper I'm getting :D

So no more 18' echo room. Whew. So now I can approach Atmos in a proper sound environment. The projector route is obviously yet another sound rabbit hole. I'm in so many now, how come I haven't seen a single rabbit yet?

I need to learn about Wide Speaker placement and type of speakers and if this set up is as good as Atmos, or since I will now have a normal room, is Atmos height best, better than wide. To be clear, this room will be 100% dedicated to cinema with one door into the black! Lights, camera, action.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member

dante01

Distinguished Member
You said it yourself above in this very thread (see bold above). :rolleyes:


VIRTUAL HEIGHT? What are they then? Are you suggesting there's a specific location for virtual speakers?

As I've said, you cannot have an Atmos setup without it including either physical or virtual height speakers. THe processor would simply ignore the Atmos metadata if there are no physical height, ceiling or upward firing speakers present or if that processor hadn't Dolby Virtual Height processing.


That is 100% INCORRECT. If he uses front wides with his Dolby X6700H in a 9.1 (9.1.0) configuration, it will engage Atmos. Period. It will engage it even for 7.1 only (due to 5.1 streaming Atmos being able to output 7.1).


So everyone owns an X6700H do they? If not then no, it isn't 100% incorrect. You are reciting an exception and not the rule!


Could you actually direct me and or anyone else to anywhere that actually says that a 9.1 setup devoid of height, ceiling, upward firing or Virtual Height processing is a legimete Atmos configuration?
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
@dante01: since my first post about this in June 2021, I've decided to take the plunge since I have an unfinished basement with normal 8' ceiling, and an alcove area that is 12' wide and up to 18' long which since I'll be creating my HT space from scratch I can set the length dimensions to optimum. 18' is obviously too long. I have to find out what the optimum length would be for a 12' wide area with an 8' ceiling.

The room area has one small 12x24" window which will be covered up acoustically. I can't finished the walls with studs and sheetrock, so I'm looking into sound absorbing panels and/or sound absorbing fabric curtains all in black. The walls are poured concrete and the ceiling is rafters with exposed typical fiberglass insulation. I have to learn and determine if I should sheet rock at least the ceiling or is the open rafters possibly better for sound absorption and then I can simply put sound insulation in place of the fiberglass or whatever I learn here at AVF.

With this new approach to my HT, I'm learning that I can cross from HT to Home Cinema and think about a projector vs TV. The more I learn from all of you the deeper I'm getting :D

So no more 18' echo room. Whew. So now I can approach Atmos in a proper sound environment. The projector route is obviously yet another sound rabbit hole. I'm in so many now, how come I haven't seen a single rabbit yet?

I need to learn about Wide Speaker placement and type of speakers and if this set up is as good as Atmos, or since I will now have a normal room, is Atmos height best, better than wide. To be clear, this room will be 100% dedicated to cinema with one door into the black! Lights, camera, action.


In basic terms, a rectangular room is ideal for a home cinema. Dounble the width may be longer than ideal though, but the speaker calibration would account for this. Look at the document I posted a link to and try locating the speakers relative to wear they are depicted in that document to attain the idea or as close to that ideal as you can achieve.

by default 2021-09-08 at 09.21.19.png


The location of the screen and its size should determine where you should be sat. Use this as a starting point and arange the speakers around that point as opposed to trying to fill the room's dimensions with speakers. Everything basically revolves around where you'll be sat and where you'll be sat is ideally determined by the screen size and its location.

If thinking about a PJ and screen then you should concentrate on that prior to thinking about the speaker locations. As said, the screen will determine your seating location:




Subsequently, the seating location will then influence where you locate the speakers.
 
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MagnumXL

Active Member
VIRTUAL HEIGHT? What are they then? Are you suggesting there's a specific location for virtual speakers?

I've never discussed virtual height speakers so I've got no clue what you're babbling about.

As I've said, you cannot have an Atmos setup without it including either physical or virtual height speakers.

You keep saying it, but it wasn't true in 2014 and it's sure as hell not true now. The fact you keep arguing about something you're dead wrong about is precisely why I had you on ignore twice before. What good is a fount of knowledge who can't even admit they're wrong about something. I'm simply tired of you reposting incorrect information.

THe processor would simply ignore the Atmos metadata if there are no physical height, ceiling or upward firing speakers present or if that processor hadn't Dolby Virtual Height processing.

I'm going to say this one last time. WRONG!

I honestly don't know you can't seem to comprehend what you're being told. Just because your AVR doesn't do it has no bearing on everyone else.

I've said at least twice now that ANY AVR/AVP that supports front wides or other ear level speakers beyond 7.1 (The Trinnov Altitude from 2014 supports up to 24 ear level speakers for Atmos, for example) uses Atmos decoding to place the objects in those speakers! Atmos objects are not just about overhead speakers for goodness sake!

Yes, cheaper AVRs that only have 7 or 9 channels might "need" overheads to engage Atmos because they don't offer any Atmos configuration beyond 5 or maybe 7 speakers on the floor, but that doesn't mean squat for ones that do! I suspect if you configured your own system for 7.1 and played a streaming MP4 5.1 Atmos track you'd get (or certainly should get) Atmos decoding because rear surrounds are only supported in 5.1 base tracks as Atmos beta data. It certainly works here on either of my D&M brand AVRs.

My Marantz 7010 from 2016 supports front wides also! Guess what? It uses Atmos decoding even for 5.1.0 + FW! It has to! Front wides speakers are NOT present in the 5.1 or 7.1 base channels. They are encoded as objects on the meta data!

My newer Marantz 7012 from 2018 engages Atmos decoding even for 7.1 decoding! That is because streaming Atmos is often only using a 5.1 DD+. By decoding Atmos, it can offer 7.1.0 output from the 5.1 based Atmos signal!

There is literally nothing in the Atmos spec that says an Atmos AVR must use the 5.1 or 7.1 base tracks even for base 5.1 or 7.1 playback. It is entirely up to the manufacturer to decide. Those tracks are for backwards compatibility with older equipment. Decoded 5.1 should theoretically sound identical to the pre-recorded 5.1 base track.

So everyone owns an X6700H do they? If not then no, it isn't 100% incorrect. You are reciting an exception and not the rule!

I never said or implied any such thing. In fact, I already pointed out in a previous message my 7010 (and any AVR that supports front wides) uses Atmos decoding without overheads. You ignored it and are making ridiculous assumptions now as well.

Atmos is an object based system. It supports 24 floor/ear level speakers for object rendering. There is absolutely NOTHING to suggest Atmos in general "requires" overhead speakers to function except poor assumptions by Internet know-it-alls.

Could you actually direct me and or anyone else to anywhere that actually says that a 9.1 setup devoid of height, ceiling, upward firing or Virtual Height processing is a legimete Atmos configuration?

24.0.0 is a legitimate Atmos configuration and anything below it. Ask Trinnov. They'll set you straight as can Storm Audio or Dolby themselves (Try Stuart Bowling, Director of Content and Creative Relations at Dolby; he's seen my system even) for that matter.

Or you could could just actually TRY a 9.1 configuration and see for yourself. I can prove it even in a 7.1 configuration on either of my AVRs here.

I've got the Dolby Atmos demos in MP4 format with 5.1 base tracks. "Atmos" comes on my front panel and my rear surround speakers play the same sounds in the same places as the 7.1 TrueHD versions do as 7.1 only. That proves the AVR is decoding the rear placed objects as the 5.1 base tracks do not support rear surrounds.
 
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Triggaaar

Distinguished Member
If thinking about a PJ and screen then you should concentrate on that prior to thinking about the speaker locations. As said, the screen will determine your seating location:


For balance, I think these guides are awful, out of date and misunderstood. For example, quoting that second link: "SMPTE recommends that the farthest viewing angle is at 30 degrees, and to create your viewing distance, calculate the screen diagonal in inches and divide by 0.6. The answer is the ideal viewing distance, in inches, at a 30-degree viewing angle."

Why did they use SMPTE's furthest seating position (which is trying to allow cinemas to fit in as many people as possible while still providing a reasonable experience) to then say 'ideal viewing distance'?

And for THX, they use an old guide for 16:9, while showing a 2.35 screen.

And then this:
"To determine the minimum and maximum distance for your multiple rows of seating, you can use this formula:

Screen width in inches x 2 = minimum distance
Screen width in inches x 5 = maximum distance
"

That should be Screen height * 2, not screen width. If they understood what they were writing about we'd see more sensible recommendations. If it was screen width * 2 they'd have you sitting between 12 and 30 feet away from a 6 foot wide screen :laugh:

But screen height * 2 (which is SMPTE's minimum distance recommendation) has you sitting 10 feet away from a 12 feet wide scope screen. Now you're talking!
 

Praetorpwj

Active Member
I've never discussed virtual height speakers so I've got no clue what you're babbling about.



You keep saying it, but it wasn't true in 2014 and it's sure as hell not true now. The fact you keep arguing about something you're dead wrong about is precisely why I had you on ignore twice before. What good is a fount of knowledge who can't even admit they're wrong about something. I'm simply tired of you reposting incorrect information.



I'm going to say this one last time. WRONG!

I honestly don't know you can't seem to comprehend what you're being told. Just because your AVR doesn't do it has no bearing on everyone else.

I've said at least twice now that ANY AVR/AVP that supports front wides or other ear level speakers beyond 7.1 (The Trinnov Altitude from 2014 supports up to 24 ear level speakers for Atmos, for example) uses Atmos decoding to place the objects in those speakers! Atmos objects are not just about overhead speakers for goodness sake!

Yes, cheaper AVRs that only have 7 or 9 channels might "need" overheads to engage Atmos because they don't offer any Atmos configuration beyond 5 or maybe 7 speakers on the floor, but that doesn't mean squat for ones that do! I suspect if you configured your own system for 7.1 and played a streaming MP4 5.1 Atmos track you'd get (or certainly should get) Atmos decoding because rear surrounds are only supported in 5.1 base tracks as Atmos beta data. It certainly works here on either of my D&M brand AVRs.

My Marantz 7010 from 2016 supports front wides also! Guess what? It uses Atmos decoding even for 5.1.0 + FW! It has to! Front wides speakers are NOT present in the 5.1 or 7.1 base channels. They are encoded as objects on the meta data!

My newer Marantz 7012 from 2018 engages Atmos decoding even for 7.1 decoding! That is because streaming Atmos is often only using a 5.1 DD+. By decoding Atmos, it can offer 7.1.0 output from the 5.1 based Atmos signal!

There is literally nothing in the Atmos spec that says an Atmos AVR must use the 5.1 or 7.1 base tracks even for base 5.1 or 7.1 playback. It is entirely up to the manufacturer to decide. Those tracks are for backwards compatibility with older equipment. Decoded 5.1 should theoretically sound identical to the pre-recorded 5.1 base track.



I never said or implied any such thing. In fact, I already pointed out in a previous message my 7010 (and any AVR that supports front wides) uses Atmos decoding without overheads. You ignored it and are making ridiculous assumptions now as well.

Atmos is an object based system. It supports 24 floor/ear level speakers for object rendering. There is absolutely NOTHING to suggest Atmos in general "requires" overhead speakers to function except poor assumptions by Internet know-it-alls.



24.0.0 is a legitimate Atmos configuration and anything below it. Ask Trinnov. They'll set you straight as can Storm Audio or Dolby themselves (Try Stuart Bowling, Director of Content and Creative Relations at Dolby; he's seen my system even) for that matter.

Or you could could just actually TRY a 9.1 configuration and see for yourself. I can prove it even in a 7.1 configuration on either of my AVRs here.

I've got the Dolby Atmos demos in MP4 format with 5.1 base tracks. "Atmos" comes on my front panel and my rear surround speakers play the same sounds in the same places as the 7.1 TrueHD versions do as 7.1 only. That proves the AVR is decoding the rear placed objects as the 5.1 base tracks do not support rear surrounds.
I just wanted to say thank you for this post which whilst obviously born of some frustration was extremely informative.

As I’m in the process of planning a new room would you say that 9.1.6 remains the optimal Atmos configuration? I know you can go up to 32 but assume you would need a gigantic room to properly benefit?

Also since Trinnov have increased the Altitude 16 to 20.1 where would recommend positioning the additional 4 speakers?
 

MagnumXL

Active Member
I just wanted to say thank you for this post which whilst obviously born of some frustration was extremely informative.

As I’m in the process of planning a new room would you say that 9.1.6 remains the optimal Atmos configuration? I know you can go up to 32 but assume you would need a gigantic room to properly benefit?

Also since Trinnov have increased the Altitude 16 to 20.1 where would recommend positioning the additional 4 speakers?

9.1.6 is probably plenty good for most rooms, but I wouldn't say you'd need a gigantic room to use more than that. I fit 11.1.6 in a 12 foot x 24 foot room with three rows of seating. I'd love to have a full 10 speakers overhead if it weren't such a pain to mount and need something close to a Trinnov to utilize them in a fully discrete manner. I always feel like Heights Vs. Tops misses something since the Atmos renderer tends to move sounds to the nearest overheads so I'm never fully sure if a sound was supposed to begin at the wall or 1/4 out in the room. Given they're off-screen, I suppose it's not that important, but the more speakers you can fit in a room, the less important it is to sit in the MLP or on-axis.

I do think Dolby should have supported Center Height and Top Surround, at least if not Surround Height as well (how hard would it have been for the renderer to use them? Not hard I imagine and unfortunately it's more about denying the competition than supporting the consumer.

Anyway, I haven't looked at the 16 lately. Are those full rendered channels or something like additional subwoofer outputs?

For more regular channels, it would depend on your room. With three rows of seating, for example, I like to have a second side surround (aka Side Surround #2) between the regular side and rear speakers. I put the surround speakers between rows so I can fit larger recliner seats closer to the side wall and still have them image by there without being too close to anyone's ears.

I'd like center height and top surround to anchor ceiling sounds to the middle of the room for more people (but those wouldn't be used by Dolby Atmos so you could use two more somewhere else for its operation, perhaps Screen Left and Screen Right if the screen is large enough or instead of Top Middle use Front/Rear Heights Plus Front/Rear Tops (with the Top Surround in the middle for DTS:X, Neural X and Auro-3D use along with Center Height).
 

Praetorpwj

Active Member
9.1.6 is probably plenty good for most rooms, but I wouldn't say you'd need a gigantic room to use more than that. I fit 11.1.6 in a 12 foot x 24 foot room with three rows of seating. I'd love to have a full 10 speakers overhead if it weren't such a pain to mount and need something close to a Trinnov to utilize them in a fully discrete manner. I always feel like Heights Vs. Tops misses something since the Atmos renderer tends to move sounds to the nearest overheads so I'm never fully sure if a sound was supposed to begin at the wall or 1/4 out in the room. Given they're off-screen, I suppose it's not that important, but the more speakers you can fit in a room, the less important it is to sit in the MLP or on-axis.

I do think Dolby should have supported Center Height and Top Surround, at least if not Surround Height as well (how hard would it have been for the renderer to use them? Not hard I imagine and unfortunately it's more about denying the competition than supporting the consumer.

Anyway, I haven't looked at the 16 lately. Are those full rendered channels or something like additional subwoofer outputs?

For more regular channels, it would depend on your room. With three rows of seating, for example, I like to have a second side surround (aka Side Surround #2) between the regular side and rear speakers. I put the surround speakers between rows so I can fit larger recliner seats closer to the side wall and still have them image by there without being too close to anyone's ears.

I'd like center height and top surround to anchor ceiling sounds to the middle of the room for more people (but those wouldn't be used by Dolby Atmos so you could use two more somewhere else for its operation, perhaps Screen Left and Screen Right if the screen is large enough or instead of Top Middle use Front/Rear Heights Plus Front/Rear Tops (with the Top Surround in the middle for DTS:X, Neural X and Auro-3D use along with Center Height).
I understand you can add 4 discrete channels by converting S/PDIF opticals via ADAT box.

I’m somewhat off a Trinnov yet so it’s a moot point but I’m trying to futureproof where possible!
 

AndyX

Active Member
The issue with opting for more integral channels of amplification within the AV unit is that you increase the heat that unit will generate while also compromising upon the power you'd get via each channel of amplification. You'd be better using external amplification as opposed to relying upon the integral amplification, especially if wanting to power more than 9 channels. What you lose is the convenience of having everything bundled up into a single unit.

Some see the higher tier intergrated AV receivers and amps as being a cheaper way of accessing a pre pro setup. An integrated AV receiver can easilly be used a a pre amp processor if it has pre outs and many see this as an opportunity to add external amplification as and when funds allow.
Any suggestions for an amplifier for use with the pre outs...now ready to upgrade!
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Any suggestions for an amplifier for use with the pre outs...now ready to upgrade!


It is a bit of a "how long a pieve of string" question. What are you wanting to do, are you simply wanting to power additional speakers with an external amp, are you wanting to power all the speakers with external amplification and use the AVR as a pre amp processor or would you want to enhance the front 2 channels using a higher tier sytreo integratec amp with HT bypass capabilities. All would ultimately also be dependant upon your intended budget?
 

AndyX

Active Member
I would like to power 2 back Atmos speakers. I have the channels but not the amplification to do this yet.
 

Joe C

Well-known Member
I would like to power 2 back Atmos speakers. I have the channels but not the amplification to do this yet.
I would recommend powering the fronts and using the inbuilt amplification for everything else
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I would like to power 2 back Atmos speakers. I have the channels but not the amplification to do this yet.


AS suggested, spend a bit more on an external amp that is good with 2 channel music andd use it to powwr the front left and right speakers with. You van then reassign the internal amplification otherwise used to power the fronts to power the additional Atmos speakers with.

Emotiva make some very good external power amps, but there are also some excellent 2 channel integrated amplifiers out there that have something called HT Bypass. This alloes them to be used as a power amp in cionjunction with an AV receiver. Such amps are ordinarilly very good with 2 channel music sources due to their 2 channel intergrated associations. You would have to pay more for one of these integrated amps when compared to most 2 channel power amps though.
 

MagnumXL

Active Member
There is no such thing as amps that are "good with music" as all speaker loads are different and anything that colours the sounds is not doing its job properly. Amplifiers are meant to amplify sounds, nothing more. Everything else is audiophile hogwash.

Save your money and get a Class D amplifier for the rear channels 50W-75Wx2 is more than adequate for most home theaters). I bought this one on Amazon for my SS#2 speakers . I'm sure there's similar products on Amazon UK.

(Amazon product)

I have zero trouble reaching Dolby Reference levels using the Marantz built-in amps plus an old Yamaha 7.1 receiver in 7.1 input mode plus that one above (not counting powered sub) and I'm doing 17.1 channels.

Doubling your amplifier power (e.g. from 50W to 100W only gives you 3dB extra output. It takes 10dB output to sound twice as loud so you'd need 500W (and speakers that can handle it) to double the perceived audible volume and this is why all the crap about "needing at least 100W" is such nonsense. A 100W amp is only about 1/5 louder than a 75W amp and only at maximum output. With 90dB/W/m speakers, they can output over 106dB with a mere 50W amp at 1m per speaker. Who needs more than that with 7 to 11 speakers or more playing at once (movie), especially from a surround speaker? Most AVRs today output close to 75W with all amps playing, which is more than sufficient. The more amps you take out of the AVR, the more power per channel they can output as well (My AVR can do over 150W per channel with only 4 channels running, for example, which is more than that 50W amp for the mains so unless you want to spend a lot more money, you can do the math).
 

rccarguy2

Member
There is no such thing as amps that are "good with music" as all speaker loads are different and anything that colours the sounds is not doing its job properly. Amplifiers are meant to amplify sounds, nothing more. Everything else is audiophile hogwash.

Save your money and get a Class D amplifier for the rear channels 50W-75Wx2 is more than adequate for most home theaters). I bought this one on Amazon for my SS#2 speakers . I'm sure there's similar products on Amazon UK.

(Amazon product)

I have zero trouble reaching Dolby Reference levels using the Marantz built-in amps plus an old Yamaha 7.1 receiver in 7.1 input mode plus that one above (not counting powered sub) and I'm doing 17.1 channels.

Doubling your amplifier power (e.g. from 50W to 100W only gives you 3dB extra output. It takes 10dB output to sound twice as loud so you'd need 500W (and speakers that can handle it) to double the perceived audible volume and this is why all the crap about "needing at least 100W" is such nonsense. A 100W amp is only about 1/5 louder than a 75W amp and only at maximum output. With 90dB/W/m speakers, they can output over 106dB with a mere 50W amp at 1m per speaker. Who needs more than that with 7 to 11 speakers or more playing at once (movie), especially from a surround speaker? Most AVRs today output close to 75W with all amps playing, which is more than sufficient. The more amps you take out of the AVR, the more power per channel they can output as well (My AVR can do over 150W per channel with only 4 channels running, for example, which is more than that 50W amp for the mains so unless you want to spend a lot more money, you can do the math).

What Yamaha do you own?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
There is no such thing as amps that are "good with music"



Yeah, silly me :)




Anyway, here's a related thread:
 
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