Has anyone experienced native 7.1 when streaming Dolby Digital Plus?

NewAcousticDimension

Active Member
I'm hoping that in time, as broadband speeds increase, we'll see the streaming services adopt these higher bitrates so I can stop wanting to use disc media to get the best sound from my movies. I fear that may still be some way off though.

I don't wish to urinate on your bonfire, or sound too pessimistic here, but I just don't see it happening. There are too many Joe Bloggs who just don't care.

Look at how not enough people really care about 1080 picture, broadcast TV looks frighteningly like it's going to gradually switch over to people not caring about watching streamed lower definition picture with 2.0PCM sound.

Buzzwords can work, I suppose. There will be people who are proud that on Netflix it says "Dolby Vision" and "Dolby Atmos" next to the title. But how many of them are really experiencing either of those anyway? They probably are sat 3m plus from a 50" 4K TV and have a soundbar that had the Atmos buzzword on it. They probably didn't know that some TVs need switching to "enhanced" input and they're not watching it in DV either. They don't really care.

Us geeks need to UNITE and push these things!
 

Mr Wolf

Well-known Member
Mark my words, it will come (just maybe many years away) because at some point data bandwidth will be so abundant it simply won't matter to them. In fact it will be easier for all of us to just get the same master copy version of everything. It will also give them a marketing edge "HD audio" even if >90% of their customers aren't in a position to make use of it.

What kills me is that they're allocating so much data to 4K when so many movies are actually filmed in 2K!
 
Last edited:

NewAcousticDimension

Active Member
There's no real advantage gained by portraying an Atmos soundtrack via a setup absent of height speakers.

Personally, I disagree. So, aside from the topic discussing the usage of surround backs, there's something else worth sharing in my opinion.

I have been wondering for a while, and thought it could be my imagination, why it seemed on some Netflix titles the SQ was better when in ATMOS instead of DD+. I keep meaning to ask some other members their thoughts. Then, at the weekend watching Brahms - The Boy II, I purposefully switched it between the formats and felt definite that the ATMOS format had better SQ.

I mentioned it to Mr Wolf, who found this:


Which suggests that this may not just be my imagination!

So, in my opinion, it is beneficial to be able to use ATMOS in Netflix, even if you don't have heights. Most people on AVF seem to have heights, so it is reasonably irrelevant but thought @AdtAdt57 may be interested.

I wondered if I could trick my AVR with it. So I started playing an Atmos film on Netflix with heights switched on for a minute. Then, went in speaker settings and changed front heights to NONE. It then carried on playing in Atmos, yeay, I thought. Then after about 30 seconds Netflix got the hump and stopped playing. I went to play it again, and it worked playing in Atmos again, but then I looked in settings and the AVR had automatically switched on height virtualisation (which explains it - but I didn't know the AVR would switch it on like that).

So it appears (as we all knew before) that I'll have to have the height virtualiser to get better SQ in Netflix - although next experiment is if I switch that off during a stream I'll see if it changes.

@Mr Wolf back on topic sorry, did you trial any other streaming services and see what they do with surround backs? Would be good to see your eventual question answered on this thread. :)
 

Mr Wolf

Well-known Member
@Mr Wolf back on topic sorry, did you trial any other streaming services and see what they do with surround backs? Would be good to see your eventual question answered on this thread. :)
Not yet, discrete DD+7.1 remains as elusive as ever. I will trial ATV+ at some point though and I'll make sure to check how that Foundation series decodes on my pre-Atmos AVR.

Related to this subject, I stumbled across this article recently which has strengthened my resolve to stick with disc media whenever I can and certainly for viewing all movies I really care about..

 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Personally, I disagree. So, aside from the topic discussing the usage of surround backs, there's something else worth sharing in my opinion.

I have been wondering for a while, and thought it could be my imagination, why it seemed on some Netflix titles the SQ was better when in ATMOS instead of DD+. I keep meaning to ask some other members their thoughts. Then, at the weekend watching Brahms - The Boy II, I purposefully switched it between the formats and felt definite that the ATMOS format had better SQ.

I mentioned it to Mr Wolf, who found this:


Which suggests that this may not just be my imagination!

So, in my opinion, it is beneficial to be able to use ATMOS in Netflix, even if you don't have heights. Most people on AVF seem to have heights, so it is reasonably irrelevant but thought @AdtAdt57 may be interested.

I wondered if I could trick my AVR with it. So I started playing an Atmos film on Netflix with heights switched on for a minute. Then, went in speaker settings and changed front heights to NONE. It then carried on playing in Atmos, yeay, I thought. Then after about 30 seconds Netflix got the hump and stopped playing. I went to play it again, and it worked playing in Atmos again, but then I looked in settings and the AVR had automatically switched on height virtualisation (which explains it - but I didn't know the AVR would switch it on like that).

So it appears (as we all knew before) that I'll have to have the height virtualiser to get better SQ in Netflix - although next experiment is if I switch that off during a stream I'll see if it changes.

@Mr Wolf back on topic sorry, did you trial any other streaming services and see what they do with surround backs? Would be good to see your eventual question answered on this thread. :)


Most people with an Atmos setup can turn the heights off and listen to the difference. Can you honestly hear one?

I'd be surprised if you can hear any benefit to portraying Atmos without the associated height or ceiling speakers.

Netflix don't provide access to 7.1 and you'd not get 7.1 if not portraying the audio as Atmos.
 

NewAcousticDimension

Active Member
Most people with an Atmos setup can turn the heights off and listen to the difference. Can you honestly hear one?

I'd be surprised if you can hear any benefit to portraying Atmos without the associated height or ceiling speakers.

Netflix don't provide access to 7.1 and you'd not get 7.1 if not portraying the audio as Atmos.

If you have the time and the inclination, try it with that film and see what you think. This is not a blind/controlled test, so it could be all in my head!
 

AdtAdt57

Active Member
And one more question, to @AdtAdt57 as you have one surround back, does Netflix give you the Atmos option?
Sorry @NewAcousticDimension , I’ve only just spotted your post…
… for some reason AVForums seem to stop sending notification emails if I’ve not visited for a short while. I thought this was a bug but turns out it’s a feature. At least I normally remember to look for unread watched threads.

To answer your question…
… yes I certainly get the Atmos front high feeds with one surround back.
It really adds height to many films - my AVC lights up Atmos and I know it’s engaged but its use obviously depends on how the sound engineers have used it. As in my signature, I have three speakers at the front and three at the back plus two front high Atmos speakers. Streaming services provide Dolby 5.1, so just front Left, Right and Centre and Surround Left and Right, Subwoofer plus an added Atmos pair Left and Right.

A comment on back channels, ignoring subwoofer…
… I have a few 6 channel Blu-rays, Dolby EX as it was first known, which had three discreet channels at the front and three at the back - then came 7 and even 8 channels before the Atmos front pair and then more channels. If my AVC gets two back centres it just merges these into one centre back channel. For my relatively small room I find this very good, like the centre is for the front. When it comes to Dolby Atmos it would appear to be more complex with metadata used to indicate where sound sources come from within a 3D soundstage left to right, front to back and height, hence many more speakers help position each sound.
 
Last edited:

dante01

Distinguished Member
I can say I have never experienced Dolby digital plus with 7 channels other than dolby atmos which is 5.1.2


Atmos is actually object based and has no channels. I'm assuming that you only have a 5.1.2 Atmos setup, but if you had more speakers then those too would be employed within an Atmos setup. The Atmos metadata you get in association with either TrueHD or DD+ can potentially give you oitput to 34 speaker or in orgwe qords, 24.1. 10. Atmos in association with DD+ isn't limited to 5.1.2. Your setup is the limitation and not the Atmos metadata or how it was packaged with DD+.
 

Htfanboy

Active Member
I previously ran a 7.1 before I had a atmos compatible receiver. So I know the differences between the two. And I still didn't get 7.1 from streaming services.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Dolby Atmos is not 5.1.2 though and that is what you posted it as being. Your AV receiver is limited to 5.1.2, not Atmos as accessed via streaming services in association with DD+.
 

AdtAdt57

Active Member
Atmos is actually object based and has no channels. I'm assuming that you only have a 5.1.2 Atmos setup, but if you had more speakers then those too would be employed within an Atmos setup. The Atmos metadata you get in association with either TrueHD or DD+ can potentially give you oitput to 34 speaker or in orgwe qords, 24.1. 10. Atmos in association with DD+ isn't limited to 5.1.2. Your setup is the limitation and not the Atmos metadata or how it was packaged with DD+.

I seem to remember with initial use of Atmos the UK, the BT streaming box could only really provide Dolby 5.1.2, so two front height channels. This was some years ago and while I knew things had moved on with Atmos in cinemas I thought streaming services still lagged behind.

So thanks for the above @dante01 , Atmos certainly seems to have moved on. Is it reasonable to assume the likes of Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+, Prime… all now transmit the full metadata mixed by films audio engineers? If so, then depending on room size it would certainly be beneficial to add more speakers, if perhaps not quite up to 24.1.10?
 
Last edited:

dante01

Distinguished Member
What is 5.1.2 if it's not Dolby atmos then?


Its a speaker configuration. Atmos is not channel based and is an object based format. The same metadata can give you 5.1.2, 7.1.4 or even 24.1. 10. The AV receiver's processing and its capabilities determine how many channels it can create for the onbject based audio to be portrayed via. The format itself isn't channel based so isn't 5.1.2. Your AV receiver is 5.1.2, not Atmos.

Atmos has never been channel based.
 
Last edited:

gibbsy

Moderator
Your AV receiver is 5.1.2, not Atmos.
Perhaps you should add that Dolby Atmos is just one of the more popular processors, along with DTS:X that can facilitate a speaker configuration of 5.1.2.
 

NewAcousticDimension

Active Member
Sorry @NewAcousticDimension , I’ve only just spotted your post…
… for some reason AVForums seem to stop sending notification emails if I’ve not visited for a short while. I thought this was a bug but turns out it’s a feature. At least I normally remember to look for unread watched threads.

To answer your question…
… yes I certainly get the Atmos front high feeds with one surround back.
It really adds height to many films - my AVC lights up Atmos and I know it’s engaged but its use obviously depends on how the sound engineers have used it. As in my signature, I have three speakers at the front and three at the back plus two front high Atmos speakers. Streaming services provide Dolby 5.1, so just front Left, Right and Centre and Surround Left and Right, Subwoofer plus an added Atmos pair Left and Right.

A comment on back channels, ignoring subwoofer…
… I have a few 6 channel Blu-rays, Dolby EX as it was first known, which had three discreet channels at the front and three at the back - then came 7 and even 8 channels before the Atmos front pair and then more channels. If my AVC gets two back centres it just merges these into one centre back channel. For my relatively small room I find this very good, like the centre is for the front. When it comes to Dolby Atmos it would appear to be more complex with metadata used to indicate where sound sources come from within a 3D soundstage left to right, front to back and height, hence many more speakers help position each sound.

Apologies, I had remembered the 6.0.2 and thought that it was just mis-typed and you meant 6.2.0 but that's my bad. You have no subwoofers.

I was wondering if, without heights but with one surround back instead of two, Netflix still engaged "Atmos" like it does for people with two surround backs - but I'm asking the wrong person!

Thank you for your input though.
 

AdtAdt57

Active Member
Apologies, I had remembered the 6.0.2 and thought that it was just mis-typed and you meant 6.2.0 but that's my bad. You have no subwoofers.

I was wondering if, without heights but with one surround back instead of two, Netflix still engaged "Atmos" like it does for people with two surround backs - but I'm asking the wrong person!

Thank you for your input though.
Ar, that makes sense…
... hopefully, others may have your 6.1? setup with one surround back, if not i could perform a test by disconnecting my Atmos pair followed by a recalibrate (it’s due for one anyway) and see what it does.

I’d not kept up with Atmos since the early days years back when the UK BT 4K box had Atmos and an older Amp came up with Dolby+ which sounded different than the Dolby 6.1 setting with my 6.1 setup at the time. You’ve probably seen @dante01 comments about Atmos being object based and apparently, depending on the Amp/Processor, as long as you have at least 5 speakers the Atmos digital processing will make use of them for the sound object location. The more speakers and depending on room layout the better the sound stage is. If your Amp/Processor lights up with Dolby+ or like mine Atmos, and it’s a newish model then it’s using object processing based on the speaker setup calibration.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Samsung QN95B 4K QLED TV Review
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom