Author Topic: Dolby Atmos  (Read 39717 times)

Offline ddilts399

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Dolby Atmos
« on: February 13, 2015, 01:06:33 PM »
Anyone running atmos yet? If so thoughts??  Kicking around sticking 4 speakers in the ceiling.

Offline kovacs01

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Re: Dolby Atmos
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2015, 03:24:46 PM »
I agree, it is tempting to go from 7.2 to 7.2.4............

But, right now, there is not enough content that takes advantage of it.  And, I would need a new receiver.  Not gonna do a $3000 upgrade until I know it is something that will become industry standard.
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Offline jpicken

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Re: Dolby Atmos
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2015, 10:05:17 AM »
Not running it. I thought about it but am holding off.

Seems like they were really pushing it at CEDIA.  I like the theory behind it.  I have heard it at movie theaters. I do think it adds to the cinema experience. From a content standpoint, it seems pretty established for the big studio releases. At this point, there are over 200 titles that were released in the format, but not every title released in the theaters with Dolby Atmos has an Atmos Blu-Ray Soundtrack.  

So, there are only a limited number of Blue-Rays. From the streaming side, Sony's 4K service and supposedly Netflix's 4K service will offer titles in Dolby Atmos.  However, I think it will be a while until ATT U-Verse, TWC and Dish Network versions of the movies will have the extra sound channels embedded in the bitstream.  I get 5.1 Dolby Digital, but that seems to be the extent of what they offer at this point (No Dolby True HD or DTS-MA).

Being an early adopter would be a significant investment for me to do this with my system. I would need a new pre-pro + 2-4 channels of amplification + 2-4 new ceiling-mounted speakers that are timbre-matched to the other 7 in the system.  The thought of spending $4K to get the extra sound channels for less than 1% of the material I view, is not a good value proposition.
Maybe when there is more content available down the road, it would be worth pulling the trigger.

That day may never come though. Not many of the big technology pushes by the hardware industry like 3D TV are sucessful. When most people are happy to look at video from the 3.5" inch screen of their cell phone or listen to poorly compressed mp3 audio on their phone through shitty headphones, I don't know if there is a big enough market to really drive some of this stuff.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2015, 10:08:13 AM by jpicken »

Offline ddilts399

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Re: Dolby Atmos
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2015, 10:39:48 PM »
I am going to wait for 4k Blu, UHD blu whatever they want to call it and DTS:X I guess.  It is tempting, but don't want to have to upgrade the processor again that quickly if there is something not supported or cant be firmware flashed. I also would have to add another amp, so it definitely would be a hefty investment, but I really like the idea. What I really would like to see is 4K projection take a nose dive in prices by this holiday season.


Offline Sunsanvil

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Re: Dolby Atmos
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2015, 12:47:37 PM »
Cheers to that.

As a part time journalist/technical writing in the CE world, I'm all for Atmos, but 99% of "home theaters" dont even implement 5.1 correctly, and 4k done wrong is going to be worse that 1080 line done right.

Offline jayn_j

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Re: Dolby Atmos
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2015, 04:08:01 PM »
I think that in real life there are those early adopters that have to have the latest and greatest, the mid people who upgrade when it makes sense and those that don't understand or care.

I believe I fall squarely in the middle.  I bought a reasonably top of the line system back in the early 1990s, just before digital audio hit.  I stayed with it until 2006 when HDMI was entrenched and BluRay came out.  At that point, switching had become inconvenient.  There were also the new codecs to consider, so I purchased a couple of THX receivers and moved on.  I upgraded to a reasonable 5.1 system with the old Klipsch speakers, Velodyne sub and new Klipsch dipoles for the surrounds.  I experimented with 7.1, but frankly there isn't enough source material out there to justify it so I took the direct radiators down and used them elsewhere in the house.

Since then, they have tried to get me with 3D, 4k and now ATMOS.  To go to any of this, I would need to toss the projector, the receiver, the screen, the HDMI cables, etc.  I spent $4k on the last upgrade and I guess I am stubborn enough to try and get my money's worth.  I will do the next upgrade when the current equipment no longer meets my needs (or I die first)
« Last Edit: February 18, 2015, 04:08:56 PM by jayn_j »
Jay

Offline kovacs01

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Re: Dolby Atmos
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2015, 10:32:19 PM »
Knowing the recommended seating distances vs. screen size for 1080, I asked a salesman at a store how close I needed to sit to properly resolve 4k.  He looked at me like I was crazy for asking, and of course had no idea of the answer.  The answer is that for a 65 inch TV, you need to be at just over 8 feet to even begin to make it distinguishable from 1080p.  6 feet is more ideal.  On one hand, we just shrunk the required size for a theater, though no one will be sitting that close to the TV in their living room.  On the other hand, you still need a large room for a proper sound stage.  And now you run into problems setting up that sound stage based on how close you need to be to the front/center channel.  It is a problem that will probably take the audio side some time to solve.

At 15", I actually sit 6" inside the THX recommended viewing distance for HD content.  My vision is 20/15 or so, and I have no issues at all with resolution at that distance.  But, the 37-38 degree viewing angle is as far as wide as is comfortable (for me).  For others, it may be, and probably is, too wide of an angle.  That distance would would on the far side of the wheelhouse for UD/4k.  I would no doubt experience some visual gains from it.  Unfortunately, the viewing angle prohibits me (and probably everyone else) from taking any further advantage of the increased resolution.  Ideal eyeball distance from a 4k source on a 140" screen is 13'8" which is a 40.4 degree viewing angle.  As weird as it sounds, with higher resolution, maybe a switch back to 4:3 is warranted???

And then there is the question of content which kills the whole idea outright at the present time.
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Offline Harry Caul

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Re: Dolby Atmos
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2015, 11:42:06 PM »
Not to be an a-hole, but you are the only person who cares about that stuff :)

I know all the "recommendations" on the projector side. I used to care as well. But my theater is a multi-purpose room so it will never be ideal. There will always be some stray light, even with black out blinds -- but then again I don't really want a cave either. With a rectangular room (oriented along the short side) I can never get my viewers back further than 1.3x screen width -- which is quite close given my 720p projector (soon to be replaced with any luck). I have a retro-reflective screen so my side seating has noticeable (to me) fall-of across the picture. And don't get me started on the compromises to my audio setup -- which is still only 5.1.

Guess what, I've never heard anything even resembling a complaint!  Do I personally wish my black floor was darker?  Yes. Could I tell the difference if I upgraded to 4k and a new audio system?  Easily. Would anyone else?  Maybe 1 in 10 if I didn't alert them to the change -- and that's being generous I think.  After living with my current setup for 8+ years I've had some time to think. If no one else cares that much, do I care?  Really care?  Will the improvement be anything more than incremental to what I have now?  Is it worth it -- and not just the money, but the time and hassle as well? 

I've basically decided that the biggest "impact" to my current system isn't going to be 4k, but to go scope (2.35:1).  I think 10 out of 10 of my viewers will notice that change. I suspect there will still be zero complaints about the audio (which is staying), the light fall-off across the screen (which will be worse), or the lowly 1080p resolution :)

Atmos?  In the past I probably would have eagerly followed it's development.  I'm sure I'd be reading reviews on AVSForum too (used to practically live there!). Nowadays?  Doesn't excite me in the least to be honest.

My $0.02

Offline kovacs01

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Re: Dolby Atmos
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2015, 12:02:50 AM »
Not to be an a-hole, but you are the only person who cares about that stuff :)


You mean besides the 3 people above me who commented on 4k?  And that is just on this forum..........

It is not about where you sit really.  It is about understanding what you are buying and whether your money is going towards something that actually matters to you.  In this case, I was illustrating that since human beings do not sport independent eyeballs, the money spent on it now is unwise.  Your point was that certain technologies are not worth the money to you, though for other reasons.

We were saying the same thing dude.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 12:15:44 AM by kovacs01 »
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Offline Harry Caul

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Re: Dolby Atmos
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2015, 12:47:16 AM »
Sorry, looking back that really does make me sound like an a-hole :)  The first line was meant to be funny and the "you" reference was supposed to be in comparison to your family/guests -- not to everyone in existence.  I definitely don't doubt that there are others out there who know or care about this stuff, I've just never met one who has actually watched something on my theater.  That fact has simply made me reconsider my priorities over the years...  Sorry again, it read a lot funnier in my head!

 cheers

Offline kovacs01

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Re: Dolby Atmos
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2015, 01:26:57 AM »
Makes perfect sense, now that you explain it....don't you know it is all about tone?  If you had used comic sans serif, your intent would have been fulfilled!

You are definitely right though.  I have a few audiophile/cinephile friends who appreciate it, but they would never complain to me even if it looked like shit.  Hell, maybe they would stop finding excuses to show up 20 minutes before the walking dead comes on every sunday.  But, the bottom line is that I do what I do in there for me.  Much like people do with cars.  Anyone who is older than 22 or no longer single could give a shit if the rest of the world drove a kia or a rolls royce for that matter as long as they are happy with what they are rolling in.  People do it all the time, homes, handbags, abs, jeans.  In general, no fucks are given by the rest of the world, so you can do no better than making yourself and your family happy.
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Offline Ari

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Re: Dolby Atmos
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2015, 04:18:06 AM »
I am unsure if I agree, disagree, care or not with any of this,

only because I don't understand any of it.

And while I am just fooling around, I really dont understand any of it.

But I am glad it makes people happy.

PS- I nearly took a TV home the other day from the side of the road, was going to just use for dvds as its only digital here now so wouldn't work for television. But I felt lazy. So i still don't have a tv.

Strange feeling.
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Offline 50s

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Re: Dolby Atmos
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2015, 08:24:55 AM »
I'm waiting for Dolby 15.7   
.1 under the fish tank, 
.6 against the walls that backs onto the bedrooms

and 8 above the viewing position, aligned for surprise fall, crack the noggin


Offline jayn_j

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Re: Dolby Atmos
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2015, 09:50:29 AM »
I guess even with my previous statement, that I align more with Schan than Harry.

My theater is set up with eyes 11' off a 120" screen.  That is squarely in the territory that would benefit with 4k, and I will eventually get there.  In my mind the 11' seating distance has the screen covering my field of vision.  I am not looking at a window that is a TV set.  I am totally immersed in the picture to the edges of my peripheral vision.  That makes it more like a theater experience.

My theater is a dedicated space in the finished basement.  Windows are blocked and it is painted black.  It is curtained off from the rest of the basement so that it can be opened up for parties.  Floor to ceiling light and sound blocking curtains, so I can have the theater cave when needed.

Still, I did it for myself and my kids.  I have only had someone down there a couple of times, and they only cared about the movie.  The kids regularly bring down friends because it is the best place to watch.  I suspect it is more the privacy than the theater itself.  My son always heads down with his 'she's not my girlfriend" (even though they've been going out for 5 years now).  So from that standpoint, I like it as a comfortable and safe space for the kids.

But we are satisfied.  I will eventually spend the $4k necessary to go to the next level, but not until the source material is readily available.  As I mentioned earlier, most movies don't even have stereo these days, much less surround.  Maybe it is what I watch, but I see more surround from TV shows than from movies.
Jay

Offline Harry Caul

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Re: Dolby Atmos
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2015, 10:25:58 AM »
Jay, I was actually thinking of your post when I wrote.  I used to be firmly in the early adopter camp.  I was working for Intel back in 2000 and I already had a projector setup hooked up to a homemade HTPC.  Back then there were almost zero digital "home theater" projectors and those that existed were north of $10k -- the serious folks were still using $25K+ Sony G90 CRTs, sometimes two of them stacked!  Most of the AVS folks back then were using business projectors and we tried every trick in the book to increase quality.  I was also trying to convince Intel to build an HT specific motherboard with multi-channel digital audio, component video (yes that far back!), etc...  Given our options now, it's actually amazing how far we've come in such a short time! 

I don't know where or at what point I fell off the wagon.  I still consider myself in the middle category.  I've upgraded my dedicated projector 3 times now over the last 15 years.  I was never on the bleeding edge -- if only because I saw how quickly prices dropped and features made it down to the lower-end models.  I bought my $2500 540p Panasonic LCD when 720 was still $7-15K.  I bought my $2000 720p Sony projector when 1080p was still just becoming mainstream with only one model breaking the $5k barrier ($4999!).  I was comfortable not being on the leading edge as it was a conscious choice I was making from a value position.

That said I've never had a dedicated space.  I've also found that it's as important for me to have a nice livable room as it is to have a big as TV.  So my audio compromises were made knowing that I couldn't (didn't want to) take over the room completely.  And again, all the while I've slowly backed off my pursuit of perfection -- made all the easier by watching the always-overwhelmingly-positive reactions from guests.  As with projectors and posters, everyone has different priorities, budgets and time to dedicate to the hobby and I don't mean to criticize others decisions.  Seriously, sorry about the tone of that post last night! 

As an aside, my audio system may only be 5.1 but it's no slouch either.  I have Monitor Audio speaker system, Arcam components, and an Oppo blu-ray player.  One of the main reasons I decided against upgrading my audio when I last upgraded my video was that I didn't want to take a step down in stereo music performance.  Arcam and a lot of the music-focused amp/pre-pro manufacturers are always playing catch up with the digital rat race.  Even when I bought mine new it was already behind the times.   But damn that 2-channel is sublime -- still is!

Not that I ever get a chance to listen to it in peace anymore with the kids running around! :)

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Re: Dolby Atmos
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2015, 11:31:25 AM »

Atmos?  In the past I probably would have eagerly followed it's development.  I'm sure I'd be reading reviews on AVSForum too (used to practically live there!). Nowadays?  Doesn't excite me in the least to be honest.

My $0.02

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Offline Ari

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Re: Dolby Atmos
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2015, 11:56:17 AM »
Mono RULES (just ask Lee Scratch Perry)
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Offline jayn_j

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Re: Dolby Atmos
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2015, 12:06:21 PM »
Jay, I was actually thinking of your post when I wrote.  I used to be firmly in the early adopter camp.  I was working for Intel back in 2000 and I already had a projector setup hooked up to a homemade HTPC.  Back then there were almost zero digital "home theater" projectors and those that existed were north of $10k -- the serious folks were still using $25K+ Sony G90 CRTs, sometimes two of them stacked!  Most of the AVS folks back then were using business projectors and we tried every trick in the book to increase quality.  I was also trying to convince Intel to build an HT specific motherboard with multi-channel digital audio, component video (yes that far back!), etc...  Given our options now, it's actually amazing how far we've come in such a short time!  ...

Not that I ever get a chance to listen to it in peace anymore with the kids running around! :)

Actually, I do relate.  I used to be early adopter as well.  Bought a new receiver every tome a new surround matrix came out in the 70s.  I had one of the first laserdisk players in the country.  I bought it the very first morning it was available in the Denver test market.  Hooked it in to the Pioneer quad receiver and was amazed at how some of the movies actually had surround.  I wasn't Intel.  I was Hewlett-Packard in the group that made voltmeters, function generators and other instruments.  I was able to sneak that stuff home and use it to tune the system.

But by the 80s, I had a wife, kids, houses and other priorities.  I never gave up, but I realized how much it was costing to stay at the bleeding edge.  I also got burned a few times by buying stuff before the standards were established.  A friend had one of those $250k theaters in the early 2000s and was burned when the company went back on the promise to upgrade their boards for high def.  component -> DVI -> HDMI.  Went through it all, which is why I now pick a point, build and then wait until it no longer works for me.  Usually 10-15 years or so.

I miss sitting quietly and listening to music.  Now that the kids are starting to move out, I might try to set up for it again.  But I'm out of the habit, and now at 65, my ears are shot :(
Jay

Offline Ari

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Re: Dolby Atmos
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2015, 12:09:54 PM »
watch silent movies, save on sound system.



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Offline ddilts399

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Re: Dolby Atmos
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2015, 12:47:49 PM »
watch silent movies, save on sound system.

 clap

This has to be a marketing DSP, how about we go to Dolby with.. Dolby Void.. experience cinema as it was meant to be seen and not heard.

Offline Harry Caul

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Re: Dolby Atmos
« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2015, 12:55:48 PM »
Back in my early days of AVSForum there as one member who was an absolute crusader about the importance of this or that audio codec (I think maybe DTS at the time IIRC).  Anyway, he pleaded with another member, "You don't realize how crucial audio is to your setup!  You need to watch a movie with the sound off -- only then will you realize how important it is!". 

The response was flip and perfect, "Next time you watch a movie turn off your projector.  Then we'll talk." 

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Re: Dolby Atmos
« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2015, 02:19:10 PM »
watch silent movies, save on sound system.





Watch puppet shows save on TV and sound system!
Chris

Offline Ari

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Re: Dolby Atmos
« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2015, 09:32:55 PM »
shut your eyes, save blinking.
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Online erik1925

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Re: Dolby Atmos
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2015, 09:58:11 PM »


-Jeff

Offline ddilts399

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Re: Dolby Atmos
« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2018, 09:21:18 AM »
I'm going in, new lines are out long enough to price drop everything that supports what I want. Looking at about 1800 upgrade for new processor, projector and 2 speakers in the ceiling after I sell my current projector and processor.