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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have the new onkyo nr 646 that is atmos ready and dts x compatible.

I have a traditional 7.1 set up currently. With klipsch reference premiere 280f,450c, 240S's as surrounds and 160m as back surrounds.
All my surrounds are not at ear level but at height at roof line pointing down.

I don't have a flat roof line so gave up on the gimic of even trying atmos enabled speakers.

Until dts x gets completely dominant I have to settle for Dolby atmos tracks.

I am not able to get a complete explanation of how the atmos track on the bluray works. My reicever links the surround backs and heights so for 7.1 they are surround backs and for 5.1.2 I get the atmos effects from the rear surrounds which doesn't make sense.

I basically have to change the wiring when watching atmos movies so as to get atmos height effects from the middle surrounds and the rear surrounds take place of the middle surrounds.

Now coming to atmos track what's the difference other than the height effects is in the original track, ie playing atmos on a 7.1 setup is the same as playing Dolby true HD on a 7.1 system?

What is the best way for me to enjoy these movies. Leave it at traditional 7.1 atmos or try and get what ever little atmos effects I can from the center surrounds(5.1.2). If I set it up

Every atmos bluray has the audio track explained as 7.1 atmos (American sniper , Jupiter ascending) is it an error or are they trying to mean Dolby 7.1true HD + atmos.

I was of the the opinion that atmos is object based audio but is it mainly based on a base Dolby true HD track but just adding height effects. Or every object is designed to come out of the speakers based on their Lay out and not designated channels

I might be all over the place here but want to see what the best way to experience atmos movies is with my current 7.1 set up ie using my middle surrounds as height channels. Or is it even worth it because I won't get any effects since the speakers aren't directly over head??

Help me out to the best of your abilities.
 

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Atmos for home consists of 7 "bed" channels (which is the same as the standard 7.1 we are used to), plus audio "objects." Sounds can be encoded to the "bed" channels as before, or they can be encoded as objects - not assigned to a particular channel but rather to a location in space. A sound that is encoded in a bed channel will always play from that channel. An object, however, will be steered by the Atmos decoder, or renderer (which knows the speaker layout and positioning), to the appropriate speaker or set of speakers to make it sound the way it was intended.

The way an Atmos soundtrack works on blu ray is as follows: First of all, the whole thing is encoded using the TrueHD scheme, just as a non-Atmos track is. The difference is that an Atmos track has the objects encoded as metadata. When you play an Atmos soundtrack using a standard 5.1 or 7.1 system, the objects are folded into the "bed" channels so you hear them but not with the same precision or in exactly the same way as intended. But if you play the Atmos soundtrack on an Atmos receiver configured for an Atmos layout, the receiver will decode the "bed" channels and the object metadata and steer it all to where it needs to go, within the context of your particular speaker layout.

Regarding your receiver using the same speaker outputs for back surrounds and heights: I am not familiar with that receiver, but most likely what happens is you tell it in some setup menu whether you have "heights" connected or back surrounds connected.

If you tell it you have heights, you will be able to play Atmos soundtracks on a true Atmos system. Non-atmos soundtracks will play 5.1 (unless you engage DSU (Dolby Surround Upmixer), in which case you will get matrixed sound to your heights).

If you tell the receiver you have back surrounds connected, you will not have a true Atmos system. Rather, it will be a standard 7.1 system. Your receiver will not decode the Atmos objects, but rather just the standard 7.1 channel mix will play with the objects embedded in the channel(s) as well as can be done.

It would be very impractical to attempt to run 5.1.2 for Atmos tracks and 7.1 for non-Atmos tracks. You would have to switch the configuration in the receiver and then move the speakers from the height position to the surround back position. Or you could have speakers in the surround back position and the height position and switch wires on the back of the receiver.

The better thing to do is to configure the system as 5.1.2. Atmos tracks will play as intended. Then, for non-Atmos tracks, engage the DSU (Dolby Surround Upmixer, found on all Atmos-enabled receivers). Or get a 9 channel unit that can run 7.1.2.

Long explanation, but only a short introduction to Atmos.

Edit: If you want to set up a 5.1.2 system, the "height" channels (really, overhead channels) must be properly placed. For a 5.1.2 system, that postion will be on the ceiling, about in line with the front left and right speakers (or slightly closer together), and somewhere between slightly forward of or slightly behind the listening position. If you can't do that, I wouldn't bother trying to set it up as 5.1.2 - just set it up as standard 7.1 and enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So unless I have a 7.1.2 or 7.1.4 or 5.1.2 or 5.1.4 system the atmos objects will not be transcoded by the reicever even if I have an atmos enabled receiver playing in 7.1 setup?

So I won't get atmos effects unless I tell the receiver that I have height speakers.
 

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The way it works, if I understand correctly, is that on an Atmos bluray, the objects are embedded into the bed channels. If a non-Atmos receiver (or an Atmos receiver set up as a standard 7.1 receiver) plays the track, the objects are played through the bed channels in some way. But, if the receiver is Atmos capable, there's a scheme to remove the objects from the bed channels and instead route them via the Atmos decoder to the speakers that are most appropriate.

What I'm saying is that you will not lose the sounds that are objects if you play an Atmos track on a non-Atmos receiver. But I'm also saying if you play an Atmos track on a non-Atmos receiver, and then play it again on an Atmos receiver not set up as such, the two will decode exactly the same.
 

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I wonder how I could even think about doing atmos in my room. You can see my space above my head is a slanted ceiling... I wouldn't have any issues running wire or mounting speakers... I'd surface mount them and run the wiring in pvc along the ceiling (i'm an electrician and i'm going for function... NOT looks).

However the first reflection points on my ceiling are right at the spot above my head the point where the speakers in a 5.2.2 system would want the heights.

I think for me atmos is a no go. Which is why I don't care about it.
 

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I wonder how I could even think about doing atmos in my room. You can see my space above my head is a slanted ceiling... I wouldn't have any issues running wire or mounting speakers... I'd surface mount them and run the wiring in pvc along the ceiling (i'm an electrician and i'm going for function... NOT looks).

However the first reflection points on my ceiling are right at the spot above my head the point where the speakers in a 5.2.2 system would want the heights.

I think for me atmos is a no go. Which is why I don't care about it.
Well the range of angles for the top speakers are somewhat flexible. Take a look at the diagram attached and note that the speakers you'd use in a 5.2.2 system would be designated "top middle." So it can be installed at an angle from 65 degrees to 100 degrees elevation.

ForumRunner_20150725_191800.png
 

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i dunno... all these speakers just causes more issues with room interaction.

I think I'll stick to a 5.2 system
 

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My reicever links the surround backs and heights so for 7.1 they are surround backs and for 5.1.2 I get the atmos effects from the rear surrounds which doesn't make sense.
I basically have to change the wiring when watching atmos movies so as to get atmos height effects from the middle surrounds and the rear surrounds take place of the middle surrounds.
With Atmos 5.1.2 the L/R Surround speakers should be in the same location as in a basic 5.1configuration, they should be beside you, not behind you as Back Surround speakers (some call these Rear Surrounds) would be located.
So if you are wanting Atmos 5.1.2 you would use the Surround speakers (that are beside you) and the Atmos Height channels/speakers would be directly above your head.

Now coming to atmos track what's the difference other than the height effects is in the original track, ie playing atmos on a 7.1 setup is the same as playing Dolby true HD on a 7.1 system?
So unless I have a 7.1.2 or 7.1.4 or 5.1.2 or 5.1.4 system the atmos objects will not be transcoded by the reicever even if I have an atmos enabled receiver playing in 7.1 setup?
So I won't get atmos effects unless I tell the receiver that I have height speakers.
An Atmos encoded soundtrack (5.1.2 or 7.1.4) doesn't add more surround audio than a standard surround encoded soundtrack (5.1 or 7.1). The Atmos encode just moves sound differently.
As an example think of a sound effect such as rain. Both formats, Atmos & standard, will contain the sound of rain. The Atmos encode might have more of the sound of rain in the Height speakers with some also in the Surrounds. The standard encode will have the same sound of rain, but it will all play in the Surrounds (because there are no Heights).


What is the best way for me to enjoy these movies. Leave it at traditional 7.1 atmos or try and get what ever little atmos effects I can from the center surrounds(5.1.2).
...but want to see what the best way to experience atmos movies is with my current 7.1 set up ie using my middle surrounds as height channels. Or is it even worth it because I won't get any effects since the speakers aren't directly over head??
I have no experience with these new height encoded formats so I am speculating here...

#1...Without Height speakers correctly placed directly overhead, I would not tell the AVR that I have Atmos Height speakers.
#2...I would not use the L/R Surround speakers (you call them middle surrounds) as Atmos Heights. As L/R Surround channels, they are probably already getting the same audio that would be sent to a dedicated Atmos Height channel. But if you use your L/R Surround speakers as Atmos channels, you may actually be getting less audio through them than if you used them as L/R Surround channels. As an example... using the speakers as Surrounds, it may have the sound of rain falling on the roof and a loud door slamming beside you... using the same speakers as Atmos Heights, it may have the sound of rain but not the sound of the door slamming.
#3...I've read that the standard 7.1 configuration is more satisfying than an Atmos 5.1.2 configuration. Stepping up to the Atmos 7.1.2 or 7.1.4 is supposedly worthwhile.

With your current speaker configuration, I would leave it as standard 7.1.
 

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I have asked the following question on several different on-line forums, so I might as well try it here. Please note that x.2.x indicates front and rear subwoofers.

I currently have a speaker layout configured as 5.2.4. Using the same speakers, I previously identified it as 7.2.2. I merely changed the setting in the Yamaha RX-A3000 to regard the rears as in-ceiling presence speakers, instead of rear surrounds.

I am planning on purchasing the Yamaha RX-A3050 (Dolby Atmos and DTS:X capable) when it is released later this month. My current AVR up-mixes legacy 5.1 & 7.1 sound tracks to 5.2.4 via their proprietary Cinema DSP 3D algorithm.

Although it seems possible (but costly) for me to add yet another pair of rear speakers to achieve a true 7.2.4 layout, my question is whether or not there is sufficient information contained in the up-mixed legacy 5.1 sound tracks (by, for example, the Dolby DSU) to justify the project. I am aware that, if I stay with my current 5.2.4 designation, rear channel cues in a 7.1 encoded Blu-Ray movie will be redistributed to my side surrounds (and, possibly, the rear presence speakers).

Does anyone have opinions related to the degree of superiority between 7.2.4 versus 5.2.4 in the HT? Thanks!
 

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I currently have a speaker layout configured as 5.2.4. Using the same speakers, I previously identified it as 7.2.2. I merely changed the setting in the Yamaha RX-A3000 to regard the rears as in-ceiling presence speakers, instead of rear surrounds.
Are your back/rear speakers located at a lower height that is typical of surround rears, or are they at ceiling height?
 

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Are your back/rear speakers located at a lower height that is typical of surround rears, or are they at ceiling height?
sorry Glenn, I'll have to quote you since I can't find his quote that you quoted(whew). I think if he left them in a "normal" rear surround position, as you're asking him, would not be very successful. (Agreeing with you if that's where you're going here). Even at ceiling height.
 

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Glenn, when the room serving as my HT was originally constructed in 2006, both my side and rear surrounds were placed in-ceiling. These in-ceiling side surrounds are radiating dipoles and the rear "surround" speakers are directional. As I previously wrote, I've now "re-assigned" the in-ceiling rear speakers as "presence" rather than "surround" within the set-up of the Yamaha RX-A3000. The Cinema DSP 3D program in this AVR seems to be doing a superior job in providing a more convincing soundfield on legacy 5.1 movies with this current 5.2.4 setting compared with the original 7.2.2 setting. The soon to be released RX-A3050 will allow me to identify them as "overhead".

It's possible (although not easy) for me to mount either wired or (preferably) battery operated wireless rear "surround" speakers on the back wall (but well above ear level because of "wife acceptance factor") for a 7.2.4 layout, but I'm trying to determine whether or not there's a significant advantage gained in the soundfield of a 7.2.4 layout versus a 5.2.4 layout in my room before I go through the expense and effort needed to add that extra pair. Although native 7.1 Blu-Ray discs do contain some amount of rear surround information/cues, the question (for me) remains whether the DSU/DSP algorithms in the new AVRs make sufficient use of rear surrounds in their up-mix of native 5.1 encoded discs to 7.2.4 to actually be noticeable.

FYI, the front "presence" speakers are mounted on-wall at approximately 7 feet; they are located higher, wider and closer to my main listening position than my front speakers (tweeters near ear level). They are/will be identified as "height" rather than "overhead".
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Again coming back to the original topic.
I have read conflicting views on this so I am going to ask this again

Every where is says atmos delivers sound based on object in 3d space so Not channel based so should sound different than a 7.1dthd track which are purely channel based.

Default speaker set up 7.1

Scenarios

Atmos track played in an atmos enabled reciever (capable of 5.1.2 , onkyo nr646) with above speaker setup , will is sound the same as Dolby true HD 7.1 track.

It's hard for me to believe that adding two atmos ceiling or height speakers will change the way the sound is delivered from channel based to 3d atmos object based.
 

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As I understand it, from a content standpoint, you're not going to hear anything that was mixed specifically for those ceiling speakers. You will, however, get a more immersive experience by having sound come down at you from those speakers than you would from your side and rear surrounds ideally placed just above ear level. The content, for example sake let's say a helicopter comes from behind you directly over the top to the center of the screen, the metadata will be processed in a way using delay to simulate additional steps if you will, from back to front to give the audio illusion that the sound of the helicopter is coming from above you.

Again, nothing specifically mixed to those outputs, but of the demos I have heard, it's very much an improvement of the full immersive sound experience than a 7.1 system.
 

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Again coming back to the original topic.
I have read conflicting views on this so I am going to ask this again

Every where is says atmos delivers sound based on object in 3d space so Not channel based so should sound different than a 7.1dthd track which are purely channel based.

Default speaker set up 7.1

Scenarios

Atmos track played in an atmos enabled reciever (capable of 5.1.2 , onkyo nr646) with above speaker setup , will is sound the same as Dolby true HD 7.1 track.
As far as I have been able to tell in all my reading on the subject, an Atmos capable receiver, set up for and running a standard channel-based 7.1 system, will produce the same result as a 7.1 receiver without Atmos processing would produce.

It's hard for me to believe that adding two atmos ceiling or height speakers will change the way the sound is delivered from channel based to 3d atmos object based.
But that is exactly how it works. Once you tell the receiver you have an Atmos layout, the objects will be unpacked and decoded from the metadata, and steered to the most appropriate speakers as your setup allows.

Perhaps the confusion comes because you expect the Atmos layout to be purely object-based? It isn't really. The Atmos system for home consists of seven channels (which work the same way 7.1 always has) plus an object-based "layer," if you will. In an Atmos mix, there will be sounds assigned to channels and sounds that are objects. The sounds assigned to channels will only play from those channels regardless of your speaker count and configuration. The sounds that are objects can play from any speaker or set of speakers, depending on your layout and as the Atmos renderer sees fit, to most accurately position those sounds based on where they were placed spatially in the mix.
 

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As I understand it, from a content standpoint, you're not going to hear anything that was mixed specifically for those ceiling speakers. You will, however, get a more immersive experience by having sound come down at you from those speakers than you would from your side and rear surrounds ideally placed just above ear level. The content, for example sake let's say a helicopter comes from behind you directly over the top to the center of the screen, the metadata will be processed in a way using delay to simulate additional steps if you will, from back to front to give the audio illusion that the sound of the helicopter is coming from above you.

Again, nothing specifically mixed to those outputs, but of the demos I have heard, it's very much an improvement of the full immersive sound experience than a 7.1 system.
That is basically correct. The only speakers in an Atmos layout that have content specifically for them are the 7 "bed" channels (which comprise the typical 7.1 standard layout). The rest of the speakers (overheads and wides) do not have content specifically for them - what they play is determined by the Atmos renderer in the receiver.

Taking your helicopter example, flying from behind to overhead to the center of the screen. If that helicopter sound is encoded as an object, it will traverse the speakers necessary to place that sound the way it was placed spatially in the mix. It may start in the back surrounds and slowly pan from them to the overheads speakers and possibly side surrounds, and then pan from those speakers to the center and perhaps left and right speakers. If you have a 7.1.4 system, the way it is rendered (that is, which speaker gets which sound at a particular time) will be different than if it is played on a 5.1.2 system. It is intuitive that the 7.1.4 layout will lend itself to smoother panning and a more realistic sound field than the 5.1.2 layout.
 

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As far as I have been able to tell in all my reading on the subject, an Atmos capable receiver, set up for and running a standard channel-based 7.1 system, will produce the same result as a 7.1 receiver without Atmos processing would produce.



But that is exactly how it works. Once you tell the receiver you have an Atmos layout, the objects will be unpacked and decoded from the metadata, and steered to the most appropriate speakers as your setup allows.

Perhaps the confusion comes because you expect the Atmos layout to be purely object-based? It isn't really. The Atmos system for home consists of seven channels (which work the same way 7.1 always has) plus an object-based "layer," if you will. In an Atmos mix, there will be sounds assigned to channels and sounds that are objects. The sounds assigned to channels will only play from those channels regardless of your speaker count and configuration. The sounds that are objects can play from any speaker or set of speakers, depending on your layout and as the Atmos renderer sees fit, to most accurately position those sounds based on where they were placed spatially in the mix.
Great explanation.
 

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My question is, do you need to follow the 7.1 placement rules for Atmos or can your just place speakers where ever you want or in a circle around the seats.
 

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My question is, do you need to follow the 7.1 placement rules for Atmos or can your just place speakers where ever you want or in a circle around the seats.
The standard 7.1 speakers should be placed according to the same guidelines they always have been placed. The exception is that they recommend that those channels all be placed around ear level. Some adaption will be necessary to avoid the side listeners in a row casting acoustic shadows from the surrounds for the middle people in the same row. IIRC Dolby recommends that the surrounds be no more than 1.25 times the seated ear height. If you have a 7.1.x layout, another way to avoid shadowing for the side surrounds is to place them a little forward of the seating position (say 80-85 degrees instead of 90 degrees).

All the guidelines can be found by following this link.
 
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