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Is there a significant difference is quality between a 7.1 DDsound and a DDAtmos 7.1. I am thinking of upgrading my VSX-70 Pioneer A/V receiver?
Second question is ceiling verses upward firing add one speakers, is there a major difference?
 

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Is there a significant difference is quality between a 7.1 DDsound and a DDAtmos 7.1.
I am thinking of upgrading my VSX-70 Pioneer A/V receiver?
I'm not quite sure what you're asking: DD usually is an abbreviation for Dolby Digital, a lossy compression encoder which is limited to 5.1 discrete channels.

However, if your Pioneer receiver is driving a 7.1 surround sound system, and you play an Atmos soundtrack, you'll hear all of the sounds, just not at the intended height. An Atmos soundtrack provides all of its audio as a 7.1 channel Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD or PCM soundtrack. The additional Atmos metadata tells the decoder which sounds to remove from the ear-level speakers and send to overhead speakers. Receivers which don't include an Atmos decoder just ignore those instructions.
Second question is ceiling verses upward firing add one speakers, is there a major difference?
Direct-firing in- or on-ceiling speakers provide more accurate directionality than the reflections generated by upfiring speakers can. Pointing the upfiring speakers correctly can sometimes be a challenge, and they can't work if your ceiling is not flat.
 

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One advantage to upgrading your avr is tha your new receiver will have the latest upmixer, Dolby Surround. It's a worthy replacement for Dolby Pro Logic (IIx, etc.). It basically upmixes everything you watch to immersive surround sound if it is not already encoded with Atmos. I find the surround speakers to be a lot more active with Dolby Surround than with the older upmixers. The "simulated" surround sound is very believable with the latest technology. You can pinpoint exact locations in the sound field where cues are coming from.
 
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