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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » The Afterlife   » ATMOS comes home... (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: ATMOS comes home...
Mike Olpin
Chop Chop!

Posts: 1852
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 07-04-2014 10:18 AM      Profile for Mike Olpin   Email Mike Olpin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Surprised there isn't a thread here already. Details are a little bit vague, but it appears a home version of Dolby Atmos is being cooked up and should be available this fall.

The good
- Scalable configuration allows for as many or as few speakers as the room may need. (Minimum 5.1.2)**
- Some (but not all) receivers can support up to 32 discrete channels.
- Seems to maintain the idea of sound "objects" placed in 360 space via DSP, just like the theatrical version.

The bad
- Special speakers can be purchased which will "throw" sound at the ceiling using phasing tricks and other such gimmickry for those who are unable to or unwilling to instal overhead speakers.
- Cheapens theatrical branding.

** Dolby's numbering scheme for describing Atmos home setups. In a 5.1.2 set up, you have the traditional 5.1 plus 2 ceiling speakers. I calculate that for my home theatre I will need 13.1.6. 5 stage channels, 2 rear surrounds, 6 side surrounds, and 6 ceiling speakers.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12446
From: Forsyth, Montana
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 - posted 07-04-2014 12:41 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Lots of chatter about this in the "Dolbys new sound system" thread. Might be a good idea to merge it here.

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Tony Bandiera Jr
Film God

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From: Moreland Idaho
Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted 07-04-2014 12:44 PM      Profile for Tony Bandiera Jr   Email Tony Bandiera Jr   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Add to the bad list:

I'd say 95% or more of the average "home" tv rooms (I refuse to dignify them with the appellation of screening rooms) are too small or have such horribly bad acoustic properties, which will make ANY ATMOS-Lite installations worthless, or as Joe would say, they will sound like ass.

Sadly, the living room area in my new house here is horrible as well..so to do a proper screening room of any kind I will have to build it in my outbuilding (after it is completely demolished and rebuilt...in other words, probably never.)

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Mike Olpin
Chop Chop!

Posts: 1852
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 07-04-2014 01:28 PM      Profile for Mike Olpin   Email Mike Olpin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just read that thread and I'm a bit irritated about how much "probably" there is being thrown around.

"It PROBABLY won't support 5 screen channels, so I hate it"
"It PROBABLY will not be object based"
"It PROBABLY wont have low end management for surrounds"

Comments like that should link to articles that back them up. Lets remember this is not publicly available yet. Can we reserver judgement until we get some ears on them please? I understand the phase trickery being sucky, but as far as I can tell, it's optional. People are already doing shitty phase tricks with soundbars.

To me, the revolutionary thing about Atmos is that object oriented sound design. The idea that, while there's a core 5.1 or 7.1 mix that exists, there is also the ability to fire off instance-based audio objects, and pan them around the room in 360 space, and have that object accurately track regardless of room size, or number of speakers. There is no longer a need to have the largest number of channels, only a need to have enough channels to provide accurate imaging for the room you're in. When set up correctly with the correct number of speakers for the size of the room, individual channels disappear, and you're left with what I can only describe as a very "open" sound stage.

I go way more into detail in my review of theatrical Atmos here:
http://www.film-tech.com/cgi-bin/ubb/f16/t001090/p12.html

Here is the article I've seen, which seems to support that object based sound will be making it into the home version.

http://ww w.highdefdigest.com/news/show/Dolby_Atmos/dawn-of-the-planet-of-the-apes/Surround_Sound/home-theatre/Onkyo/Pioneer/Denon/Marantz/dolby-atmos-dawn-of-the-planet-of-the-apes-quick-look-and-updates-about-home-implementation/16236

Excerpt:
quote:
Atmos is scalable, focusing on individual objects rather than channels.

In cinemas, Atmos works in any configuration from 9.1 to 64.4, but is often somewhere in the middle. However, the home version is slightly different. For starters, Dolby is working to recalibrate the way we think of our home theatre setups.

For example, the minium Atmos setup is described as "5.1.2", which translates into five standard surround sound speakers at ear level (left, center, right, surrround right, surround left), one subwoofer, and two height channels. In this configuration, you will need an AV reciever (or amplification) for seven channels plus a powered subwoofer. Depending on budget, Atmos in the home is capable of 24.1.10 (twenty-four surrounds, one sub, ten overhead), though at present, the most powerful Atmos AV Reciever will have 32-channels.

The key to all of this is that, as home theatre enthusiasts, we have to think in "channels" mainly for logical pruposes -- running wire, amplification, etc. -- but content producers won't be producing different mixes for the guy with "5.1.2" versus "24.1.10" because Atmos-enabled tracks adapt to your home theatre environement. Pretty impressive.


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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

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From: Lawton, OK, USA
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 - posted 07-07-2014 11:15 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Mike, since much of your response is directed mostly at my critical remarks about home Atmos, I have these comments.

IMHO, my "probably" statements are pretty accurate guesses with not having seen the actual spec before making those guesses. The home version of Atmos may have a top end spec supporting 32 channels of amplification. Unfortunately most consumer electronics companies are going to sell "ATMOS" in 8, 10 and 12 channel setups and nowhere near 32 channels. Yet all the dummies in consumer land will think their home "ATMOS" thingie will be equal to the theatrical counterpart, based entirely on the ATMOS brand name.

The other bottleneck is data capacity on Blu-ray discs. The consumer electronics hardware is going to be limited to some degree. The discs may be limited the same way from the very simple fact one can fit only so many discrete audio objects into a finite space. Movie streaming via services like Netflix won't be much of an option since the United States has such a laughably pathetic average level of Internet download bandwith. It's really pretty embarrasing and may only improve when the sluggish, conservative, greedy bullshit starts putting American big business at a very serious disadvantage against European and Asian counterparts.

Ultimately, I feel this consumer version of Atmos is a big slap in the face of movie theater operators who actually invested in the technology. For them to do Atmos correctly they need to spend upwards of $75,000 or more on new speakers, amplifiers, Dolby tech services, etc. The average consumer hooking up Dolby Atmos in his home will not have to spend remotely near as much money on Atmos.

I also feel correct in my guess this move will stall a lot of would have been pending Atmos installations. It might speed up Auro 11.1 installations instead, despite the fact Auro is a lesser audio format. It also might give the IMAX guys plenty of breathing room to do something about their bullshit sound system and get something vastly improved into place.

IMHO, this premature move to push Atmos into the consumer space has a strong chance of backfiring on Dolby. Commercial movie theater operators are their prestige, halo level customers. They're the ones who define what is the legit movie theater experience. If they turn around and endorse Auro 11.1, DTS' OpenMDA and whatever IMAX develops that's going to leave Atmos the odd format out even though it is a better format.

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12859
From: Denver, Colorado
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 - posted 07-07-2014 11:33 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mike Olpin from older thread
up to 128 channels of audio across 64 locations
This does not make any sense. From the way this is worded, it sounds like the right and left channels, for example, would be right next to each other in the "same location" which would render them ineffective. It would be a pointless waste to have two channels in the same exact location.

What I think you probably mean is up 64 traditional auditorium channels with up to 128 independent sounds playing at any one time which can be placed anywhere independently in the auditorium layout.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

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From: Bountiful, Utah
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 - posted 07-08-2014 12:39 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Keep an eye out for the third gestation of this poop for your home PC or Mac!

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

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From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
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 - posted 07-08-2014 02:14 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah, if there'd be a notebook or tablet with Dolby Atmos, I'd buy it right away.

- Carsten

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

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 - posted 07-08-2014 02:15 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
^ LOL!

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

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 - posted 07-08-2014 05:59 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I hear Atmos will be in the next iPhone OS. The only difference will be, it'll be "manual Atmos" -- you'll need to hold your phone above your head to get the overhead sounds.

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Jonathan Goeldner
Phenomenal Film Handler

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From: Washington, District of Columbia
Registered: Jun 2008


 - posted 07-10-2014 10:06 PM      Profile for Jonathan Goeldner   Email Jonathan Goeldner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
so I guess we'll finally see a rerelease bluray edition of 'Gravity' with the original core 7.1 mix [Wink]

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

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From: Lawton, OK, USA
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 - posted 07-10-2014 10:45 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah, that would correct that 5.1 only mix from the previous Blu-ray. But a 7.1 base is not a guarantee. WB could limit the mix to 5.1.2 or 5.1.4 just to annoy us.
[uhoh]

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Jonathan Goeldner
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 - posted 07-10-2014 11:12 PM      Profile for Jonathan Goeldner   Email Jonathan Goeldner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
sorry to ask a dumb question but what is the .2 and .4 indicating? is that height channels?

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Mike Olpin
Chop Chop!

Posts: 1852
From: Dallas, TX
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 - posted 07-12-2014 05:32 PM      Profile for Mike Olpin   Email Mike Olpin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Jonathan Goeldner
what is the .2 and .4 indicating? is that height channels?
Yes.

quote: Joe Redifer
What I think you probably mean is up 64 traditional auditorium channels with up to 128 independent sounds playing at any one time which can be placed anywhere independently in the auditorium layout.
Yes.

quote: Bobby Henderson

The home version of Atmos may have a top end spec supporting 32 channels of amplification. Unfortunately most consumer electronics companies are going to sell "ATMOS" in 8, 10 and 12 channel setups and nowhere near 32 channels.

No argument there, the first generation of announced products seems to support this. I'm sure there will be a top-spec available eventually though. Home theater junkies like speakers, and speaker manufactures like selling them.

quote: Bobby Henderson
The other bottleneck is data capacity on Blu-ray discs.
To me it seems like a mix based on individual audio objects should take up less space. No need for long stretches of silence between effects on the surrounds for instance. Also, many studios aren't even filling up half of the disc at this point anyway.

quote: Bobby Henderson
the United States has such a laughably pathetic average level of Internet download bandwith
You aren't kidding there.

quote: Bobby Henderson
Ultimately, I feel this consumer version of Atmos is a big slap in the face of movie theater operators who actually invested in the technology.
I agree that we should have been given more "lead" time - but I've learned this lesson a few times now. Never invest in technology for your theater based on the idea that you will have exclusivity of the technology from the home.

When digital 3D came out, theater owners were told to invest in it - it would be something the home users could never be able to do as well. A few years later, and home 3D is widely available. Now 4k UHDTVs are starting to pop up. Of course any technology that makes a splash in theaters will find itself in home theaters eventually.

Instead, theatre owners should invest in technology for the reason that it improves the presentation or puts buts in seats.

quote: Bobby Henderson
I also feel correct in my guess this move will stall a lot of would have been pending Atmos installations.
I'm not sure about this. Increased brand awareness for Atmos should increase demand for it at theatres.

quote: Bobby Henderson
It also might give the IMAX guys plenty of breathing room to do something about their bullshit sound system and get something vastly improved into place.
I'd like for this to happen. When choosing XD/RPX/ETX vs IMAX right now, I choose XD for Auro/Atmos. IMAX needs to get serious about sound again.

quote: Bobby Henderson
Commercial movie theater operators are their prestige, halo level customers.
Not sure that's true anymore. Dolby is a huge company with their toes in a lot of different markets. I think Atmos was developed as a way for them to try to stay relevant in the cinema sound at all.

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Sam Graham
AKA: "The Evil Sam Graham". Wackiness ensues.

Posts: 1378
From: Waukee, IA
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 - posted 07-13-2014 06:33 PM      Profile for Sam Graham   Author's Homepage   Email Sam Graham   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My two surround speakers freak my cats out enough. Just imagine.

Not the mention the increase in divorce cases after the wife comes home and sees what hubby spent the day doing to the living room ceiling on his day off.

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