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273 posts

Ultimate Geek
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# 210313 22-Mar-2017 11:19
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I've been around HT for a few years now starting out with a Dolby Surround processor in 1987, (Kenwood SC-700).

 

Dolby Atmos to me (and I think some others) is my step-off point. I can't be bothered.

 

I don't have any interest in block buster films that seem to be the soundtrack styles that feature as the poster child for Atmos.

 

So while I am building a third and final HT system with a room that is a blank sheet, I keep wondering if Atmos is really needed.

 

Many years ago I wrote that few if any HT systems I had experienced (including my own) got the most out of mere 5.1 due to compromised room sizes and location related to the listening position.

 

So is Atmos a neat (niche) idea, but it is a step too far. It is mainly novelty and is the audio equivalent of 3D for the blockbuster crowd?

 

Thoughts? 

 

 


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202 posts

Master Geek
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  # 1745667 22-Mar-2017 11:41
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In an actual cinema, Atmos is my favourite technical advance in years. Unfortunately it's still quite hard to come by in NZ (last I checked it was only installed at the Embassy but I haven't taken another look in about 18 months).

 

I think home installations are another story though. I'm not really a big HT guy but I feel like the scale of a full on Atmos cine install would be quite difficult to achieve in the home


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  # 1745675 22-Mar-2017 11:52
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Main difference is, once you cough up for an Atmos installation, anyone can listen to it. You don't need special glasses and it doesn't make the audio darker.


 
 
 
 


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  # 1745687 22-Mar-2017 11:59
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CapBBeard:

 

In an actual cinema, Atmos is my favourite technical advance in years. Unfortunately it's still quite hard to come by in NZ (last I checked it was only installed at the Embassy but I haven't taken another look in about 18 months).

 

 

 

 

According to the dolby site, the only other site in NZ to have it is Reading cinemas LynnMall in Auckland, and their website seems to suggests it's only in their "Titan XC" cinema. Might have to try it some time.

 

Event cinemas nz website also has a page on atmos... but without any details on which of their cinemas have it: https://www.eventcinemas.co.nz/Promotions/DolbyATMOS 




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Ultimate Geek
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  # 1745691 22-Mar-2017 12:10
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BlueShift:

 

Main difference is, once you cough up for an Atmos installation, anyone can listen to it. You don't need special glasses and it doesn't make the audio darker.

 

 

Can you advise. Are there titles outside the usual Hollywood fare that are encoded in Atmos?

 

One of the things Atmos does demand is not just the purchase of new gear, but the relocation of surround speakers to ear level.

 

That for many, is going to be both a bit of a mission, and somewhat intrusive not to mention the WAF issue.

 

Critically for me, the 3D comparison is about Atmos being potentially a shortlived format.

 

A lot of hype to begin, the takeup of some real enthusiasts but the great unwashed saying...'whatever'..

 

Add in the lack of film venues and a fundamentally watered down experience compared to the cinematic environment and I'm wondering if I'm looking at DVD-Audio and SACD again..

 

 

 

 


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  # 1745698 22-Mar-2017 12:22
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Hi Maxcat...i started with the exact same Dolby Surround processor in the late 80s. I currently have a Dolby Atmos/DTS X capable system,as with probably most Kiwis,in a lounge environment. I havent gone beyond my current 7.1 to a 7.1.2 due to the hassles of installing ideally ceiling mounted speakers to achieve the desired effect. I know you can also purchase upward firing equivalents to sit on top of your mains but from what i read and expect wont match the ceiling mounted type. Im actually looking at trying to temporarily add some ceiling mounted speakers...probably just some close matching bookshelf speakers which i already own. I live in an old Villa so have quite high ceilings and Beams from which to mount them too. I havent actually experienced an Atmos or DTS X setup so it probably would be wise to check one out somewhere....any Hifi/HT Store in Auckland have a decent setup? In the end though i think like you said it will be a niche product....like 3D...like UHD Blu-ray for us Hifi/Home Theatre Nerdy types. If i was building a Home Theatre room from scratch like you...i would include it.        


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  # 1745702 22-Mar-2017 12:25
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The new Event Cinemas being built at Tauranga Crossing will have Atmos, I am going to assume the new cinemas at Lower Hutt's Queensgate will get it also




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Ultimate Geek
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  # 1745703 22-Mar-2017 12:28
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ARIKIP:

 

Hi Maxcat...i started with the exact same Dolby Surround processor in the late 80s. I currently have a Dolby Atmos/DTS X capable system,as with probably most Kiwis,in a lounge environment. I havent gone beyond my current 7.1 to a 7.1.2 due to the hassles of installing ideally ceiling mounted speakers to achieve the desired effect. I know you can also purchase upward firing equivalents to sit on top of your mains but from what i read and expect wont match the ceiling mounted type. Im actually looking at trying to temporarily add some ceiling mounted speakers...probably just some close matching bookshelf speakers which i already own. I live in an old Villa so have quite high ceilings and Beams from which to mount them too. I havent actually experienced an Atmos or DTS X setup so it probably would be wise to check one out somewhere....any Hifi/HT Store in Auckland have a decent setup? In the end though i think like you said it will be a niche product....like 3D...like UHD Blu-ray for us Hifi/Home Theatre Nerdy types. If i was building a Home Theatre room from scratch like you...i would include it.        

 

 

I'd love to get my old Kenwood back just to see it again! I loved that old Kenwood box!

 

It's likely given the room and current ease of access to the roof line that I will install uit...BUT...I would really ike an Atmos equivalent of the old Kenwood just to add in as an Atmos add-on decoder!

 

None seem available. 

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  # 1745758 22-Mar-2017 13:07
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I find it doesnt detract from the experiance like "3d" does.

 

3d is the most overhyped piece of headache inducing poorly made crap ever put out. Flicker glasses, inability to have motion plus and 3d at the same time, ridiculously short depth of field that cinema camera operators seem to love making everything out of focus and therefore eyestrainy and pointless having it look like its behind the actors since you cant even see what the hell it is.

 

On computer generated stuff without depth of field problems its okayish, but the low framerates and not being able to fix that really made it a non-starter when I tried it. And the flicker from the glasses switching. Like a crap monitor backlight. Ugh.





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Geek
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  # 1745765 22-Mar-2017 13:16
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 That Kenwood was pretty cool. Amazing to see how far we have come. A stand alone Decoder would be ideal for a lot of people as an add on to an existing setup. I assume you would need to get a new Receiver for Atmos?. At one stage i used to have a stand alone Sony ES Dolby Digital decoder,Millenium DTS Decoder and lots of amplification. These days for convenience i stick with the one box solution. I only have Atmos capability as i was able to finally upgrade my circa 2008 Pioneer VSX-LX70. Im just happy i finally have 3D,Multiple HDMI and full 4K capability. Atmos and DTS-X was a bonus.    




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Ultimate Geek
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  # 1745774 22-Mar-2017 13:21
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Yeah new receiver needed and I honestly don't want to move from what I have.

 

Atmos is as I describe something that is low on the priority list and I am far more interested in getting the most out of stock 5.1.

 

The Sony ES series was a formidable line up I had the pre-amp and one point which really was a step up from the old Kenwood.

 

So yeah, it requires more everything and these days I have zero interest in Transformers or Batman vs Scooby-Doo and Alien.. 

 

Pic of the old Kenwood attached.

 

 

 

 

 


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Geek
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  # 1745834 22-Mar-2017 13:58
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In my mind going from 5.1 to 7.1 was a negligible upgrade. I think going on all the guff i read the jump from 5.1 to 5.1.2 would be more meaningful. 

 

Yeah thats the old Kenwood. Got it from a place on Parnell Rise Auckland that sold Kenwood gear around 1987...forgot the name of the store. Picked it up for less than $200. The amplification in it wasnt quite up to scratch...but then again it wasnt really doing much from VHS Hifi soundtracks. I think it was designed as an add on to one of their then current Midi Systems. There was a full sized component model as well...cant remember the model but it definitely didnt go for under $200.    




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Ultimate Geek
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  # 1745837 22-Mar-2017 14:02
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One of the things that really surprised/shocked/bemused me is the ceiling channels are not discrete channels with Atmos.

 

 


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Ultimate Geek
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  # 1745875 22-Mar-2017 15:04
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I understand your struggles Maxcat.

 

I have had my Denon for about 12 years now (3805), its a good amp with 7.1, plenty of power and nice sound. It is pre-HDMI though, so no "HD" sound from Blu-ray, no Atmos etc. Part of me really wants to upgrade to a new amp with at least HD sound formats and maybe Atmos, but, the new sound formats are only on Blu-ray. Don't know about your movie watching habits, but the volume of movies I watch on disc is now very low, the bulk is via Netflix, Amazon video or similar, where "old" Dolby Digital is broadcast.

 

If physical disc is indeed on the way out (I have purchased about 10 discs in the last 12-18 months), what is the point of the new sound codecs at all?


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  # 1745877 22-Mar-2017 15:06
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sen8or:

 

If physical disc is indeed on the way out (I have purchased about 10 discs in the last 12-18 months), what is the point of the new sound codecs at all?

 

 

When the backwards parts of the world get better internet then we might see streams of the better audio happening.

 

Wonder if the chromecast and similar can output them easy enough?





Richard rich.ms



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Ultimate Geek
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  # 1745897 22-Mar-2017 15:32
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sen8or:

 

I understand your struggles Maxcat.

 

I have had my Denon for about 12 years now (3805), its a good amp with 7.1, plenty of power and nice sound. It is pre-HDMI though, so no "HD" sound from Blu-ray, no Atmos etc. Part of me really wants to upgrade to a new amp with at least HD sound formats and maybe Atmos, but, the new sound formats are only on Blu-ray. Don't know about your movie watching habits, but the volume of movies I watch on disc is now very low, the bulk is via Netflix, Amazon video or similar, where "old" Dolby Digital is broadcast.

 

If physical disc is indeed on the way out (I have purchased about 10 discs in the last 12-18 months), what is the point of the new sound codecs at all?

 

 

 

 

I didn't think of that! Huge point to consider!

 

I can not remember the last disc I purchased (or rented).

 

I have little interest in owning film these days. I have Laserdiscs I bought I haven't watched in decades while most of today, my discs are music based concerts, not film.

 

Thanks - your point is really a major Atmos stumbling block I hadn't considered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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