i have the seen the future of dynamic speaker channels! =D

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by JediFonger, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    with Dolby Atmos and DTS offering similar schemas in MDA, it makes sense for AVRs to also evolve to match the new future formats. as you know. these 2 formats will eventually make it down to AVR, so we will see a number of AVRs in the next 5 years from denon, Yamaha, etc. the usual suspects offering it with 9.1, 11.1 and etc. flavors. but with this new 'dynamic # of speakers" system, we don't have to be limited the # of speakers in an AVR ever again. with newer films being encoded in such a fashion, it only makes sense in the marketplace to create a pre-amp processor that will decode atmos/mda spec. but allow consumers (us) to install as many or as few speakers as we can for surround sound system. so we could see pre-amp processors that will offer all 64channels (I think that's the max for atmos right? someone confirm?) and 128channel (i'm guessing or more for MDA). then that processor can offer either daisy chained connectors and/or serial-based digital speaker outputs. if not, maybe processors offerling all 64 or 128channel rca or xlr outs, but that seems a bit impractical. the digital outs seem better because it can add channels if atmos is upgraded to even more channels. now I know that not many folks can accord 64 speakers or more. but i'm talking about the ability to do get discreet information to all 64 if you had and could do 64speakers. I never thought i'd see the day where this is possible, but I guess that day is coming =). the purpose of atmos/mda would render the physical speakers 5.1 irrelevant (almost) as now users can place speakers in the ceiling, in the floor, in or out of the corners, behind objects, in the walls, wherever they want the the software would take-over and calibrate/optimize the sound. if there are hotspots not covered, move speakers or add some for coverage. basically high end enthusiasts can buy 20 speakers and make full use of each speakers discreetly! or 50 speakers if they want. that has not happened before, but with this change, it is very much possible! we are in the middle of a surround sound schema revolution people! =0
     
  2. zoetmb

    zoetmb Stunt Coordinator

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    I've seen several films in Dolby Atmos and I agree that it's quite spectacular, but I think it's an absurd notion for the home. Sure, there will be a few super rich CEOs and movie stars, the types who spend $1 million or more installing a home theatre that looks like a movie palace, who might install such a system, but other than those few, there's no real commercial market for this. No one except a geek wants 64 speakers and the associated cabling in their living room (and most of the theatre installations actually don't have that many - even the Dolby screening room in New York doesn't have that many) and that precise level of localization isn't necessary in a small room anyway. Frankly, there's barely a market for even 5.1 - the vast majority of consumers do not use an audio system beyond a soundbar when watching TV or movies. Most of the A/V receiver companies have been losing money. Also, since the decoding and channel assignment is done at playback time in the decoder, a device to handle this for the home would be quite expensive. And one advantage of it not being available for the home is that this will help get people back into movie seats again once it gets into more theatres. Unfortunately, since it's being used most for effects movies, most of the movies it's been used for so far haven't been very good and going forward, it's probably going to be used in large part on animated films, the films which are most likely to get Dolby Digital 7.1 today.
     
  3. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    It is already showing up. Yamaha had Presence before Dolby and Audyssey copied it. Yamaha has moved on to rear Presence(11.1) and Dolby is supposed to hop on that wagon. Denon(an a couple models) allows height and width used at the same time(onkyo's 5010 might?). Anyway, 11.1 is coming "across the board". And when "height and wide" in combination with rear "height and wide" shows up, you are at 15.1.
     
  4. Jason Charlton

    Jason Charlton Ambassador

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    Fair warning... grumpy old man is kicking in...
    Just a personal nitpick (and certainly not directed at either of you, but rather the marketing geniuses out there that tend to take advantage of the less informed), but I'm really not thrilled that these sorts of matrixed channels are being "lumped in" with the discretely encoded channels found on disc.
    Just as we always inform people that there's really no such thing as ".2", I feel we shouldn't be reinforcing the myth that you can simply "add speakers" and magically make episodes of "Hogans Heroes" sound just as enveloping as "The Avengers".
    Yes, I understand that the end results of what is produced by presence, width, height, atmos speakers, etc. is generally a unique result of matrix processing, but the reality is that no films are encoded (yet, maybe ever) with these discrete channels.
    I would fully support a movement to refer to any matrixed channels as separate from the discrete or LFE... so 7.1.2 would be 7 full range discrete channels, 1 discrete LFE channel and 2 matrixed channels (wherever they be - wide, high, etc.).
    Will this ever happen... hell no. I know that. 15 is "better" than 11 is "better" than 9 is "better" than 7...
    Sigh.
     
  5. zoetmb

    zoetmb Stunt Coordinator

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    Exactly. And since these matrixed channels primarily use phase detection for steering, the results are frequently not very good and accomplish just the opposite of what you want -- they tend to create sound fields rather than localization, which actually gets reduced. Furthermore, just because a receiver offers 9.1 or 11.1 or whatever, doesn't mean that people are connecting speakers to the extra channels. As I wrote earlier, the data shows quite the opposite. Most living spaces that don't have a dedicated room for home theatre (and even many that do) cannot even handle rear surrounds because the couch is typically against the wall. And the rooms aren't wide enough to support front wide. So that leaves you with front height and the (matrixed) result is minimal IMO (and as an ex-recording engineer). As far as I'm concerned, I don't want my receiver doing anything to the signal that's not on the original soundtrack. They can get rid of all those DSP modes and save the licensing fees. None of them sound very good to me.
     

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