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Overhead "Envelop" Channel?


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#1 of 37 Wes

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Posted December 16 2002 - 05:00 PM

On another thread in the software http://www.hometheat....hreadid=112265 section Nick Scott a HTF member made me aware that they have infact theatrically put out a new version of DD EX that uses a over head channel.
I guess We were Soldiers was re-released in a theater that was equipped with the new Overhead "Envelop" Channel.

According to Circle Surround their CS-3X Jr. EX processor will put out this new channel. I was thinking it would have been derived out of "Prologicing" (if thats a word) the Front Center with the EX Center Rear channel but after reading more about this decoder this new channel it may be Out of Phase info that the EX processing throws out into the Prologic mono Surround channels.

I am using a Prologic to create my matrixed EX/ES so what do you guys think, Is the new ceiling channel in the Mono thrown out channels or a mix of Front Center and Rear center?

And what do we call this new set up, Dolby Digital EX.E?


Wes
My Theater Web Site:
www.prosteering.8k.com

#2 of 37 Wes

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Posted December 17 2002 - 02:17 PM

This is a diagram I just drew up. What do you think about doing it this way? This would create an overhead channel on every 5.1, EX and ES mix!

"Overhead Envelope" channel

Wes
My Theater Web Site:
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#3 of 37 AaronBatiuk

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Posted December 18 2002 - 02:38 AM

Quote:
...reading more about this decoder this new channel may be Out of Phase info that the EX processing throws out into the Prologic mono Surround channels.


Try to follow me here:

OK, so a normal Pro-Logic setup will process its left and right inputs as follows:
- Send common (in phase) material to the centre.
- Send unique material in the left to the left.
- Send unique material in the right to the right.
- Send out-of-phase material to the rears.

And a DD-EX processor does the following to its left-surround and right-surround inputs:
- Send common (in phase) material to the centre-surround ("surround back" more appropriately)
- Send unique material in the left-surround to the left-surround.
- Send unique material in the right-surround to the right-surround.
- throw out out-of-phase material (?) or just leave it where it is.

So from your comment, "new channel may be Out of Phase info that the EX processing throws out", I would suspect that the new DD-EX decoder is using the out-of-phase information to create the "envelop" channel, in exactly the same way that a pro-logic decoder creates the surround channel.

Your diagram looks too complicated. I think that you just have to take the "surround" or "rear" output from your pro-logic decoder and make that the envelop or top channel.

#4 of 37 Wes

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Posted December 18 2002 - 06:48 PM

I have read some info that does suggest the "Envelop" channel is contained in the out of phase info but I just cant get exited about placing a DPL surround crappy channel onto my DD system. Perhaps if you were to use a DPL II receiver it would be much better than the PL decoding. But I still think better results would come from my drawing with 2 DPL processors. I will soon try both ways and post my results.

Wes
My Theater Web Site:
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#5 of 37 Marty Neudel

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Posted December 19 2002 - 02:19 PM

Wes,

I'll bd interested in your results. By definition, there should be no common data shared by the center and surround channels derived by Pro-Logic.

Marty

#6 of 37 Marvin E

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Posted December 20 2002 - 07:59 AM

Quote:
So from your comment, "new channel may be Out of Phase info that the EX processing throws out", I would suspect that the new DD-EX decoder is using the out-of-phase information to create the "envelop" channel, in exactly the same way that a pro-logic decoder creates the surround channel.

Years ago, I took the Left/Right FRONT preamp outputs from my Preamp Processor, connected them to a DPL receiver and
hooked up a spare set of speakers to the DPL rear surround speaker jacks. I got an out-of-phase signal which I used for home brew front effects. The interesting thing is that when I played music, I would hear a song with missing foreground vocals and no lead guitar solos. You could do the same thing with Left/Right Surround preamp outputs to get the envelop material.
Quote:
Your diagram looks too complicated. I think that you just have to take the "surround" or "rear" output from your pro-logic decoder and make that the envelop or top channel.
Just hook up two speakers to the rear speaker jacks of your DPL and I think that should work.

#7 of 37 Wes

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Posted December 22 2002 - 01:17 PM

Quote:
You could do the same thing with Left/Right Surround preamp outputs to get the envelop material.


If I'm understanding you correctly I have and do currently run this, this is how a DIY DD EX set up works!



Quote:
Just hook up two speakers to the rear speaker jacks of your DPL and I think that should work.


I know it would work but I'm looking for a better way as the Surrounds on a DPL are limited frequency.

I have set my system up with the new Envelop channel using the DPL Surround outs and will need some time to gather my notes about my findings. I should have it up tonight!

Wes
My Theater Web Site:
www.prosteering.8k.com

#8 of 37 Wes

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Posted December 22 2002 - 06:15 PM

Ok, between Christmas and birthday parties I was able to play around a little with using the outofphase DPL surround Overhead Envelop channel decoding using a DPL receiver to pull out the new channel.

The following is my set up:Posted Image

I was not able to do what I had originally posted about using two DPL to get the EX and Envelop channels, I need more time to run over to the father-in-law’s and borrow his Pioneer DPL receiver he is not using.

So on to my demo results.

I am already running the Pioneer VSX 709 DD/DTS 5.1 receiver into an Onkyo TX455 DPL receiver to create my DIY EX/ES processing which I truly love the results on all EX/ES encoded and most 5.1 software.

All I had to do is hook another speaker up to the DPL Surround speaker output. In this case I used the Left Surround Out channel to a JBL speaker that a friend had given me. I was able to secure the speaker up to the ceiling to the fresh air vent I installed for my soon to have ceiling mount CRT projector. This placed the Envelop Channel just slightly behind the front row of seating and about two feet in front of the rear row and dead set in the middle of the room from the side walls. The speaker is a small plastic case JBL 5 1/4" with a tweet, Same size as all my other 11 speakers in the room but different brand and I installed it face down.

I then calibrated it with the other channels on the DPL receiver. I had to bump it up to +6 to get it to dial in at 70db. Then I was all set to demo.

First I put in what else but "WWS". I really like what I was hearing but was not sure if it was my other speakers or the Envelop channel so I shut down all the other channels but the rear EX, Surround and the Envelop channel.
And It works! I played every part where a chopper might fly overhead and sure enough it placed the copper there for that duration it was flying over. I also noticed that when the scene was in the chopper the sound of the blades was directly over head. I noticed also for ambience effect there was wind up there as well as artillery shells coming down in the action scenes.

I really wanted to see if it was backwards compatible like the EX on 5.1 mixes so I ran several discs through it. Most was not too favorable with putting the correct sounds in the correct place up there but did put Music and kind of ambiance sounds there. Nothing I think would be distracting if left engaged all the time but not as cool as WWS.

A few that did work well was Godzilla, This was even better than WWS for decoding a overhead channel. This mix was down right cool. The Chopper attack scenes was impressive. When you were in the chopper the blades where right there over your head. As one chopped passed over the other you could here it also.

Then came SPR in DTS, This one work pretty good also. I heard many bullets flying over my head in the beach scene and in the end with the planes worked pretty good also.

Also the depth charges from U571 was impressive. When they were at the bottom of the ocean the charges were correctly placed above the sub. I hoped for more creaking and groaning from the sub up there but I did not notice any.

LOTR did an OK job but I could not find too many scenes that had over head action but none the less there were sounds going on that seemed to fit in pretty good.

The discs that did nothing for me was Courage Under Fire dts, Sixth Day and 5th Element all of which I had high hopes for!

Discs demoed:
WWS (Worked)
SPR dts (Worked)
Godzilla (Excellent)
LOTR DD (Just OK)
Pearl Harbor dts (Worked)
Titan AE dts (Hoped for more OH sound in the Ice)
Sixth Day (Non Existent)
5th Element (Non Existent)
Courage under Fire (Non Existent)
True Lies (Non Existent)
Monsters INC (Hoped for more)
Toy Story 2 (Non Existent)
THX TEX EX (Completely Bombed)
Swedish National Radio 5.1 ad "Car theft" (Elevator effects sounded cool)

Like I said they all worked to some degree but I'm sure when the sound engineers start really utilizing this it could only get better.

I did realize my single speaker would not be very effective by it's self. I think it would require at leased two speaker above each one of my couches to really fill in that area. If I was sitting on the rear row the overhead sounds were above and slightly in front of me and if I was on the front row it sounded too far behind me and blended with the EX channel. At one time I turned down the EX so I could better hear the overhead channel.

Do we need this new channel?

I would say if your the type that needs every thing sure why not.

Will I implement this into my new theater?

Well even though I ran 26 speaker wires I neglected to run any over head wires, "Duh, Mcfly". But I do have a conduit for my overhead CRT projector that would get the wires pretty close so I could run it with not too much work.
Again I would install 4 new speakers and I'm not sure whether I need 4 tweets up there as well as 4 5 1/4s. I'm just not sure what I would do at this point.

Did it impress me enough to install it?

I feel my system sounds great now so it's hard to justify it, but if they really start supporting this new channel with new mixes I will start cutting holes in the ceiling.

Hope this helps!

Wes
My Theater Web Site:
www.prosteering.8k.com

#9 of 37 Philip Brandes

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Posted December 23 2002 - 03:31 AM

Before everyone works themselves into a salivating heap over the latest Widescreen Review/SMART Devices marketing hype du jour, I recommend that you all have a look at this thread:

http://www.smr-forum...080/read?8014,5

Of particular interest is the post by Dolby Labs' Roger Dressler explaining that the DVD release of "We Were Soldiers" contains NO height channel information. As in NONE. The misinformation and misconceptions regarding this are being twisted into a cynical attempt to create a market for something that does not exist.

With all respect to Wes's ingenuity, whatever you were extracting from the mix had nothing to do with intentionally encoded height information. The device was simply operating on the basis of phase relationships, and your brain did the rest in terms of how "well" it worked--you expected "We Were Soldiers" to sound right because you believed it had embedded height information. Psychology and expectation make us extremely vulnerable to attitude manipulation. Just ask P.T. Barnum.

Sorry to be blunt, but these rumors have a way of getting out of hand.

Cheers,
Philip Brandes

#10 of 37 Wes

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Posted December 23 2002 - 02:36 PM

Philip, It wasn't that I just sat on my couch this whole demo period and thought yes I can and no I cant hear it. I tested the channel by shutting down most all the other channels and replaying the scenes several different times to make a clear evaluation. WWS DVD might not have been encoded with the so called Overhead channel but then again Pearl Harbor was not encoded with EX or ES and it has some incredible Rear channel effects that can be achieved with EX decoding. So what ever Outofphase info was going up there was correctly placed in my demos. I was one of the first to try the DIY EX/ES processing and now I'm once again eager to try something new with this.

And I would say before you start running down someone that is clearly just trying new things you should try it yourself and then and only then you can talk with knowledge about the subject.

Wes
My Theater Web Site:
www.prosteering.8k.com

#11 of 37 Wes

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Posted December 23 2002 - 02:55 PM

And I still feel I could get better results with a second DPL on the Front Center and Rear center channels than with the Outofphase in the DPL.

I still need to try this!

Wes
My Theater Web Site:
www.prosteering.8k.com

#12 of 37 GregK

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Posted December 23 2002 - 03:56 PM

I am glad Roger Dressler cleared the air regarding the "We Were Soldiers" DVD release. I agree with Phillip in that the WSR article smacks of misinformation regarding the notion that additional information has been "encoded" in the 5.1 mix in a similar manner like the center back EX channel is. Smart Devices has made previous claims one can recreate SDDS/classic 70mm five front channels by using their SMART matrix decoding. But in many cases the DVD 5.1 mix is an entirely different mix than the 7.1 SDDS mix and is not a simple 5.1 "fold-down". So it now appears the WWS DVD also fits this bill. Dolby has stated there are NO 5.1 DVDs encoded with a matrixed height channel.

But on the other hand, I have to hand it to you Wes for giving it the ol' college try. And it will be interesting to find out *how* Dolby did encode the customized Dolby 5.1 track with the "envelope / overhead" channel for those select theaters. Even though the WWS DVD is not height encoded, your present decoding method could very well be the system they used in those select theaters. Do you still have you customized height channel hooked up? If so, try the THX optimizer channel check found on newer DD EX DVDs. There are test tones for the surrounds that are in phase and out of phase, which should (in theory) go to the center back only then to your overhead channel only.

As for a DPL decoding scheme using center front and center back, I think your present set-up is more viable set-up. I say this because all matrix systems have leakage of some type. And with the center front channel carrying a lot of dialog...

#13 of 37 Wes

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Posted December 23 2002 - 04:27 PM

Quote:
As for a DPL decoding scheme using center front and center back, I think your present set-up is more viable set-up. I say this because all matrix systems have leakage of some type. And with the center front channel carrying a lot of dialog...


The leakage is with the Mono inphase leaking to the stereo L/R not so much with the L/R stereo leaking into the center.


No I do not have it still hooked up as I stated before, when the Mixers start using the Overhead channel then I will seriously install this new channel.

Wes
My Theater Web Site:
www.prosteering.8k.com

#14 of 37 Philip Brandes

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Posted December 23 2002 - 06:02 PM

Wes,

I am not taking issue with your perfect right to enjoy your system in any way that you like. But you began this discussion with the assertion that "they have infact theatrically put out a new version of DD EX that uses a over head channel...According to Circle Surround their CS-3X Jr. EX processor will put out this new channel."

In reality, the CS-3x Jr. is doing nothing of the kind, since there is no "overhead" channel on the DVD for them to put out.

What I'm objecting to is the cynical manipulation of rumor and misinformation by a manufacturer in cahoots with a publication, who are intentionally trying to create business and prestige for themselves at the expense of accurate facts. And not for the first time.

Personally, I find that adding matrix decoding on top of other matrix decoding that was never intended to work with it yields spurious results with far too many artifacts, and your observations regarding the majority of movies you tested seem to bear this out. If you want to further explore this and report your findings, great. But please don't represent it as anything more than what it is--the application of add-on processing that was never intended either by the mixer or by the design of the initial decoding process.

Cheers,
Philip Brandes

#15 of 37 Wes

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Posted December 23 2002 - 06:50 PM

Quote:
with the assertion that "they have in fact theatrically put out a new version of DD EX that uses a over head channel


They did release it theatrically as I stated!



Quote:
According to Circle Surround their CS-3X Jr. EX processor will put out this new channel.


They tested what they thought was the OH channel and they found probably the same thing I found in my demo. I would imagine they know alot more about matrix decoding than you or I.
I did not buy the CS-3X or tell anyone to buy it, I started this discussion to be just that a discussion. That is why I ended my first post with a question.


Quote:
Is the new ceiling channel in the Mono thrown out channels or a mix of Front Center and Rear center?

At that moment no info I had read had came out that stated the OH was not on the DVD!

Wes
My Theater Web Site:
www.prosteering.8k.com

#16 of 37 Philip Brandes

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Posted December 23 2002 - 07:17 PM

Wes:

"They did release it theatrically as I stated!"

Oh, come on Wes. Taking half of what I said out of context is a cheap rhetorical ploy, and not conducive to any kind of productive discussion. You didn't state ONLY that they released it theatrically, you ALSO said that SMART claimed that same overhead channel could be extracted with their device. I put your first sentence in because without it the second sentence had no point of reference. It was the second half of that assertion that I took issue with, as you very well know. No obfuscation is going to change the fact that SMART and Widescreen Review are making false claims about the presence of an overhead channel in the WWS DVD and the ability of the CS-3X Jr. EX to decode it .

"They tested what they thought was the OH channel and they found probably the same thing I found in my demo. I would imagine they know alot more about matrix decoding than you or I."

Once again, I think it would be more productive to just talk about what you experienced and not make assumptions about how they reached their marketing claim--the point is, the claim is false. As for how much they know about matrix decoding--well, one would hope that they know enough about how their Circle Surround processing works to recognize that it does not even decode EX properly (rather than filtering the EX channel out of the surrounds as intended, it leaves those channels unprocessed and adds the extracted center). Nevertheless, they originally marketed their device (again erroneously) as an EX decoder, and they are continuing that tradition by now positioning it as an overhead channel decoder. This isn't about what they know or don't know about matrix decoding, but about what they are leading people to believe with erroneous claims.

And once again, my issue is not with your perfect right to enjoy your system in any way you see fit. I simply don't like inaccuracy and misinformation driving people to start clamoring for the ability to extract encoded content that doesn't exist.

Cheers,
Philip Brandes

#17 of 37 Wes

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Posted December 23 2002 - 09:17 PM

Quote:
Oh, come on Wes. Taking half of what I said out of context is a cheap rhetorical ploy, and not conducive to any kind of productive discussion.

Quote:
"they have in fact theatrically put out a new version of DD EX that uses a over head channel...According to Circle Surround their CS-3X Jr. EX processor will put out this new channel."


Ummm, did you not take two of my paragraphs and make it look like one sentence. I wanted to point out that is was in fact released theatrically just as I have stated from the first. I never stated it was on the DVD. I just pointed out Smart found that they could decode what they thought was the OH channel.
I really don't know what your problem is, Is it with Smart or you just got up on the wrong side of the bed. I have not led any one astray, I have not tryed to sell any thing. I am just playing around with something I think sounded like a new cool toy.

I have only given suggestions and actually experimented on how someone might create this effect by using a DPL decoder.

If this offends you then please don't open this thread!

Wes
My Theater Web Site:
www.prosteering.8k.com

#18 of 37 Will Gibbons

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Posted December 24 2002 - 02:11 AM

Wes,

Exchange of accurate information is a wonderful aspect of these forums, but threads can accumulate a lot of opinion and disinformation that become accepted by many as truth. We can end up with theories and positions not at all representing reality, but believed by many and used as reference for other discussions--taking on a life of their own and becoming internet urban legend. People make expensive buying decisions based on these discussions as well as published reviews and articles. While I don't dispute that many marketed devices and equipment make a difference in one's system, and potentially enjoyable, I do not accept that these differences are always better, more accurate or are always the result of the marketing claims made.

Regards,
Will

#19 of 37 Philip Brandes

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Posted December 24 2002 - 02:26 AM

"Ummm, did you not take two of my paragraphs and make it look like one sentence."

No, I took the two quotes that formed your logical argument and cut out the unrelated content in between with an ellipsis, per standard editing practice. Your point was that there was an overhead channel and SMART said their product could decode it, and that is exactly what the quote said. You, on the other hand, simply pulled apart half my quote and responded to it out of context. The difference is that I didn't change the meaning of what you were saying.

"I wanted to point out that is was in fact released theatrically just as I have stated from the first. "

And I took no issue with your claiming this part, so you really don't have to justify it.

"I never stated it was on the DVD. I just pointed out Smart found that they could decode what they thought was the OH channel. "

Oh, come on. Your whole post, as well as your entire experiment, was predicated on your belief that there was in fact an overhead channel on the WWS DVD. You even admitted that later in this thread when you said "At that moment no info I had read had came out that stated the OH was not on the DVD!" In fact, you continued to believe this until I entered this discussion to explain that SMART's claim is simply not true.

Now you're making excuses for SMART that aren't warranted--they didn't say they were decoding what they THOUGHT was an OH channel--there was nothing qualified or conditional in the way they presented their claim. They stated quite definitively (and were backed up by a "professional" publication) that the OH channel was present and their product can decode it.

"I really don't know what your problem is, Is it with Smart or you just got up on the wrong side of the bed."

As I've stated several times, my problem isn't with you, it is with SMART and their false advertising. Your thread implicitly endorsed the accuracy of their claim, and furthered the misinformation that the WWS DVD contained an OH channel. I am simply trying to keep readers from mistakenly concluding these overhead channels are present. It’s too bad you have to keep making a personal issue out of this.

"I have not led any one astray, I have not tryed to sell any thing. I am just playing around with something I think sounded like a new cool toy...I have only given suggestions and actually experimented on how someone might create this effect by using a DPL decoder."

And this isn't about you. I stated repeatedly that my issue is not with your ingenuity in configuring your system, but simply with your premise that there was an encoded overhead channel in WWS that you were extracting. This rumor was created and is being spread (again, not deliberately by you) as part of a marketing ploy to manipulate consumers’ opinions, expectations, and buying. Left unchallenged, misconceptions like that quickly take on widespread acceptance as fact. I’d prefer people make their purchasing decisions based on accurate information.

“If this offends you then please don't open this thread!”

I am not offended in the least. Discussion is what a thread is for. If you don’t want to be corrected when you post incorrect information, please don’t post in a public forum.

Cheers,
Philip Brandes

#20 of 37 JosephMoore

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Posted December 24 2002 - 02:53 AM

Over the XMas break I'm going to be (finally) ceiling mounting my pj. While I'm up there killing myself to get wires through the walls, I'm going to mount two speakers.

Adding "fill" above the listener really is the last appreciable sonic hole in a home theater. Since I find the effect of the EX/ES rear channel pleasing (even when it's not really encoded intentionally) I'm pretty confident I'm going to enjoy the extra ambience from the overheads, regardless of whether or not the mix is intentional.

I have a spare Yamaha DPL receiver that I'm going to use. What will be interesting is that this reciever has *tons* of different DSP sound fields for recreating extra channels. I'm guessing that one or more of them will do a really nice job (I understand it won't be technically "accurate) of decoding information for the overhead speakers. (BTW, many of these DSP effects pass full-frequency information.)

For the flicks in which the effect is just "wierd," I'll simply turn it off. I'll let everyone know how this experiment goes.



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