1. Sign-up to become a member, and most of the ads you see will disappear. It only takes 30 seconds to sign up, so join the discussion today!
    Dismiss Notice

Was Dolby's plan to restrict non-native upmixing on Atmos implemented?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by aceinc, Apr 10, 2019.

Tags:
  1. aceinc

    aceinc Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    10
    Real Name:
    Paul
    I have a Marantz AV7704, which is up to date firmware wise. I was testing the upmixing capabilities of my new 4 height channels. For source material I was using Xfinity and Avengers Ultron, and then Deadpool 2. Both I believe are Dolby 5.1, at least off of Xfinity.

    My test was to find action scenes and try DTS-X and Dolby, turning off the 7 floor standing speakers and only listening to the height channels. In both of the content I could see (under info) that it was upmixing from 5.1 to 7.1.4. Unfortunately there was no sound coming out of the height speakers on DTS-X, but there was a low volume of some sound effects coming from the height speakers when Dolby was selected.

    In doing some research I found a bunch of articles from May & June of 2018 where Dolby was choosing to restrict non-native upmixing.

    Did this ever go into effect?

    Would the latest Marantz Firmware update have enabled this "feature?"

    Is there a reasonable hack to get around it? Perhaps having the cable box or Blu Ray player decode the Dolby and send it to the AV7704 decoded.

    Who in the Dolby Labs marketing department needs to be convinced of the stupidity of this decision and ill-will this causes?

    I will search my limited Blu-ray collection for some DTS material and see whether these will work with DTS-X upmixing as well.
     
  2. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    11,496
    Likes Received:
    1,544
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    A Mile High
    Real Name:
    John
    I'll have to try this on my AV7703. I do know that I have it programmed to play back Dolby soundtracks of all sorts that aren't Atmos in DD + Dolby Surround, and all DTS soundtracks in DTS + Neural: X, since those are the codecs that match the source soundtrack. It just makes sense to me to use Neural: X (which is DTS) to add the additional channels to DTS soundtracks, instead of a Dolby codec.

    If I'm reading you correctly, you're using Dolby Surround to add the height channels to DTS 5.1 soundtracks.
     
  3. aceinc

    aceinc Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    10
    Real Name:
    Paul
    Actually in reading various blogs, some people claim that DTS-X provides a more engaging height experience from non height enabled content than either Atmos upmixing or Auro upmixing. So I wanted to see for myself what the difference in upmixing 5.1 content to 7.1.4 was.

    One way to test how the upmixing works is to select a 5.1-7.1 video, play it using the up mixer of choice and turn off the non height speakers. This is what I did. That is how I found the lack of height sound when playing a Dolby 5.1 sound track using DTS-X.
     
  4. Message #4 of 20 Apr 11, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
    JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    11,496
    Likes Received:
    1,544
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    A Mile High
    Real Name:
    John
    You need to get your terminology correct, because now I'm just confused. There is no such thing as "Atmos upmixing". There are various codecs to synthesize additional channels, but none of them are called that. And DTS:X is already object based, so no additional processing is needed.
     
  5. aceinc

    aceinc Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    10
    Real Name:
    Paul
    Perhaps my language isn't precise. What I am referring to as upmixing is when a source contains a limited number of channels and additional channels are synthesized. If a codec is used to extract the various channels, say 5.1, to their discrete bit streams (or analog channels) it would then be possible to hand that data to another set of logic from another company to then synthesize the additional channels. So it is technically feasible for a Dolby encoded 5.1 data stream to be decoded, then handed of to DTS-X or Auro to post process the data to yield a synthesized 7.1.4 channels of audio.

    The issue I referenced in the title of my article is discussed in detail here;

    https://www.audioholics.com/audio-technologies/dolby-non-native-upmixing-atmos
     
  6. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    11,496
    Likes Received:
    1,544
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    A Mile High
    Real Name:
    John
    A lot of the terminology in that article seems to be incorrect. Anyway, back to my my original solution. I use DTS upmixing (DTS Neural X) for DTS soundtracks and Dolby Surround for Dolby soundtracks. Done. I get very active channels with the upmixing, every time.

    Watch movie.

    Enjoy movie.

    In fact, I think I'll do that now. It really comes down to the choice between nitpicking the system, or enjoying it. A pleasant evening to you.
     
  7. aceinc

    aceinc Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    10
    Real Name:
    Paul
    Okee Dokee then. I enjoy movies when played through the screen and earbuds on an airplane. So why do I have a 75" 4k TV, 4,000+ watts of amplification and 12 speakers in my living room?

    Partly because I like to tinker. Partly because I like decent sound. But the one thing I always try to do is make sure that what I have is playing at its optimum capability. Isn't that what this forum is about?
     
  8. aceinc

    aceinc Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    10
    Real Name:
    Paul
    BTW, I found a DTS Blu-Ray in my collection (Fantastic 4 Rise of the Silver Surfer) and watched it in DTS-X mode and it sounded "fuller" for want of a better term.
     
  9. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Lead Actor
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2001
    Messages:
    7,594
    Likes Received:
    1,513
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    California
    Real Name:
    Dave Moritz
    I own a SR-8012 Marantz receiver and I heard about this and because of it I have purposely not updated the firmware as I do not want to loose the ability to convert Atmos to Auro 3D!
     
  10. aceinc

    aceinc Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    10
    Real Name:
    Paul
    After the initial hubbub in May-June 2018, I don't see much reported about it. That is why I am trying to find out whether it was implemented or not.
     
  11. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    11,496
    Likes Received:
    1,544
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    A Mile High
    Real Name:
    John
    I hadn't thought about Auro 3D. I don't see the point in using a DTS upmixing codec for Dolby HD soundtracks, but for those who paid for Auro 3D, this is kind of a screw job. With my AV7703, Auro 3D was an additional cost that I never saw the reason to pay for, but what about the people who did pay for it? Auro 3D came out long before the new codecs from Dolby and DTS, and my understanding is that it really wasn't of any particular value anymore. So my question is... is this really a big deal?
     
  12. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Lead Actor
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2001
    Messages:
    7,594
    Likes Received:
    1,513
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    California
    Real Name:
    Dave Moritz
    Am sure that if it is implemented that it would be very hard to reverse it!

    My receiver came with Auro 3D so I did not have to pay for it. And I feel it is a big deal as I actually have listened to Atmos tracks as Auro 3D and feel it sounds more spacial and open. It is why I am not taking the chance till I hear for sure there will be no locking out listening to Dolby as DTS or Auro. Don't get me wrong I have nothing against Atmos and it sounds good but I want the option if I want to use Auro.
     
  13. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    11,496
    Likes Received:
    1,544
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    A Mile High
    Real Name:
    John
    Marantz stopped charging for Auro 3D once Dolby and DTS came out with their own versions. That started with the AV7704, the model after mine. I guess I kind of assumed it had more or less lost its value.
     
  14. Message #14 of 20 Apr 24, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
    Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Lead Actor
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2001
    Messages:
    7,594
    Likes Received:
    1,513
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    California
    Real Name:
    Dave Moritz
    So who knows if this was actually implemented or not?

    I have also emailed Marantz to ask them if this was something that was ever implemented or not.
     
  15. aceinc

    aceinc Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    10
    Real Name:
    Paul
    Inquiring minds want to know.
     
  16. Message #16 of 20 May 1, 2019
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
    Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Lead Actor
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2001
    Messages:
    7,594
    Likes Received:
    1,513
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    California
    Real Name:
    Dave Moritz
    Received an email from Marantz stating that it was never implemented but it could be done if Dolby wanted it done. Personally our receiver processors and preamp processors are our property and it should be up to us if we want to accept an update where Dolby takes something away from us! That is what irritated me about this entire thing that Dolby would be acting like they have the right to make that kind of change to our surround processors! But I am thankful it has not been implemented yet and I need to update my receiver maybe sometime today.
     
  17. aceinc

    aceinc Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    10
    Real Name:
    Paul
    Yeah, I think it might be an interesting lawsuit. Can a manufacturer disable a useful feature which was part of their product when it was delivered to the person who paid for the product. As a person buying a product you enter into an implied contract which says, "In exchange for money, you are receiving a product which has these features and capabilities." If the feature is found to be defective or dangerous, in some way breaks a law, or in some way delivers a feature that was the seller was not licensed to provide, then the manufacturer would need to take that feature away. However the owner of the product should be entitled to compensation either limited the loss of the feature, or be able to return the product and be reimbursed.

    It is possible that a Dolby Labs marketing person cooked up the plan to disable the feature, talked to the technical folks who said, yeah it is doable. They then announced the change Someone in legal caught wind of it and realized what a legal morass it would be and they quietly pulled the plug. That is one scenario, it could also be that the someone at DEI Headquarters took a look at the announcement, realized what a PR & legal nightmare it would be and told Dolby, "You do this and we will be seeking damages."

    Or maybe they just got so much flak from the public, they pulled it.
     
  18. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Lead Actor
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2001
    Messages:
    7,594
    Likes Received:
    1,513
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    California
    Real Name:
    Dave Moritz
    According to Audioholics youtube video Dolby has withdrawn there upmixing restrictions!

     
    Todd Erwin likes this.
  19. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Messages:
    5,139
    Likes Received:
    1,545
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Hawthorne, NV
    Real Name:
    Todd Erwin
    Now we need to wait and see if Denon, Marantz, Onkyo, and Yamaha issue firmware updates removing the restriction on their receivers and soundbars that are equipped with DTS Virtual: X. The workaround was to have your source output PCM instead of bitstream.
     
  20. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Lead Actor
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2001
    Messages:
    7,594
    Likes Received:
    1,513
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    California
    Real Name:
    Dave Moritz
    I never did a firmware update on my Marantz SR-8012! It arrived 10/4/2018 so since I have been listening to Atmos as Auro the entire time I think it is safe to say that update was never done to my receiver.
     

Share This Page