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What Sound goes to how many, which Channels, when, & do any processors let you change that config? Wait, What? (1 Viewer)

SFS

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Thanks ManW. I agree.

I got the Dolby Atmos demo blu rays, which are at least something to use, but I was already physically locked in.
 
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JohnRice

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FWIW, I was finally directed to the full explanation of how Atmos operates. It’s always nice to understand.
 

JohnRice

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Thanks John. I would love to hear what you learned.
I'm still contemplating the details. I knew home Atmos was limited, but it's more limited than I realized.

There are some basic takeaways. As it currently exists, there is little to no real benefit in configuring a system beyond 7.1.4. You can do it, but the simple fact in all situations, is that if you have 6 surrounds or 6 overhead speakers, or more, it's only the ones configured as front and back that will be reproducing significant audio. That is with all soundtracks. As has been mentioned with Disney, some won't reproduce any audio. It's not exactly correct that they are "locked" to 7.1.4, but the result is the same. No matter how big the setup is, you'll get 7.1.4 and no more.

Regarding your situation, my original suggestion really is the best solution with the current limitations. You have front, middle and back overhead speakers. The best configuration is to configure the front pair as front and the middle pair as back, and just not use the actual back pair. Anything that's configured as a middle speaker, overhead or surround, won't ever produce much, if any sound. That is simply how the current home Atmos system essentially works. Until and unless the number of "objects" the system can handle increases, and studios provide more complex soundtracks, that is how it is.

The bottom line is, yes you can currently create a system up to (and beyond) 9.1.6 and get a processor that will run it, but those middle speakers will be mostly wasted until/unless the capabilities are expanded and new mixes released.
 
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SFS

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Thanks John. You saved me a lot of time, headache and money. 👍

I’ll give your suggestion some more demos and find the best configuration.

I might also look into getting aimable ceiling speakers to “narrow the gap” between the front and back ceiling row.
 

JohnRice

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Thanks John. You saved me a lot of time, headache and money. 👍

I’ll give your suggestion some more demos and find the best configuration.

I might also look into getting aimable ceiling speakers to “narrow the gap” between the front and back ceiling row.
Speakers which can be aimed will make zero difference on the "gap" between them. It will certainly improve certain sonic characteristics, but the speakers are physically where they are, and nothing changes that distance other than changing that distance. That's a very common misunderstanding. Basically, speakers which are too far apart, are too far apart... period. The only solution is to make it so they aren't so far apart.

I'm beginning to suspect an optimal overhead placement in a lot of rooms is roughly 30 degrees forward for the front pair and probably no more than 10 degrees behind for the back. It probably depends somewhat on how far back the back surrounds are. Then the side surrounds directly to the sides.
 

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