3 Stars

While this could apply to both disc and streaming formats let’s try not to concern ourselves with the delivery format but the audio format and the number of channels delivered by the audio format. We have come such a long way on the audio side and many of us have been in this hobby since the beginning. We went from movies in stereo to Dolby Pro Logic to the next big step of Dolby Digital and DTS. We then went to lossless audio formats like DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby True HD that took us from discrete 5.1 to discrete 7.1 audio. And how we have immersive audio which gives us combinations of 7 (5.1.2), 9 (5.1.4 or 7.1.2), 11 (7.1.4) or in higher end systems 13 channels (7.1.6).

In many consumers home there is the wife acceptance factor that keeps out basic 5.1 and 7.1 surround set ups. Then there is also the reluctance to have more than 7 speakers in a living room, den or dedicated theater room. While dedicated theater rooms are more likely to have speaker configurations of 7 channels to 11 channels of sound supporting all available surround formats. Let’s face it the many average consumers are not supporting 7 channel surround and immersive audio even if they are buying discs or digital movies that offer those number of channels. We are living in what I call the golden age of home theater as we have access to the quality we never had access to before. But at the same time there comes a point where people will not keep stuffing more and more speakers in there rooms dedicated or not. And where consumers do not see the benefit of trying to stuff more speakers in small rooms or can not because they rent an apartment.

What could the industry possibly offer beyond the current audio codex’s that the consumer would adopt? Do we even need anything beyond 7.1.4 or even 7.1.6 or even considering running multiple subwoofers? So our current number of overall channels with widely available hardware is 11 – 13 channels which most hardware only offering 11 channels! This doesn’t even include Emotiva’s new pre/pro monster offer 16 channels with future upgradability to 28 channels! And Denon is offering a flagship product that offers 13 channels. At this rate the only other place to put speakers would be the floor but I do not see that being very feasible. So is Dolby Atmos and DTS-X the last of the new surround codex and is the only thing they can do is increase bit rate on future formats? Many of us lived with basic two channel stereo for many years before the explosion of channels began. I feel there is nothing more to be offered that will make people want to place more and more speakers in the listening environment.

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Dave Moritz

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I am not far behind you Robert, 5 - 10 years away depending on how old one considers being a senior citizen. I will be 55 this November!
 

Jesse Skeen

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I'm just glad these exist when the market seems to be dumbing itself down, pushing soundbars of all things! I've had standard Dolby Surround since 1989, haven't watched anything at home with less than that since then!
 

Josh Steinberg

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It's the last audio format this consumer is going to support as I'm close to being a senior citizen.
I just wonder where else is there left to go - you’ve got full lossless audio quality and the ability to place sounds anywhere in any room with Atmos/DTS-X. I mean, what else is there?
 
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Mark McSherry

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I just wonder where else is there left to go - you’ve got full lossless audio quality and the ability to place sounds anywhere in any room with Atmos/DTS-X. I mean, what else is there?
Make way for The Next Big Thing! Sensual Surround. So we all need to get bigger and better (and more???) sub-woofers. The APOCALYPSE NOW FINAL CUT 4K bluray release includes the 'Meyer Sound' and 'Sensual Surround' logos along with those of 'Dolby Atmos' and 'Dolby Vision'.

About the APOCALYPSE NOW FINAL CUT in theaters---

"The film’s original release garnered universal acclaim for its soundtrack, with the team headed by film sound innovator Walter Murch receiving the Academy Award for Best Sound Design. However, despite their groundbreaking efforts, the technical limitations of the day thwarted attempts to effectively emulate the powerful force of the sounds of modern warfare.

“There were no films at the time with that kind of infrasonic, ultra-low frequency impact,” said Meyer Sound president and CEO John Meyer, who had founded his company only months before the film’s first release. “You had to get those frequencies on the soundtrack first, and then you had to reproduce them with loudspeakers. None of that was happening in 1979. But what we have in this new version with Sensual Sound is deeper and more powerful because the technology has vastly improved. This really is a breakthrough.”

"Sensual Sound is implemented in both the post-production of the soundtrack and in the film’s exhibition using Meyer Sound’s VLFC very low frequency control element. Unlike conventional subwoofers that roll off at the threshold of hearing (about 20Hz), the VLFC bridges across this threshold to deliver infrasonic response down to 13 Hz. All very low frequency sounds are bolstered by a corporeal sensation of physical force.

“When you sense those extreme low frequency sounds, immediately hormones are secreted into your bloodstream that tell you ‘get the hell out of here fast’ or ‘freeze and play dead,’” explained Coppola. “When you see the B-52 strikes in this new version, you feel them and then you hear them. It’s the difference between just hearing something and being inside a room that’s shaking. You get scared when the room is shaking.”
 

Dave Moritz

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I just wonder where else is there left to go - you’ve got full lossless audio quality and the ability to place sounds anywhere in any room with Atmos/DTS-X. I mean, what else is there?
I agree not sure there is anything else audio wise they can market to us! Other than more and more channels requiring more speakers and more channels of amplification.

Then there is always environmental audio where when it is hot onscreen it is hot in your room or freezing cold or rain hitting you in the face. Or smell o vision audio, ROFL!!!! :eek:
 

Josh Steinberg

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I agree not sure there is anything else audio wise they can market to us! Other than more and more channels requiring more speakers and more channels of amplification.
But even then - I don’t think they’d need a new format. While home Atmos is limited to 7.2.4, theatrical Atmos can support pretty much unlimited channels. So if anything, they might upgrade home Atmos to match the capabilities of its theatrical sibling - but I wouldn’t really consider that a new format.
 

DFurr

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I've never had an interest in Dolby Atmos. It wouldn't matter if I did because running 35mm film through the processors I don't have an input for anymore channels. I would have to purchase a Dolby 750 or 850 and I'm just not going to spend that amount of money for a few extra speakers. I'm happy with my 5.1 Dolby Digital, SDDS, DTS and SRD EX. I'm done with expanding!!
 
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Patrick McCart

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Due to living in a one bedroom apartment, I've opted for a 5.1 soundbar that works quite nicely. Especially since a large chunk of my collection are mono or plain stereo/stereo surround. If I had an actual home theater room (and didn't have to worry about disturbing other tenants), I'd probably go for a full Dolby Atmos setup.

Though, by my count, I only own 30 releases with Dolby/DTS 7.1, Dolby Atmos, or DTS X (five of which are unnecessary remixes of pre-1950s monaural tracks).

Smellovision
Carl Stalling says it'll never work.
 

RobertR

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I've never had an interest in Dolby Atmos. It wouldn't matter if I did because running 35mm film through the processors I don't have an input for anymore channels. I would have to purchase a Dolby 750 or 850 and I'm just not going to spend that amount of money for a few extra speakers. I'm happy with my 5.1 Dolby Digital, SDDS, DTS and SRD EX. I'm done with expanding!!
Sparky, who has Atmos, says I don't need it. My setup gives a nice impression of height.
 

Colin Jacobson

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But even then - I don’t think they’d need a new format. While home Atmos is limited to 7.2.4, theatrical Atmos can support pretty much unlimited channels. So if anything, they might upgrade home Atmos to match the capabilities of its theatrical sibling - but I wouldn’t really consider that a new format.
The main thing is that most people don't have ginormous viewing rooms. Even having 7.1 is gonna be unnecessary for lots of people because there's not the space in the room to make those two "middle speakers" useful.

I imagine the # of people who've gone with any form of Atmos is minor, and the more speakers involved, the fewer willing to do it.

As implied earlier, most people seem happy with sound bars. They're not gonna load up 12+ speakers in their TV rooms!
 

TJPC

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I have what was “top of the line” once down in our basement TV room, where we retire about 8:00 every night. Here we watch mostly TV shows off cable and I watch a 3D movie when my wife is out with the girls.

Most of our casual day to day viewing however occurs in the main floor living room on a 45” TV which has a sound bar. I find the experience here very satisfactory. I play everything from old TV show sets to the latest blockbuster with commentary. Sometimes I hear about the wonderful sound a particular disc has, and after viewing it upstairs, I take it to the better system in the basement and sample it, but a sample is enough.

Sound was once all important to me and I had the typical apartment with the ultra expensive “Stereo” and no furniture, when I was single. Now for some reason, if it is clear and I can hear the dialogue that is enough.

Don’t you find the latest generation isn’t even bothered with Stereo let alone Atmos? All the Bluetooth speakers are mono. Were certainly not Millennials, but I just installed Google Home minis all over the house and although the give clear loud sound, they of course are one channel.
 

Stephen_J_H

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Make way for The Next Big Thing! Sensual Surround. So we all need to get bigger and better (and more???) sub-woofers. The APOCALYPSE NOW FINAL CUT 4K bluray release includes the 'Meyer Sound' and 'Sensual Surround' logos along with those of 'Dolby Atmos' and 'Dolby Vision'.

About the APOCALYPSE NOW FINAL CUT in theaters---

"The film’s original release garnered universal acclaim for its soundtrack, with the team headed by film sound innovator Walter Murch receiving the Academy Award for Best Sound Design. However, despite their groundbreaking efforts, the technical limitations of the day thwarted attempts to effectively emulate the powerful force of the sounds of modern warfare.

“There were no films at the time with that kind of infrasonic, ultra-low frequency impact,” said Meyer Sound president and CEO John Meyer, who had founded his company only months before the film’s first release. “You had to get those frequencies on the soundtrack first, and then you had to reproduce them with loudspeakers. None of that was happening in 1979. But what we have in this new version with Sensual Sound is deeper and more powerful because the technology has vastly improved. This really is a breakthrough.”

"Sensual Sound is implemented in both the post-production of the soundtrack and in the film’s exhibition using Meyer Sound’s VLFC very low frequency control element. Unlike conventional subwoofers that roll off at the threshold of hearing (about 20Hz), the VLFC bridges across this threshold to deliver infrasonic response down to 13 Hz. All very low frequency sounds are bolstered by a corporeal sensation of physical force.

“When you sense those extreme low frequency sounds, immediately hormones are secreted into your bloodstream that tell you ‘get the hell out of here fast’ or ‘freeze and play dead,’” explained Coppola. “When you see the B-52 strikes in this new version, you feel them and then you hear them. It’s the difference between just hearing something and being inside a room that’s shaking. You get scared when the room is shaking.”
Two thoughts come to mind when I read this:
1. This is warmed over Sensurround; and
2. Sensual Sound sounds like a surround system engineered for "adult" movies, with extra "boom-chick-a-wow-wow". ;)