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11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receivers

Old 07-28-14, 04:01 PM
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11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receivers

I didn't even realize these were out yet. Amazon already has an Onkyo up to order, assuming you have the $2,399 lying around to buy one

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Are there any blu rays that even support this format yet? I know Expendables 2 has Neo X 11.1, but I think that is the highest I've seen it go so far.
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Old 07-28-14, 04:57 PM
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Re: 11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receivers

I have to think this only makes sense for very large home theaters. But I guess the kind of person that can afford 11 high-quality speakers plus subs probably does have a 1500 sq ft home theater room.
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Old 07-29-14, 04:32 AM
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Re: 11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receivers

I have 7.1 in my apartment, although the 4 rear speakers are placed so close together (due to the size and shape of the room) that it hardly makes much difference. I'd buy an Atmos system but it'd be pretty hard to install ceiling speakers. Just another reason to move soon I guess
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Old 07-29-14, 10:22 AM
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Re: 11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receivers

Originally Posted by mattysemo247 View Post
Are there any blu rays that even support this format yet? I know Expendables 2 has Neo X 11.1, but I think that is the highest I've seen it go so far.
Some relevant info from the Dolby website (emphasis mine):
Our partners will also offer home theater receivers and other entertainment devices to decode and deliver the Dolby Atmos experience in your home. And you likely won’t need a new Blu-ray™ player—existing players that fully conform to the Blu-ray specification will be able to support Dolby Atmos content on a Blu-ray Disc™.

But Dolby Atmos isn’t just about hardware. At its core, it’s a powerful creative tool that lets filmmakers use exceptionally lifelike sound to deliver the full impact of their artistic vision. We’re working with studios and production houses to help them create Dolby Atmos soundtracks for a broad range of movies and TV for home viewing. You’ll start to see Dolby Atmos titles on Blu-ray and streaming video services this fall, with more to come at the start of 2015.
I find it interesting that Dolby Atmos fits within the existing Blu-ray specification. Reading the FAQ, they've apparently managed to extend the TrueHD and DD+ codecs so that the Atmos "audio objects" are encoded in the bitstream. It won't even require a firmware update in the player.
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Old 07-31-14, 05:49 AM
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Re: 11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receivers

No, these are not "out", yet. Notice it says "Atmos Ready", so they won't actually have it when they ship. But they aren't shipping yet, either.

But yes, all of the big name Japanese companies have announced models with Atmos in their next refresh.
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Old 10-11-14, 10:15 AM
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Re: 11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receivers

If you're looking to buy Dolby Atmos enabled speakers, you might be interested to know Amazon lowered the price for a pair of Onkyo SKH-410 from $249 to $149.

Question: These speakers say their maximum input is 100 watts. Does that mean they can't be used with Onkyo's new TX-NR3030 11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receiver because it outputs 135 watts per channel? I'm wondering why Onkyo would make Atmos speakers that could blow out when paired with one of their new Atmos receivers, but then maybe I'm not clear on the whole thing. Thanks.
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Old 10-11-14, 11:39 PM
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Re: 11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receivers

Well, there is plenty to say to answer that. There are a whole bunch of points and variables. But let me try to simplify my thoughts.

One side comment....if you are buying $100 speakers, you shouldn't be looking at a $2300 receiver. The speakers are the most important factor in sound quality, spend most of your money on them. IOW, if you have $3000 to spend, put the $2300 on speakers and $700 on receiver, not the other way around.

But to answer the question....it really shouldn't be a problem. Speaker wattage ratings are not a wall to stop at, half the time they are very conservative and not really measured by the mfgr in any way. (note, the wattage ratings on receivers are very different) Also, people don't use nearly as many watts as they probably imagine they are using. Most of the time you are below 1w actual power when watching a movie. Also also, I would bet the true RMS output of that receiver is more like 55wpc than 135wpc.

And a different tack with the same answer....speakers are more likely to be damaged by a lower powered amp being pushed too high than a high powered amp blowing them out with real power. So, it shouldn't be a problem. In amps, a higher power rating is always better (if it is an accurate rating), and even safer.
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Old 10-11-14, 11:48 PM
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Re: 11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receivers

Oh, and 2+ months later, there are Atmos receivers starting to ship. And, I think, 4 blurays with Atmos encoding at the moment. Transformers is one.
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Old 10-12-14, 12:06 AM
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Re: 11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receivers

Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
Well, there is plenty to say to answer that. There are a whole bunch of points and variables. But let me try to simplify my thoughts.

One side comment....if you are buying $100 speakers, you shouldn't be looking at a $2300 receiver. The speakers are the most important factor in sound quality, spend most of your money on them. IOW, if you have $3000 to spend, put the $2300 on speakers and $700 on receiver, not the other way around.

But to answer the question....it really shouldn't be a problem. Speaker wattage ratings are not a wall to stop at, half the time they are very conservative and not really measured by the mfgr in any way. (note, the wattage ratings on receivers are very different) Also, people don't use nearly as many watts as they probably imagine they are using. Most of the time you are below 1w actual power when watching a movie. Also also, I would bet the true RMS output of that receiver is more like 55wpc than 135wpc.

And a different tack with the same answer....speakers are more likely to be damaged by a lower powered amp being pushed too high than a high powered amp blowing them out with real power. So, it shouldn't be a problem. In amps, a higher power rating is always better (if it is an accurate rating), and even safer.
Thanks. That's good to know. I've heard that argument before: that it's better to spend more on the speakers than the receiver for better fidelity/sound. However, if one wanted to set up 7.1.4, wouldn't he need a receiver like the TX-NR3030 to power 11 channels? I know there are cheaper Atmos receivers out there, but they only power 7 or 9 channels and 7.1.4 wouldn't be possible with those unless they allow you to hook up an external amp; then you're spending extra cash for another device to sit next to the receiver. I haven't heard the TX-NR3030 so I can't comment on its sound quality. I just like the idea of one machine powering all 11 channels so I don't have to mess with an external amp.

The SKH-410 speakers probably don't have great sound considering their price, but they'd cheaply deliver the 4 height channels. (They're the small speakers that sit atop your existing speakers and bounce their sound off your ceiling.) I'd imagine they're primarily used for sound effects rather than music, so I'm guessing fidelity isn't their primary role but I could be wrong. What do you think?
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Old 10-12-14, 08:52 AM
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Re: 11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receivers

You're probably right. I didn't mean to be too harsh. Those would be add-on speakers at this point, only Atmos-purposed. I think a lot of lower end Atmos setups will be 5.1.2, though. 7 channels powered, still getting a decent 3D object-based effect, with a mid-range receiver, with something like those speakers for the height effects.

I've been thinking about this whole Atmos angled speakers schtick that's been the topic of discussion for a couple months and trying to figure out what's going on in the industry. I mean, we (you know, "we" ) basically decided years ago that reflected-only sound sucks. Bose is all reflected sound. Weird surround sound bars are reflected sound. And we hate them! Now, Atmos comes up and everyone's in a rush to get a couple reflecting speakers and set them on top of their front channels. What?! Did I miss a meeting of elitists anonymous? People at AVS with systems that make my 7.1 reference-capable system look like shit are talking about reflecting height speakers. I'm confused.

I guess I'm kinda waiting to see how it plays out. I'm in the middle of a major switch from one receiver to separates, anyway, and I will certainly get an Atmos-capable preamp at this point, maybe even this year. But since there's only a handful of sources out, we've got time.

I'm drooling over this, actually have a chance to go hear one if I want this week. He has the 7702, speakers that cost more than my car, a demo BD and the Transformers BD. And his speakers are in the ceiling, not reflecting. Why aren't I over there right now, right?

There's something else, too. It's coming, we'll see what happens....Auro 3D. It's BD vs HDDVD, VHS vs Beta, DD vs DTS all over again.
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Old 10-12-14, 09:44 AM
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Re: 11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receivers

In one of the articles I read about Atmos, the reviewer got to compare in-ceiling speakers to reflecting speakers in a room with a low ceiling, which would be like my room (I have an 8' ceiling). He was surprised that he preferred the reflecting speakers. If I remember correctly, he described the effects as more immersive whereas the in-ceiling speakers made the effects too directional. That seems plausible given that I'd be sitting almost directly under speakers just a few feet above my ears. I wish I could remember where I read his review, but I've read enough articles now that there all starting to blur together.

I've read a bit about Auro 3D. Isn't it terribly expensive right now? I wonder if Auro can get a foothold in the industry given that it's always been a 2-horse race between Dolby and DTS. Speaking of DTS, I'm wondering when they will come out with their version of Dolby Atmos. Then when BD's are produced with the new DTS format I'll be screwed because whatever Dolby Atmos receiver I end up buying won't be able to process it. Do you think companies like Onkyo, Denon, etc., will let consumers download firmware updates to make their Dolby Atmos receivers compatible with a new DTS format... especially if they just dropped $2K on one of their receivers 6 months to a year earlier?

I see the thing your drooling over is an amp. Can you please explain the difference between an a/v receiver and an amp? I've never been clear on that. Thanks.
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Old 10-12-14, 02:57 PM
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Re: 11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receivers

It's a preamp. I also own a nice amp to mate with it. There isn't a lot of difference between the 7702 and the comparable receivers from Marantz and Denon (note, that's the very top receivers). But there are a few differences. A better analog section is one. Having separate amps allows for easier upgrades since the amps will probably last decades, but the processing keeps changing. A lot of people use mid to high end receivers with external amps, for them it's almost identical to using a preamp. And some preamps have XLR outputs, although for most of them, like the 7702, the only serious benefit is if your preamp and amps are far apart. I also like pulling the massive heat-producing features apart. Most amps produce heat, so do the video cards in these, now, so do the audio processors.

Auro 3D is definitely expensive right now, but it has been promised in the top Denon and Marantz models, probably for an extra fee. But it should be far less than the current crazy prices on a Datasat, for instance. It seems it is going to filter down into the more mainstream receivers soon.

Oh, yeah. Forgot about DTS UHD. They announced it last winter, said spring release. Then, they didn't even have a demo at Cedia or the Sept European show. I don't think they have a timeframe, yet. Without firm details from DTS, it's hard to say if it could be via a firmware upgrade or not. You would think so, for something like the 7702 that can handle both Dolby and Auro's versions, plus Audyssey X32. Of course, the receivers with Atmos don't even have the final version yet, probably. It might be early for all three of these formats.

I have a feeling in 2 years every receiver over $500 will have some form of 2 or 3 of these inside.

Last edited by Spiky; 10-12-14 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 10-12-14, 03:40 PM
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Re: 11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receivers

Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
It's a preamp. I also own a nice amp to mate with it. There isn't a lot of difference between the 7702 and the comparable receivers from Marantz and Denon (note, that's the very top receivers). But there are a few differences. A better analog section is one. Having separate amps allows for easier upgrades since the amps will probably last decades, but the processing keeps changing. A lot of people use mid to high end receivers with external amps, for them it's almost identical to using a preamp. And some preamps have XLR outputs, although for most of them, like the 7702, the only serious benefit is if your preamp and amps are far apart. I also like pulling the massive heat-producing features apart. Most amps produce heat, so do the video cards in these, now, so do the audio processors.
With the processing constantly changing, if you bought that preamp wouldn't you be out of luck as soon as the DTS equivalent was announced for home theaters (the same as if you bought an 11.2 channel receiver now)? I have to admit: I'm completely ignorant about amps and preamps, so I'm trying to understand the up side to going that route instead of buying an a/v receiver. Buying an amp and a preamp also sounds like a more expensive way to go. True?

You also mention people using external amps with receivers. Do people do that to give their speakers more power? When I first got into home theater years ago, I was "advised" to go with a receiver because it was the all-in-one solution and therefore cheaper. The receiver powers the speakers, so why does one need an amp to go with it? Thanks.
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Old 10-12-14, 06:08 PM
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Re: 11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receivers

I find the whole thing a huge gimmick, just like 3D and curved screens. Who needs 13 speakers? Only the foolish and the rich.

There is a more down to earth problem that this fad will contribute to: the reduction of video quality at the expense of ballooning audio file sizes. The Blu-Ray spec only allows for a combined container of something like 48 mbps and if the claim is that this new 'Atmos' can fit within existing specs, video bitrates will suffer badly when you consider that just a new 11.2 channel track will probably consume 10+ mbps of the 48, in addition to whatever additional languages and / or 5.1 or 2.0 Dolby Surround tracks are also muxed into the container .m2ts file.

So, I consider this new development bad news all the way around...
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Old 10-12-14, 06:59 PM
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Re: 11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receivers

Originally Posted by Joe Schmoe View Post
With the processing constantly changing, if you bought that preamp wouldn't you be out of luck as soon as the DTS equivalent was announced for home theaters (the same as if you bought an 11.2 channel receiver now)? I have to admit: I'm completely ignorant about amps and preamps, so I'm trying to understand the up side to going that route instead of buying an a/v receiver. Buying an amp and a preamp also sounds like a more expensive way to go. True?
Price is all over the place. The 7702 preamp is $2k MSRP, the 3030 receiver you mentioned is $2400. There is a halfway decent preamp for $600 at Emotiva. Or you can get a lovely Trinnov for around $30k.

You also mention people using external amps with receivers. Do people do that to give their speakers more power?
Yes, generally for more power. Receivers generally have a lot less power than decent power amps. If you have inefficient speakers it can matter quite a bit. And I'm comparing to the best receivers. Cheap models aren't going to match up well at all. Also for the other reasons I mentioned, to have separation of duties.

When I first got into home theater years ago, I was "advised" to go with a receiver because it was the all-in-one solution and therefore cheaper. The receiver powers the speakers, so why does one need an amp to go with it? Thanks.
It used to be different, the preamps were generally well above the receivers in specs and features. But the Japanese companies (and a couple internet direct) have made more comparable models recently, so it is a little trickier. Example: for current products (not the 7702 which hasn't quite shipped yet), the most advanced Denon/Marantz is probably the Denon 4520 receiver, it actually has one or two features the comparable Marantz 8801 preamp doesn't have, although the 8801 does have better construction. This is why a lot of people are satisfied with a high-end receiver instead of a preamp, even if they use external amps.


I'll be honest, I'm not given to claiming "night and day" differences like people so often spout. The difference between a decent setup with a high-range receiver vs a preamp/amp setup is going to be pretty minor for most people. It's the last bit of improvement or features that some are looking for. The advice given to you was best for most people, most of the time. I wasn't mentioning the 7702 to recommend it to everyone.
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Old 10-13-14, 10:13 AM
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Re: 11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receivers

Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
I find the whole thing a huge gimmick, just like 3D and curved screens. Who needs 13 speakers? Only the foolish and the rich.
Only time will tell if Dolby Atmos for the home catches on with the masses, and it may prove to be a big failure, but I don't see it as any more of a gimmick than surround sound itself. Movies used to be silent and black and white. I'll bet there were people who thought it wasn't necessary to hear actors speak when "talkies" were introduced, or to see moving pictures in color, or hear movies in stereo vs. mono, or watch movies in widescreen format, etc. And I bet those critics thought it was foolish to spend money on those gimmicks. Surround sound and 3D certainly aren't necessary to enjoy a movie, but some audiences feel those devices add to the enjoyment because they extend the listening and viewing plane. If a person enjoys sounds coming at them from the sides and from behind them, I would think sounds coming from above would only enhance the experience even more. But to each his own, I guess.
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Old 10-13-14, 12:10 PM
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Re: 11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receivers

Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
I find the whole thing a huge gimmick, just like 3D and curved screens. Who needs 13 speakers? Only the foolish and the rich.

There is a more down to earth problem that this fad will contribute to: the reduction of video quality at the expense of ballooning audio file sizes. The Blu-Ray spec only allows for a combined container of something like 48 mbps and if the claim is that this new 'Atmos' can fit within existing specs, video bitrates will suffer badly when you consider that just a new 11.2 channel track will probably consume 10+ mbps of the 48, in addition to whatever additional languages and / or 5.1 or 2.0 Dolby Surround tracks are also muxed into the container .m2ts file.

So, I consider this new development bad news all the way around...
The Atmos track is not a separate track. It is an extension of the main Dolby track. In Transformers, when you select the Atmos (main) track and don't have an Atmos capable receiver, it defaults to the base 7.1 Dolby TrueHD track and ignores the Atmos extension.
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Old 10-13-14, 02:35 PM
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Re: 11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receivers

Originally Posted by Joe Schmoe View Post
Only time will tell if Dolby Atmos for the home catches on with the masses, and it may prove to be a big failure, but I don't see it as any more of a gimmick than surround sound itself.
Well, good ol' 2-channel stereo is good enough for my ears (especially if I'm listening to my movies with my Sennheiser headphones, as I do much of the time), so my opinion may be at quite a variance compared to most of you.
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Old 10-13-14, 04:54 PM
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Re: 11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receivers

Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
I find the whole thing a huge gimmick, just like 3D and curved screens. Who needs 13 speakers? Only the foolish and the rich.

There is a more down to earth problem that this fad will contribute to: the reduction of video quality at the expense of ballooning audio file sizes. The Blu-Ray spec only allows for a combined container of something like 48 mbps and if the claim is that this new 'Atmos' can fit within existing specs, video bitrates will suffer badly when you consider that just a new 11.2 channel track will probably consume 10+ mbps of the 48, in addition to whatever additional languages and / or 5.1 or 2.0 Dolby Surround tracks are also muxed into the container .m2ts file.

So, I consider this new development bad news all the way around...
Some of us feel the audio is just as important as video. Some think it is more important. Takes all kinds.

I think they are sticking to the standard setup between audio and video on BD. Video gets most of that 48Mbps, 30 I think. Atmos has to fit into the original audio specs.

Of note, the 1080p24 video only requires something like 12Mbps, and that's with the old compression schemes. That's why 3D video is possible, double that is still less than the available bandwidth.

Disclaimer: I'm going off memory with all this, my numbers may be off.
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Old 10-18-14, 04:50 PM
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Re: 11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receivers

From what I've read, Auro 3D does away with 7.1 channels at ear level; it reduces it to 5.1. I'm sure I'd appreciate the addition of height channels and the Voice of God speaker, but I think I'd miss having a 7.1 set up when I played movies specifically mixed for it.
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Old 10-19-14, 09:35 AM
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Re: 11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receivers

There was an official announcement this week for Denon/Marantz Auro support. Looks like a simple download to the most recent receivers & preamps.
http://www.auro-3d.com/blog/denon-an...e-in-december/

Still no price.

I haven't read much, but this link says it works with either 5.1 or 7.1 setups. Does it not use the 6 and 7 channels, then? But technically it "works" with 7? If you ask me, the big problem is it wants different speakers than Atmos. So, 5 ceiling speakers for Auro and 4 different ceiling speakers for Atmos? How many rooms is that going to happen in? Probably another reason people will actually like the reflecting speakers, I hate to admit. You can probably have 4 speakers to reflect, and just alter their angle physically to handle whichever system you want.
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Old 10-19-14, 09:48 AM
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Re: 11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receivers

Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
There was an official announcement this week for Denon/Marantz Auro support. Looks like a simple download to the most recent receivers & preamps.
http://www.auro-3d.com/blog/denon-an...e-in-december/

Still no price.

I haven't read much, but this link says it works with either 5.1 or 7.1 setups. Does it not use the 6 and 7 channels, then? But technically it "works" with 7? If you ask me, the big problem is it wants different speakers than Atmos. So, 5 ceiling speakers for Auro and 4 different ceiling speakers for Atmos? How many rooms is that going to happen in? Probably another reason people will actually like the reflecting speakers, I hate to admit. You can probably have 4 speakers to reflect, and just alter their angle physically to handle whichever system you want.
That's good news. I had read an article that said the baseline was 5.1, but maybe it meant that 5.1 was the minimum or I just misunderstood.

Do you know if Atmos uses any kind of matrix technology like Pro Logic to create overhead channels for non-Atmos sources?
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Old 10-19-14, 10:16 AM
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Re: 11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receivers

Originally Posted by Joe Schmoe View Post
That's good news. I had read an article that said the baseline was 5.1, but maybe it meant that 5.1 was the minimum or I just misunderstood.

Do you know if Atmos uses any kind of matrix technology like Pro Logic to create overhead channels for non-Atmos sources?
Been reading some more this morning. Seems Auro (for home) is going to be limited to 9.1, which is 5.1.4 in the nomenclature most are using. I think you are correct. At least for v1.

Dolby has upgraded Pro Logic to "Dolby Surround Upmixer". Those who have heard it say this is vastly improved. Real world, where we all already own some movie discs, this may be the best new feature. I haven't heard it, yet.
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Old 10-19-14, 11:20 AM
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Re: 11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receivers

Looks like the Trinnov Altitude 32 is the all-in-one solution. It's made by a French company and supports 32 channels! It incorporates Auro 3D and Dolby Atmos, and it's upgradeable to future formats. Of course, you have to be super rich to own it: http://www.trinnov.com/products/high...ntroduction-4/
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Old 10-19-14, 05:37 PM
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Re: 11.2 channel Dolby Atmos receivers

Yeah, that would be nice, it appears to start in the mid-$20s (thousands) and can probably approach $45k with everything (like 32 channels and Atmos). It's not shipping, yet, at least not here. But there's hope! Datasat isn't quite as far as Trinnov on the new 3D surround, but it has been promised for very soon, and their RS20i retails for a mere $24k. Bargain, if you can handle a max of only 16 channels. Plus, it's been on the market for more than a year, you could just go get one! Both of these companies also sport top-end room correction, that's why they've been pretty popular with those rich folks.

Also, seeing reports of around 150€ for the Marantz Auro upgrade, but it's not official, yet. Considering Trinnov will ask over $2k just for that upgrade, the 7702 seems a bargain!
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