News and Reviews....

    DOLBY ATMOS is HERE !!!!   June 2014


 By Bob Lieto

    Dolby Atmos debuted in commercial theaters in 2012 (Pixar's BRAVE) and has been requested for in-home theaters ever since. Roughly 70 films have been made with the technology. Only about 130 theaters in the continental U.S. are equipped for Atmos. It is now ready for prime time with companies like ONKYO, DENON, INTEGRA, PIONEER, and MARANTZ stepping up to incorporate the software into their top of the line AV receivers.

The hook of the format is that it can deliver sound from a variety of different locations, including ABOVE YOU. Atmos is not based on traditional speaker channels but on "Audio Objects" described as, "Any sound heard in a movie scene - a child yelling, a helicopter taking off, a car horn blaring. Film makers can decide exactly where those sounds should originate and precisely where they move as the scene develops. It can support 128 discrete audio tracks and up to 64 unique speaker feeds making it truly an immersive audio experience. Atmos at home will support as many as 34 speakers with 24 on the floor (wall) and 10 overhead. According to Dolby, you can install a bunch of speakers in your ceiling, however if that is not possible, they have new Dolby-Atmos speakers that can deliver overhead sound from where-ever you install them. There is also a Dolby Atmos enabled speaker module that can be added to your favorite speaker set-up when replacement is just too hard to overcome. (physically or emotionally)

Being able to use existing speakers as well as new speakers mounted at eye or floor level, involves a lot of complicated technology. Dolby says that it basically comes down to understanding the way your brain interprets those sound waves and setting up the software to accommodate the process. Atmos brings a new nomenclature to how we describe a surround speaker configuration, adding a new dot subcategory to indicate how many in-ceiling Atmos height speakers ar in the system. The new receivers are coming in a 5.1.4 or 7.1.2 configurations with Audyssey MultEQ XT32 calibration. The AV 7702 Pre-amp and TX-NR3030 will go a few steps further, supporting a full 11 channel Dolby Atmos setup or the 7.1.4 configuration. Most units with Dolby Atmos will be shipping in September or October 2014.

Comment .....   As mentioned it would come down to replacing your receiver and adding to or replacing some of your speakers if inclined.


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Past Articles on Subject:

Digital TV Update 1   April  2008

Digital TV 2/18/09    January 2008

The End of Analog TV Part 6  January 2007

The End of Analog TV Part 5  May 2006

The End of Analog TV Part 4  November 2005

The End of Analog TV Part 3  July 2005

The End of Analog TV Part 2  May 2005

The End of Analog TV   January 2005