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A Guide to Dolby Atmos in the Home

brad123

Well-known Member
Sure ok. Right the C165 speakers arrived. First thing wow, there big, didnt realise so big. Builders been and he can install them no problem. Thing is do I go for 2 or 4 atmos speaker install? Options are lose the middle rears (Denon 4400 amp) and have 4 atmos speakers or have 2 atmos speakers and keep middle rears, which would you recommend? Gap between the rears and fronts would be 2 metres and 20cm. Is that big enough gap. I can get it more tbh by placing the front atmos speakers further away so have a 3 metre gap from fronts to rear. Room pic attached it's quite a big room.
 

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dante01

Distinguished Member
Once again, there are no such thing as middle rears! Your current setup is a 7.1 floor layer consisting of:

Front left and right speaker
A centre speaker
2 surround speakers
2 back surround speakers
A subwoofer

The receiver you have now has 9 integral channels of amplification that can fascilitate you with either a 7.1.2 setp which would require that you add 2 additional Atmos speakers or you can have a 5.1.4 setup that requires 4 Atmos speakers. It can potentially process up to 11 channels simultaneously so you could potentially have a 7.1.4 setup if you add an external 2 channel power amp at some future date. I'd install all 4 ceiling speakers to enable you to expand your setup at some future date. Also note that the remaining surrounds would be connected to the sy=urround terminals and not the back surround terminals in a 5.1.4 setup.

snapshot001.jpg



A 5.1.4 setup will consist of:

Front left and right speaker
A centre speaker
2 surround speakers
4 Atmos speakers (in this case ceiling speakers)
A subwoofer



Whether going for a 7.1.2 or a 5.1.4 setup at this point in time, I'd still install all 4 Atmos speakers now even if taking the 7.1.2 option. At least you'll then not have to start taking floors up and making holes in your ceiling if you ever decide to add an external amp and go with a full blown 7.1.4 setup.

Also note that if you install all 4 ceiling speakers then you yourself can test both a 5.1.4 and a 7.1.2 setup for yourself and make your own mind up as to which you prefer.
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
I also remotely remember THX running some prelimanary tests with various Atmos configurations. They came to the conclusion that it was better to keep the back suround and have a 7.1.2 setup as opposed to sacrificing them in favour of a 5.1.4 setup if limited to just 9 channels.

As suggested, if you install all 4 Atmos speakers now then you can come to your own conclusions and you'll be able to try both setups for yourself.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Thanks, just worried I will miss my rear surrounds.
You mean your back surrounds?


AS said, there's nothing preventing you from trying both a 5.1.4 and a 7.1.2 setup if you install all 4 speakers in the ceiling now. You can then use your own judgement to determine which you prefer.


I'd veer towards a 7.1.2 setup given the size of your room. It is a good sized space, but not expansive enough to suggest more than 2 Atmos speakers as being essential. Try both for yourself though.
 

brad123

Well-known Member
True, thank you for input. Going for a 5.1.4 set up with Atoms speakers about 2.5 metres apart front set to back set.
 

brad123

Well-known Member
Has anyone used a 2 channel amp to add 2 channels say I wanted to have surround backs? Complicated to do, expensive?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
It is relatively easy to do if using a dedicated 2 channel power amp or even a stereo integrated amp that includes HT bypass. The cost is dependant upon the amp you choose to buy. It can be a relatively expensive endeavour if wanting to power the front stereo pair with the external amp to free up the associated internal amps to power the additional Atmos speakers with because you'd want to use a higher quality amp in association with those speakers. It can be less costly if simply buying a less powerful and or accumplished power amps to directly power the Atmos speakers with.

Here's a typical 2 channel power amp:


Maybe scout about on the classifieds section for a used 2 channel power amp?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Bloody hell!

Just rewired all my speaker set up and just run out despite ordering 50 metres, thing is I have 4 Atmos left and 1 surround rear to do and hes installing my atmos tomorrow about 11am, will a different brand be ok if I can get some to collect, not sure where as I'm in Halifax.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01C79Z1FU/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&psc=1
What wire have you used for the speakers you've wired up?


There are several hifi stores in and around Halifax.
 

brad123

Well-known Member
If a films track is not Atmos if there are surround backs will it switch to an audio format that uses surround backs?

So it's worthwhile installing 2 surround backs whilst im setting up the sound system after a new carpet fit and atmos speaker installation on the off chance non atmos films use a format that will use the surround backs?
 

iangreasby

Active Member
If a films track is not Atmos if there are surround backs will it switch to an audio format that uses surround backs?

So it's worthwhile installing 2 surround backs whilst im setting up the sound system after a new carpet fit and atmos speaker installation on the off chance non atmos films use a format that will use the surround backs?
For non-atmos content, I always select DTS Neural:X. Definitely the best of the "false" audio options.
 

brad123

Well-known Member
I was not going to attach to the amp as now have 4 x Atmos speakers but just dawned on me not all do Atmos so least then can use 7.1.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
In instances where dealing with audio that isn't either Atmos or DTS:X in a 5.1.4 setup, only the floor level 5.1 speakers would be engaged unless applying either Dolby Surround or Neural:X upmixing to the audio in order to create pseudo 3D imersive audio that would utilise the 4 Atmos speakers.

If the audio were 7.1 in nature then the 2 back channels would be mixed down into the surrounds.

If you've a 7.1.2 setup then discrete 5.1 formatted audio would still need to use upmixing in order to engage both the back surrounds and the 2 Atmos speakers. If not applying upmixing to 5.1 formatted audio then neither the back surrounds of the Atmos speakers would be engaged. In instances where dealing with discrete 7.1 formatted audio without using upmixing, all 7 of the floor level speakers are engaged, but not the 2 Atmos speakers. It would only be in instances whereby the audio is Atmos or DTS:X in nature and when utilising either Dolby Surround or Neiral:X upmixing that all speakers present would be engaged.
 
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brad123

Well-known Member
Thanks Dante01. 4 speakers installed. Just setting up amp. What films are good to experience the Atmos?

Keeping my eye out for a second hand 11.2 Denon 6400.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Thanks Dante01. 4 speakers installed. Just setting up amp. What films are good to experience the Atmos?

Keeping my eye out for a second hand 11.2 Denon 6400.
Some recommendations for films further back in this thread.
 

Roku2

Distinguished Member
I have a problem setting up atmos or ever rear surround speakers in the living room because the missus won't allow me to run any wires across the walls, floors, or ceiling. So as of now I just have my front, left, right speakers + subwoofer all connected by the front wall.
My question is: could I add bluetooth wireless speakers by the rear while keeping the wired speakers to the front and make it all work together as a single full 7.1 or 5.1.2 surround sound system?
 

brad123

Well-known Member
ok amp and speakers all set up, test levels done, how can I check they are really working well! Any demos I can do now etc via ipad to Denon 4400 amp? I tried latest Star Wars and it said Atmos on amp but would like a demo to really hear the atmos speakers sing? Anything I can view on sky q or download and play on it etc?
 
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brad123

Well-known Member
I've noticed on some set up images the rear surrounds are positioned sort of to the side of the seating position where mine are positioned behind to the corners pointing inwards, however some Atmos diagrams have this as a position also?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Thanks, stuipid question how do I attach this then to my set up to get 7.1.4. Also I presume I just place it on a shelf like a DVD player etc? Could I power the 2 back surrounds with this? Is it complicated?
The correct location for the speakers is depicted within the following guide:


The location of the surrounds depends upon whether the setup consists of a 5.1 or 7.1 floor layout. If back surrounds are present then the other surrounds would be more to the sides of the listener, but in a setup lacking the back surrounds, the surrounds are further back than they would have been in a 7.1 floor layout.


snapshot003.jpg

snapshot002.jpg




If you've a 7.1.4 setup then your 7.1 floor layout should corespomd with the second image. It is sometimes suggested that the surrounds not be located to the sides if this would result in them being in close proximity to listeners sat between them so if this is the case then it may be necessary to move them back a little from their ideal suggested location.
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
Is it possible to get my LG C9 TV to play true Dolby HD (not lossy DD+) Atmos content to my non eARC (ARC) Onkyo 686 AVR by using two HDMI cables? I just purchased the receiver and thought it was eARC capable, but was misinformed by one of the review sites.

The answer is no. Both the TV and the AV receiver would need to be eARC compliant to enable you to convey HD formatted audio from the TV to the AVR.


However, this may be of interest to you and maybe worth investigating:

I just got the same tv and I can confirm that the 686, for my surprise, does support e-arc, tested with the embedded Netflix app and my PC connected to one HDMI on the tv using VLC.

Not sure how using the TV's own Netflix app helped establish whether the receiver had eARC though? Netflix don't use anything more than DD+ which can be conveyed via xoventional ARC. AS said, maybe something you should nvestigate? I've a feeling that the above account is incorrect though and than he is mistaken? I can find nothing other than this to suggest the 686 was updted to give it eARC compliance and if so then the answer is still no, you cannot convey HD formatted audio from a TV to a non eARC compliant AVR. Both the TV and the AV receiver need to be eARC compliant in order to facilitate this.
 
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DonGately

Novice Member
Right, thanks. Since this post I've done my research and concluded positively that I don't have eARC, and therefore can't get True HD Atmos from my TV. I can, however, get a UHD Blu Ray player and get it from there to my AVR, and plug HDMI #2 into the LG C9.
 

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