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Atmos and TrueHD 7.1 playback on 5.1 systems - Tests, Results, questions, experiences

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J. PUPSTER

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Alright, I tried it again, this time looking for video! Here's what I got for results.

This is a 5.1 system. Oppo 103D and a Denon AVR-4311CI

7.1.4 - The height channels were heard in the rears
5.1.4 - The front height channels were heard in the fronts, the rear heights in the rears
7.1.2 - All surround channels piped into the rears, heights were in the rears as well
5.1.2 - All surround channels piped into the rears, front heights in the fronts, rear heights in the rears
9.1.6 - Same as PC. No audio at all. The video plays with speaker indication, but nothing but silence
DOLBY TRUE HD DEMO - Plays fine, all 4 surrounds are heard in the rears, the front heights in the fronts and the rear heights in the rears

The receiver never says Dolby TrueHD like it does when I play a BluRay, it says BD - MultiChannel Input

Garry, I hope that helps
Yeah I get hung up on those oppo menu options between the Movies and Music menus on my 205 often. Also I guess MKV is considered a Video format with the audio embedded in it. I have to be hit over the head with a two by four multiple times before a lot of this stuff sinks into my dense noggin' (and too many damn formats/codecs sure doesn't help :rolleyes:) Thank goodness we've got some super smart tech. dudes here like @HomerJAU and others to show us the way!
Did you mean Movies or Video on your post Jon (I'm not sure how the 103 menus layout are titled?)
 

J. PUPSTER

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except 'mux' is already a term in digital audio...with a different meaning
Yeah, I thought that might come up, oh well. But more importantly, how do you and others feel about what I was thinking for the down-mix or fold down process with Atmos to 5.1; and if it changes the intent of the mix engineer's vision of how it should sound? Provided, there is no dedicated 5.1 DTS-HDMA mix available (as in the GOATS HEAD SOUP release?) I still believe there could be issues with this.
And to reiterate, I have no problem with the idea of Atmos overall with the proper gear, not that I have any say on it's existence or not, the market will determine if it ultimately survives.
 

J. PUPSTER

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I mentioned earlier upthread that I'd streamed via my wired home network; Gary's Atmos test files from my NUC Win. 10 computer to my oppo player in my main listening room. (It's about 40' away from the computer on the other side of the house.) So I started a separate thread that lays out how I set up my system to to play the MKV files. It's related to the subject in this thread, but really needs it's own, so not to get too off base here, because it's more about access to the files than the audio/video aspect of the files themselves.

So here's a link to that thread for those that may be interested-

 

JonUrban

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Yeah I get hung up on those oppo menu options between the Movies and Music menus on my 205 often. Also I guess MKV is considered a Video format with the audio embedded in it. I have to be hit over the head with a two by four multiple times before a lot of this stuff sinks into my dense noggin' (and too many damn formats/codecs sure doesn't help :rolleyes:) Thank goodness we've got some super smart tech. dudes here like @HomerJAU and others to show us the way!
Did you mean Movies or Video on your post Jon (I'm not sure how the 103 menus layout are titled?)
It was MOVIES
 

HomerJAU

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The 9.1.6 file I sent to the invited testers has no audio stream!! No wonder it failed to play the audio...

I’ll fix that this morning and provide a link in opening post here for those wishing to test their systems.
 

HomerJAU

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From where can I download your mkv Atmos test files?
Same question here.
Added links to all Atmos and TrueHD Channel Test files (all MKV containing TrueHD stream) in first post.

I would very much appreciate results of any test listening, especially from someone without at Atmos Decoder.

BTW: For the invited testers, these are smaller than originals as I trimmed them to 10 sec per channel. The 9.1.6 now contains audio!
 

Hamilton59

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Thanks. So obvious, but at times I can be so clueless! :)
Not at all.. I was so disappointed when I couldn’t see/play my rip of Pink Floyd - Meddle, from the Early Days box set, which was my first time trying to play a mkv file. It took me too long to try using the movie search...which afterwards made me wonder why in the world the Oppo needs different starting menus to browse for movie, audio file. For such a great device, it seems awfully primitive that it can’t just use one browser...
 

JonUrban

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Thanks for your feedback Jon.

Can you please recheck this result? On my Denon AVR X3600 5.1 system I'm definitely getting front heights mixed into my front floors on 7.1.4
Will do. I think the stick is still in the Oppo! Standby
 

JonUrban

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Thanks for your feedback Jon.

Can you please recheck this result? On my Denon AVR X3600 5.1 system I'm definitely getting front heights mixed into my front floors on 7.1.4
Yup/ Front heights are in the fronts. My error
 

DuncanS

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I'll try and give them a go over the weekend (a bit late now) in between cleaning up after the mice got into the house (3 lots of mouse killer gone, so 6 sachets, how many were there!!!). I have an Oppo 103 & 203 and my Pioneer amp doesn't do Atmos. I'll make sure my Oppo is set to transfer bitstream to the amp as well, currently set for PCM for all discs.
 

ar surround

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My 103 plays MKVs with no issue.
The Oppo has an Atmos decoder on board. That’s an option to playback Atmos on a 5.1 system (in 5.1) - use a BD player with an Atmos decoder.
1) So, if I re-rip an MKV from the Abbey Road Bluray I should be able to view the MKV on my Oppo 205 as a video file and then play it, right?

2) Also, the Oppo 205 should be able to decode/downmix the Atmos files on the MKV into 5.1 and output via the analog outputs? Geez, it seems that my confusion increases exponentially with the addition of channels.

I selected the Atmos stream directly from the Bluray this afternoon and the Oppo played it with no problems. The Oppo display said "True HD." But to add to the confusion, when I try to play the 7.1 True HD layer that I ripped using MKV and then DVD AudioExtractor, the Oppo sees the files but won't play them.
 

HomerJAU

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2) Also, the Oppo 205 should be able to decode/downmix the Atmos files on the MKV into 5.1 and output via the analog outputs?
Yes. The onboard Atmos decoder will downmix Atmos to 5.1 as per test results.

But to add to the confusion, when I try to play the 7.1 True HD layer that I ripped using MKV and then DVD AudioExtractor, the Oppo sees the files but won't play them
Are you converting the Atmos to FLAC using DVDAudio Extractor? Reports mention 7.1 FLAC won’t play on the Oppos I think.
 

ar surround

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Are you converting the Atmos to FLAC using DVDAudio Extractor? Reports mention 7.1 FLAC won’t play on the Oppos I think.
Yes, I used DVD AudioExtractor to extract the 7.1 True HD layer as FLAC. That's possibly why it won't play. Thanks.
 

AYanguas

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I remember reading that the Dolby Atmos container (either Dolby TrueHD or Dolby Digital Plus), has also a Core 5.1 or 7.1 or even a 2.0 already “pre-mixed” apart from the Atmos track with metadata to decode the objects. If this is true, theoretically, almost all AVR that don’t decode Atmos, but support Dolby TrueHD or Dolby Digital Plus, would play the core 5.1/7.1/2.0 in a similar way DTS core is embedded in a DTS HD-MA track. And no content would be lost never. Just ‘downmixed’ to the available speakers.

Now with my tests results:

I have tested from Dune HD Solo 4K, Dune HD PRO 4K and Oppo 203 players always with bitstream audio output.

I tested in two environments:
  • 5.1 speakers with an Onkyo TX-SR607 (2010)
This AVR has no Atmos decoding at all.​
  • 7.1.4 speakers with a DENON AVC-X8500H (2018)
Although this is a full Atmos system, I tested also with Dolby TrueHD Sound Option, without decoding the Atmos to see the difference.​

Below I will tell only when the corresponding signal does not go to the corresponding Speaker, because it does not exist or because the decoder does another thing. I mention each pair of speakers, without repeating ‘Left’ and ‘Right’. All the rest of speakers not mentioned have worked OK as it should.

Test 5.1.2 (5.1 speakers with ONKYO-No Atmos)

The AVR shows a DDTrueHD signal.
  • Top Meddles go to Surrounds.
Test 5.1.2 (7.1.4 speakers with DENON-No Atmos decoding)

The AVR shows a 7.1 DolbyTrueHD signal.
  • Surrounds go to Surrounds Back. I was expecting going to surrounds, but in a 7.1 layout, perhaps is better to send 5.1 surround channels to Surround Back speakers that could be at the more right recommended angle. Denon does that.
  • Top Meddles go to Surrounds.
Test 5.1.2 (7.1.4 speakers with DENON-Atmos decoding)

The AVR shows a Dolby Atmos signal.
  • Surrounds go to Surrounds Back. I was expecting going to surrounds, but in a 7.1 layout, perhaps is better to send 5.1 surround channels to Surround Back speakers that could be at the more right recommended angle. Denon does that.
  • Top Meddles go to both Top Front and Top Rear. Thus, generating the image as if you had Top Meddles.
Test 5.1.4 (5.1 speakers with ONKYO-No Atmos)

The AVR shows a DDTrueHD signal.
  • Top Fronts go to Fronts.
  • Top Rears go to Surrounds.
Test 5.1.4 (7.1.4 speakers with DENON-No Atmos decoding)

The AVR shows a 7.1 DolbyTrueHD signal.
  • Surrounds go to Surrounds Back. I was expecting going to surrounds, but in a 7.1 layout, perhaps is better to send 5.1 surround channels to Surround Back speakers that could be at the more correct recommended angle. Denon does that way.
  • Top Fronts go to Fronts.
  • Top Rears go to Surrounds Back.
Test 5.1.4 (7.1.4 speakers with DENON-Atmos decoding)

The AVR shows a Dolby Atmos signal.
  • Surrounds go to Surrounds Back. I was expecting going to surrounds, but in a 7.1 layout, perhaps is better to send 5.1 surround channels to Surround Back speakers that could be at the more right recommended angle. Denon does that.
Test 7.1.2 (5.1 speakers with ONKYO-No Atmos)

The AVR shows a DDTrueHD signal.
  • Surround Back go to Surround.
  • Top Middles go to Surround.
Test 7.1.2 (7.1.4 speakers with DENON-No Atmos decoding)

The AVR shows a 7.1 DolbyTrueHD signal.
  • Top Meddles go to Surrounds
Test 7.1.2 (7.1.4 speakers with DENON-Atmos decoding)

The AVR shows a Dolby Atmos signal.
  • Top Meddles go to both Top Front and Top Rear. Thus, generating the image as if you had Top Meddles.
Test 7.1.4 (5.1 speakers with ONKYO-No Atmos)

The AVR shows a DDTrueHD signal.
  • Surrounds Back go to Surrounds.
  • Top Fronts go to Fronts.
  • Top Rears go to Surrounds.
Test 7.1.4 (7.1.4 speakers with DENON-No Atmos decoding)

The AVR shows a 7.1 DolbyTrueHD signal.
  • Top Fronts go to Fronts.
  • Top Rears go to Surrounds Back.
Test 7.1.4 (7.1.4 speakers with DENON-Atmos decoding)

The AVR shows a Dolby Atmos signal.
  • Of Course, All go to where it should go.
Test 9.1.6 (5.1 speakers with ONKYO-No Atmos)

The AVR shows a DDTrueHD signal.
  • Wides go to Front.
  • Surrounds Back go to Surrounds.
  • Top Fronts go to Fronts.
  • Top Meddles go to Surrounds.
  • Top Rears go to Surrounds.
Test 9.1.6 (7.1.4 speakers with DENON-No Atmos decoding)

The AVR shows a 7.1 DolbyTrueHD signal.
  • Wides go to Front.
  • Top Fronts go to Fronts.
  • Top Meddles go to Surrounds.
  • Top Rears go to Surrounds Back.
Test 9.1.6 (7.1.4 speakers with DENON-Atmos decoding)

The AVR shows a Dolby Atmos signal.
  • Wides go to Front. Here it would be good that Wides would go to both Fronts and Surrounds to generate the image. But it seems the Test Atmos signal demo for the Wides is not a ‘floating object’ if that terminology exists.
  • Top Meddles go to both Top Front and Top Rear. Thus, generating the image as if you had Top Meddles.
Test TrueHD Channel 7.1

This Test works OK for each system, with the same speaker mappings as said before.


A NOTE about the levels of back channels.

I have notice on both ONKYO and DENON that back channels, that go to Surround, Surround Back and Top Rear Speakers, have a bigger level than the rest. Something like 6 to 10 dB more with the appreciation of my ears.

I have checked with the AVR test tones and revised my Audyssey calibration and tested with other demos like the Helicopter demo, and I find my systems more or less well calibrated.

Has anyone notice something similar with these test files?
 

HomerJAU

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Thanks @AYanguas

Interesting about the channel volume mismatch. Unfortunately I can’t check whether that is due to encoding or decoding since there is currently no way to explore Atmos raw channel info on a PC. (No decoder exists).

EDIT: Did you do an Audessey auto calibration using various microphone positions and test tones for all your speakers and have it turned on during playback? I guess you did.
 

JediJoker

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Unfortunately I can’t check whether that is due to encoding or decoding since there is currently no way to explore Atmos raw channel info on a PC. (No decoder exists).
Not true. Avid Pro Tools | Ultimate will encode/decode Dolby Atmos, provided you have an interface with sufficient I/O. I'm sure there are other professional DAWs/NLEs that will do the same. Otherwise, how would Atmos even be mixed in the first place?
 

AYanguas

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Thanks @AYanguas

Interesting about the channel volume mismatch. Unfortunately I can’t check whether that is due to encoding or decoding since there is currently no way to explore Atmos raw channel info on a PC. (No decoder exists).

EDIT: Did you do an Audessey auto calibration using various microphone positions and test tones for all your speakers and have it turned on during playback? I guess you did.
Yes I did. With the 8 positions not more separated than 60cm from the MLP, centered in the room, without obstacles, away from walls, etc, following all Audyssey setup guide recommendations from avsforum.
And after the Audissey run, I even increase a bit manually the Top Front levels to better balanced hear the Dolby Helicopter demo. Even with that, I still hear louder the Test Tones from your mkv files in the Top Rears. I didn't check yet with the whole Dolby Atmos Test disk, that is from you get the test files, but I suppose the sound track will be identical.

If really the levels of the test files are the same, I think it could be due to my room reflections at the rear that make me hear louder that pink noise. I hope my Audissey microphone is in good conditions. In any case I hear the same differences in two different environments, DENON and ONKYO with different rooms and different Audissey microphones.
 
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