Will Atmos go away in a couple years?

QuadraphonicQuad

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4-earredwonder

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And, I'm getting ready to cancel my Apple $9.99 a month service just to get the Atmos stuff. I'm never home, and when I am, I am overwhelmed by the inability to find quality Atmos content that I care bout. Atmos Physical discs? I'm all in, and will be till they pull the plug.
So, Gene, maybe it's time ALL those excellent ATMOS remixes coupled with the uber capacity of BD~A to join hands in the form of a lengthy compilation disc much as the majors do when releasing those 20 track RBCD disc series referred to NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL MUSIC ..... which include cross licensing from various labels .... only on LOSSLESS BD~A ATMOS!
 

Bill B

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Atmos will be around. It's footprint will be as big as 5.1 and quad have been. The same niche people will care and everyone out of the circle will shrug their shoulders and move on.

I personally can't see why people would balk at buying a 5.1 surround system and suddenly be compelled to put a 7.1.4 system in. The main reason most would site for not wanting to is the cost, the second the space it takes and having wire/speakers all over the place.

My prediction is 90% of the people will listen with earbuds only and eventually the mixes will be tailored to those listeners and not be all that wonderful on large systems.
 

kfbkfb

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QS (matrix) to the rescue - maybe the MCH mixes can be QS encoded and sent through the existing stereo audio distribution systems (seems like all that would be needed is permission from the content owners).

edit: I was thinking about the 5.1 mixes, although Atmos mixes could also be downmixed to 4.0 for QS encoding.


Kirk Bayne
 
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kfbkfb

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Another possibility opened by using the QS quad matrix to encode 4.0/5.1/Atmos surround sound - the QS encoded mixes could be sold (Amazon sells stereo mp3s of Sony 360RA "encoded" content), unlike the current Atmos streaming scheme of rental only.


Kirk Bayne
 

Stupy

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Hmm.

I think Atmos is here to stay for some time; though as a somewhat fringe format.

I think Sony 360RA is going nowhere. It would be best for the good of spatial formats if they moved their recordings to Atmos.

So going a further out there...

Perhaps Atmos could become an all encompassing format that "keeps it simple" for the consumers... this inspiration is the tasteful way atmos collapses down to 5.1 etc when played - eg. audio from rear ceiling left to surround left.

Think of the flexibility:
- how many speakers the consumer has need not matter; as the sound can be collapsed appropriately; and
- how many speakers are utilised in the atmos mix is not particularly relevant either

So, let's say what's currently out there in whatever format - quad/sacd/dvda/5.1/etc - is encoded in the atmos format. The format can handle it and could form an all inclusive repertoire of surround. Our complicated world could be much simpler; which has to good for reaching a broader audience.

It follows that it needs to be as easy as possible to create/mix/edit/save files in the atmos format...

Stop dreaming now?
 

boondocks

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It's really quite amazing when done right though, by an imaginative mixer willing to utilize the entire space. The Atmos mixes of the latest Tears For Fears and Porcupine Tree albums actually make their already-excellent 5.1 counterparts sound small. Once you've heard backing vocals emerging from above and synthesizers swirling around the height speakers, it's hard to go back.
Agreed. I have listened to more than 80 Blu-Ray releases in Atmos now, as well as releases in MP4, etc. While not all of them excite me, or are even my favorite types of music, there is more than the lossy streaming stuff out there, although that gets the most diversity these days. (I don't subscribe to Tidal, Apple, etc.).
...and while my system is only 5.1.2, i.e. only two overhead speakers, I get a thrill out of well made Atmos releases.
A lot of the streaming music I've been able to hear...well it's great that it's in surround, but I often wonder why they bother on the ones with the rear channels so low it's ridiculous.

I really wish the electronics manufacturers would get the prices down...not only for the selfish me that wants to be able to run two more overhead speakers, but for people trying to get into Atmos on a tight budget (like me!) If anything, it's the price of the AVR that's holding wider adoption of Atmos down. I have decent, if not expensive, matched 5.1 speakers, in a tight space, and my ceiling speakers are Polk monitors I bought years ago for a pc surround system. It works ok.

My setup is very pc-centric. I can use PowerDVD/VLC etc to bitstream to my AVR via HDMI for decoding and I have HDD's full of surround albums. I also own several Oppo's but find myself using them less and less these days.
I say, bring on the Atmos, I'm in.
 

Quadkid

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And, I'm getting ready to cancel my Apple $9.99 a month service just to get the Atmos stuff. I'm never home, and when I am, I am overwhelmed by the inability to find quality Atmos content that I care bout. Atmos Physical discs? I'm all in, and will be till they pull the plug.
I’m considering the same!
 
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My positive spin on Atmos, and possibly its longevity, is the automatic configuration for the particular speaker setup, be it 7.x.4, 7.x.2, 5.x.4, 5.x.2, or just 5.1/5.0. Not sure what it would do with 4.0 or 2.0 for that matter. I do understand that the vast majority of consumers lack the space, or even the financial resources to install an Atmos system - and that could lead to the format fading away. While I have enjoyed several Atmos mixes, I am still not 100% sold on it, and actually stil find myself preferring the Quad multi-channel format.
 

MidiMagic

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QS (matrix) to the rescue - maybe the MCH mixes can be QS encoded and sent through the existing stereo audio distribution systems (seems like all that would be needed is permission from the content owners).

edit: I was thinking about the 5.1 mixes, although Atmos mixes could also be downmixed to 4.0 for QS encoding.


Kirk Bayne
Another possibility opened by using the QS quad matrix to encode 4.0/5.1/Atmos surround sound - the QS encoded mixes could be sold (Amazon sells stereo mp3s of Sony 360RA "encoded" content), unlike the current Atmos streaming scheme of rental only.


Kirk Bayne
I already know how to encode height into QS.

And I don't expect Atmos to disappear as much as I expect at least 3 incompatible systems to appear and compete with Atmos. Patents and copyrights cause the appearance of multiple systems to avoid paying royalties.
 

TVB

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If there was an outboard atmos decoder I would get it and listen to the atmos mixes on my blurays. My limit is 7.1 (it will NEVER get any bigger) so it means 5.1 and 2 atmos height speakers.I have an oppo set to 4.0 for all those wonderful quad sacds out there and that's all I use it for. Hey, I have 39 DV discs which equates to over 75 new quad sacd albums..cool. These are in addition to the surround disc's I've collected since the 2000's when they first came out. I don't have any desire to pay for any streaming service to get atmos titles because of the thousands of titles I have in other formats. My time is limited and sad to say, tomorrow is not for sure. I'm gettin older...awwww.
 

jaybird100

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Bob Clearmountain seems to think so.


Atmos is fine if you have a room that it will work in. I don't. 5.1 works well enough for me. The Atmos systems I've heard didn't really impress me. Maybe it was the music, or the mix, but came across to me as more for movies than music.
 
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I think if nothing else Atmos will be here to stay as a theater format. Movie theaters seem to be gaining traction again post pandemic, and anecdotally speaking, I see a lot of people wanting to see movies in Dolby Theater (Dolby Vision projection, Atmos Audio in specially calibrated rooms).

It’s the surround format of choice for nearly all new movies, big and small, and has been adopted by Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Paramount+, Disney+, and Apple TV+, and poking around Video Game/Home theater forums… a lot of people are focusing on Atmos these days, whether that’s a soundbar (either a single one, or one like mine with satellites), or a full system.

Hell, Amazon’s LOTR show seems to target as much “future proofing” tech as it can, being shot in 8K, mastered in Dolby Vision AND HDR10+, as well as Atmos.

I can potentially see a world in which Atmos for music goes away. In that; I think Atmos as a format might eventually be phased out in favor of some newer way of handling things. I don’t however see headphone surround going away. It’s been the tech industry’s secret big push for a while now:

Microsoft cut deals with Dolby and DTS for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X for headphones (and output to receivers) in all Windows Installs and on Xbox (however, Atmos and DTS:X cost like $20 each. Microsoft has their own bad free version: Windows Sonic).

Sony built a whole extra CPU into the PS5 for their Tempest Engine, an object based audio system that (at the moment) only works with headphones and built in TV speakers (apparently they’re working on better Home Theater support)

Both Facebook Meta and Valve, two large players in the VR space have invested in their own immersive audio standards. I’ve even messed around with one.

And of course, the worst kept secret is Apple is making an AR (Augmented Reality. Projects images onto real life) headset/glasses, which is why they’ve put their Spatial Audio tech in everything they can including FaceTime calls…

That being said; I think perhaps the most damaging thing to Atmos at the moment is Apple’s Spatial Audio branding. I’ve had to explain to people quite frequently that it’s not Apple doing this, it’s the format, and Apple acts as an “instagram filter” of sorts between the two. While the playlist covers, and page listings say “Dolby Atmos”… most people don’t actually know what that means
 

Stupy

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Atmos is fine if you have a room that it will work in. I don't. 5.1 works well enough for me. The Atmos systems I've heard didn't really impress me. Maybe it was the music, or the mix, but came across to me as more for movies than music.

G'day,

I suggest, though, that the atmos format itself still has potential in 5.1 (or 7.1/4.0/5.0...). This is what I am running - and that atmos collapsed down to 5.1 still sounds pretty awesome. I feel that the creators of the atmos format made something pretty cool.

As a format, if it still plays and plays well on a range of systems; that's great in terms of flexibility and adoption...
 
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