chances for TrueHD/Atmos in next ATV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by bgalakazam, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. bgalakazam macrumors member

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    #1
    Currently, lack of lossless audio with encoded Atmos channels is what is pushing me away from ATV 4K. I understand it can parse 7.1 LPCM, but that would then be just upmixed by the receiver with Dolby Surround as opposed to played back with Atmos.

    What are the chances of the next ATV 4K to have support for lossless audio? And on that note, when should we expect a new Apple TV (not a dongle) based on rumors?
     
  2. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

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    #2
    I don't think that we'll ever see lossless audio from Apple with the Apple TV and iTunes film.
    I have three ideas why...
    1. Netflix have just upgraded their 4K option audio to a high bit rate using DD+ In their editorial, they claim that they cannot hear any difference from the lossless master to the DD+ Whilst many would argue that this is simply not true, Apple will see it as a confirmation to stay with a lossy format.
    If this is the case, then it would be nice if all of the iTunes releases were updated to DD+ instead of DVD quality DD
    2. iTunes for music has never been increased from 256kpbs even though they maybe could have gone to 320kbps AAC if they felt an audio difference was noticeable.
    3. The HomePod isn't selling too well hence the Apple price drop which is showing Apple that for the home, audio quality is not asked for compare to 4K Dolby Vision or top quality 1080p.

    I would like to see True HD offered as in reality, this would at least have something that say BluRay has had for a decade+ and really would be a disc replacement for many die hard enthusiasts. Certainly with AV1 compression on its way and super fast 500mbps - 1000mbps fibre broadband across Europe and Asia and many other parts of the world, it shouldn't be a problem for Apple to implement.

    Also, audio quality importance is also the responsibility of the studies. IMO most of Hollywood's offerings are horrible from what I've experienced on iTunes - levels up and down, dialogue lost etc. In comparison, the independent films that I buy tend to sound beautiful - super clear dialogue, a constant sound level, crystal clear music.

    It's an incredibly exciting time for streaming and in all fairness, it's simply going to get better and better.
     
  3. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    #3
    What exactly do you mean with this statement and where does it come from?
    Lossless encoding and object-based audio playback are totally unrelated things.
    The former aTV does not do, the latter very well. I don’t know what do you mean by upmixed and not played back with atmos?
    It is as much atmos as it can get. Does not mean much that DD+ encoded channels get decoded into PCM already inside aTV.

    PS as long as aTV remains a streaming-only device, I would not hope for lossless audio.
     
  4. JeffPerrin macrumors 6502

    JeffPerrin

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    #4
    Are there even any video streaming services pushing lossless audio?

    TrueHD has always been for Blu-Ray and was never marketed as a solution for streaming video. (It's a bandwidth thing, I presume) Dolby markets DD+ w/Atmos for streaming audio.
     
  5. HDFan macrumors 65816

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    #5
    You didn't mention what source material you are using. Although there are audio services with high quality audio I know of no video streaming service that provides it. My understanding is that the Apple TV 4K can play TrueHD if you have the right app, such as an Infuse, and are streaming TrueHD content from your own server.
     
  6. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    #6
    As far as I can tell, AC-4 seems to be paving ways into streaming world. But it is not a lossless codec either.
    And it illustrates well the objectives of the streaming services - reduce bitrate. AC-4 is supposed to yield 50% reduction in bit rate over Dolby Digital Plus at same audible quality.
     
  7. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Never say never!
    Looking back at MacRumors September 2010 for the ATV 2 launch was incredibly interesting. There was people on the forum talking about 720p streaming with people claiming that 1080p streaming was 'years and years away' as no way could the bandwidth handle that!!!!!!!!!! In reality, we had 1080p streaming from Apple just 18 months later with fibre broadband covering most of the UK and Europe's urban areas.
    Just 7 years after those comments, we had 4K Dolby Vision / HDR streaming from Apple with 4K streaming 2 or 3 years before that!!!!!!!!!!! Then came Atmos audio streaming to go with it.
    This industry moves F A S T and it's incredibly exciting to what the future holds!
    --- Post Merged, Jun 18, 2019 ---
    Some interesting reading on AC-4
    https://www.dolby.com/us/en/technologies/AC-4.html
     
  8. JeffPerrin macrumors 6502

    JeffPerrin

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    #8
    If Dolby feels the industry is moving towards more efficient codecs, then lossless is certainly out of the picture for the foreseeable future (for mainstream products and services, anyway.)

    Here's the official lowdown from Dolby:

    Dolby AC-4 and Dolby Atmos are not the same as the two terms are describing different aspects of audio delivery. Dolby AC-4 describes the underlying audio technology including the audio compression technology, metadata support and system aspects. Dolby Atmos describes Dolby's immersive audio experience that can be delivered by multiple Dolby audio technologies including Dolby AC-4 and Dolby Digital Plus. Dolby Atmos can be viewed as the next logical step beyond traditional surround sound. Dolby AC-4 is the natural successor to Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Digital.

    //
     
  9. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

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    #9
    Exciting! Really interesting read on the Dolby site. So I guess that AC-4 will partner beautifully with AV1 compression then? No doubt, Netflix will be first to the table with this!
     
  10. imahawki macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Apple will mostly follow the industry. Remember they innovate, not invent. They're more in the polishing and integrating business. I could see lossless music coming if they end up essentially being the only one, not because they think there's a big difference. Same with higher bitrate movie audio. Also keep in mind they have way more data than we do about what consumers are doing and valuing. Adding more video resolution or bitrate when they have stats that say 78% of viewing is done on an iPhone... making up figures but you get the drift.
     
  11. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

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    #11
    True. Regarding streaming / data, it's variable adjusting automatically to your device type and quality/speed/bandwidth of your internet connection :) True for iPhone - I spend 8 months of the year travelling and I tend to watch my vlogs/film on my iPhone. I do enjoy the weekly late movie night and dinner with friends sat around the Apple TV - but in all honesty, you literally need to handcuff me to the sofa to get me to stay indoors staring at a TV screen - it's just not my thing :) I manage about 15 minutes a night whilst enjoying my super late evening dinner after the gym & sauna or Hiit 400m run x 10.
     
  12. GrumpyCoder macrumors regular

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    #12
    Streaming? Probably not. Downloading and then watching the movie once stored on the local server, sure. Kaleidescape movie store supports Atmos, along with much higher bitrate for video. It's essentially a 1:1 copy of the physical disc.
    And then there's always DCI content of course, which can be either delivered on harddiscs, discs or download. Of course you still need a decryption key from the studio, even if you already have the movie. Besides those, probably no chance.
     
  13. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    #13
    Is the Atmos on DCI even compatible with consumer equipment?
    I've come to understand that Atmos for cinema is different format and also audio tracks are in files separate from the video?
    Put in other words - TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus are unknown codecs, MP4, MKV and TS are unknown transport formats in cinema.
     
  14. bgalakazam thread starter macrumors member

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    #14
    I meant mostly for local content. Right now if there is a TrueHD track with Atmos from a film, the best ATV could do is give the connected receiver the 7.1 LPCM channels. This is lossless, but at that point the receiver sees 7.1 lossless and not 5.1.2 lossless. So the receiver will upmix what it thinks is 3D sound based on sound cues using Dolby Surround up mixer. You end up with 1:1 audio tracks as far as quality is concerned, but you lose the Atmos channels.

    Right now I stream my Bluray rip files from a Sony X700 player as it does Dolby Vision and lossless Atmos. It's just an inconvenient interface and has basically 0 smart apps. Because my TV doesn't have eARC (it's a 2018 LG C8), I have to use a streaming device. Ideally, I would just upgrade the OLED but I bought it less than 6 months ago so I am stuck with the Blu-Ray player workaround.

    Also, I am all for DD+ if the stream can hit the 6Mbit limit as opposed to the current 1.5Mbit (which even most streaming services don't hit). If you look at some blurays they often stay in the 60-80Mbit A/V rate with peaks over 100Mbit of which audio can hit over 10.
     
  15. GrumpyCoder macrumors regular

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    #15
    Yes and no. You need dedicated playback devices for DCI content anyway. You can't use a ATV, Shield TV or any other streaming device. From such playback device you can go to an audio processor. So while you have to start with pro gear, the last link in the chain can be consumer. The only issue could be the limitation of channels. As far as I know, in the consumer world you're limited to 48 discrete channels with 64 channel output. Trinnov Altitude 32 + Ext48 provides that, I don't think there's another consumer device with that channel count or even more, but I could be wrong.

    As far as playback devices go, Kaleidescape also requires you to buy their Strato players. You're buying into an eco system. Then again, for physical discs, you also need a player.
     
  16. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

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    #16
    I'm reading lots of figures here BUT how does it all sound and look to your eyes and ears? I constantly read people talking about bit rate which as compression gets better and better will become less relevant. I'm also wondering if people are missing the complete point and not actually enjoying the movie.
    It's really less about bits and more about how the film was originally mastered. Some of Hollywood's mainstream film sound truly bl**dy awful to my ears whilst come of my independent made film that i've bought on iTunes sounds damn excellent.
    At the end of the day, it's how it looks and sounds to you. Remember that 100GB 4K BluRay film started as a 12TB sized file!!! - now see how all the talk of mbps is rather sad!
     
  17. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    #17
    Oh, I get it now!
    I see no incentives for me to go that Pro route.
     
  18. HDFan macrumors 65816

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    #18
    This is for 4K, right? 1080p peaks ~60 Mbps, but usually is in the ~30 Mbps range.
     
  19. bgalakazam thread starter macrumors member

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    #19
    Correct. Also 1080p uses x264 which is not as efficient. Regardless, my orginal question sort of got answered. I don't really have "pro" gear, just some decent Klipsch speakers, SVS sub and a 9.2 receiver.

    I also most of the time watch through my OLED since I don't want to deal with the Sony Blu-Ray interface (hence my reason to look into ATV) which means I watch DD+ with not Atmos when streaming locally. Adding spacial audio (even just in a 5.1.2 setup) really enhances the sound experience, lossy or lossless.
     
  20. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    #20
    I actually just run into a situation, where the BD-R media read speed was not sufficient for a 1080p movie, so I had to get a BDXL writable. This has sufficient read-speed (same as UHD BD) for a 3D picture with TrueHD Atmos audio. I did create a new mux of Gravity from a 3D bluray and Atmos audio track from Diamond edition 2D bluray. Exceeds bitrate of a standard BD-R.
     
  21. HDFan, Jun 20, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2019

    HDFan macrumors 65816

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    #21
    According to Wikipedia the maximum required data rate for Blu-Ray movie disks is 54 Mbps, so 2x (72 Mbps) media should handle it. BD-R(E) disks have to support 2x speeds. What was the original source of the movie? Did your mux blow up the bitrate?
     
  22. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    #22
    The original blurays. Apparently my mux blew bitrate up.
    This probably explains, why the 3D release does not contain Atmos track and why the Diamond edition with Atmos sound does not contain MVC (3D) video.
     
  23. HDFan macrumors 65816

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    #23
    Why are you burning to Blu-Ray? Any reason you don't just rip the blu-rays to disk, and play them via an appropriate player, such as a media server player? No blow-up problem, and you then have a backup identical to the original.
     
  24. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    #24
    So far I've no other device to play back MVC-encoded FullHD 3D movies.
    I haven't looked for one either.
     
  25. HDFan macrumors 65816

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    #25
    Since this is an Apple TV forum then I assume you have one and there are players available there. Since you are re-muxing the movies, that implies that you have a Mac or a PC of some kind. That means you should be able to run a media server. With the server then most devices you might have (phone, tablet, ...) probably have a player available as well. That's one of the things that a server does is convert things to a format that is supported by the device.

    3D is an issue though.
     

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25 June 15, 2019