Dolby Atmos Pre Out Home Theater Receivers
Dolby Atmos is a sound system technology that gives a 3D effect to the audio projected in a movie theater. It helps to enhance the experience of the story being told by providing high-resolution stereo sound, and has been in use since around 2012. In order to create the effect of 3D sound, speakers go in very precise locations around the audience. The software determines which speakers will get the level of a particular sound based on their spacial arrangement. By 2014, the same technology was available as a home sound system, but in order to enjoy the experience you need to have an Atmos-capable receiver. The biggest competitor in this technology area is DTS and their DTS:X technology.
How Does the Home Sound System Work with Dolby Atmos Technology?
Upgrading the home theater requires investment in a few pieces of equipment. You will need speakers, a Dolby Atmos receiver, and make sure the movies you purchase have Dolby Atmos content. This amplifier technology is still relatively young in, so a lot of Blu-ray DVDs probably still don't include the coding. In 2014, there were approximately 150 movies that featured this sound option.
- Atmos Enabled Speakers - You will need to purchase at least two Dolby Atmos enabled speakers. You should either get some ceiling speakers or you can get surround sound front speakers with built-in ceiling facing speakers. The more speakers and subwoofers you install, the more intense your sound will be. To maximize the experience you should have as many speakers as channels on the receiver (see below).
- Pre- v. Amp - There are also some options on speaker technology. Preamplifiers are most useful for maximizing the sound of old analog technologies to make the recordings Hi-Fi. For modern digital technology, an integrated amplifier is all you need.
- Stereo Receiver - The receiver should have a renderer that takes the meta-data found in audio of supporting movies and pushes it to all of your home system speakers and amplifiers including the Atmos-enabled speakers you purchased. The device needs to support Dolby Digital Plus.
What are Some of the Receivers Available on the Market?
Several brands offer AV receivers that are compatible with Dolby Atmos including Marantz, Onkyo, Yamaha, Harman Kardon, and Pioneer. Here are some of the common features in any brand that allows Atmos technology to communicate with your Blu-ray player and speakers.
- Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and/or HDMI - Receivers can get a signal input through several means including Wi-Fi and HDMI. HDMI output can be either wireless or through and HDMI cable. Others include built-in Bluetooth, which will allow you to project music from your phone or other Bluetooth enabled device.
- Channel Support - Basic surround sound uses a five channel system for support, but for Dolby Atmos, you should look at least seven channels. Some systems go up to 11. The number of channels corresponds to the number of speakers you can power with the receiver.
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