Solved! Dolby Atmos from PC to home theater?

gijoe50000

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May 27, 2013
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So I'm looking to upgrade my PC audio.

I currently have the Logitech z506 but some speakers are starting to randomly get "crackly", so I bought a Philips Blu-Ray 3D 5.1 Home Theater HTB3520G on eBay a few days ago for ~£25. I'll probably connect it via HDMI or optical (as 5.1) to the motherboard, a Z97 ASUS Deluxe. The motherboard has optical and hdmi outputs, and is capable of 7.1 on the 3.5mm jacks.

I'm assuming it'll be a bit better than the z506, but then I heard about Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

I've seen Dolby software that's supposed to run Dolby Atmos on the PC and so I'm wondering if I could set it on the PC?
Could I run the 5.1 with, say, the optical to the home theater, and add two other speakers via the 3.5mm jack, to act as ceiling speakers? The Philips only has TrueHD but if my PC is doing the "Atmos" stuff, will it just send the signal to the Philips as a pass-through via the optical or HDMI? (Sorry if that a stupid question!)

The Philips was nice and cheap, so I wouldn't be opposed to buying a receiver in the future, or an amplifier. Would this be worthwhile?

Is it worth the while doing this just for Atmos and DTS:X? Are they that much better? Or are there better ways to do it? Soundbar? A newer home theater in a box? I like messing with stuff so I don't mind if it gets complicated.

I'm not really in too much of a rush, so I wouldn't be opposed to just keeping an eye on eBay for some random used components and deals. But I'm not really sure what the best setup is for a PC. I don't have a TV or anything, just a 4k monitor and a gtx 1080ti, so I do everything on the PC, music, movies, Netflix, etc..

I'm not really expecting anyone to answer every question here, just any thoughts would be nice, or a kick in the right direction..



 
TrueHD and Atmos only work with HDMI. Optical doesn't have the data capacity.
The HTS doesn't support Atmos since it would need to process it and power at least two additional height speakers. That would be called 5.1.2
Dolby TrueHD does sound better the lossy Dolby Digital but whether you would notice difference on that HTS or a crappy soundbar is debatable. For that price you did well but imo good stereo sound is better than bad surround sound. Adding an additional pair of cheap upward firing Atmos speakers doesn't replace good quality on music and clear dialogue on movies.
 

gijoe50000

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May 27, 2013
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Ah. I didn't know optical can't do Atmos and TrueHD. Thanks!

I'll probably just run a hdmi to the HTS 5.1 and see how it goes with the TrueHD for a while.

I would have thought that it would be fairly straightforward to run Atmos on a PC, through software, and just send the preprocessed (objects) signals to each speaker, on 3.5mm, or whatever. I've seen some Indian dudes doing it on YouTube using FFshow codecs and AC3 filters, but I'm not really sure how "real" it is! But, all that I've read suggests that you need specific hardware to do it. Ie, a proper receiver..

That's why I was thinking I could do the "Atmos processing" on the PC, and just send the "sound" directly to the speakers. But I suppose it's not as easy as that..

 
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