Dolby Atmos for Home Theater

PiERiT

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I have the Dolby Access app purchased and installed and setup on Win10 20H2 and have my RTX 3080 connected to my Onkyo TX-NR676 via HDMI. Under the properties of the sound device I have Dolby Atmos for Home Theater selected as the Spatial Audio. However, when I right click that device and choose Test and it goes through each individual speaker, it outputs to my rear speakers twice and my overhead speakers 0 times.

I use Atmos on my Nvidia Shield TV and that works fine, so I know the receiver can handle it. It seems like a Windows problem but I've had no luck finding a fix. It happens with both the Nvidia audio driver and the Microsoft audio driver. Any ideas?
 
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djoye

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In the speaker configuration, did you select the Dolby Atmos option?

 

PiERiT

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Yup. I just figured it out, though: Windows can't be configured for 5.1.2, nor does that Test function work with it. All I had to do was set my receiver to Direct and then play some actual Atmos content, and everything works.
 
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pendragon1

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did you configure it through the atmos app?
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B00nie

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Yup. I just figured it out, though: Windows can't be configured for 5.1.2, nor does that Test function work with it. All I had to do was set my receiver to Direct and then play some actual Atmos content, and everything works.
If you play Atmos with only 5 main channel it definitely does _not_ work. You'r emissing audio of several channels then. You have to configure it lfor the correct speaker setup ike pendragon showed and it will also _not_ be Atmos if you lack the ceiling effect and extra side effect speakers. Also true Atmos specifies the effect channels to be essentially full range so a traditional 'plastic soap cups for surround' approach does not give the intended effect.
 

pendragon1

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Yup. I just figured it out, though: Windows can't be configured for 5.1.2, nor does that Test function work with it. All I had to do was set my receiver to Direct and then play some actual Atmos content, and everything works.
not sure how i missed that post... that was my next suggestion though. glad you got it sorted.
 

Tol

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Just an FYI: If you have any issues with Games not outputting Atmos, you can download the Dolby Access 3.2.169 installer and try that. None of the newer versions work for me and my Denon. Once installed, just be sure not to let it update from the Windows Store.
 

djoye

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Just an FYI: If you have any issues with Games not outputting Atmos, you can download the Dolby Access 3.2.169 installer and try that. None of the newer versions work for me and my Denon. Once installed, just be sure not to let it update from the Windows Store.
Do Windows games with the non-descript 'spatial' audio option (Borderlands 3, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, etc.) typically work properly on Atmos speakers as long as you have Dolby Access and everything setup correctly in Windows? The aforementioned games have Atmos support on Xbox, so I assume using their spatial option in Windows gets you the proper Atmos output.

I'm about ready to throw down for an 11.2 AVR (Marantz SR8015 or SR8012) for 7.1.4, but I need to know if the games that don't explicitly mention Atmos in their options still support the height speakers through (I assume) the Windows Spatial / Dolby Access functions.
 

Tol

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Do Windows games with the non-descript 'spatial' audio option (Borderlands 3, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, etc.) typically work properly on Atmos speakers as long as you have Dolby Access and everything setup correctly in Windows? The aforementioned games have Atmos support on Xbox, so I assume using their spatial option in Windows gets you the proper Atmos output.

I'm about ready to throw down for an 11.2 AVR (Marantz SR8015 or SR8012) for 7.1.4, but I need to know if the games that don't explicitly mention Atmos in their options still support the height speakers through (I assume) the Windows Spatial / Dolby Access functions.
Most definitely when using the older Dolby Access app/drivers that I mentioned above and running a game that officially supports Atmos, you'll get discrete height sounds directly from the game engine. In this case, looking at the Input on the receiver I can see 7.1.4 channels coming in. I'm not even sure if switching to Spatial Audio within the game will matter...I think that may only affect headphones.

In games that don't support Atmos, if I have Spatial Audio set to Dolby Atmos for Home Theater my receiver will automatically switch to Dolby Surround mode and output sound from the height speakers. The Input to the receiver is different, however. In this case, I'll only see 7.1.0 input and then the Dolby Surround processing on the receiver is what will create the sound in the height speakers. In my opinion, it's MUCH better to just go with the standard 7.1 setting in Windows with Spatial Sound set to Off and then manually select Dolby Surround on the receiver. The VIRTUAL surround that you get with the Dolby Atmos for Home Theater setting sounds really bad to me and positional audio volume gets really messed up.
 

B00nie

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Most definitely when using the older Dolby Access app/drivers that I mentioned above and running a game that officially supports Atmos, you'll get discrete height sounds directly from the game engine. In this case, looking at the Input on the receiver I can see 7.1.4 channels coming in. I'm not even sure if switching to Spatial Audio within the game will matter...I think that may only affect headphones.

In games that don't support Atmos, if I have Spatial Audio set to Dolby Atmos for Home Theater my receiver will automatically switch to Dolby Surround mode and output sound from the height speakers. The Input to the receiver is different, however. In this case, I'll only see 7.1.0 input and then the Dolby Surround processing on the receiver is what will create the sound in the height speakers. In my opinion, it's MUCH better to just go with the standard 7.1 setting in Windows with Spatial Sound set to Off and then manually select Dolby Surround on the receiver. The VIRTUAL surround that you get with the Dolby Atmos for Home Theater setting sounds really bad to me and positional audio volume gets really messed up.
It's possible that you have it set up wrong. Atmos and regular Surround have totally different requirements. If you play a 9 channel surround with only 5 speakers, generally it will sound bad because a lot of the sounds are missing. Same thing if you accidentally play a channel through a wrong speaker.
 

Domingo

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The Dolby Access app stopped working on my AVR (a Denon) back in November, but they fixed it about 6 weeks later. Windows loves to reset my speaker array back to stereo at random now, though. About every 3rd boot I'm back to stereo and have to swap back to 7.1 followed by Atmos. If I don't swap to 7.1 first...it's a crapshoot whether Atmos "sticks" or not.

In general, Atmos is a pain, but it sounds great when it actually works. Well, at least if the developers actually take advantage of it. The last two Gears of War games sound absolutely amazing via Atmos. Shadow of the Tomb Raider, too. Borderlands...not so much. Cyperpunk is somewhere in-between good and bad depending on the circumstances.
 
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