Dolby Atmos at home

Do I need surround speakers in my home theater system?

Episode 1432

David from Mira Loma, CA
Dolby Surround

David has a home theater system and the speakers are already built into the house, but he needs surround speakers. Leo says he can do that and then just wire them into his home theater system. It'll be the rear surround in a 7.1 Dolby system. Or, if he doesn't want to do that, he should just go with Dolby 5.1. He'll be just fine with that. He'll need to re calibrate, too. Of course, he could go all in and do Dolby Atmos at home, too.

Is Dolby Atmos really worth thousands for home theater?

Episode 1431

Scott from Orange County, CA
Dolby Atmos logo

Scott was in a big box store with a listening room and listened to a Dolby Atmos at Home demo and he was blown away. But is it worth thousands to outfit his home theater with it? Leo says no. Many modern AV Receivers now support Atmos. It's a standard like Dolby 5.1 was. The main difference is that Atmos at Home bounces sound off the ceiling for a more immersive audio experience. Leo says he can use dual HDMI outputs that would give him the ability to create a similar experience.

Scott Wilkinson ... Stuck on a wall

Episode 1368

Scott went to a recent LG TV event and he saw some really great TVs that LG calls darn near perfect. And they're super thin too, with Wallpaper TV is 4mm from the bezel to the wall. So it's almost like a painting. So thin, that it requires a separate box for all the electronics, and the W7 model incorporates a sound bar into that electronics box package. Leo says he'd rather have a monitor that he can bring his own party to. Scott does says to be fair the Soundbar does sound pretty good though.

How can I build my own home theater?

Diego from Fullerton, CA

Episode 1313

Diego is going to transform one of his bedrooms into a home theater. He's budgeting about $30,000 to $40,000. Leo says his first decision is between direct view or projection. Projection can go bigger by just moving it back. If he can darken the room, it's the ideal option. He will want a projector that can handle the distance (called 'throw') to get it as large as he wants. Then he'll want to get a screen. One option is to paint his wall with special paint that reflects.

Scott Wilkinson

Episode 1157

Scott Wilkinson

Scott has a few questions this week. Matias from Sweden has a pair of Mirage OM6 Speakers, BMW Surrounds, and he was thinking about getting a Mirage center channel speaker. Scott says that's a good idea. He'll want to match his speakers as much as possible and it's a good idea to make sure he keeps the speakers out in the open because they are omni directional. That allows for bouncing sound off the walls and that gives it a nature tonal quality.

Scott Wilkinson ... Installed part II

Episode 1117

Scott is calling in from the CEDIA show, which is a custom design and installation show for home theater. He's been able to hear Dolby Atmos at home, which uses speakers to bounce sound off the ceiling to create a simulated 3D sound and he says it's pretty amazing. And the good news is that you don't have to upgrade your blu-ray player at all, you can just choose the Atmos sound track. But you will have to upgrade your AV receiver, which will set you back about $1000. But you can keep your speakers and just invest in the up-firing modules. So it's a half upgrade of your system.