You Asked: Is Dolby Vision a must-have? And how to handle Atmos with irregular ceilings

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In this chapter of You Asked: Is no Dolby Vision a no-go? Should you try for Dolby Atmos if you accept blue ceilings? Is OLED the best backup for an crumbling plasma? And alive against 4K Blu-ray, which is bigger and why.

The Dolby Vision dilemma

Closeups of blooming blossoms on a Samsung S95C OLED TV.Samsung S95C Digital Trends

ZM Knox asks: I’ve been arcade for an OLED TV. And actuality in the U.S., that agency I alone absolutely accept three casting options: Samsung, LG, and (if I accept to accessible my wallet added than I absolutely appetite to) Sony. But I alternate to go for a Samsung TV because it lacks Dolby Vision support. It seems like best casework still alone action Dolby Vision and not HDR10+ content. Does it assume reasonable to cantankerous Samsung off my account of options due to their abridgement of Vision support? Is this absolutely an affair in practice?


Well, I’m activity to partially acknowledgment your catechism actuality because I’ve yet to do a real-world Dolby Vision-versus-HDR 10 column that I can point you to. So, for now, I’ll say this:

First off, I am as balked as abounding of you are that Samsung refuses to do business with Dolby. Samsung may altercate that Dolby Vision is accidental and doesn’t accommodate a notable benefit. It may altercate that HDR 10+ — the accepted it helped advance — is aloof as acceptable and that it doesn’t appetite to canyon the amount of implementing Dolby Vision on to its consumers. You ability be afraid to apprentice that I accede with at atomic some of its public-facing rationale. But here’s my take:

I would not address off a Samsung OLED TV aloof because it doesn’t abutment Dolby Vision. The cardinal of times I’ve apparent Dolby Vision agreeable attending decidedly bigger than alike aloof HDR 10 agreeable has been minimal. In fact, there were times back the Dolby Vision adaptation did not attending as acceptable as the accepted HDR version.

The affair about Dolby Vision is that creators are not application it to its abounding potential. If they were, again it would be a breeze — you’d absolutely be missing out by not accepting Dolby Vision. But as it stands, I’m not assertive that is currently the case. And it’s absolutely adamantine to say back Dolby Vision will assuredly become the must-have HDR architecture because it is so demonstrably better.

So, as far as Dolby Vision actuality a charge against a want? I still anticipate it is in the appetite category. However, I can’t ancillary with the abstraction that Samsung doesn’t appetite to canyon the amount on to its consumers. I anticipate if that were the absolute rationale, it would be added like Samsung doesn’t appetite to blemish the amount and, therefore, accomplish beneath money because I don’t anticipate Samsung wants to go aloft bazaar amount with its TVs like Sony does. Also, every added above casting is acknowledging it — this accomplished pushback on Dolby Vision has absolutely able “OLED is inferior” accordance — and we see area Samsung came bottomward on that.

There is so abundant added to account affection than aloof the HDR architecture that is used. Don’t address off a TV like the Samsung S90C or S95C — those TVs are gorgeous. If you appetite QD-OLED and you don’t appetite to absorb Sony money, get a Samsung. And my bulletin is the aforementioned for anyone who is circumlocutory amid a Samsung QLED and a aggressive QLED TV.

Vaulted ceilings and Dolby Atmos

Family with Sony HT-A9 home amphitheater system.Sony-HT-A9 Sony

Kutlay asks: My catechism is about the Dolby Atmos aftereffect in a alveolate (sloped ceiling) room. Our active allowance at the lower end has a acme of almost 9.5 feet, and the college allotment of the beam alcove up to about 18 feet. As you accept already explained in your added articles, up-firing drivers await aloft the absorption of the complete from the ceiling. Having such a angled beam is activity to affect these advised reflections. So, I accept that creating a Dolby Atmos aftereffect aural this allowance is not astute (unfortunately, I cannot install any affectionate of reflector or insulator blazon of axle back my adherent didn’t like how they looked).

Is it accessible to actualize such an aftereffect in this room? (I additionally cannot install roof speakers.) I´ve advised the Samsung 990C and Sony HT-A9 so far. Should I aloof accord up on that and accede a added budget-friendly complete system? Do you accept any advice?


It is accurate that up-firing Atmos speakers do attack to use absorption credibility to advice with some localized Dolby Atmos effects, and that the attributes of your beam — from how it is shaped to the arrangement to the acme of the beam — can accept an appulse on the capability of the Atmos effect.

However, as I accept abstruse from aggravating assorted Atmos systems in assorted apartment with berserk capricious beam conditions, there is about consistently some account to the attendance of up-firing Atmos speakers. The acuteness of that aberration varies, but I accept consistently gotten article out of it.

I accept this is because those Atmos speakers aren’t aloof application reflectivity. There is some directionality to the up-firing speakers, so you will apprehend them in one appearance or another. Depending on the system, processing may be acclimated to comedy with the appearance of the arresting to accomplish a arch of complete effect. So, while it may not complete like you could point to the aeroplane as it flies over you because you don’t accept a actual localized reflected sound, you will get the faculty that the even is activity over you and not aloof about you.
I admonish aggravating the Sony HT-A9, which does some rather able processing, and see what you think. If you’re not accursed impressed, I’d be surprised. The Samsung 990C is an acutely absorbing arrangement as well, and I don’t anticipate you would be aghast with that either; I aloof anticipate the A9 is so acceptable at processing that it could advice affected some of the characteristics of your allowance that may assume not so Atmos-friendly.

The best DTS setup

A PS5 sits on a table.Giovanni Colantonio / Digital Trends

Sasha has a catechism about DTS and its setup: The bureaucracy would be an LG soundbar and PlayStation 5 application the following connection: PS5 to LG C2 via HDMI, again audio from the LG C2 to the soundbar via HDMI eARC. Is that affiliation adjustment the way to go?


No, that is not how you would appetite to do it. The botheration actuality is that the LG C2 and G2 don’t canyon a DTS arresting through the TV and out via the HDMI ARC connection. So, you could accelerate DTS to the TV, but what comes out will not be DTS. I’m absolutely not abiding what the LG will discharge out in agreement of audio in that case. I’d charge to analysis that. It may transcode it to PCM. This wouldn’t be bad — but your catechism is how to get DTS to the soundbar.

So, in that case, you appetite to affix the PS5 anon to the soundbar and again run a arresting that passes the video to the LG C2 OLED from the soundbar’s HDMI output. That’s if you capital DTS for a actual specific reason. The affair is, that’s a Dolby Atmos soundbar, and unless you accept some actual specific DTS:X actual you appetite to accept to, I would anticipate you’d appetite to stick with Dolby Atmos. Your PS5 supports Dolby Atmos — whether the app you’re application does or doesn’t is addition question. But, frankly, I would aloof run your proposed affiliation and go with Dolby Atmos and balloon about DTS. But, as I said, if you accept article specific you’re activity for with DTS, activity to the soundbar first, again to the TV with your PS5 arresting is the way to go.

Upgrading from plasma

Green bulb shoots advance up through clay in a bright barge apparent on a Sony X90L.Sony X90L Zeke Jones / Digital Trends

Gerrit from Germany asks: I currently accept an old Sony 60W605B claret TV and I assuredly appetite to advancement to 4K, HDMI 2.1, and all the acceptable things the aftermost 10 years of TV development brought us.

In several forums, I apprehend that the alone alive way to advancement from claret would be an OLED TV, back I would be underwhelmed with the account affection of an LCD in allegory to my old plasma. Do you agree? Or would, for example, a Hisense U8K or agnate additionally be a cogent and reasonable advancement not alone from a abstruse standpoint and additionally from a account affection standpoint?

I mostly watch movies and TV shows via alive apps and YouTube and comedy on my PS5.


I will neither accede nor disagree with those appointment association because I don’t appetite to draw the ire of the appointment folks. Anyone who has anytime fatigued the ire of appointment association knows what I’m talking about. It ain’t pretty. And it absolutely ain’t helpful.

But I will say that I anticipate I accept why they are adage what they are saying. They are apparently cerebration that you’re acclimated to absolute atramentous levels and no blooming, and that the alone TV tech that can do that is OLED, so to advice accumulate you from actuality balked with your new TV, they appetite you to beacon bright of LCD-based technology. And all that makes a lot of sense. I can’t say I disagree with that logic.

However, some LCD TVs are acutely impressive. You’re activity from a non-HDR TV to an HDR TV, which is in and of itself a massive upgrade, so continued as it is a appropriate HDR TV. Also, some of the best LCD-based TVs accept bounded concealment systems so acceptable that they do a accomplished job of abutting OLED atramentous levels and administer to abbreviate blooming a abundant deal.

So, I anticipate that a absolutely abundant LCD-based TV like the Sony X90L, Hisense U8K, or TCL QM8, for example, would feel like a huge advancement to your claret in abounding respects. It absolutely depends on how acute you are and what strikes you back attractive at a picture.

I will attention that the Hisense U8K in Germany is not necessarily the aforementioned as the Hisense U8K we accept and babble about actuality in the U.S. So, I’m not abiding that archetypal is the one you should be attractive at. That brings up an absolutely altered discussion, but I will accept to stop there for now.

4K HDR alive vs. Blu-Ray

A Marantz A/V receiver and Sony 4K Blu-ray amateur controlled with an IR blaster from an Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED TV.Digital Trends

Jherrimiah asks: I accept an LG G1, ATV4K, PS5, Sonos Arc & Sub. Any accepted 4K HDR agreeable I absorb is via iTunes cine purchases and alive via ATV, Max, Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and Prime.

I saw the 4K Blu-Ray absolution from Criterion of Wall-E. If I were to comedy that 4K Blu-Ray via my PS5 Blu-Ray drive, would I apprehension a affecting aberration in account and audio allegiance compared to the 4K/DV/DA adaptation I own via iTunes and the adaptation on Disney+?


So, I’m application this catechism to altercate the best cine alive account advantage and how alive against 4K Blu-ray compares while additionally aggravating to acknowledgment the question.

First, I don’t apperceive how to quantify “dramatic” to you in agreement of the aberration amid a 4K Blu-ray playback and streaming. I can say that I can acutely see the difference, mostly in big blush areas, area I’ll see amalgamation on the alive adaptation and no amalgamation on the disc version. Detail is additionally bigger on the disc, and there’s beneath noise. That’s because the disc has so much added information. The disc additionally has lossless audio, which abounding association address offers a acutely aural advance over the lossy alive adaptation of the soundtrack. For me, disc-based playback is absolutely above to alive in about all cases.

Now, as a Blu-ray player, the PS5 is OK. It’s bigger than the Xbox Series X. Still, you ability appetite to accede a committed amateur for the best Blu-ray playback. It’s not necessary, but because you acutely affliction about accepting the best quality, you ability appetite to accede a standalone player. You don’t accept to shoot for the moon on a player. A solid Sony or Panasonic will do fine.

As for alive playback, though. Consider accepting Movies Anywhere. This is not an ad. Movies Anywhere takes all your agenda cine purchases, including from iTunes, and puts them in one place. But the absolute account is that Movies Anywhere has been apparent to action the accomplished bitrate compared to added alive casework such as iTunes, Vudu, and Amazon Prime Video. If you accept a bandwidth cap, that could be an issue, so accumulate that in mind. But also, discs don’t blow your internet, so if you do accept a bandwidth cap, there’s addition acumen to get the disc. Also, with the disc, you own the cine for real. Nobody can booty it abroad from you. I can’t say that about the agenda versions, for what that’s worth.

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