DTS MDA and Dolby Atmos, are they targeted for Home Theaters?


3 Answers 3


An important thing to consider here is that a significant component of these platforms is that they're "object based" mixing tools and reproduction systems.

They are usually implemented across large/r surround arrays, but the concept is intended to translate to bigger or smaller arrays as well.

This object-based concept is about identifying a point source versus an audio stream or bed. With a point source being told to emanate from a location in 3D space. If there's a specific loudspeaker in that location, it'll emit energy from only that speaker. Otherwise, it would produce something akin to a phantom image across two or more speakers to attempt to produce the effect of the sound emanating from the specific position in space.

In an ideal scenario - each reproduction environment would have the (same) larger array, but that isn't necessarily an explicit criteria for the system to function.


Atmos is not targeted at home theaters, have you googled on atmos setups? it has a tremendous amount of 'horsepower' with lot's of speakers.. try fitting that into your livingroom :)

MDA is a whole different animal. It is supposedly downward compatible, 'just' a PCM with extra metadata explaining where sounds should go. Atmos, works totally differently, at least from what i've heard/read.

MDA: explanation

Atmos explained by Coll Anderson and Craig Henighan :

  • Could you rephrase what it is you think you've heard about how Atmos works? I don't think everybody interested will want to be bothered with hearing lots of details about the sound for some rainy battle scene, as in that video... May 14, 2014 at 21:17
  • Well it's a sound design forum and it's a great soundtrack, so I guess...you are obliged to listen to it :) then again, time is short. What i remember is that craig is asked in a last question if marketing hype is pushing the technology or something alike and he goes on explaining that for what it does now it's great, but it promises to be better later. and that is with regards to being able to mix in atmos on an atmos stage and after that just render another mixdown (2.1 up > to 7.1) without issues. so it should be downwards compatible as a technology. but seriously watch the video! :) May 14, 2014 at 21:43

Well, it certainly appears that Atmos is being targeted at the Home Theatre.



So where is DTS now? What alternative will they offer the Home Theatre market, because it also appears to me that DTS Neo:X is dead in the water. I own a Marantz processor that is Neo:X capable, and it is on the edge of this new technology emerging (That is reality, proeccors outdate quickly.) But my next move would seem to be best suited towards a processor that is capable of playing back whatever is the main choice of studios, be it Atmos or DTS MDA.

  • These decode Atmos, but I'm not sure they are truly providing the Atmos experience. They are processing an Atmos signal down to 11.2 or 11.4 channel audio, where as theater based Atmos uses far more speakers. It will still be an improvement over a 7.1 mix most likely, but it will largely depend on the quality of the receiver's processing.
    – AJ Henderson
    Jun 24, 2014 at 16:58

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