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V
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Nov 30, 2015

Bose 900 sound formats

It is great to see that Bose is now supporting the following formats:

 

Supported audio format: Dolby Atmos®, Dolby Digital, Dolby TrueHD

 

Can Bose please confirm if the Soundbar supports Dolby Digital Plus which most streaming services use I.e. for the non Atmos movies, will the Soundbar take the 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus stream with the higher bit rate rather than defaulting to the older Dolby 5.1 stream?

 

Thank you. 

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VertigoMitch
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Jun 12, 2019

Re: Bose 900 sound formats

I have this question too, and Bose support couldn't give me an answer on it. They just tell me that if the content is Dolby Atmos, I will hear the height channels.

 

In the UK, Sky is delivering Dolby Atmos over Dolby Digital Plus for their sports and movies. And BT uses Dolby Digital Plus for BT Sport Ultimate 4K to deliver Dolby Atmos too. So if the Bose Soundbar 900 can't support Dolby Digital Plus, it cuts out half of my intended content for Dolby Atmos as I'm limited to using Dolby TrueHD, Atmos PCM, or direct passthrough from my Xbox to receive Dolby Atmos from my Blu-Ray or Netflix.

 

I know the Bose Soundbar 700 can't support Dolby Digital Plus. I've tested it multiple times and it just ends up with no audio. The intended result is the soundbar should ignore the Atmos metadata and downscale the side channels but it doesn't. However, it does support Linear PCM 7.1 so I know it's not a 7.1 issue with the soundbar, it's just a licencing problem and something that didn't choose to support.

 

Hoping Bose can clear this up soon as I do want to pre-order the soundbar once I can find a suitable TV mount for it as it would be an easy swap as I already own the Bass Module 700 and Surround Speakers. I don't want the SONOS ARC as it's too much effort replacing the entire setup again.

V
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Nov 30, 2015

Re: Bose 900 sound formats

I agree with all of the above. 

Hopefully some of the early adopters / reviewers will be able to confirm what the Dolby Atmos stream requirements are. 

It is also surprising that they dropped support for DTS given the Soundbar 700 supported this. 

It is purely down to licensing rather than a hardware limitation on the 900. 

I too have the full 700 setup but am waiting for answers to the above before I buy the 900. 

VertigoMitch
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Jun 12, 2019

Re: Bose 900 sound formats

That really doesn't surprise me as DTS was dropped from the 300 and 500, so it made sense that the 900 continued the trend of not licencing DTS. With almost every streaming service not supporting DTS, TV channels not supporting it either, and a lot of Blu-Rays not including the DTS mix, I kind of get the decision to drop it. And most Blu-Ray players should have the ability to reprocess the DTS audio into a Dolby Digital or Linear PCM 7.1 output for your soundbar if they are mixed in DTS only so you shouldn't miss out on surround sound or notice any difference.

 

I'll let you know if I hear anything back from Bose. I have asked to be provided to another tier who may have more information about the product.

VertigoMitch
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Jun 12, 2019

Re: Bose 900 sound formats

Hi, I'm back again.

 

Just to let you know, I heard back from someone at Bose.

 

They confirmed that the Smart Soundbar 900 supports Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital, including Linear PCM 5.1 and 7.1. They confirmed that Dolby Atmos is only supported with Dolby TrueHD or Linear PCM, meaning you won't be able to receive Dolby Atmos from Dolby Digital Plus content such as Sky Q, BT Sport Ultimate, or Netflix.

 

Their answer to not supporting Dolby Digital Plus is the additional side-channels. They mentioned that any content which supports Dolby Digital Plus for the 7.1 channels must also support Dolby Digital for 5.1 outputting, which is a fair point. However, they do agree that it does provide the oversight that some services use Dolby Digital Plus to provide Dolby Atmos, such as Sky Sports in the UK and can only pass my feedback to the engineering team for consideration.

 

So what it appears down to is licencing.

 

I can understand the Bose Soundbar 700 not supporting Dolby TrueHD or Dolby Digital Plus as it's a 5.1 system. Realistically, with a soundbar, you're probably not going to hear a difference. However, with the 900, Dolby TrueHD was only added for Dolby Atmos, and they still refused to add support for Dolby Digital Plus, which cuts out the support for the other half of Dolby Atmos.

 

I'll probably wait until it's released and see if they firmware upgrade it. If they don't, I might bite the bullet and get a SONOS Arc. I really didn't want to, but I've waited for Bose to announce their version, and it's poor.

Zhilinskiy
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Nov 4, 2020

Re: Звукоформаты Bose 900

There is no DTS support!

How do I watch movies with DTS now?

Atlantis
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Mar 26, 2016

Re: Bose 900 sound formats

@VertigoMitch :

 

If this is true, then it means that the Soundbar 900 doesn’t support Dolby Atmos for all the streaming services (like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, etc).

Those services use metadata in the DD+ streams for the Atmos information (to which speakers certain sounds should go to).

 

@bose : As I read the Soundbar 900 only supports Dolby Atmos via Dolby TrueHD, then is my statement above correct about the streaming services?

 

If it is true, then it is a serious miss from Bose 😞 Most of people use streaming services nowadays to watch their favorite movies or series. I think there is even more people using streaming services instead of a Blu-ray player with Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD) enabled Blu-ray movies. 

To even further strengthen my statement, the Soundbar 900 is not a real Atmos Soundbar, because it can only be used in certain conditions (Blu-ray players with Atmos enabled content). Streaming services are excluded. 

Why would someone switch from the Soundbar 700 to the 900 if Atmos cannot be used with Netflix for example?! 
I really would like to change to the 900, but now I don’t see a reason to do so.

VertigoMitch
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Jun 12, 2019

Re: Bose 900 sound formats

@Atlantis 


You're bang on.

 

Dolby Digital Plus isn't supported. I had it confirmed through Bose and had it double checked to be sure. They told me that you would only receive Dolby Atmos from Dolby TrueHD or Linear PCM content. This means if you wanted to use Dolby Atmos from Netflix or Disney+ as an example, you would need to use a TV,  Blu-Ray player, or Apple TV, which delivers the audio through Linear PCM with the Atmos metadata on top as none of these supports Dolby TrueHD.

 

Dolby Digital Plus is the standard for TV and streaming as the bitrate is much lower. There is no way we're ever going to see Dolby TrueHD over satellite or streaming. It pretty much makes the soundbar useless for most Atmos content, and the Bose TrueSpace just isn't enough to sway users, myself included.

 

Maybe this could all change near launch or afterwards. I'm assuming the hardware is capable, and Bose could add it through firmware. But there is no way I'm going to purchase a soundbar that can only deliver half of the Atmos content. It needs to be all guaranteed or nothing.

Atlantis
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Mar 26, 2016

Re: Bose 900 sound formats

There is indeed a way to encode the Atmos information into a LPCM stream. It is called Dolby MAT 2.0.

 

In the past, the Dolby Metadata-Enhanced Audio Transmission (MAT) encoder resided in a Blu-ray player to pack the variable bit-rate Dolby TrueHD bitstreams for transmission over the fixed bit-rate HDMI. A MAT decoder was subsequently used in an AVR to unpack the Dolby TrueHD bitstreams. With the introduction of Dolby Atmos, we have expanded this technology to support encoding of Dolby Atmos content as lossless pulse-code modulation (PCM) audio.

 

A key benefit of Dolby MAT 2.0 is that Dolby Atmos object audio can be live encoded and transmitted from a source device with limited latency and processing complexity. Among the possible sources are broadcast set-top boxes and game consoles. The Dolby MAT 2.0 decoder in an AVR outputs the object-based audio and its metadata for further processing. The Dolby MAT 2.0 container is scalable and leverages the full potential of the HDMI audio pipeline.

 

https://professional.dolby.com/siteassets/tv/home/dolby-atmos/dolby-atmos-for-compact-entertainment-...

 

If Bose supports this, then also the source (like a TV) needs to support sending the Atmos information embedded into the LPCM stream. 

Furthermore I am not sure if Netflix supports this way of sending audio. What I mean is that Netflix will show you the Atmos logo above some titles if the source (TV for example) is set to LPCM assuming it supports Dolby MAT 2.0

 

edit

——

I did some further reading to check the LPCM format with Dolby MAT 2.0. 
In my case I own an LG C8 tv from 2018. If I set the audio output to PCM out it is limited to 2.0 only 😞 However it does support Dolby Atmos via DD+ if I set the Audio output to Auto. (I just tested it at my brothers TV. He has an LG C8 as well, but he owns a Canton Soundbar which supports Atmos via DD+. Netflix also shows the Atmos logo in his case)

If I want to have Dolby Atmos on the Soundbar 900 I need at least a LG C9 tv from 2019. This TV has additional options to set the digital output to either Passthrough (E-Arc) or LPCM (multi-channel PCM)

NeonsNight
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Nov 4, 2018

Re: Bose 900 sound formats


@Zhilinskiy wrote:

There is no DTS support!

How do I watch movies with DTS now?


As @VertigoMitch & @Atlantis has mentioned, you would have to make sure your TV has eARC and outputs/passthroughs LPCM 7.1. If it does, then any device connected to your TV, like your Blu-ray, can decode the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 to LPCM 7.1 and you will get full lossless audio.

 

I explained this and some more in the guide I made last year to help people get the most out of their Soundbar 500 / 700. So there are workarounds.

 

Personally, I do not understand the reasons why bose decided to support Dolby TrueHD and not Dolby Digital Plus. But as it supports Atmos via LPCM, it won't really matter... unless your TV:

  1. doesn't have eARC
  2. can't decode & convert other formats to LPCM 7.1/Atmos+LPCM 7.1
  3. can't pass through LPCM 7.1/Atmos+LPCM 7.1

 

Maybe other companies will start making a version of the "4K Arcana 18Gbps" (mentioned in the guide) to create more affordable solutions to get around these issues.