Along with 4K, Dolby ATMOS is one of the more exciting things to happen to home cinema these past few years. You have probably seen a few Dolby ATMOS enabled movies such as Star Trek: Beyond and Suicide Squad and are pretty excited to bring the experience home with you. Fortunately, Wetek players allows you to play back Dolby ATMOS titles with just a few tweaks in your settings.
So what do you need to play Dolby ATMOS? Read on!
The WeTek HUB is a compact yet powerful Android-based media player. It is as easy to use as it is to install: just connect it to your TV via the supplied HDMI cable and you’re pretty much good to go!
The WeTek HUB plays back almost any type of media files: whether video (MKV, MP4, WMV, Bluray ISO) or audio (MP3, FLAC, AAC) files, either through an attached storage device (external USB Hard Disk Drives, USB drives, MicroSD) or by streaming (either thru the Internet or via a Local Network Attached Storage device).
In addition, the WeTek HUB is a full-fledged Android device. This means you can install your favourite Android App (Spotify for me) or Games, allowing you to use them through your big screen TV.
So the HUB plays back your media files and sends the movie to your TV. It then passes-through your Dolby ATMOS encoded audio to the next thing you need.
While normally you can plug your player to a TV and start watching your favourite shows, an Audio Video Receiver (AVR) like the Marantz SR5010 allows you to process both audio and video signals from your player for a more immersive experience. Once connected to your player (input) and TV (output), your AVR can then process the encoded audio signal (usually in the form of Dolby Surround, DTS and Dolby ATMOS, of course), decode it and then send the appropriate sound effect, dialogue and movie score to your speakers for you to hear.
Properly set up, your home theatre set up can give you movie theatre-like experience, but without the noisy seatmates and bad popcorn.
Okay, so you have your WeTek HUB connected to your Dolby ATMOS-capable Audio Video Receiver, which is, in turn, connected to your TV. What now? We will assume for now that you have your speakers set up correctly and that you have been able to play back both sound and videos through your Wetek Hub.
If you do not have a file that is encoded in Dolby ATMOS, hop by The Digital Theatre repository of Dolby Trailers and download a file with Dolby ATMOS audio.
Most of the settings you need to change are done through the HUB, but you might have to tweak a few things on your receiver - usually by setting it to AUTO, allowing it to automatically detect the incoming audio signal and decode it accordingly. In case you have any questions, do let us know in the comments and I'll do my best to help you guys out.
So the first thing to do is to see if your receiver is getting a proper audio signal from your WeTek player. Now you might have done things right the first time around and do not need to do any additional changes! If this is so, then just sit back and enjoy the rest of the movie.
By pressing on INFO on your AV Receiver’s remote (or by checking out the front panel of your AV Receiver), you can check to see what your receiver is getting from your player. Do note that we are using the On Screen Display (OSD) from our Marantz SR5010 and if you're using a different brand or model, the screen (and the button you'd need to press) will necessarily be different. Try hunting through your remote control's buttons to see if you can bring a similar screen up.
So the upper-left of the INFO window tells us that the SOUND is STEREO and the SIGNAL is PCM. This means that:
While PCM audio is ideal if you're connecting just your TV and your player, it's a waste in this particular case as your receiver can definitely handle more than two paltry channels.
On the Marantz, the diagram you see on the left shows you that we are only receiving audio signals for the left and the right speakers. The diagram on the right tells you that only the Front Left (FL), Front Right (FR), and the Subwoofer (SW) are working.
The first thing we need to check is whether our WeTek HUB is outputting audio via HDMI. Go to your home screen (usually by pressing HOME on your remote, or a lot of pressing BACK) and go to the settings page.
The settings can be reached through the GEARS icon on the lower left portion of the screen. Once there, head to DEVICE->SOUNDS:
Which brings you to this screen. Make sure to choose HDMI.
For those of you who are familiar with media players (or even some Bluray or DVD players), what we have done is to enable passthrough, which allows audio encodings to be sent from your player to your Receiver unprocessed. This way, the Receiver can interpret the audio encoding and play it back as surround sound (or Dolby ATMOS surround sound in our case).
If you’re just connecting your WeTek to your TV without the benefit of a receiver, it is best to leave it at PCM, otherwise you might not be able to hear sound from files using DTS, Dolby Surround or the more advanced lossless audio formats like DTS-MA or Dolby TrueHD.
Once you’re done, go back to home and run your WeTek Media Player App.
When playing back your movie files, please make sure to use WeTek Media Player (WMP), as encircled above, and not the standard KODI app. The WMP is essentially WeTek's version of KODI. What’s special about this version is that it supports passing through Dolby ATMOS and other high-resolution audio encoding (DTS-HD/MA, Dolby TrueHD).
Since both apps are essentially KODI (albeit a supercharged version on the WMP) they will look the same and might get you confused at times (it confused me quite a bit when I first started). You will notice that some items under settings are missing from the standard KODI version and you will definitely not be able to run advanced audio encodings under vanilla KODI.
Once you have the WMP up and running, go to the settings section, under SYSTEM->SETTINGS:
Once inside, go to SYSTEM again:
And go to AUDIO OUTPUT:
By default, you will see the settings below.
We will need to do the following changes:
Settings in BOLD are required, while the Italicized ones are optional.
Got it? Good! Now we go to the fun part.
If you’ve done everything right, pressing INFO while viewing your movie will yield the following results:
Under SOUND and under SIGNAL, you can see Dolby ATMOS being shown as both the INPUT (SIGNAL) and OUTPUT (Sound). The diagram to the left (INPUT SIGNAL) shows Dolby ATMOS, while all our speakers are running as expected.
Success! This should also work for DTS HD/MA and Dolby TrueHD files, as you can see below:
By pressing the OK button on your WeTek remote, you can actually check out the encoding on your file. In this particular case, the demo file was encoding in DTS HD:
Checking the receiver, you can see it reading DTS-HD Master (MSTR) INPUT and OUTPUT. While the diagrams shows it to be receiving 7.1 INPUT SIGNAL (FL, C, FR, SL, SR, SBL, SBR which is 7, and .1 for LFE).
If you’d notice, under ACTIVE SPEAKERS, we are only outputting 5.1 channels, as we have configured our Surround Back speakers as our TOP LEFT (TML) and TOP RIGHT (TMR) for this demo. A few more things about speaker configurations on the next section.
For Dolby Digital TrueHD, we have this demo track:
You can see that the file has an Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Track. Checking our receiver, you can see:
Dolby TrueHD for SOUND and SIGNAL, while 5.1 speakers are working as INPUT signal.
You can also see potential Dolby ATMOS “upscaling” as both TOP SPEAKERS (TML, TMR) are working. I will have to verify this “phenomenon” and will probably be the topic of another article.
Thank you for reading through this unexpectedly long-ish article. Before I end this guide and sit down to watch Gravity once more (still one of the best Dolby ATMOS titles currently available, though In the Heart of the Sea has AMAZING sound design, especially that whaling scene, but I digress), I’d like to share some of the potential roadblocks you might encounter in your quest to hear the Voice of God (i.e. TML and TMR channels).
First and foremost, you will have to make sure that your HUB is using at least version 1.0.2. To find out your HUB's firmware version, go to the HOME and go to the Settings (GEARS) icon:
Under the Settings screen, go to ABOUT:
Then you will find your current Firmware Version: BUILD WeTek OS 1.0.2
You might find that, after changing all the settings on your HUB, you still can’t manage to detect and output Dolby ATMOS. For a while, all I saw was Dolby TrueHD + Surround under SOUND, despite changing every other conceivable setting on the WMP. The receiver could detect and play every other type of audio encoding we could throw at it, but NOT Dolby ATMOS.
I initially thought that Dolby TrueHD + Surround WAS Atmos, but testing out the same demo file in another media player yielded Dolby ATMOS under SOUND and SIGNAL. I spent a few more hours scratching my head (and appreciating that Heart of the Sea demo reel – which is excellent even in your vanilla 7.1), but eventually got around to manually re-configuring our receiver.
As I have mentioned previously, if you have something other than a Marantz receiver, the settings screen will definitely look different from the ones below. However, the same idea remains: you will have to assign your speakers to output Dolby ATMOS channels!
On your AV receiver’s settings screen, you usually need to configure the speakers when you first set it up. In our case, it was configured to run at a rather vanilla 7.1 setup:
So we go to our receiver’s setup screen:
And go to the SPEAKERS section. While you can go through the entire “Wizard” or automated setup, we choose MANUAL, because real drivers drive stick! (and it’s easier to find the exact settings we without wading through several screens worth of stuff).
Then we go to AMP Assign:
And change the ASSIGN MODE from 7.1 (or Surround Back)
To either Top Middle or Top Front, which will depend on where you placed your ATMOS speakers:
And fire up In the Heart of the Sea again:
Dolby ATMOS, in the bag! (and maybe the Whale, too, if only they tried hard enough)
So we hope that this guide allowed you to maximize your Dolby ATMOS-enabled home theatre system. If you suddenly find yourself itching to upgrade your non-ATMOS receiver, then I apologize; at least we are in the same boat now. Do check out the WeTek HUB though, it is very affordable and is as feature-packed as you could hope for.
Thank you for reading and I’d love to hear from you through our comments section.
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