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-   -   Dolby Vision/Dolby DAPS on a Budget (https://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=416094)

ric982 07-05-2021 10:32 AM

Dolby Vision/Dolby DAPS on a Budget
 
I currently have a home studio running Protools on Windows 10 and stereo monitoring for doing music content to mp4 files and DVD.

I'm in the process of treating the room acoustically and am designing it for 7.1.4 monitoring per Dolby Home Entertainment guidelines. I envision that I want to be able to mix ATMOS music and am investigating Dolby vision with the intent of being able to produce HD music and video (Dolby Vision, ATMOS Home Entertainment).

So, let me start by hypothesizing a target system and then ask questions. I thinking I would wait to see what Mac Mini on Apple silicon pops up in the October time frame (thinking like an M1X or M2 with 8 or more large cores) and running Protools Ultimate with Dolby DAPS using Dolby Audio Bridge on the same system. Throw in say Divinci Resolve as well for the Dolby Vision side. Probably something like a Focusrite Red 16Line on TB3 driving a 7.1.4 bass management system in front of an equidistant monitoring configuration. A Blue Ray burner attached to the Mac Mini and maybe some sort of Dolby vision recorder like an iPhone 12 or whatever else is workable and affordable. A 4K TV monitor with Dolby Vision support. Switching in front of the bass management system/TV monitor to allow either Protools/AI or a BDP/AV Pre-Pro with ATMOS/Vision support to drive the AV monitoring.

The goal here would be to be able to go from source to end product (either BD or streaming file) in the same shop. For cost and space reasons, I'm trying to avoid Dolby DAMS. I'm mostly doing this for fun and am not looking for a dependable revenue stream.

So first, if I use Dobly DAPS and Protools Video Engine (i.e. audio and video in protools), do I need any clock hardware beyond running the Protools word clock from the AI word clock (over TB) and using the Dolby LTC app?

Second, I'm trying to understand the back end of getting an HD video to a blue ray disk.
- I've seen that Protools 2020.11 can generate a H.264 or other formats from video tracks and up to 7.1 a audio tracks. Is it correct that you can (with some burner software) get that to a Blueray disk? Can it be done on a generic blue ray burner on the mini Mac (for QC/sampling/limited distribution - not mass production).
- At current Protools Ultimate 2021.6, running Dolby DAPS, can you make a H.264 or other format video with ATMOS audio? Can this be burned to a blue ray disk as described above? Can the BD be formatted so that it will play on any BDP/AV Receiver/TV monitor with any level of support? (e.g. stereo, 5.1, 7.1, ATMOS and SD to HDR Video)?

Third, I'm trying to understand the front end of getting HD video into protools. At a high level, would the process be record some Dolby vision source video, edit the video with say Divinci Resolve, and then import the video clips into Protools Ultimate video tracks in order to use the Protools Video Engine and timing?

Forth, I'm investigating channels for HD audio/video. Although things are changing fast, I'm not sure I've found one streamer (maybe apple music) that would allow you to upload HD Video with ATMOS audio for something like a 3 minute song or even a full album. It makes me wonder if I'm sorta wasting my time heading down this path. I think if I could at least get ATMOS audio content to a BD, I'd be OK. If I could get ATMOS audio/video content to BD, I'd be happy. I could live with the limitations streamers impose otherwise, leveraging ATMOS/Vision down mix capabilities. Interested in people's opinions here.

Sorry to be asking a fair number of really asking basic questions - and I not even sure I understand how deep the learning curve is here. If there are any good beginner references that sort of cover end to end HDR AV production and/or video mastering for potential channels with some of the software mentioned, I'd be interested. I'm aware of Dolby's learning modules and the streamer "requirement" specs.

reichman 07-05-2021 01:37 PM

Re: Dolby Vision/Dolby DAPS on a Budget
 
Can't comment on Dolby Vision, but I can recommend Alan Sallabank's excellent videos about Atmos on Pro Tools Expert. Putting Atmos content on an MP4 file is a lot easier and cheaper than Blu-Ray. In addition to Alan's videos, go here:

Dolby Professional Support Help Center

There's an enormous amount of helpful content at that link if you keep digging.

Good luck on the adventure. :-)

nst7 07-05-2021 08:06 PM

Re: Dolby Vision/Dolby DAPS on a Budget
 
A couple things to mention.

There is currently no consumer (or reasonably priced) Blu-Ray authoring program that allows you to import Dolby Atmos files. The only ones that do are the very expensive programs used by movie studios, etc.

One of these expensive programs, Scenarist, has recently started offering a subscription based plan, but I have no idea what the cost is (though it may be cheaper than buying it outright).

I believe these authoring programs have to pay a license fee to Dolby, which may be why they don't want to do it.

The best option I've found for Blu Ray authoring is a Windows only program called TMPG Authoring Works:

https://tmpgenc.pegasys-inc.com/en/product/taw6.html

This program at least allows you to import 5.1 PCM WAV files, for better surround sound quality than the Dolby Digital that most consumer authoring programs have. But that doesn't help you with Atmos.


Secondly, I'm not sure exactly what your workflow is, but I would suggest looking into Apple's Compressor application (assuming you're on a Mac) which is only $50, and that has a function to convert almost any format into H264. You may be better off importing a simpler video format into Protools just as a guide to do your sound work. When you're done, you can export the audio, then take your original quality video from DaVinci Resolve, convert it into H264 with Compressor, then import the video and the audio into your Blu Ray authoring application.

Note that Compressor does also have a very basic BluRay authoring function. No fancy menus, but just fine for burning a test copy, etc.

And yes, you can buy a blu ray burner and burn one off blu rays no problem. You could even send that burned disc to a replication plant and have copies made (up to a certain amount).

I got this blu ray/DVD/CD burner and it works great:

https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/MR3UBDRW16/

ric982 07-06-2021 08:07 AM

Re: Dolby Vision/Dolby DAPS on a Budget
 
Thanks for the responses. I had watched some of the protools expert series on ATMOS, but I just watched the 6th module which was helpful though didn't answer my questions above. And I've done some looking around about Blue Ray authoring which hasn't exactly led to anything promising so far. I'll have to look into the MP4 path some more.

I think what I'm really poking at here is a budget transport layer (i.e. personal distribution channel) for HD AV content. As I was looking for Blue Ray authoring mechanisms, I bumped into to a few items pointing to the "death of blue ray" - Samsung, the primary player vendor, is dropping out of the BDP business and Warner Brothers plans to stop physical media releases in 2022. Oppo dropped out of UDPs a while a go. Cars don't have CD players anymore. Many of my friends watch most of their content on streaming services and perhaps eventually, none of them will have a player for whatever media is to be had. This may not be the end of physical media, but it may be the beginning of the end. So perhaps using a streaming transport layer is the most likely path to survival.

HD source data is big. I've already bumped into limitations on email servers trying to distribute stereo audio to friends. I've resorted to Dropbox and have used free SoundCloud in the past for limited distribution. Internally, I'm using media servers to get between various mix and monitoring setups, but I haven't explored using video other than through major internet streamers (Netflix, etc), but my ROKU DLNA client handles video. I guess streaming transport (versus physical media) is where where my thinking is heading now.

Looking at ATMOS, I bumped into AVID Play which, for a fee, will accept ATMOS music content, distribute it to whatever streamers you want at whatever level of resolution they support. Looked like say $5/year or $10 perpetual for a song (on the order of a few copies of physical media). And they feedback streaming revenue 100% from the streamers. This seems like it has a lot of possibilities. Perhaps someone will perform a similar function for HDR AV content or some of the major uploadable streamers will step up to HDR AV content.

The path I've been on was Stereo -> Surround, but if surround, why not home theater, and if home theater, why not video/surround, and therefore why not Dolby Vision/ATMOS as the simplest way to cover the span of formats emerging with a single mix. It seems sort of compelling from a creator standpoint. Not sure how much the Dolby cut is out of this, but ...

In reality, its going to take me some time to convert. I'm working on room treatment now (DIY) and I'm setting up for ATMOS monitoring. Then there's the whole Dolby DAPS only on Apple debacle that's forcing a migration to Apple which is in the middle of silicon conversion, and which Protools is trying to track with some delay, and Dolby hasn't said one way or another if it will support (though I'd be really surprised if they didn't). And maybe Media Composer will come along for the ride and support Dolby Vision. This is potentially an expensive exercise in frustration, but I don't see me making a second pass at the room, and I'm trying to be a bit open to future possibilities.

Mostly I'm just trying to get a handle on where the world of content is evolving to and what it takes to play in it - I suspect I'm not alone. My engineer side is kind of enjoying the ride.

tom_lowe 07-08-2021 07:33 AM

Re: Dolby Vision/Dolby DAPS on a Budget
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ric982 (Post 2607026)
Thanks for the responses. I had watched some of the protools expert series on ATMOS, but I just watched the 6th module which was helpful though didn't answer my questions above. And I've done some looking around about Blue Ray authoring which hasn't exactly led to anything promising so far. I'll have to look into the MP4 path some more.

I think what I'm really poking at here is a budget transport layer (i.e. personal distribution channel) for HD AV content. As I was looking for Blue Ray authoring mechanisms, I bumped into to a few items pointing to the "death of blue ray" - Samsung, the primary player vendor, is dropping out of the BDP business and Warner Brothers plans to stop physical media releases in 2022. Oppo dropped out of UDPs a while a go. Cars don't have CD players anymore. Many of my friends watch most of their content on streaming services and perhaps eventually, none of them will have a player for whatever media is to be had. This may not be the end of physical media, but it may be the beginning of the end. So perhaps using a streaming transport layer is the most likely path to survival.

HD source data is big. I've already bumped into limitations on email servers trying to distribute stereo audio to friends. I've resorted to Dropbox and have used free SoundCloud in the past for limited distribution. Internally, I'm using media servers to get between various mix and monitoring setups, but I haven't explored using video other than through major internet streamers (Netflix, etc), but my ROKU DLNA client handles video. I guess streaming transport (versus physical media) is where where my thinking is heading now.

Looking at ATMOS, I bumped into AVID Play which, for a fee, will accept ATMOS music content, distribute it to whatever streamers you want at whatever level of resolution they support. Looked like say $5/year or $10 perpetual for a song (on the order of a few copies of physical media). And they feedback streaming revenue 100% from the streamers. This seems like it has a lot of possibilities. Perhaps someone will perform a similar function for HDR AV content or some of the major uploadable streamers will step up to HDR AV content.

The path I've been on was Stereo -> Surround, but if surround, why not home theater, and if home theater, why not video/surround, and therefore why not Dolby Vision/ATMOS as the simplest way to cover the span of formats emerging with a single mix. It seems sort of compelling from a creator standpoint. Not sure how much the Dolby cut is out of this, but ...

In reality, its going to take me some time to convert. I'm working on room treatment now (DIY) and I'm setting up for ATMOS monitoring. Then there's the whole Dolby DAPS only on Apple debacle that's forcing a migration to Apple which is in the middle of silicon conversion, and which Protools is trying to track with some delay, and Dolby hasn't said one way or another if it will support (though I'd be really surprised if they didn't). And maybe Media Composer will come along for the ride and support Dolby Vision. This is potentially an expensive exercise in frustration, but I don't see me making a second pass at the room, and I'm trying to be a bit open to future possibilities.

Mostly I'm just trying to get a handle on where the world of content is evolving to and what it takes to play in it - I suspect I'm not alone. My engineer side is kind of enjoying the ride.

Unless you know a lot about grading and can aford a very expensive reference monitor and associated Dolby hardware, I'd give up on the notion of Dolby Vision.

kosmokrator 07-09-2021 01:47 AM

Re: Dolby Vision/Dolby DAPS on a Budget
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tom_lowe (Post 2607244)
Unless you know a lot about grading and can aford a very expensive reference monitor and associated Dolby hardware, I'd give up on the notion of Dolby Vision.

I respectfully disagree. (I was also responsible for setting up Dolby Vision workflows at the company I work for).

Of course if you want to offer the service as a serious business the proper way to do it is to invest into a 1000 nits class-1 reference monitor which is VERY expensive (Sony BVM X300 or similar).

But if you want to play around you can just hook up a good Dolby Vision OLED TV to Resolve Studio and off you go.

There's no need for dedicated Dolby Vision hardware (the hardware CMU) anymore. It's all covered in Resolve Studio.

And the panels are very good (f.e. the LG OLEDs). We have the Sony reference monitors in our grading suites, and the LG OLEDs are actually very close if you calibrate them properly.
As is the new iPad Pro. The display of that thing is really amazing. (We use it for clients to remotely attend HDR grading sessions).

dr sound 07-09-2021 07:26 AM

Re: Dolby Vision/Dolby DAPS on a Budget
 
Here is a good link from Netflix to read:
https://partnerhelp.netflixstudios.c...ng-and-Reviews

tom_lowe 07-11-2021 10:41 AM

Re: Dolby Vision/Dolby DAPS on a Budget
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kosmokrator (Post 2607355)
I respectfully disagree. (I was also responsible for setting up Dolby Vision workflows at the company I work for).

Of course if you want to offer the service as a serious business the proper way to do it is to invest into a 1000 nits class-1 reference monitor which is VERY expensive (Sony BVM X300 or similar).

But if you want to play around you can just hook up a good Dolby Vision OLED TV to Resolve Studio and off you go.

There's no need for dedicated Dolby Vision hardware (the hardware CMU) anymore. It's all covered in Resolve Studio.

And the panels are very good (f.e. the LG OLEDs). We have the Sony reference monitors in our grading suites, and the LG OLEDs are actually very close if you calibrate them properly.
As is the new iPad Pro. The display of that thing is really amazing. (We use it for clients to remotely attend HDR grading sessions).

Ah I wasn't aware of that - last time I looked in my copy of Resolve Studio it mentioned a license - good to know.

My point was even calibrating an OLED takes a certain amount of knowledge and an OLED which is reasonably accurate (I know they're great), not something you can just do with a standard display.

jallen01 07-11-2021 10:53 AM

Re: Dolby Vision/Dolby DAPS on a Budget
 
There are two versions of Resolve. The free version is Resolve and the $295.00 version is Resolve Studio. It's a one-time pay and will give you the ability to do everything you need. Also you will be a "clean feed" interface to your reference monitor as well.

ric982 07-31-2021 09:35 PM

Re: Dolby Vision/Dolby DAPS on a Budget
 
Thanks for all the updates folks. Info is very helpful.

I saw the pricing on some of the Dolby spec reference video monitors and they are out of my budget, but I was thinking something like ASUS ProArt PA27UC-X might work for me. These list for about $3200, but I even saw a used one for about $2200.

I think where I'm at is to proceed down the path to getting Dolby ATMOS up and running first. I'm queued up on the following path (1) finish my room treatment with 11.1 monitoring, (2) Apple Mac Mini M1X release, (3) Protools support for Mac Mini M1X, (4) Dolby DAPS support for M1X, (5) purchase Mac Mini M1X and migrate to Protools Ultimate/ATMOS DAPS on M1X, (6) touch base again on Dolby Vision and assess a hardware setup.

I'll try to get back over time and update this thread as things progress. Quite a few "futures" in my list that have TBD dates and potential surprises and disappointments, but a very interesting set of challenges.


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