Does Atmos to LPCM matter if I only have a 3.0 setup?

I’ve been doing a lot of research into whether I should get an Nvidia Shield or an Apple TV to stream content as well as watch 4K HDR remuxes via Plex/Infuse, and the consensus seems to be that due to the lack of Atmos metadata on the ATV, the Shield is the way to go due to the lack of Atmos metadata on the ATV.

However, is there even a difference if my setup is only 3.0 in the first place? If I have a MKV remux with TrueHD Atmos audio, but I only have a 3.0 setup connected to my Atmos receiver, would there be a difference playing it on the Shield vs ATV?

Because aside from the bit stream audio issue of the ATV, I’d rather use it over the Shield, since I already use Infuse on my iPhone and iPad.

Appreciate the help.

Welcome to the forum!

Personally I have zero problems with the way the Apple TV handles audio. I don’t miss any of the Atmos extras with a 5.1 plain vanilla receiver. If you enjoy your 3.0 system then you’ll not lose a thing with Apple TV. It’s still enough to make ya jump out of your skin when someone starts a chainsaw in the final moments of a movie. :wink:

Thank you for the help! Have you played any files where the only track is TrueHD Atmos? Does the ATV have any issues playing it?

It ignores the atmos metadata. Most receivers won’t playback atmos unless height speakers are detected in the setup.

Even without height speakers Atmos is still a benefit and provides more accurate sound. Newest receivers will even attempt to simulate height speakers with existing setups.

Would this be true even with a 3.0 sound system on an ATV and Infuse?

IF you can get Infuse to pass Atmos to the receiver then it could benefit slightly but it really comes down to the content. Atmos allows sound mixers to incorporate hundreds of objects and their positions in a soundstage. It allows the objects to flow by themselves and the receiver determines whatever speaker they end up at. Previously sounds are more fixed into their specific channel. In a 3.0 setup the sound wouldn’t have much advantage but could provide more accurate transitions between left/right and center.