Originally Posted by rbinck
That is a great post. I would make a few comments.
Surround speakers are intended for surround effects as opposed to sounds being tied to the picture, in most cases. Most people do not regard the three front speakers as surround channels as the audio from all three can be tied to action on the screen. As in your example of the car moving across the screen.
The thing that most all movies will have in common is the audio from the surround speakers have little, if any, tie to the action on the screen. I can't recall a movie where there is someone talking in a surround channel if they were intended to be placed off screen by that effect. What I understand the reason for this is the filmmakers never want to set up a situation where the viewer will turn to see what is making the sound or who is talking. From what I understand in early testing of multichannel sound in movies, that sort of effect actually did make many people turn their heads. Therefore the closing comment, The surround and rear surround speakers should be mounted at 1' to 2' above the listeners ear level to prevent localization, distraction from the front speakers and to allow room filling surround." That can not be emphasized enough that while the surround channels are indeed discrete channels as far as the technology goes, they are surround channels not rear or side channels. Calling them rear or side channels implies there will be localization as there is with the front channels and rarely is this the case. And I do mean rarely because it takes a pretty unique scene to allow for truly localized sounds from the surround channels to be effective. Crowd noise at a sporting event, war scenes like the intro to Saving Private Ryan are a couple that come to mind. If one listens carefully to the war scene mentioned they will hear discrete gunfire and war sounds from the various surround speakers. That works because one it is over so fast no one would have time to turn to see who shot and something else happens directly after that is on screen to keep your attention to the screen. Check out the surround sounds and you will see they are just that. Sounds intended to fill the room with sounds that tend to place you in the vicinity of the action, but not sounds that are part of the action, for the most part.
If I were to change anything in the first post I would change the part where the front left and right speakers are referred to as surround speakers.
the other thing is in more cases then not its very hard to have the front left,right and center the same height.
if the tv is hanging on the wall,you have the center above the tv or below it,with the fl,fr on the sides of the tv.one time i had my center on the floor in back of the tv aiming at the ceiling ,then tried it in front of the tv ,and i coundn't tell the difference.if anything on the floor aiming at the ceiling it was hard to tell where it was coming from.btw i don't do that anymore!
i argee with everything else in post 1.