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Old 03-12-2006, 07:47 AM   #31  
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Does surround work with hd tv reception?EMAIL [email protected]
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Old 03-12-2006, 11:31 AM   #32  
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Yes. HD receivers all have both stereo analog outputs for ProLogic surround and digital outputs for DD 2.0 or 5.1 surround.
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Old 03-21-2006, 10:38 AM   #33  
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Hello,

I am a newby to the HD forum. But I contribute a significant amount of my personal time toward audio. Having a small living space focused most of my attention away from HT over the past several years. And has impacted my opinion on the necessity and quality of additional channels.

In a room devoted to audio / video or both digital processing and mulitple channels can create truly surreal effects. I would say that it is more dramatic than the difference between SD and HD video. That being said, the norm for practical home theaters is a long way from approaching what has been done in limited production or custom installations. A reliable source told me a couple years ago that a system he experienced had the ability to place you on the stage of the recording. That as he walked through the room, the sound changed accurately as he changed positions. Literally being able to walk as if walking through an orchestra. I can't remember how many discrete channels he indicated, but it was significantly more than 13.1.

Space constraints and product interoperability are the limiting factors in home, and car audio. SACD and DVDA have 6 discrete channels. Any more than 6 channels must be "fabricated" by DSP units. The good thing is that current DSP systems are quite good. HD_DVD and Blue - Ray are not yet available, and they may be "out-dated" before either wins a format battle. Why use a spinning platter when we can get 2 GB or more on a flash drive and 60 or more GB on an MP3, Ipod, etc.? Other area's of concern are the speed for data transfer, bandwidth, error rate / correction and . . .

The other space issue is the size of a hgih quality speaker, and air space around such a speaker for it to interact with the room without audible distortion. In the past 2-5 years many new speaker drivers have been developed and released with the ability for greater displacement volume from smaller drivers. This quates to higher sound levels and increased ability to create low frequency sound with authority. Many of these same speakers are doing this while also maintaining lower levels of audible distortion. I use that word audible to indicate it is tougher for humans to detect it with the signal being music. DSP is also aiding in this battle. DSP can now synthesize bass and sub bass in a way that very accurately simulates "real" sub bass. After watching Polar Express, I am convinced that it is pretty convincing. But true gut wrenching sub bass still takes considerable volume displacement for a sub driver, enclosure, amplifier, etc. Class D amplification simplifies this by being able to provide more power for these newer drivers capable of greater displacement from conventional sized sub drivers. The other space issue is placing speaker enclosures far enough from walls, ceilings, floors, TV screens, etc. to minimize comb filtering and other effects of reflections. Again DSP comes to the rescue, but hasn't been standardized or become affordable for the majority of consumers. And starting with good speakers positioned for the best sound can always equal or beat the potential merits of DSP.

- James
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Old 10-07-2006, 12:10 PM   #34  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatManDoo
With so much focus on the video portion of home theater, the audio portion seems to get left out. But going from regular stereo sound out of your tv to 5.1 or better Dolby is almost (but not quite) as dramatic as the jump from SD to HD. I love it, and I wonder what percentage of people in this Forum use a receiver with surround sound to maximize the home viewing/listening experience???
Since you are a cat lover, I thought you might understand my point of view. And hopefully yo will have sympathy because I am a cat lover and not flame the heck out of my reply.

Surround sound dissapoints me, I think it is nothing more than a old and out of date sales gimic to move more hardware, why? It was brought to live during a period of time when manufactures could not do much to improve the picture quality of their TV's or VHS players (yes it started with VHS).

Some of initial struggle to improve the sound quality only was very valuable. For one thing it made people aware that the speakers in their old tv's were pretty poor at reporducing music. So the first real boon came Hi-Fi sound encoded on the same layer as the video signal of video tapes (think VHS was first but won't swear to it). This pulse code modulated was very good in quality, and btw it was also Stereo. Some people do not realize that HiFi and Stereo or surround for that matter are not exclusive terms.

Unfortunately, in my humble cat loving opinion, they came up with surround sound mostly to sell new hardware and to be percieved as making the video experience better, progress you know.
When surround became the standard on tapes and DVD's you HAD to buy a surround sound receiver just to understand the spoken words on a sound track. Dolby messes up the quality of sound and the balance of dialog to background effects and music if NOT decoded when listening.

I suspect that because it was so many years before HD came along that most of the focus was on surround sound. Unfortunately, for many consumers this got quite expensive without making any difference in their VIEWING experience.

Personaly, I find the effect of surround minimal at best and not worthy of a large investment. In fact some of the highest cost sourround equipment I have has the miss fortune to listen to is quite awful by Hi-Fi audiphile standards. I have a fairly good Nakamichi 5.1 receiver only because it is needed to recreate the center "dialog" channel to restore proper balance between dialog and sound effects. Don't even bother to use rear speakers as their effect is minimal. I have a very good 12 inch subwoofer but almost never use it as it detracts from the overall balance and sonic quality of the main speakers. My main speakers are a 10 plus year old Infinity tower design and while not my favorite Hi-Fi speakers they do work well on the side of the tv. A really GOOD amp does let them produce a pretty good amount of bass without any sub woofer thumping to intrude on the music

I found it interesting that when recently visiting an old friend, who is a senior scientist for a well known government lab, and has a good ear for sound, he felt pretty much the same as I do. He expressed dissapointment that he had purchased a Yamaha surround receiver and Yamaha sub woofer and sattelite speakers for their master bedroom (VERY LARGE). He and his wife both thought the sound was awful, so did I. I am sending him an older Nakamichi surround receiver (for the center channel) and some JBL III studio monitor speakers. Am sure he will hear soundtracks more clearly and with greater fidelity. Some of the integrated circuits used in the surround receivers are of pretty low quality to audiophiles. The manufactures know how to publish terms about distortion and frequency response, but fail to mention the shallow raspy sound that most IC amplifier stages emit.

Another thing I find that audiofiles dislike about surround is the proliferation of high powered subs. Yes, they are just the cats meow for reproducing explosions but fare poorly when trying to play many types of music. They all have a very high bass peak at one frequency which causes a thumping sound. Listen to a really good set of speakers with a bass player executing a decending scale. Now listen to it on a powered subwoofer and notice how the bass notes all sound the same, not different frequencies as they should be.

Anyway ENOUGH of my idle ramblings. Even I grow tired of them and must go find Leo and play with him for awhile.

Ok, CATS ARE BETTER THAN HD or SURROUND.

Ed
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Old 10-16-2006, 07:22 AM   #35  
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another question. I know we all have craned the volume up from time to time. Do you think that bothers our critters?
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Old 10-16-2006, 08:56 AM   #36  
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Default I like surround sound

JustEd,

I listen to a lot of classical music, along with watching standard DVDs (I have not purchased either high def DVD format). The surround sound can make a huge difference in both, depending upon the recording. Not all movies / music recordings use the surround speakers effectively.

I purchsed a DVD with a recording of Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture, with the orchestra / choir from Dallas. It is DVD-Audio rather than standard CD and is absolutely stunning in surround sound. It has wheted my appitite for the new, uncompressed formats that are on the horizon: Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus (which may actually be compressed) and DTS-HD.

I know that I will probably need a new receiver to take advantage of these features (there is some discussion that the existing receiver may work if the HD / BD player does the decoding), but I can't wait to hear some of my favorites in one of these formats. Have any of you heard when we are likely to see recordings in one of these formats?

BTW, cats are O.K. (especially when they are little), but dogs rule!
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Old 10-16-2006, 10:28 AM   #37  
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Old 10-16-2006, 11:54 AM   #38  
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Ok, yours is bigger than mine!
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Old 10-29-2006, 07:24 PM   #39  
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"Personaly, I find the effect of surround minimal at best and not worthy of a large investment. "
Have you ever listened to a quality system, set up properly? One requirement might be a processer that decodes DTS, another would be one with the rear speakers at least 6 or 8 feet behind the viewing area (where you are sitting!). After that, room layout and acoustics are as important as in two-channel audio.

"In fact some of the highest cost sourround equipment I have has the miss fortune to listen to is quite awful by Hi-Fi audiphile standards."

There is some bad stuff out there, but mostly it is set up poorly. While setting up a room for home theatre is completely different than setting one up for two-channel listening, a good home theatre system should (and some do) faithfully reproduce vocals, instruments, complex passages, etc. just like a quality two-channel system would.

"I have a fairly good Nakamichi 5.1 receiver only because it is needed to recreate the center "dialog" channel to restore proper balance between dialog and sound effects. "
Does it decode DTS encoded DVD's? These DVD's (of course, the well-recorded ones), with the uncompromised audio signal sent directly (via coax or optical out of a quality DVD player) to a quality A/V processor, allow for really intriguing audio. Shortly after installing a really pretty inexpensive system in a friend's house he said he was quite surprised he could hear the sound made as a guy walked past a girl and brushed against her sweater. Intricate detail, as well as "sudden impact" is possible with a good surround system.

"Don't even bother to use rear speakers as their effect is minimal."
You will barely notice properly set-up surround speakers. However, you would notice their contribution if they were turned off halfway through a well done action movie - properly placed they will put you in the middle of the action, without them all the action is in front of you and you are not really involved.

"I have a very good 12 inch subwoofer but almost never use it as it detracts from the overall balance and sonic quality of the main speakers."
For two channel, or movies? A good subwoofer (M&K, Velodyne) should be quick and musical. There are few that fit this category, but they are available for not that much money. If you have towers, the sub might be only for impact during an action movie - if you have bookshelves a good sub is indispensable. [With your good towers, yes, I don't see how you could integrate it seemlessly.]

"My main speakers are a 10 plus year old Infinity tower design and while not my favorite Hi-Fi speakers they do work well on the side of the tv."
Those are great speakers, but do you have a center channel? It should match your towers (somehow, somewhat, in quality, and midrange size) and is more important than the L+R speakers because it does more than half of the total work. A phantom center will never cut it, even though we know pinpoint soundstaging is possible with good two-channel audio.

"A really GOOD amp does let them produce a pretty good amount of bass without any sub woofer thumping to intrude on the music"
A good sub should almost never thump. As stated before, it should be quick and musical - for action movies it should rumble when called upon, but in a controlled way that makes you feel part of the movie rather than calling attention to itself (just like the rear surrounds). For movies, you could/should possibly set the crossover frequency on the sub pretty low, maybe as low as 50 Hz, so it only adds ambiance but allows your towers to handle the greatest percentage of bass reproduction.


"I found it interesting that when recently visiting an old friend, who is a senior scientist for a well known government lab, and has a good ear for sound, he felt pretty much the same as I do. He expressed dissapointment that he had purchased a Yamaha surround receiver and Yamaha sub woofer and sattelite speakers for their master bedroom (VERY LARGE)."

Yamaha A/V receiver, potentially very good.
Almost any Yamaha speaker - very not faithful musically or vocally.

"He and his wife both thought the sound was awful, so did I. I am sending him an older Nakamichi surround receiver (for the center channel) and some JBL III studio monitor speakers. "

I have never heard a good JBL speaker, they all have too much bass and too much treble - none are anywhere near accurate.
HOWEVER, I have never heard any of the studio monitor series JBL's and they could be very much better.

Here is a link to a post of mine, where I list some high-end manufacturers who also make lower priced ($2000 for a system that can faithfully reproduce music) speakers.

Your equipment might be a step in the right direction. Just in my opinion, and this is only one of several possible options, to have a chance of hearing what is possible with surround sound he could try the following:
A sonically good DVD player - The Oppo DV-970HD gets good reviews ($149)
An Outlaw Audio 1070 A/V receiver ($899)
The Mirage OmniSat speaker system with 10" subwoofer ($2,000)
or,
The Gallo D'Avia Ti speaker system (includes 10" subwoofer) ($1975)
Of course, good interconnects and speaker wire would be required ($200-$300)

In people's homes, I've only heard two or three good surround systems (out of ten, max). You can put together a system for less than the one I described above, but any system that will involve you and/or resemble "real life" doesn't come in a box from Wal-Mart.
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Last edited by DelsFan; 10-29-2006 at 07:26 PM..
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Old 10-31-2006, 10:28 AM   #40  
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I hear a big difference in the quality of music reproduction between a surround system and one designed solely for music (HiFi/Stereo). If you read some of the pulps and forums devoted to equipment for home music reproduction you will see that they too make a distinction between systems designed for tv/movies and those designed mostly for music. And btw, I have a first line Velodyne sub purchased about eight years ago. It has been sitting in the closet for the last four years gathering dust as it is just another thump thump machine (in my humble opinion). The mirage is a bit better on music, but still mostly ruines the smoothness of the bass. My best sub is a passive radiator designed by 3D acoustics in the 80's, but the Infinity Towers do well with the Nakamichi's good amp design. The best bass from a speaker in my experience is that same brother in laws 60's vintage 15" University woofers in a tower enclosure (absolutely huge). These have huge midrange and trebble horns as well. As large as they are, the speakers vanish when listening to a good CD or platter.

Many people keep telling me that I haven't heard a good surround system? To them I would reply, have you hear a really good Stereo HiFi system?

But I will drop the topic here as surround is a part of the current tv viewing/listening experience for MOST people. :-)

Best wishes on your viewing and listening experience. If it sounds right to you, then it IS right!

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Old 11-01-2006, 11:49 AM   #41  
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making a delivery. Acuff Rose handled the Everly Brothers and several other artists. I got several LPs there, For you young'ns tats a large black disk. They had a setup in one of the rooms that had 4 huge speakers. We were talking about speaker size and wattage. These were driven by 37 watts per speaker. These sounded great. The engineer talked about efficiency. That was the answer. Just wish I still had thoes albums.
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Old 11-01-2006, 03:24 PM   #42  
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Many people keep telling me that I haven't heard a good surround system? To them I would reply, have you hear a really good Stereo HiFi system?
...If it sounds right to you, then it IS right!


Hi Ed,

I have a pretty good Hi-end system - still have my Linn Sondek turntable, although the Linn Genki CD player gets more use and is not bad (not nearly as good as the turntable though - you will believe me but no one else will ).

I agree with you that most people have no clue what good music reproduction is about. On a scale of zero to five, I'd rate any HTIB system a -1, as it doesn't even begin to replicate all the information on a CD or DVD, let alone try to do it faithfully. (I don't consider the Home Theatre systems assembled by Paradigm, Gallo, Mirage, etc, in the $1500 to $2000 range, to be HTIB. I'll bet they come in several boxes!)

My two-channel experience is why I push the speakers made by "real" speaker mfrs. and A/V receivers that emphasize quality ("actual" wpc, good power supplies) rather than quantity (770 watts: right ).

Anyway, I appreciate your post and agree that it is difficult to assemble a home theatre system that is as enjoyable (for music) as a two-channel system. For me, the goal is for the 5.1 or 7.1 system (receiver + speakers) to replicate sounds somewhat faithfully and utilize the subwoofer to where one only realizes its value, or presence, after it is taken away.
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Old 01-26-2007, 12:46 PM   #43  
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I hope this post shows up in the right place. I was reading the comments on Let's Talk Surround Sound and I enjoyed the diverse opinions. Seems as though there are many who loved surround sound, those who heard no difference, those who loved 6.1 or 7.1 and those who claim they nor there family were able to discern any differences.

I think the last statement pretty much sums it up. If you are truly unable to discern any differences or improvement from stereo to 5.1 to 6.1 or even 7.1 then play the system at what appeals to you. After all isn't that why they have options such as stereo, dolby prologic, DTS, 5.1, etc. on your receiver?

My point here is that there is no right or wrong with any of those formats. Play whichever one sounds best to you. Only you can determine which sound is best for your ears. To many listeners try so hard to explain to others what is better or best or overkill such as the quote by CatManDoo, "Actually, I think anything over 5.1 is overkill. My Denon receiver will handle 6.1 but I chose not to bother with the center rear channel."

As he stated it is his opinion that it is overkill but for others it may well be appropiate. Lets all of us just enjoy the sound as we chose to. After all no one can hear what your ears are hearing or are not hearing.
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Old 09-30-2007, 01:40 PM   #44  
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The Marantz ER2500, if you can find one, is truly a bargain. List was about $1,100.00 but it can be had new for about $350.00 on ebay or it could at one time. It does all the tricks and all the decoding you may ever need.

If you wish to skip all the wiring take a look at a Binaura system. We have one in our smaller den. Several optical and digital inputs and impressive sound for just a sub and one speaker,

Zvox is another alternative though the lack of inputs truly limits the uses it can be put to. We have on in the bedroom.
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Old 11-19-2007, 08:39 PM   #45  
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Here we go, nooooob question!!

I will use Onkyo as an example...

I plan on getting either an Onkyo TX-SR805 7.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver or the 705.

So does Onkyo just sell speakers, or do i have to get one of those packages with the speakers, and i guess another receiver?
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