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Dedicated Theater Design & Construction > Twinseltown Theater
tony123's Avatar tony123 06:21 AM 10-04-2011
Brad, I don't seem to have a computer that can bitstream the HD audio formats. That's my holdup now on XBMC. I've got it working fine with DTS or DD. But who listens to that junk anymore??? From what I understand, there are other media players that can be configured to do this, but I haven't been able to translate all the techno jargon into something I can understand.

I had the same techno problems with learning REW, and that's why I can't answer your mid bass EQ question. Frustrating.

tony123's Avatar tony123 06:29 AM 10-04-2011
RT, glad to have you on board my friend! I've always enjoyed our interaction in other threads and look forward to having you here.

I hadn't had Mexican or Thai that day, so I'm pretty sure it was the bass!

We did have a great family time at the "Petit Lemans". I had not experienced motorsports on that big of a stage. It was an international event in the racing world, and you could feel the electricity in the air.




jdanforth's Avatar jdanforth 02:59 PM 10-04-2011
Haha, I LOVE the photo of your kids covering their ears! That looks like a fun day!
RTROSE's Avatar RTROSE 05:18 PM 10-04-2011
Looks like a good time at the races. I have been to the Indy 500, Brickyard 400, and the F1 races and there is nothing quite like those machines screaming by you at full tilt. Have not had the opportunity to share that with my kids though, but it is only something that can be appreciated by being there.

Airshows are the same way. Nothing like watching a Harrier hover at airshow center, F/A-18 scream by at full afterburner, or that distinctive sound of a Merlin at full throttle on a P-51 very cool indeed.

Oh glad it was the bass that was organ twisting and not some food issue. ;-)

Regards,

RTROSE
dtesterunc's Avatar dtesterunc 02:32 AM 10-05-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by tony123 View Post

Brad, I don't seem to have a computer that can bitstream the HD audio formats. That's my holdup now on XBMC. I've got it working fine with DTS or DD. But who listens to that junk anymore??? From what I understand, there are other media players that can be configured to do this, but I haven't been able to translate all the techno jargon into something I can understand.

I had the same techno problems with learning REW, and that's why I can't answer your mid bass EQ question. Frustrating.

Not sure which computer you are using or what it has in it. This info may help some...

Playback
Make sure your computer is high-def ready, since playback of high-definition content requires some serious processing power. With Blu-ray movies, for example, the new video encoding system (AVC, or Advanced Video Coding) results in fewer of the visual defects found in standard-def DVDs, but this system requires newer processors and video cards to handle the increased quality. New systems that come equipped with Blu-ray drives should be powerful enough, but if you add a high-def drive to your older computer, check system requirements to ensure that movie playback is as smooth as possible.

HTPC Audio
HD Audio for high-def computers is still elusive as most chipsets don’t have widespread integrated high-def audio components for PC or Mac yet. However, newer chipsets from Intel do have support. Also, there are high-end HTPC makers, but the cost may be a bit more than most people are willing to pay. This means that a separate purchase of an HD audio card could be necessary. Asus and Auzentech have HD Audio/Video PC combination cards that support HD audio formats like DTS-HD Master Audio.

Basically if you have one of the newer processors and an HD sound card, you can do HDMI out to the Integra; it should get you going in the right direction. IF the processor is up to it, could you add an HD soundcard? Also have you checked this out ? http://code.google.com/p/ps3mediaserver/

Have not tried it myself but some guys have reported it worked well for them.
AirBenji's Avatar AirBenji 09:24 AM 10-05-2011
Cool pics Tony - looks like fun!!
tony123's Avatar tony123 02:51 PM 10-06-2011
David, my laptop has an i3 chip, but no bluray drive. From my research, the i core processors are supposed to be able to bitstream the HD audio formats, but I can't find anywhere in the software that allows me to change the settings? the laptop has hd audio and allows me to set to 7.1 speakers. It also has HDMI output. As I said, it's running 1080p movies just fine out to the projector, but hdaudio is tripping up somehow?

Thanks for you insight.
trek737's Avatar trek737 04:30 PM 10-06-2011
Tony,

Great looking family! I almost want to call you the "Father of the Dedicated Theater Design & Construction Thread."
I love the American Lemans Series or IMCA. I have been to the 24 Hours of Daytona and Road Atlanta and they are a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing...
dtesterunc's Avatar dtesterunc 07:56 PM 10-06-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by tony123 View Post

David, my laptop has an i3 chip, but no bluray drive. From my research, the i core processors are supposed to be able to bitstream the HD audio formats, but I can't find anywhere in the software that allows me to change the settings? the laptop has hd audio and allows me to set to 7.1 speakers. It also has HDMI output. As I said, it's running 1080p movies just fine out to the projector, but hdaudio is tripping up somehow?

Thanks for you insight.

Tony. What sound card do you have? Does it have the latest driver?
dtesterunc's Avatar dtesterunc 07:59 PM 10-06-2011
Tony - couple of things you need to check

processor = i3 - should support HD audio formats
OS = I assume windows 7 ???? edition 32 or 64 ?
sound card = what is the make and model, does it support HD audio formats
sound card driver = is it the latest driver, does it support HD audio formats
software = XBMC - As I understand it most HTPC software will do one of two things 1) bitstream passthrough - this is where the software will pass the sound from the source straight through with no decoding 2) software decoding - the software will decode the source into a multi-layer PCM and pass it through. Not sure what XBMC does, would need to find out?
HDMI cable = assume HDMI 1.3 or 1.4

there are three areas that settings would be found 1) the win 7 sound card control panel applet 2) sound card driver software & 3) XBMC software preferences/settings

All these areas would need to be checked to make sure that the HD audio formats are fully supported and that your hardware is operating correctly. Second check the settings to make sure they are setup to output the HD audio format and not set to something like "stereo". Many HTPC builders have found numerous problems with the upgrade to Win7. Many blame the OS but most of the blame should ride with the sound card manufacture not producing solid up-to-date drivers that will work correctly. I think this should give you a good path to find out what your problem is. My initial guess would be the driver may/may not need to be updated and the settings in XBMC need to be set properly. Hope this helps some!

UPDATE: Based on some research it looks like XBMC needs a snap-in in order to output HD audio. Here is what one guy suggested. (i'm not real familiar with XBMC but this is at least one guys story)
AFAIK you need MPC-HC for that task... http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2010...layer-in-xbmc/

http://www.mediasmartserver.net/2010...layer-in-xbmc/
Brad Horstkotte's Avatar Brad Horstkotte 08:27 PM 10-06-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by tony123 View Post

Brad, I don't seem to have a computer that can bitstream the HD audio formats. That's my holdup now on XBMC. I've got it working fine with DTS or DD. But who listens to that junk anymore??? From what I understand, there are other media players that can be configured to do this, but I haven't been able to translate all the techno jargon into something I can understand.

I had the same techno problems with learning REW, and that's why I can't answer your mid bass EQ question. Frustrating.

I haven't gone into trying to get HD Audio formats to work yet with the HTPC / XBMC - so I'll be researching that and listening in for others' tips as well. Actually haven't even physically dragged the box into the HT yet - need a replacement daily PC for the office, ordered a used Lenovo laptop for $150 - can't believe they're that cheap now, same model I just got replaced at work, should be fine for the usual web surfing, etc. When that shows up, I'll drag the box out there.
Jud64209's Avatar Jud64209 09:02 PM 10-06-2011
I just got done scanning through the entire thread about your build. The process is just amazing. I'm new to this, but I do think you've done a great job.

Thank you for sharing your build over the past few years, it's been a very interesting read.
tony123's Avatar tony123 09:21 PM 10-09-2011
Jud, thanks for stopping by. I'm counting on you guys that are "new to this" in order to get my compliments. Glad you enjoyed it. And we're not done yet!

David, thanks for the very helpful post. I haven't had a chance to go through it thoroughly yet, but hope to soon.

Still trying to put a priority on concrete counters, but life keeps getting in the way lately.
RTROSE's Avatar RTROSE 09:28 PM 10-09-2011
I'll be keeping a watchful eye on you as you do the concrete counters. I have thought about doing them but just never had the courage to experiment to see if it was something I could do. You have my interest and support my friend. Be sure you document your process with lots of pics.

Regards,

RTROSE
tony123's Avatar tony123 09:35 PM 10-09-2011
You're right about the "courage" part for sure! I'm estimating close to a ton for the main bar. If I screw that up, it WILL NOT BE FUN to remove and redo! Definetely lots of photos to come. I've searched the net, but not the forum directly. I'll have to see who else has done concrete in their theaters.
RTROSE's Avatar RTROSE 09:45 PM 10-09-2011
Tony,

What are you planning as far as your finished look? Color in the mix, embedded tiles, glass chips, rock, or stone? I have seen a lot of different looks on the DIY channels all of which look really good. The neatest one was a colored mix with broken glass pressed in to the top and when finished the colored glass was scattered throughout the counter top. As stated I have courage issues in doing something of this scope, as I'm a little short in the concrete experience department. Not that it helps you brother, but I'm pulling for ya.

Regards,

RTROSE
AndreasMergner's Avatar AndreasMergner 10:01 PM 10-09-2011
I plan to do a concrete counter top in my basement bathroom and also in my kitchen. Do you plan to grind down into the concrete to expose the aggregate? There are concrete grinders and such on eBay that could save you some money. I plan to go that route myself.
hanesian's Avatar hanesian 06:39 AM 10-10-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by tony123 View Post

You're right about the "courage" part for sure! I'm estimating close to a ton for the main bar. If I screw that up, it WILL NOT BE FUN to remove and redo! Definetely lots of photos to come. I've searched the net, but not the forum directly. I'll have to see who else has done concrete in their theaters.


Tony,

Have you seen this thread called "Making Concrete Bar Tops"? Lots of info there.
tony123's Avatar tony123 07:14 AM 10-10-2011
Thanks Hanes. I spent some time last night researching, and did read that entire thread. I've sent him a PM for assistance.

I am planning a highly polished finish with exposed aggregates. Nothing added, just the aggregate in the mix. I also think I would put in a dark amber coloring to the concrete. This photo is the finish, but I want less cool grey and more warm ambers/browns. I will also do the joints the same way, but instead of stainless, I'm thinking copper. Or maybe plain iron allowed to rust. I originally wanted the main bar to be monolithic, but at 24" x 130", I don't think it wise. I'm also considering a molding along the edges for a bit of detail. A potential problem to that is not being able to polish the intricacies well.

Attachment 224853

I also don't want to have supports under the bar. So I've contacted an iron working friend and sent along this detail.

Attachment 224856

I've seen some premade like this that attach to the knee wall and hold up the counter. Being concrete, I think I'll at a diagonal support to this detail.
LL
LL
Chiahead's Avatar Chiahead 12:30 PM 10-10-2011
Tony, I had the same kind of things made for supports on my bar overhang. I over engineered them so that the granite tiles did not crack. I then painted the iron to match the knee wall, so they just dissapear on the wall.

Eventually the ones on the knee wall will dissapear even more when I put a stacked rock face up there (a few years down the road)
tony123's Avatar tony123 12:33 PM 10-10-2011
Michael, did you cover that in your thread with photos? I don't remember it? can you point me towards a post number? Are you happy with the performance?
Chiahead's Avatar Chiahead 12:38 PM 10-10-2011
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...&postcount=611

In the pic in this post you can see the counter lays on top of the knee wall on the left and right, and I built a small resting cleat on the column, then you can see all the brackets I used.
tony123's Avatar tony123 05:01 PM 10-11-2011
Thanks Michael. That helps me visualize.

I sent a PM to the fellow that wrote up the "Making a Concrete Counter" thread. Haven't heard back yet. But I'm also thinking of borrowing the lettering and color scheme from his marquee. Does anyone know a source on these letters?

Attachment 224984
LL
AndreasMergner's Avatar AndreasMergner 06:10 PM 10-11-2011
The lettering source is in his thread: http://www.craftcuts.com/wooden-letters.html

Also, search ebay for "concrete grinder". Here's an example: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Concrete-Wet...ht_1642wt_1185
tony123's Avatar tony123 09:12 AM 10-16-2011
Thanks for the link. I read through the thread twice and didn't catch it! That's exactly what I needed.
tony123's Avatar tony123 09:13 AM 10-16-2011
I am happy to report that I am finally able to post some accurate measurements! Thanks to Bigbaddaboom for coming over and generously giving his time, equipment and expertise!

This graph represents a before and after measurement at my LP. I don't know the equipment, but it was the preferred calibrated mic and an external soundcard.



The before measurement showed some dips that we thought were room nulls, but later discovered that they were actually being introduced by Audyssey. The after measurement is using 12 filters that REW recommended and no further EQ (no Audyssey).

There is an obvious difference. Not sure I like it yet or not. I'll give it a run for several movies. Low end is not as potent and mid bass is much increased. To my ears, I'm not used to all the midbass and it sounds a bit sloppy or messy. May just be what I'm used to.

It was nice to spend the day with a real nice guy and make a new home theater friend! My journey continues.... The more I learn, the more I don't know.
NicksHitachi's Avatar NicksHitachi 10:24 AM 10-16-2011
Wow Tony thats weird that Audyssey wasn't doing any better for you. I actually have been running my setup with the BFD still in the loop but all filters disabled...... I was using it more when using fewer ported subs.....

Which version Audyssey you using?

Funny you feel more midbass now but it's not on the graph that way....... The tell tale Audyssey boost down low is gone so I can see why you feel the loss in the teens.....

Happy journeys!
Brad Horstkotte's Avatar Brad Horstkotte 10:28 AM 10-16-2011
Maybe try just fixing the dips around 18 and 28, and leave the rest, since you'd have a house curve of sorts, which you may prefer.

http://www.hometheatershack.com/foru...ed-how-do.html
RTROSE's Avatar RTROSE 04:53 PM 10-16-2011
It just goes to show you regardless of all the measurements and calibrations it is our perception in the end that really counts. I guess it just proves the point that even if it is calibrated to "perfect" if we don't like what we hear then it is not much of a benefit.

However, I'm guessing that after you listen to the new settings for a few movies you will then perceive that as the new normal and if you would put it back to where it was it would seem very odd to you.

Interesting none the less.

Regards,

RTROSE
Jive Turkey's Avatar Jive Turkey 07:09 PM 10-16-2011
The calibrated "after" results look great. Give it a good long chance for your ears and brain to adjust. Movies won't be as critical, but my experience is great measurements with music will sound very different for a while, and then you may grow to appreciate what has become.
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