Originally Posted by CruelInventions
Great post as usual, rogo. Until I got to this part and cringed a little...
Another expectation bias victim. Either that or there was something else wrong with his setup. Nothing to do with Pono really, which is a smoke 'n mirrors playback device, playing into the conceits of delusional audiophiles. Great DAC performance can be had for very cheap and that's been the case for quite a while now. Heck, the iphone 6 has outstanding measured audio performance which equals and often surpasses boutique audio DACs costing multi-hundreds or thousands of dollars.
I strongly suspect the quality of the source material (mix and/or mastering) used for comparison between his iPhone 6 Spotify streaming at "best quality" vs. the content played via Pono player was the true cause for audible difference here, with at least a smidgeon of expectation bias thrown in to seal the deal. Little to do with the Pono player itself or the (on paper only) better technical specification of hi-res music files, if those are what were used for playback comparison in the Pono.
Scroble seems caught up in the same realm of folks who also insist their premium hdmi cable gives them truer colors, a clearer picture and better sound. "But.. but.. it's 'night and day' better!", "even my wife can tell and she doesn't even care about these things!", etc.
So you may be right here. I'm no DAC expert and I've never heard a Pono. Allow me some artistic license in using the anecdote?
Originally Posted by R Harkness
I'm of course now one of the old fogies who bemoans the trend toward tiny-screen viewing. Which doesn't mean it's not a clear-as-day trend of course. It reminds me that, when I decided to do a projection-based set up and spent a lot of time in the dedicated home theater building forum, it was right when the trend toward smaller screen viewing was becoming more clear. But you still had lots of guys designing their home theater with lots of additional theater seating with the expectation that they would fill those seats with eager guests wanting to enjoy content on the bigger screen. While that was the case for some, others found out that this was rarely the case. Threads come up now and again where you see that these dedicated home theaters are often only used by one or two people in the family, usually the person who built it, because frankly their friends are happy enough watching their TV shows etc at their own place, in ultimate convenience, on much smaller screens.
I've seen the same thing over and over.
That's one reason why I didn't go the dedicated purpose-built room route, and while I put in a large enough sofa to accomidate as many as I could, and as much as I enjoy watching with company, the room simply had to satisfy my own viewing desires.
My wife cares nothing about video size or quality. My sons, 13 and 16, appreciate the big screen quite a bit, but do most of their viewing on smaller screens, iPad/laptops etc. Same as their friends.
That's a good way of putting it. The fundamental difference I believe is this: You and I grew up with one way to watch. Period. Your kids and that whole generation has grown up with another way to watch. That other way is better in almost every regard save screen size and video quality (in some setups). It's instant gratification, it's touch-and-view, it's personal, etc. etc.
So people who grow up that way and experience video that way may well enjoy bigger screens, but it seems improbable they'll ever crave them the way our generation has. That doesn't mean no one will, it just means it's likely to be a low-dollar purchase for most, and not an aspirational one.
The one thing that HAS surprised me in this context of the new generation acclimating to small screens, is the actual enthusiasm shown among my son's friends for watching content at our house on the big screen. My 13 year old's pals are always organizing themselves to watch Star Trek movie etc on the big screen and my 16 year old's friends insist on coming here to watch both movies and, more fervently, sports, despite that they all have screens to watch on at home. I frankly would have figured they wouldn't care, but they still seem to get something out of the bigger screen experience.
Well, I mean it's better in the ways it's better, right? So is a BMW vs. a Prius.
And, heck, people are still going to movie theaters amazingly enough.
Yes, but the total audience shrinks slowly... The remaining "goers" are asked to pay a bit more... There's no discernible growth in moviegoing. That's not a good analogue for big-screen home video.
But back to the tablet/laptop viewing phenomena, I can see it as the ultimate WAF. When I met her, my wife's idea of the perfect TV was, like, a 13 inch set, mostly hidden behind the potted plant in the corner of the room. Flat screens were a great help in making it more acceptable to have the TV in view, but with tablets you don't even have to set a TV up anymore, don't even have to deal with how to decorate around it. You can just use a tablet and put it down or away, out of site, with no impact to the decor.
Yep. And I kind of wonder what happens when Oculus-type devices let you have a "man cave" that can also disappear out of sight. Is the typical wife going to acquiesce to a giant video screen? Or will she tell you to "go buy one of those" instead?