Can I use Infrared Wireless headphones with plasma? - AVS Forum
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Old 11-01-2003, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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I have been looking around for wireless headphones so I can watch plasma at late hours without waking everyone up.
I was leaning towards Infrared over Radiofrequency, but I was wondering if the plasma screen will cause interference.
Also, has anyone tried the Sony Virtual Dolby headsets? Look intriguing...

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-01-2003, 11:46 AM
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Hi MCL

I have a set of the sony IR dolby surround headphones...they're pretty cool. There's a slight hiss during playback, but considering they used to let me watch movies at a decent level when my wife was sleeping they've been great.

I haven't yet tried the with my plasma.....I've been meaning to, but I just haven't done it yet.

I'll give it a try tonite and let you know how they work...

Rich
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Old 11-01-2003, 06:08 PM
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I have had Sony wireless IR headphone for many years. We have used them with TV's in our family room, and had super sound quality.

But no longer: I just installed the 42WD6UY, and we get strong interference. It is clearly the "light" being emitted -- if I freeze on a black image, there is no interference, but the brighter the picture, the more interference I get on the headphones. The background hum/crackle induced by the plasma for modereately bright scenes makes the headphone pretty unuseable for me.

Oh well, I'll be checking out wireless RF headphones.

David Baraff
Pixar Animation Studios
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Old 11-01-2003, 11:41 PM
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Yep,

David is 100% correct. The IR headphones are essentially useless with the plasma. The soundtrack is audible, but there is a definately audible hum/crackle in the background.

Sorry MCL, but it seems that RF is in your future......

Rich
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Old 11-02-2003, 01:18 AM
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Thanks for the confirmation, though.

Does anyone know why CRT's don't generate IR interference, but plasmas do?
I assume something about the physics of how a plasma screen operates makes it either difficult or impossible to avoid sending out IR radiation?

David Baraff
Pixar Animation Studios
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Old 11-02-2003, 02:21 AM
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Is this true for all plasmas? Or is it only for the Panasonic commercial plasmas? If so, could it be because of the FCC A classification, instead of the more rigorous Class B?

Spleen

What do you mean, I can't afford it!?
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Old 11-02-2003, 05:28 AM
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It's somewhat of a guess on my part, but I believe the IR interference is a byproduct of the way plasma screens are scanned (the pixels are not "on" or "off" but are pulsed). If this frequency (or one of its harmonics) gets close to the carrier frequency of IR (about 40Khz) and there is significant enough IR wavelengths in the light output, you'll get interference. Flourescent lights can also cause similar problems.

I've definitely noticed it on my plasma. I have an IR repeater on top of my display whose sensor LED glows whenever the TV is on. I read somewhere here to cover the sensor ith masking tape (!) and that does a pretty good job reducing the sensitivity just enough to allow a remote to work and reject extra plasma IR interference. It probably won't help with the headphones, though...

/Mitch.
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Old 11-02-2003, 05:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help guys. Kind of a bummer, though, because I was really interested in the Sony Virtual Surround IR headphones.

Any suggestions for an RF model for headphones?
I would be looking for one transmitter that could work with two headphones.
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Old 11-02-2003, 05:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MCL


Any suggestions for an RF model for headphones?
I would be looking for one transmitter that could work with two headphones.
many people rate the Amphony (2.4ghz) RF digital wireless headphones the best: I tried them and had serious interference problems from both plasma and LCD screens: yet others have reported no problems with plasma - these are the best if they work for you

AR (infrared) wireless headphones are pretty good: no interference issues-

have tried the Sennheiser wireless but not near as good as AR:

I am pretty sure you can use 2 headphones from one AR transmitter (or use two transmitters- they have discrete channel settings)

I agree with reports the Sony headphones are affected by plasma interference

whatever headphones you buy, be sure you can return them if you have problems

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Old 11-02-2003, 07:46 AM
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Here's a post with a sublink to details on the Pioneer DIR1000 Dolby Headphone system. Here's a brief review . Haven't noticed any RF etc. interference in a fairly noisy environment, although no plasma is present. Mostly, using the Pioneer's optical link, there's a complete abscence of noise interference. Since buying the phones several months back I've read newer Dolby Headphone systems are pending or here, so it might pay to check the audio technology forum here . -- John
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Old 11-02-2003, 12:58 PM
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Here's my guess on why the plasma is causing interference. Like CRTs, Plasmas use Phosphors to create a picture (LCD's are backlit, and use polarized light). CRT's excite the phosphorus using an electron beam that scans one pixel at a time. A plasma TV uses bursts of UV light (that you can't see) to excite individual pixels at once. They in turn produce visible light, similar to the a CRTs phosphors. All electromagnetic radiation is light, but we can only see a small slice of it. UV (that gives you a sunburn) has a higher frequency than visible light (just beyond violet in the rainbow). IR (infrared, just before red in the rainbow) is a lower frequency than visible light and can be felt as heat, but can't be seen (unless you use night vision goggles - then you can use a remote control for a flashlight). If your IR headphones really are IR (and not UV, just called IR) then UV or visible light shouldn't interfere, but the plasma may produce some IR as a byproduct of the UV/visible light. The phosphors may give off visible light AND IR when excited by the UV light. Also, anything containing heat (basically everything) gives off some IR. Since plasmas get so hot, that might do it, but I doubt it (it can't cool that fast on a dark scene). You could try looking at your fireplace the next time it is lit and see what it does to your headphones. Also, try pointing a remote at your headphones. I guess this doesn't happen with CRT's (I don't have IR headphones) so it is either because of the UV method, or they use a different kind of phosphorus (probably) that produce IR light as a byproduct. Also, if your IR headphones are analog, and if they make a digital version, that might help cut down on the interference.
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Old 11-05-2003, 11:37 AM
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Mark,

are you saying that you're currently using (or have used) the AR IR headphones in a plasma environment? If so, what type of plasma is it? I'm using a commercial panny 5UY, and I'm interested in replacing my sony setup with something that will work....

edit:

I'm going to give the masking tape trick a try...worth a shot. I paid over $500 for my setup 2 years ago (transmitter and 2 sets of headphones)...would be a shame to have to ebay them...



Rich
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Old 11-05-2003, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by boykster
Mark,

are you saying that you're currently using (or have used) the AR IR headphones in a plasma environment? If so, what type of plasma is it? I'm using a commercial panny 5UY, and I'm interested in replacing my sony setup with something that will work....

Rich
Hello Rich

it has been awhile since I tried the AR's but I think I used them near my Pioneer Pro1000 and they worked OK: I no longer have them to try

I have really never found a wireless headphone that was great: for headphones my fav is a pair of Sennheiser HD600's connected to an Antique Sound Labs Headphone amp (tube model) and a long cable:)

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Old 11-05-2003, 11:58 AM
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Thanks Mark,

Hmmm...maybe wired is the way to go...if only I'd pulled some cable for headphones when I built my theater...what was I thinking :p

Well, I can always retrofit....

Rich
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Old 11-05-2003, 12:03 PM
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Murphy's Law says:

no matter how many extra cables you run for your new house or HT, you will ALWAYS be at least ONE cable short-

it never fails

that's why they sell surface wire duct/wiremold:)

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Old 11-05-2003, 01:09 PM
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Good guess Billysroom (it is a product of plasma production)

After looking it up in JAP here is why PDP's have strong IR interference (not phosphor related):

Excited Xenon has a relatively strong emission at 823nm which is NIR (near - infrared) and will interfere with most IR communication devices which operate at a similar wavelength.

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Old 11-06-2003, 09:00 PM
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Well, no big suprises here, but the masking tape trick didn't work, at least with the sony IR headphone set.

Guess it's off to ebay for my headphones/transmitter, and off to try out some other options (rf).

And yes, Murphy strikes again.....I do have an "out", as on one side of my theater is a "bumpout" shelf capped with hardwood - easily removed and is a perfect chase for running "oopsie" cables. I already used it once for my couch rumblers. Should be easily enough room to pull some wiring for headphones...I could even install some jacks in the couch, that'd be cool!

Cheers,

Rich
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Old 11-08-2003, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, now I am thinking of just going wired...
Is there any way to get simulated Surround on a wired headset?

Also, boykster...which model of the Sony IR headphones do you have? I might be interested in using them for my rear projection TV.

Thanks everyone for the useful info. Saved me a lot of aggravation.
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Old 11-10-2003, 09:15 AM
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MCL,

I have the Sony MDR-DS5100 setup, it includes the base station transmitter (with digital coax and optical inputs, as well as an analog input) and a set of headphones. I also have an extra set of headphones.

As far as simulated surround sound on wired headphones, I believe that there is a Dolby Headphone standard - and devices that will provide this display the Dolby Headphone symbol. Dolby.com has some product references that include this feature. Also, the sony setup that I have provides a wired output with the simulated surround sound as well.

If you're interested in the MDR-DS5100, let me know (PM).


Cheers,

Rich
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Old 11-21-2003, 08:19 AM
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boy

if you still have the head phones, have you tried moving the base transmitter away from the plasma, say right next to your seat and head phones? not ideal, but my friend claims his cheap ir non surround headphones work perfect;y if he keeps them and the transmitter at least 6 feet from the plasma, please test if you can as i have some of these ( like yours) on the way. and want to know if i should not even open them

Pardon my spelling, the checker hangs my system.
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Old 11-21-2003, 09:50 AM
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Tony,

Yep, I gave that a try, but no dice. The biggest problem isn't getting the IR to the headphones, it's blocking out the interference from the plasma. I even tried the masking tape trick to try to block the interference, combined with the transmitter being right next to me...no luck.

The headphones have been ebayed...

Rich
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