11.1 audio - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 06-22-2010, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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By participating in the above poll on surround sound (here is the link) I have discovered that people are actually using 11.1 audio now, and there's quite a heated discussion about whether or not 11.1 is actually beneficial to the home theater experience.

With 7.1 audio still pretty much in its infancy in Linux, I'm wondering what opinions everyone here has about 11.1.

Personally, my HTPC is set up in my bedroom, and 5.1 is nearly overkill for this small of a space. I can see how 11.1 could make a huge difference in a large home theater room, though, and I'm wondering if there has been any development towards 11.1 in ALSA. A quick search yields absolutely zero information on this subject for me.

Again, I'm just interested to hear everyone's thoughts on this subject.
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post #2 of 4 Old 06-22-2010, 09:35 AM
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There a people who believe a $100 hdmi cable provides better picture quality than a $10 one, too.

Why not 20.1, or 50.2? Or 4D video?

On the other hand home A/V equipment manufacturers need to keep consumers motivated to upgrade again and again, regardless if the upgrade actually has any practical benefits.

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post #3 of 4 Old 06-22-2010, 10:41 AM
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There's a point at which you can have too much of a good thing. Next they will be putting 11 blades on a shaving razor!

I'm happy with 5.1. I can see where a large public theater might have use for 11.1, but in a home that's truly overkill... someday I might be induced to go to 7.1 (if my hearing doesn't fail first), but that would be the maximum. On the other hand, it's probably a bonanza for speaker makers, and the snake-oil salesmen behind those overpriced speaker cables!

I do love it, though, when people like sheep run out and buy the next new thing, because then they often they sell their old, perfectly good equipment for a fraction of the original purchase price. I loved being able to pick up a like-new high end receiver that originally sold for several hundred dollars for around a hundred bucks, just because the original owner HAD to have the latest and greatest unit that supported two more speakers!
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post #4 of 4 Old 06-22-2010, 11:10 AM
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I look at it several ways-

The Gold Reference Standard to me is the local Imax

http://www.thehenryford.org/imax/index.aspx

I believe the biggest real (not the re-branded Imax's at multiplexes) Imax in Michigan.

It uses real celluloid film and 6.1 audio- L-C-R-LS-RS and a center height channel (could be 7.1 with two off center height channels) plus subs. That's it. That's all that is needed to get good localization of sound and a 3D soundfield.

Yes, that venue is large so they can set it up for a large "sweet spot".

2 channel purists will tell you all you need is two speakers to achieve a 3-dimensional soundstage. While technically correct, the sweet spot will be very small- not good for home theaters seating more than two people.

So, the simple way to get some sound localization back it to add more speakers around you. How many channels and physical speakers are enough?

Again, the Imax and most commercial theaters should tell you. Why would you need more than the original commercial showings?

I could see some justification for 8.1-10.1 for a set of added sides and ceiling (Height) speakers, but that's the limit of plausibility IMO. That's assuming enough movies are released with enough discrete (no, artificially derived sound via funky processing doesn't count) activity in those added speakers to justify the added cost of decoders, amps, receivers, processors and speakers. Two rear speakers made sense to me for 6.1/7.1, but beyond that is getting comical.


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