7.1 channel ... is it worth it vs. 5.1 ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 08-14-2007, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone know what percentage of material (movies, HDTV, etc) is done in 7.1 vs. 5.1?

I'm just wondering if having a 7.1 channel setup is actually worth it compared to a 5.1 channel setup.

Thanks...
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post #2 of 32 Old 08-14-2007, 11:48 AM
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No content is in 7.1 right now. Your reciever will just upmix it. I have a 7.1 setup but I love the surround effects, very worth it over 5.1 in my opinion.

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post #3 of 32 Old 08-14-2007, 11:50 AM
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Most source material is 5.1, and there are a couple 6.1 and 7.1 HD movies. Most people who have 7.1 setups use Pro Logic sound modes to matrix the back surround channels. Personally I prefer 5.1, but many who have big rooms prefer the spacious sound that 7.1 provides, even if simulated.
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post #4 of 32 Old 08-14-2007, 01:38 PM
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Its worth it

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post #5 of 32 Old 08-14-2007, 01:52 PM
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I have just recently added 2 rear speakers to my setup. The difference is noticeable, but not as dramatic as I anticipated it being. Overall, the surrounds seem more enveloping and less distinct. On some material this is great, on other material, it's barely noticeable.

Of course, this may change as more discrete 7.1 material is released.

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post #6 of 32 Old 08-14-2007, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

I have just recently added 2 rear speakers to my setup. The difference is noticeable, but not as dramatic as I anticipated it being. Overall, the surrounds seem more enveloping and less distinct. On some material this is great, on other material, it's barely noticeable.

Of course, this may change as more discrete 7.1 material is released.

Craig

I agree 100%, I also think that 7.1 is more beneficial for larger rooms.

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post #7 of 32 Old 08-14-2007, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundsGood View Post

I'm just wondering if having a 7.1 channel setup is actually worth it compared to a 5.1 channel setup.

Worth it for me. There's no way I can get wrap-around envelopment AND stable rear-vs-side imaging in the surround field with only 2 surround speakers. One pair of surrounds can't be in two places at once (at my sides and behind me). As with any surround configuration, results will be as noticeable or subtle as the source material.

Sanjay

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post #8 of 32 Old 08-14-2007, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks.
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post #9 of 32 Old 08-14-2007, 03:37 PM
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Imagine it were you mamber! 7 is always greater then 5 in most peoples opinions!!!!



Seriously though, you might as well be ready for it now. I specifically love playing "all stereo" for music with all 7 roaring

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post #10 of 32 Old 08-14-2007, 04:12 PM
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Regular DVD's are in 5.1 and 6.1 If the DVD has 6.1 you will really appreciate the difference in sound. You don't hear the bullets whiz by you, your hear them go through you. It's a really cool effect.

As far as HD-DVD's and Bluray, they are not yet encoded at 7.1 but your current receiver will play it at DTS-ES or 6.1 surround sound if run through optical connection, if run via analog you will get 5.1 sound at TruHD, but your reciever can use those two extra channels in Prologic IIex mode (but the base sound will still be at 5.1). It is a very cool effect and worth getting the two extra speakers.
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post #11 of 32 Old 08-14-2007, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tleavit View Post

Imagine it were you mamber! 7 is always greater then 5 in most peoples opinions!!!!

Huh?
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post #12 of 32 Old 08-14-2007, 05:38 PM
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On the factor of room size, my room is not large, 13' x 17' x 9.5', and I found a significant improvement in surround envelopment when I expanded from 5.1 to 7.1. I happen to have room behind my listening area to mount the rear surround speakers along the lines of the Dolby recommendation.

Thanks
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post #13 of 32 Old 08-14-2007, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewB. View Post

... if run via analog you will get 5.1 sound at TruHD, but your reciever can use those two extra channels in Prologic IIex mode (but the base sound will still be at 5.1). It is a very cool effect and worth getting the two extra speakers.

Most receivers cannot apply DSP (BM, EQ, PLIIx) to analog inputs. You need to have an HDMI receiver that can apply PLIIx to multichannel PCM in the digital domain.

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post #14 of 32 Old 08-15-2007, 06:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Sounds like it's absolutely worth wiring for 7.1 (which I will do) and possibly worth it to add the extra two speakers (which I might do).

Thanks, guys.
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post #15 of 32 Old 08-15-2007, 10:07 AM
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Thanks for the clarification on that littlesaint. I have never used any DSP modes on my systems. That's not true my Denon 4802 is in THX mode so that I guess is a DSP mode, and it upconverts 5.1 signal to 7.1, but when watching HD-DVD's the reciever automatically switchess to DTS-ES 6.1. So thanks for clarifying.
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post #16 of 32 Old 08-15-2007, 10:20 AM
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I absolutely love having 7.1 and have no capability of 7.1 source (no PS3). I use PLIIx on all movies and 7.1 enhanced on all music and think it sounds great. I have a Yamaha RXV-661 in a very large room.

If you have not much space behind your seating area it may not be for you. That and very small rooms would be the only place I wouldn't recommend it. I have 5.1 in my living room because I have no space behind me. The 7.1 is in out HT/bar basement area which is very deep.

Pat
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post #17 of 32 Old 08-15-2007, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patnshan View Post

If you have not much space behind your seating area it may not be for you. That and very small rooms would be the only place I wouldn't recommend it. I have 5.1 in my living room because I have no space behind me. The 7.1 is in out HT/bar basement area which is very deep.

The room (family room) is 16.5' wide and 26.5' deep, BUT it's connected to the kitchen which is another 12' deep (so 16.5' x 38.5' total).
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post #18 of 32 Old 08-15-2007, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundsGood View Post

The room (family room) is 16.5' wide and 26.5' deep, BUT it's connected to the kitchen which is another 12' deep (so 16.5' x 38.5' total).

How far from the front wall (screen?) will the main seating be?

Sanjay

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post #19 of 32 Old 08-15-2007, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

How far from the front wall (screen?) will the main seating be?

About 13' or so.
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post #20 of 32 Old 08-15-2007, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundsGood View Post

About 13' or so.

Wonderful. This places the listeners at roughly 1/3rd the room length, which will help make the frequency response smoother.

See the attached diagram of a typical 7.1-speaker layout. Notice the side speakers are in line with the main seating and the rear speakers are spread around 60 degrees apart behind the listeners.

If you want something similar to the diagram, then mount your side speakers directly to the sides of your seating area and mount your rear speakers about 14 feet back (still on the side walls). You'll end up with the same angles as on the diagram. Remember to aim/point the rear speakers towards the listening area. I would mount all 4 surrounds at least a couple of feet above ear level.

When a car exits screen left, the sound will disappear to your left. When a plane flies overhead, the sound will disappear behind you. Difficult, if not impossible, to get the same results with only one pair of surrounds.

Sanjay
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post #21 of 32 Old 08-15-2007, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Perfect.

Thanks a lot!
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post #22 of 32 Old 08-15-2007, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patnshan View Post

I have a Yamaha RXV-661 in a very large room.

If you have not much space behind your seating area it may not be for you.
Pat

I also have a RXV-661 with 5.1 in a dedicated room, L x W x H (17 x 11 x 9). The second row seat will be approx 2'-3' from the back wall.

Would this be feasible for a 7.1 setup.
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post #23 of 32 Old 08-15-2007, 01:10 PM
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You should wire the hell out of it - I did what would be 23.5 heh...

I am running 7.1 in a semi large theater dedicated room - its a better fill of sound versus 5.1...

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post #24 of 32 Old 08-15-2007, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Twylight View Post

You should wire the hell out of it - I did what would be 23.5 heh...

Ha!
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post #25 of 32 Old 08-15-2007, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcusvb05 View Post

I also have a RXV-661 with 5.1 in a dedicated room, L x W x H (17 x 11 x 9). The second row seat will be approx 2'-3' from the back wall.

Would this be feasible for a 7.1 setup.


I personally think that may be a little close to the seating with the rears. Mine are in-ceilings, about 6 feet behind the seating, tweeters aimed forward. Others will chime in I am sure

Pat
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post #26 of 32 Old 08-15-2007, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twylight View Post

You should wire the hell out of it - I did what would be 23.5 heh...

I am running 7.1 in a semi large theater dedicated room - its a better fill of sound versus 5.1...

I actually ran 9.1 in a room I have no business with 9 speakers in

Pat
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post #27 of 32 Old 08-15-2007, 06:25 PM
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I just completed my 7.1 setup and it sounds really good. Its not ideal considering my corner TV placement, but so far I am really loving it. Its almost like you dont even notice the rear speakers until a scene when the surround effects are really pronounced and then you are like..."whoa! cool!!!"

Here's my layout (The sub sounds pretty good where it is, but I'm considering putting the sub behind the TV...not sure yet)
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post #28 of 32 Old 08-15-2007, 07:16 PM
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Is there a way to get the 4 speakers in the back /side of the listener to connect to my receiver wirelessly?

Thanks,


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Wonderful. This places the listeners at roughly 1/3rd the room length, which will help make the frequency response smoother.

See the attached diagram of a typical 7.1-speaker layout. Notice the side speakers are in line with the main seating and the rear speakers are spread around 60 degrees apart behind the listeners.

If you want something similar to the diagram, then mount your side speakers directly to the sides of your seating area and mount your rear speakers about 14 feet back (still on the side walls). You'll end up with the same angles as on the diagram. Remember to aim/point the rear speakers towards the listening area. I would mount all 4 surrounds at least a couple of feet above ear level.

When a car exits screen left, the sound will disappear to your left. When a plane flies overhead, the sound will disappear behind you. Difficult, if not impossible, to get the same results with only one pair of surrounds.

Sanjay

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post #29 of 32 Old 08-15-2007, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Arken View Post

Is there a way to get the 4 speakers in the back /side of the listener to connect to my receiver wirelessly?

Thanks,

Yes, but the sound quality will suffer:
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post #30 of 32 Old 08-15-2007, 11:33 PM
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7.1 is probably useful in large rooms or 'shoe box' rooms.

Beyond that or a dedicated HT room with the proper dimensional aspects (like the Dolby image) my guess is 7.1 is something of a 'best case scenario' That there is little true source material complicates that.

Now, if you have a room conducive to it, I am all for it.

In a room of compromised speaker setup I'd guess the benefit is dubious.

.02

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