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Surround Sound - How many speakers needed? - Page 5

post #121 of 494
There are actually two questions:
1. What is needed?
2. What would you like to have?

The answer to "2" might be very different than "1".

But remember also that in the U.S., the majority of the population lives in major cities. And in most large cities, most people live in either small houses or in apartments. And in an apartment, unless you have a 3000 sq ft loft, almost no one is going to put in more than 5.1, if that.

I've noticed that at J&R, the largest independent electronics store in NYC, the best selling TV is only 32", followed by five 40" models, followed by a 22" model and then strangely followed by a 60" model in position #8. IMO, people who buy TVs below 46" are very unlikely to have any additional sound system. The sound system they have is probably one of those tabletop iPod amp/speaker systems.
post #122 of 494
My vote is 9.2...two subs, left, center, right, left side, right side, left over head, right over head, rear left, rear right. I have 7.2 in my theater, at some point I am going to add the two overhead speakers. In my master bedroom I have 5.1 with the two rear speakers being over heads. It sounds damn good to my ears. The over heads add a height factor that could be beneficial in the right room. Imagine a plane flies from center over head then behind you. I can't wait to add them to our HT.
post #123 of 494
Originally Posted by mystic_sniper28 View Post

for the most part 5.1 and 7.1 uses a delayed response to add illusion of a rear audio listening experience which is nothing but a time delay to simulate human deafed hearing

What "delayed response"? 5.1 and 7.1 send unique content to each channel. Besides normal time alignment, no delays are used.
post #124 of 494
How about each person has a round like a cue ball chair with speakers covering the entire inside...viola...perfect sound!
post #125 of 494
Originally Posted by mystic_sniper28 View Post

to the future and beyond 22.1-22.6, it doesn't take much to build a processor to handle this format though I suspect having the other components to support this hardware, with dvd or blue ray i doubt you could reproduce this sound field format off a a disc of that size..

I would suspect a 6-8 laser array would be needed using the the older lp style video disc format to base the info on I doubt the standard size dvd/blue ray could store enough info for 22.x soundtrack not to mention, the dvd/br player supporting 22 analog or 22 digital connections to support the 22.x format.

The issue with storage of SHV recording is not a 3x increase in audio content over BD, but rather a 16x increase in [precompression] video content [as SHV is intended to be HDTV4 resolution, although some (esp. European?) studies have suggested HDTV2 resolution might be more practical]. Fortunately, 4th Gen optical drives for use as business data storage (in about 2020) are starting to appear, and they should work out just fine for SHV recording (NHK Develops New Optical Storage Systems For Super Hi-vision Video Signals ).

Originally Posted by mystic_sniper28 View Post

and as it pains me to say this, a 22.x system has no practical value with in the realms of home theater given the space requirement 22+ speakers.

From the NHK STRL ANNUAL REPORT 2008, page 8:


Research on spatial acoustic signal processing
Super Hi-Vision receivers in homes of the future should have signal processing to reproduce 22.2 channel audio on fewer speakers, while preserving the sense of presence. In FY 2008, we developed the basic signal processing methods and performed subjective evaluations confirming that as long as the time-averaged acoustic intensity (average acoustic power passing through a unit area over one cycle) is kept the same at the sound reception point, the spatial impression of sound stays within an acceptable range, even when the number of channels is reduced from 22 to 10."

Originally Posted by mystic_sniper28 View Post

sadly I don't think hdmi would be a great for a 22+ channel system.

Again, the 3x increase in audio content is not the primary issue with transmission of SHV over HDMI (although I do not know if the audio bitstream encapsulation would need to be revised), rather the SHV/HDTV2 frame size (3840x2048) is within the HDMI 1.4 spec, however the SHV/HDTV4 frame size (7680x4096) is not.
post #126 of 494
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

There are actually two questions:
1. What is needed?
2. What would you like to have?

The answer to "2" might be very different than "1".

Bullseye. I have 5.1 but my receiver will do 7.1. I'd love to go to 7.1 but my room is 21x11 with no options for mounting "in-wall" so thats two more hanging speakers. Room aesthetics aside, I seriously doubt upgrading to 7.1 would be a noticable addition in sound in a room that size.
post #127 of 494
Since no one *needs* a HT at all, I put what I want - 11.1.

I'm setting that up now with a Denon 4810, and would like to see it available in more receivers and pre/pro's.
post #128 of 494
Would love to have 5.1 !!!
My old plaster & lath walls and concrete floors make it very difficult to run any type of wire. I'm currently using an old Denon stereo receiver feeding an equally old Bose 2.1 Acoustimass system. Primitive, but it beats the pants off of the sound coming out of the plasma set. I hope to upgrade to a Denon surround receiver and Def Tech single surround and supercube III the end of the year.
post #129 of 494
sound c., i doubt hdmi would have the bandwidth transport 22.x audio, there is likely image as well sound limitations within the 1.4 spec hdmi review..

I would suspect having a br/dvd player able to decode the sound stream of 22.x format would require 4-8 laser reader just to read the sound and a 2-4 laser setup just to process a 4-12k image, with fibre optic interface linking player to processor..

the question we need to ask ourselves is 9.x-11.x a practical solution within regard to an avr sighting the z11 example of the wattage output the 4 new channels use given the current sizes of the chassis and power out of the internal amps..

i think for 9.x-11.x to be usable solution in regards to the amp section I think the existing chassis need to be redesigned to allow for more amp head room instead of using something that look's like it was designed to be a pre-amp from the get go..

while the current avr's designs are usable though not in the context of 1 chassis fits all mantra they currently use..

trying to fit to much into a small hole with eventually lead to more things failing within unit..

whether it be an avr or pre-amp I prefer have enough space between components to allow them enough room to breath, not enough space to breath leads heat related failure rates..
post #130 of 494
7.2 - more subs - more BASS!!
post #131 of 494
I voted 7.1, but wanted an option for 7.2
post #132 of 494
I have a 7.2 AVR, but am only running 7.1.
With so little material available in 7.1, I find it of little value.
post #133 of 494
Originally Posted by TheOtherChris View Post

I have a 7.2 AVR, but am only running 7.1.
With so little material available in 7.1, I find it of little value.

Use Dolby Pro Logic IIx on your 5.1 content. It's great and very natural sounding in 7.1.
post #134 of 494
Originally Posted by mystic_sniper28 View Post

sound c., i doubt hdmi would have the bandwidth transport 22.x audio, there is likely image as well sound limitations within the 1.4 spec hdmi review.

HDMI 1.4 appears to have been 'sized' based on the assumption (at the time!) of the need to handle DCI video distribution, i.e., 4096x2048 video plus (max) 14.2 channel audio, which I'm pretty sure is a higher data content than SHV/HDTV2, i.e., 3840x2048 video plus 22.2 channel audio...?!

I'm also guessing that NHK does not see in-home cabling as an insurmountable problem, otherwise they would likely not already have started [multichannel] SHV/HDTV4 Direct Broadcast Satellite transmission tests.
post #135 of 494
I voted 7.1, which I already have setup.
post #136 of 494
Sorry no 22.2? For home use (remember these are Japanese, so they don't have 'big ass american homes', NHK research is proposing to reproduce the 22.2 channels using either 4 or 9 speakers.
post #137 of 494
I have a small home theater (10' x 19') so 7.2 is enough for me. However if I had a larger room I would consider more although there is no source material.
post #138 of 494
All limit the subs to one. That's been fine for me, but what other opinions are out there on multiple subs?
post #139 of 494
I've been using 7.2 for a few years and with regular dvds found Pro-Logic IIx and DTS-ES to add significantly to my listening enjoyment factor relative to 5.2. Now, running multichannel analog out with blu-ray, although the hi-def audio is wonderful, the relative lack of 7.1 titles has been a major disappointment -- especially after experiencing how phenomenal 7 discrete channels can sound in an HT system (e.g., 3:10 to Yuma).

I suppose that 9.x and 11.x systems would work wonderfully in the right HT rooms, but just having more 7.1 blu-ray titles available at this point in time would be a huge leap forward.

Two issues:

1. Does anyone know why the studios aren't releasing more 7.1 blu-ray titles? Is the mastering/production cost that much greater? Do they perceive that there isn't the demand? The blu-ray hype (both pre-release and now) sure touts "Up to 7.1 Hi-Def Channels".

2. For those of you using HDMI, are there decoding formats that will matrix hi-def audio 5.1 into 7.1? If not (and I assume the answer is "no,") does anyone know if something like that is in the works?
post #140 of 494
Originally Posted by Wryker View Post

7.2 - more subs - more BASS!!

That's what I got......and

Originally Posted by Sujay View Post

Use Dolby Pro Logic IIx on your 5.1 content. It's great and very natural sounding in 7.1.

That's what I'm using.
post #141 of 494
My vote didn't have an option.

2. aka "binaural", not to be confused with "stereo" which is recorded much differently.

We each have 2 monophonic microphones built into our heads so in a perfect world perfect 3D sound reproduction needs only two discrete channels. (or do some of us have more than two eardrums?)

The localization cues that tell us direction such as HRTF (head, and pinna, related transfer function) and inter-channel delay can be mimicked electrically in each of those two channels.

Yes, there are many obstacles to overcome in conventional 2 speaker sound setups such as inevitable channel cross talk, room acoustics, and having to make the signal cater to a broad audience of listeners with differing HRTF EQ curves, but maybe some day the music will be beamed to each listener with an IR window in our skulls in front of the ears, much like current IR headphones use in movie theaters now for the hearing impaired, and cochlear implants tailored to the individuals' HRTF curves will reproduce the sound for each audience member. Perfect sound from only 2 channels for our 2 ears.
post #142 of 494
Originally Posted by Mike W View Post

Does anyone know why the studios aren't releasing more 7.1 blu-ray titles? Is the mastering/production cost that much greater? Do they perceive that there isn't the demand?

7.1 releases require remixing the 5.1 track, which costs more than simply remastering for home (re-equalizing for nearfield listening). The added cost doesn't translate into added sales. If you weren't going to buy a certain title, the fact that it's been remixed to 7.1 is not going to change your mind. Likewise, if you were going to buy a movie anyway, you'll buy it whether it is 5.1 or 7.1.

The blu-ray hype (both pre-release and now) sure touts "Up to 7.1 Hi-Def Channels".

Just because BD touts "Up to 7.1 Hi-Def Channels", doesn't mean every soundtrack should be re-mixed. BD can have excellent colour fidelity too, but it doesn't mean that 'Casablanca' should be colourized. I think it's fine if studios deliver soundtracks in their original 5.1 channel count. We consumers can scale it to 7.1, 9.2, 11.4 or however many speakers we want. I mean, studios don't release 768p, 720p, 480p versions of movies. We scale DVDs and BDs to our displays. Should be the same for audio.

For those of you using HDMI, are there decoding formats that will matrix hi-def audio 5.1 into 7.1?

They all can. PLIIx, for example, is format agnostic. You can apply it to various codecs (DD, DTS, TrueHD, DTS-HD MA), data rates (96/24, 48/24, 44.1/16) and channel counts (2.0, 4.0, 5.1). It can scale all those formats to a 7-speaker layout.
post #143 of 494
My head does all the processing with just 2 transducers (ears), so why the need for anything more than that? 5.1 works just fine. Besides, you can't do much more with plaster walls and furniture in the way.
post #144 of 494
Ah the heck with it, If and when "Jurassic Park " is released on blu-ray I'm going to switch to a 1.11 system. 1 center speaker and 11 subs. I want my neighbors to share in the experience of being surrounded by dinos. I imagine I'll be reporting from a jail cell on how things turned out.
post #145 of 494
Originally Posted by GeekGirl View Post

...with just 2 transducers (ears), so why the need for anything more than that?

Because sounds in the real world come from all around us. You can't reproduce that with only 2 speakers, certainly not with any stability. It's like saying that our eyes are a few inches apart, so why do we need displays bigger than that.
post #146 of 494
My vote is for 5.1 as a 7.1 or higher setup is not feasible given my room and sitting position. Also, 5.1 already sounds fantastic if it is mixed right.
post #147 of 494
the down side ht that we seem to pack more sound in to the smallest space possible and think it is the best sound we can hear..

anything above 7.1 will be overkill, though like idiots we will swollow the bs trying add more speakers in to space that it was seldom designed to be used in.. in reality there isn't likely a practical solution for 11.x with the home at this stage unless you're in the situation of having enough height and length space to deploy a min of 15-25 rows of seats i doubt you will get any benefits from a 9.x-11.x system sonically speaking..

to deploy 11.x into a home correctly you need a big space in which to deploy the speakers, in 90% of cases we live a fool's delusion thinking what we have deployed was the correct method of configuration within that space we have used...

from the many threads i've read on here and on other forums I would have to say this while most ht rooms look of great layout design sonically the rooms themselves neither long, wide or tall enough for the disbursement of sound and in most cases don't even have enough rows of seats to deflect the audio from the front never-mind the audio heard from the surround channel...

the next time you go out to a commercial cineplex theatre before your movie starts take a look at speaker placements, keep in mind then go home and look at your 1/10th scale project in regards to seating and speaker placement you actually might learn more about surround speaker placement you may even improve your listening enjoyment within your own ht deployment..
post #148 of 494
Where is the 7.4 option?
post #149 of 494
NOTE: Slightly edited for content clarity as well as punctutation and grammar; any extant mistakes are figments of your highly creative imagination(s)...

I don't post a lot. But, when I do, it's sometimes a lengthy post, with at least a little bit of thought behind it. (Such is my rationale for dumping this treatise upon your heads, anyway...) So, here goes:

While it's easy to be a cynic, a naysayer--easy to tear down via pessimism rather than risk disappointment after getting stoked up and excited--with a little thought (and, yes, a dash of hope!), one can see these are truly terrific times to be in this hobby of ours. There are fundamental changes going on in the synchrony of 3D video, 3D audio (11.X), and the convergences of the wirelessly-networked PCs, game consoles, wireless game controllers--and even, with the Xbox Kinect, "controller-less" game controllers!--smart phones, home automation...all also broadband connected to the whole wide "out there" web. After mentioning these synchronistic elements, all converging, finally, and feeding one another in a super-developing, exploding ecosystem--and prepared to feed each other, again, synchronously, to and for the eventual super-success of all (sooner than later)--let me stay mostly on topic and just concentrate on the audio thang, and comment only at the end on the burgeoning video 3D revolution. And other, compementary stuff...

I'm squarely in the 11.X camp. Tom (Tomlinson) Holman, reputedly the "T and H" in "THX," has long advocated (and demo'd) massive surround systems to great effect and acclaim among those fortunate to hear his arrays (many of them longtime, entrenched 2-channel audiophiles, hidebound industry leaders, "elder satesmen" of the reputedly "jaded" audio press)--and considers the systems we are now moving towards (with an apparent 11-monitor cap, at least for the present) to be a minimum for truly accurate and enveloping surround sound...(the ideal max apparently being infinite, both humorously and seriously!)...Now, with his new (to most CE consumers) company Audyssey, we can enjoy a significant slice of that ultimate surround experience, provided one's room, and budget (and SO), permit relatively precise placement of high quality speakers and associated amplification, processing and sources.

Yes, Audyssey "only" adds four channels to the 7.X mix (with the "wides" being the most important/least subtle--indeed, said to be significantly MORE important than the rears, in, say, a 9.1 setup...or, tellingly, even in a 7.2-channel setup), and these are not discrete channels, but algorithm-derived from the 7.X channels. (And, interestingly, if the source does not offer discrete 7.X channels, the whole will be derived from either 5.1 channels, or even 2 channels (!), piggybacking on Dolby Pro Logic IIx!). Still, the quality of the processing power of our new chips/quality of the derivation from existing channels--even mere 2-channel stereo--can be stuningly effective in the right room. This decidedly is NOT akin the the original, matrixed Dolby Pro Logic surround sound era of two decades ago.

Again, with the right source material and associated equipment, ideally placed. For many, this is not possible. But for a hard AVS core (nearly 15% in this poll so far, counting "mere" 9.1 devotees), with dedicated rooms (or without spouses or spousal complaints), this is wholly intriguing and desirable. More is more in the best sense: ahem, that'd be the auditory sense...

A la Spinal Tap: "Turn it up to 11."

That's me. Maybe you! In any event, the upside is that it does NOT take a whole revolution in source media, source playback decks, etc. to enjoy this tech--just a properly-decoding pre-pro or receiver, some more amplification, and some more speakers. Not even large ones. And here's the kicker: There is no format war or dependency upon wide consumer adoption or "chicken/egg media vs. hardware dilemma" to affect the "success" of the 11.X evolutionary surround sound experience. It exists. You can buy into it and experience it for yourself RIGHT NOW. And forevermore, oblivious to the eventual larger market acceptance, or whether discrete 11.X channels are ever supported by the media oligopoly, the Bluray Group (Sony), or anyone else other than some CEA member getting that first 11.X receiver or pre-pro into your grubby little mitts. This ain't gonna be like the video 3D infancy we're also seeing right now. "Success" of the "format" is already assured, no matter what adoption-levels become per capita, as no significant CE industry or media company manufacturing or business-model re-structuring or capital outlays are needed,--or have to be recouped(!!!)--to ensure "success." Whoever buys the necessary equipment buys it. Whoever doesn't, doesn't. That is its "success." At whatever level this is maintained, however utterly miniscule to the larger media and CE markets. This ain't SACD vs. DVD-Audio. Bluray vs. HD-DVD. Beta vs. VHS. DAT. DCC. Quad. End of story. Nor must it leap the arguable hurdles of 3D video...

Which, as an aside, I happen also to see as being spectacularly effective (ahem, at least as a new technology launch, if not in terms of a lot of first-gen media efforts) and widely "adopted" (as below, perhaps passively to a large degree)--despite many of the hindrances, as reported above--because of the simple fact, similar to the whole of the limited capital-outlay effect mentioned re:11.X, that 3D adds little to the cost of already advanced-processing displays. Ditto: the fact that many of the tweaks required by 3D also enhance 2D viewing, so consumers will be "adopting" 3D equipment quite naturally, passively, even--like an unexpected prize in a Happy Meal--as part of the mutually-supporting processes of the constant evolution of TV improvement, and quite normal consumer-purchasing turnover patterns ...and maybe consumers'll invest in a few more 3D glasses when the prices drop and more media is available, which won't take long. Relatively. (Relative, say, to HDTV adoption.) Media/content availability, in fact, is the only real bottleneck to widespread adoption.

And, as first mentioned, there's the whole synchrony of meshed, integrated, networked technologies that will be simultaneously pushing and pulling us all--along with our tech toys--into a totally new 3D communications and entertainment world. The synchrony will both affect and effect--positively--the success of ALL the new individual technologies, at least in terms of mutually driving and supporting the larger trends. (The whole is far greater than the sum of its parts.) And, the technologies'll be relatively cheap to implement. According to the natural evolution that has--suprise, surprise!--already brought us to this point (philosophically, in fact, we're already long past "this point," as perceived...given extant capital investment and multi-industry commitments, we're actually already way down the Miz-zip, Huck!) And it will carry us along even further, quite naturally, whether we make conscious choices. To egregiously mix metaphors (my bad, sorry), the stream already exists and is flowing, very rapidly, and by the time we think we know where we are, we're already way past it. + See the big picture; hear it, too.

My 2-cents. Exciting times for 3D audio and 3D video! And, and, and...

post #150 of 494
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

AFAIC, anything past 5.1 only puts bucks in the pockets of the speaker manufactures.

Actually, I think 2.0 would still put bucks in the pockets of speaker manufacturers. :-P
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