Originally Posted by ozar
From what I can tell, you are quite correct in your assessment. Back when I joined 14 months ago it was far more active than it is now, but it seems to be that way with the entire site and not any specific forum(s). Hopefully, things will soon return to the way they were...
12 years ago when I joined there were were so few members... It was mostly tech nerds and guys like me that couldn't info or knew there was a better way to design a room than was recommended by the once very profitable retail Home Theater stores.
My very first post was asking for information on a Faroudja line tripler at the recently reduced price of $4000. At that time, you had to pay Faroudja $25,000 - $30,000 for a line quadrupler to get 1080P on your DVD and CRT Mind you it did not have HDMI / DVI as it wasn't invented yet. THe Faroudja VP-301 (my dream piece gave you 540P for your DVD player for the reasonable price of $15,000. The Sony G-90 CRT came out at the unheard of (low) price of $45,000, was as good as anything out there and signal that prices were starting to break. Runco and other had CRT manufacturers had CRTs in the $50-$90K range at the time. There was a heck of a lot of DIY folks here and the theater builder forum was the main place. The $20K forum was also quite active - even so today. It was a great source for information that attracted many industry engineers and personel from the major (and more esoteric) audio companies...
Then came the talk of Blu Ray and HD DVD. The battles started well before either produced players or discs. The majority here favored HD DVD as their was quite an anti-Sony bias and HD DVD was going to be cheaper (this place has always attracted many who put budget above all else). The moderator staff was a fraction of what it is now and the skirmishes that broke out were hilarious and insulting to so many. Threads would go from up to hundreds of posts per day. 'In before the Lock' was a phrase that came to be when threads became so aggressive it was a matter of time before they disappeared. I gladly participated and likely my post count would be 5000 higher if I hadn't had so many post deleted in such threads. I was certainly an agitator but it was all in good fun. Those were the best of times and worst of times here.
What I see today is a mature technology that requires little DIY for improvement. SInce the analog world is gone and everything is 1080P and lossless, there is little the average enthusiast needs to do to get great picture and sound. So many here had video processors to deal with the bad analog equipment of the time - but not so much now. So, as the technology has evolved, the needs of the those who come to AVS have changed. Fewer folks are building home theaters these days and add on products for improved video and sound are very, very expensive (I am looking at a Trinnov piece for room correction that will likely com to $20K when all is said and done). Projection is still expensive if you want 3000+ lumens - you are still in the $40K to $100K range for such.
And way before Ralph Potts, I did Blu Ray and HD DVD / DVD for AVS for a year or two. Unpaid but did it as there was so much interest in the technical aspects of movie picture and sound. I had a reference system for almost a decade that has continued to be updated. I owe the excellence of my system entire to AVS. There were some great minds that use to hang out here and really give good advice that you couldn't find anywhere. Mark Seaton (Seaton sound) was an employee at a small pro audio company when he came to my house to experiment with a new subwoofer system that changed the way many of us looked at subs - even Tom Danley acknowledged our experiment in designing his over top HT subs. This place was where you came for cutting edge advice and design help. Not so much any more. Now the movie forums, like this one here, just talk about the movies, the extras, cover art and other non technical stuff. This was a tiny part of the old forum... (and look at Mark Seaton's company now)!!
But basically you can buy a decent player, receiver and projector for under a few grand get an amazing experience. Much harder to achieve back when this place was the wild, wild west. I've seen this place through almost all of its history and though some of the original excitement and 'out of the box' theater design is still retained, the average enthusiast here today isn't seeking technical excellence like the original members did.Edited by thebland - 4/4/13 at 4:52pm