Well you want the sound to sound like it's coming from the center of the screen. Personally I keep it above my TV since that keeps it closest to the level of my other speakers, plus you loose more sound placing it closer to the ground then you do placing it higher to the cieling
Ideally, the best place is directly behind the screen. If that can't be, above or below with placement that keeps it within 24" of the tweeters of the main LR speakers -- any more jeopardizes the soundfield. Whichever position gives it fewer hard boundries and a more direct line to the listener is better.
Place it where it is closest to your ear level and to the level of the main speakers. Mine happens to be below the screen since behind the screen is impossible, there is a TV behind my projection screen, and on top is too high.
Are front projection screens acoustically transparent?
WatchThis: I would think that you would want to place the speaker where you could better localize the sound (assuming that you localize it near the screen). If you diffuse the sound, wouldn't you spoil the whole center-channel effect?
This was asked in another forum, and as I've been playing around with my center channel position for awhile, I thought I'd repost my experiences:
I originally had my center speaker atop my television, and I noticed an improvement when I changed my center placement. However, I want to stress that it wasn't simply moved from above to below the TV, but rather from above to below and in front of the TV, and on a real speaker stand.
It's not hard to understand why the improvement in my circumstance. A television set makes for what must be among the worst speaker stands in the world, essentially a big plastic box filled with unwanted resonances. Having a speaker sitting on top of such a thing is by no means optimal, to say the least.
So I purchased a stand, a Wood Technology 12" one, that put the speaker just below the level of the screen and which also angled it up to the listening position. This resulted in a noticeable improvement in sound, but was still not quite ideal. I found the 12" stand, though an improvement over the TV, to be too close to the floor. Although floor reflections didn't seem problematic, the center tweeter was no more in line with my main speaker tweeters than before - just beneath them by about the same distance that it was formerly above them. So I got a new stand for the TV to raise the screen a bit higher (it was also a tad too low), and switched to an 18" wood tech stand for the center.
Now, this was really an improvement! While I still didn't achieve a perfect tweeter-to-tweeter height, it was much closer than in either of my previous two attempts and all the unwanted resonances of having used the TV as a stand where, of course, gone.
For me, it was less an issue of above/below the screen as it was finally putting my speaker on a real speaker stand and finding the best compromise for aligning the tweeters.
Though I'm not necessarily recommending this retailer (I don't know a thing about them), you can see a good picture of the stand(s) I'm using here: http://www.uniquestylesolutions.com/wmt-ct-series.asp They're not as sturdy, nor do they boast the mass of the Atacama stands I use for my rear speakers, but they were the only center speaker stand I could find at the time (this was about a year ago).
My center channel speaker is located above my screen. It is fairly high (74" above the ground on the first level), and I was surprised at how well it still blended with the the L&R during pans and movement. It is aimed using a visual LED built into the the tweeter horn that you can see when it is aimed correctly. I shot for the mid point between the two rows of seating. You can use a magnetic mounted laser like a Check Point also. For most of us you could even use a laser pointer duct taped to the side, horizontally aligned with your tweeter and aimed at a paper plate taped to a yardstick ( Add a smiley face for realism). to get it right. DO NOT HAVE YOUR WIFE, DOG, or anything with functioning eyeballs sit in the sweet spot in place of the plate. If you can get a cat to sit still it might be OK, my cats can't sit still, not even for a minute. If you don't believe me just ask Tim Martin, he's been to the White Salmon Zoo.
Perforated screens are common and in use in many of the theaters of participants in this forum. It is more expensive, requires some equalization, and will reduce the gain of the screen by passing light through the gillions of holes that are punched to let sound through. It is a topic that you will get tons of opinions about and you will get good info on the search engine here.
Welcome to the forum, good question, please sign off with your name so we know who we are corresponding with.
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