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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, it's deck type, one box unit as the first controller but slimmer and better looking. It has the CD-ROM, Internet connection, remote with all easy to use features. I used to have the PC3 controller box which needed to have a PC or laptop to work with and this setup was quite inconvinient for me as I had to dedicate a laptop to my HT just for D-Box and had to turn it on and off every time I watched a movie. With the 340c everything is very smooth and easy.


BTW, the moment when a car hits the Mexican guy at the opening scene of "Constantine" is quiet scary with D-Box :eek:
 

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Murat,


I love the 340c. That (as well as the PC3) was a huge upgrade from the series 2 unit.
 

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No, unfortunately they are not. But they should be able to get that CE marking soon. I'd recommend that you e-mail D-Box and ask about it. It might speed up the process. Interestingly, actuators are already CE'd
 

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Murat,


That's very heartening news re the actuators - hat's off to D-Box, they've been true to their word. It looks like I'll have to get my cheque book warmed up!


One other 'connectivity' Q, I see from the specs that the PC3 MCI only has a non-digital sub input/output whereas the 340c has line level L/R for non-digital sources (e.g music, gaming consoles etc.). Given this, how would I directly connect a PS/2 or Xbox to the PC3/MCI box so as to get non F/X 'gaming' movement in a Quest chair?


Zander
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Zander,


I'm affraid I can't help with that question as I use my D-Box just for movies and never tried anything else. Maybe Mr. Poindexter or D-Box people will be more helpful.


Good Luck...
 

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For audio mode in video games, I would think you are looking at just using the LFE for the PC3. My PC3 is still packed up right now (I just moved) so I can't confirm, but I recall it only had LFE in for audio mode while the 340c has L/R and LFE inputs for audio mode.


I haven't played any video games on the Odyssee for a long time and I have never played them in audio mode.
 

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Mr. P -

You mentioned that you never played games on the D-Box in "Audio Mode". What is Audio Mode and what other settings are there?


I ask because, if I am ever able to get a D-Box system, it will be heavily used for console-gaming.
 

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Audio mode is for content that is not programmed specifically for it. For example, if I were to watch Spider-Man, it is already programmed for the Odyssee and I would watch it in F/X mode. If I were to watch Stargate Atlantis, well that hasn't been programmed so I would watch it in audio mode where the system looks at the audio signals and runs through a computer algorithm to come up with motion.


F/X mode is vastly superior to audio mode. Audio mode is still superior to buttkickers but the gap isn't as big as it is between audio and F/X modes. I would have to guess that audio mode is superior on the 340c vs. the PC3 due to the extra audio inputs and having the ability to look at more of the audio to make the determinations at movements.


The problem with games is that to work in F/X mode, they need to be specifically programmed to work with the Odyssee and game manufacturers are not going to invest a lot of money into programming such things unless there is a sufficient base of hardware out there to justify the programming expense. I suggested to D-BOX to get "forcefeedback" data that is sent to the joystick and use that, which should give a good amount of data for motion effects. I don't know if they have looked into that yet, since my love isn't video games. The few games I do play on the computer are puzzles or RPGs - not first person shooters, flight sims or racing games.
 

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Speaking of Audio Mode, (if I'm understanding this correctly), the new controller can look at left, right, and LFE to come up with which motions to create.


Do you think there will ever be a controller that accepts 5.1 or 7.1 analog (or even better, digital SPDIF/Optical) inputs? This way it would have access to a lot more location-specific audio information to create motion from.
 

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I don't think you will see a 5.1 analog input for motion codes. If they went that route, then they would just use the SPDIF data and decode that. Of course, the more channels you look at, the more complex the algorithm and the more CPU power you need to do that, which drives up the controller price. It would also require a license from Dolby and from DTS. Still, what are they going to get from 5 channels that they won't get from 2? While it is more information, it isn't going to compare to F/X mode.


Think of it like this: put in a movie you have never seen before, set the audio to stereo with the subwoofer on and close your eyes. Just based on the sound, tell me what is happening and what motion you should be feeling. How much more accurate will your guesses be listening to surround sound vs. listening to stereo? Compare that to how accurate your descriptions of motion would be if you opened your eyes.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Poindexter
Think of it like this: put in a movie you have never seen before, set the audio to stereo with the subwoofer on and close your eyes. Just based on the sound, tell me what is happening and what motion you should be feeling. How much more accurate will your guesses be listening to surround sound vs. listening to stereo? Compare that to how accurate your descriptions of motion would be if you opened your eyes.
This is true, I guess I just was hoping that there would somehow be a way to get better motion info for games, since they would be my primary motivation for getting a D-Box system.


I can just picture in my head how amazing it would be to play a game like Halo and feel the couch rock back, then pitch forward sharply as I jump the jeep over a hill, then jerk to the right as a rocket hits the jeep in midair.... Drool.... :)




To me systems like the D-Box are the next step towards believable virtual reality. To me the ideal components of this are :

Hi-res 3-Dimensional Image - Status: A long way off, the closest would be an autostereoscopic display that does NOT require shutter-glasses.

Enveloping Sound - Status: Available now, and will only improve when height channels are available for consumers.

Tactile Sensation - Status: partially available, with the D-Box being the strongest contender. THe only thing missing is an algorithm smart enough to interpret signal without having it programmed for each movie/game. A true on-the-fly algorithm. However, this would require extremely advanced software/processors able to analyze what's happening visually as well as audibly.


Sorry about my ramble, I just hope we see systems able to deliver all three of these things (and more) in our lifetimes.
 

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CK,


Tactile sensation: Typically tactile is in reference to tactile transducers which is not the same as D-BOX Odyssee/Quest systems, not even close. While tactile means touch, D-BOX systems are true motion simulators while all the other systems are simply shakers.


As far as an algorithm, there is no finer system for fuzzy logic than the human brain and if you or I cannot do it, I don't see how a computer is going to interpret it any better than you or I. Besides all that, we are both assuming that the sound is mixed correctly and that is not certain. I have seen many films where certain aspects of the video are not in the audio track because either the foley artists have left them out or because the mic didn't pick it up in the first place.


Height channel is available right now, but not much is encoded using it and I don't think that will change soon. Look at how long 6.1 sound has been around and how few DVDs have it.


3-D is available right now with Sensio and their new Sensio Pro system will do HD-3D at 96Hz with no flicker, but where is the content? The technology is there, but if there isn't anything to deliver it doesn't matter much. Content has to come from Hollywood and until they start filming lots of features in 3D, it won't really catch on. I think we are more likely to see a 3D revolution happen once D-Cinema becomes the standard in the big Cineplex houses.
 

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Just curious - how much would a single Quest seat and the non-PC based controller set me back? (I will make sure I'm sitting down so I don't pass out when I read the price) ;)
 

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MSRP on the single seat Quest is $5K and $3K for the 340c. If you were sitting in the Quest, it has the capability to shake you awake if you pass out. ;)


Retail on the PC3 is $800 plus another $250 for the first year subscription of film updates and that includes the collection of past titles.


By the way, if you went for a Quest chair, you would really want to scrimp a little more and get the motorized recline option. It sounds like excessive luxury but in reality it is incredibly nice since it allows you to recline to any position there is instead of the choice of fully reclined or not reclined at all on the manual systems.


Of course, those are the retail prices. Your mileage may vary based on the dealer.
 

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Mike,


The difference in 'audio mode' functionality is the only one I have been able to spot between the PC3 and 340c. I wonder if there are others? Do you know of any?


I for one, would wish to use the system both for movie watching and game playing. So it looks as though the 340c is the way to go (price issue apart).


Zander
 

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You won't really get many other performance issues between the PC3 and the 340c. The 340c is set to auto-download new F/X codes weekly, while the PC3 requires user intervention to download new the F/X codes. There is a way to get the PC3 to download them automatically, but you have to modify the registry to run the program in embedded mode, which effectively turns your PC into a 340c. I haven't done that since I was using my PC for other things as well as the PC3.
 

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How small is the 340c? I might consider replacing my PC3, as Murat did, because I miss having the slight motion in audio mode from the L&R outputs, as well as the remote control. I have also had some issues with the PC3 software, and find the user interface very cumbersome. Finally, the automatic code download, would be a real convenience.


One more question, what does the display look like on the 340c? Is it just like the old display on the first controller, of have they improved that as well?
 

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The display is much improved with better back lighting and the controller is about half the height of the series 1&2 controllers.


I posted a pic in another thread, but I cannot find the photo on my home PC - it may be on my office PC. I still haven't unpacked all my electronics, so I can't take another picture of the 340c right now.
 

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Thanks Mike, I found it. :)

http://www.cinemawizards.com/photos/Odyssee340c.jpg


It looks very nice. I am seriously considering replacing my PC3. I wonder if they would give me a trade in credit?


BTW. Anyone reading this thread, who wants an old stand alone controller cheap. Let me know. I still have my original old controller.
 
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