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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is the second holiday I,ve treated relatives to a dinner and a movie, and on both occasions they have said absolutely nothing about my theatre. This was two occasions and 2 different groups of people. None of these people have bigger than a 32" TV and neither group has digital surround. Don't know what to make of it. I'm a long time audiophile turned videophile and it impresses the hell out out of me. I'm using an LT150 / RP56 combo with a 100" Model B dalite. Sound system is Yamaha / Mirage. I built this theatre for me and don't really care if other people like it or not, however I'm quite confused by getting no response. They just sat stone faced after the movie, and started talking about kids. Anyone else experience anything like this?


Jon
 

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Jon,

Yes I have, just last night and on numerous other occasions. I'm not sure if it is the jaded culture or as I've said before like pearls before swine but it is a strange phenomenon.

Yesterday afternoon I had a group of my stepsons friends over ( this is essentially his D&D group) but they are part of every big party I have so I see all of them about three or four times a year and some of them more often. There were nine people watching the extended version of LOTR. They ranged in age from 30 to 17 years with all but two over 25.This was their choice by the way and the whole reason for the get together. When it ended they just got up and started talking about D&D and filing out. Two of them had been in my theater for other showings in the past. One of them I asked what he thought of the system after another movie about two years ago and his response was " it's just a movie". This is a bright guy he knows that having what amounts to a very comfortable miniature theater in ones home isn't something you see everyday so I'm at a loss myself.


I do think that the people who are most impressed with HT are people like us. You and I know what goes into it and just how good or bad it could look. I know that I haven't given you an explanation but only my observations since I'm still somewhat at a loss myself about it. The bottom line is make the space for you. If you were to go to someone else's place and could think of what would wow you the most then build it and enjoy it as I have.

Art
 

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I see three possibilities here. One is that they thought it was silly to have obviously spent so much money on entertainment electronics and the environment they're placed in, but didn't want to have to say so. Another is that they know there's so much going on there that they don't know about, that they're afraid any comment they can make would reveal their plebian ignorance. The other is that, whether they know the costs and work and sacrifices or not, they just don't care. This might be hard to believe, but you guys have to remember that this is YOUR (and to some extent our) hobby, not most people's. Most people have smaller, simpler, cheaper setups than would be the most that they could afford, because they either don't care about the difference in performance or find the performance difference small in the practical sense (since they can already still watch the same movies themselves) and the difference in cost inordinately huge.


I can say this because I'm almost one of them; I'm actually somewhere between them and you. I've decided what the system I want is going to be like, and I know that some of you here would be scornful of how useless and inadequate it is... but I also know that to MOST people, my main problem would be justifying the expense, which will be more than most people spend (and would consider reasonable) but a little fraction of what it takes to build a home theater.


Maybe you'll understand the "outsider's" experience better if I give you an example from a hobby most of you probably aren't into: swords and other pre-gun hand-to-hand weapons. I've got a few on my wall right now. I'm a member of an internet forum where these things are discussed just as home entertainment is discussed here. I've learned a lot there, and it's gone into my purchases, and I think I've come up with some good solutions about how to mount these things on the wall. Most people know next to nothing about these weapons. Worse yet, most of what most people think they know is hopelessly false. Most makers and sellers of "weapons" out there are pushing overhyped junk, but most consumers don't know it.


Many people would walk in, see my weapons wall (especially after I've expanded my collection a bit), and think I'm a silly nut for having them, and think I was stupid for having spent so much money on them. If I were to walk in to the home of someone else who has collected the gaudy overhyped junk that tries to imitate weapons, I'd think (s)he was silly for having fallen for the sales pitches and not thought about things or investigated the facts better. But would my guest, or I as that other person's guest, want to say so?


OK, I am not intimidated by anyone else's knowledge about weapons, but I know that others have expressed to me that they know so little compared to me that they don't think they could intelligibly say anything worth my listening to. And I must confess to thinking similar things sometimes when faced with someone else's hobby, like leatherworking. I see so little leatherwork and pay so little attention to it that if someone asked me about his/her samples, and those samples didn't have any obvious disastrous flaws jumping out and screaming at me, I wouldn't know what to say; no basis for comparison, no idea what marks of quality I'm looking for, et cetera. So what could I say to such a person? I know it's common for people to feel that way about weapons when in the presence of a weapons afficianado, so applying it to home theater doesn't take much imagination. If you know you're ignorant, you tend to shut up and avoid demonstrating it.


And then there are the completely ambivalent ones, the ones who care so little that they'd hardly see it. They'd have nothing positive or negative to say about my weapons because they know people put all kinds of decorations on their walls, but they don't personally ever look at what they are, or see how a weapon on the wall is different from a painting or a ceremonial mask or whatever on the same wall. A home theater might be hard to miss to you, but to many people it's probably just a really big TV in its own room. I tend to be the same way about lawns. I know some guys spend hours watering and fertilizing and weeding and pesticiding their lawns and whatever else they can do to them, but I'd never be able to pick out their lawns while walking by; a lawn is a lawn is a lawn to me. I can't comment on what I don't notice in the first place.
 

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I think it depends on the age group, too. It never fails to impress the teenagers and early-twenty-somethings that my kids bring home. (That is, unless their parents have something equivalent or better--so far it has only been the parents... none of the kids has had anything like it... yet.)


It regularly fails to impress those of my parent's generation, who almost universally think it's a waste of hard-earned money. This is, I think, partly due to the depression-era imprint on them, and partly due to the fact that our financial circumstances are well past what any of that generation (in my family) ever achieved.


In my own age group, reaction varies widely, from conversion (one of my guests is now actively saving money toward a new HT setup after seeing mine) to open contempt. To each his own, I guess. However, I guess I could say that I've managed to get a reaction from most of our guests, one way or another.
 

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It's the same with any interest. You'll find people who are fascinated and enjoy it, and some who simply couldn't care less because it's not one of their interests. I wouldn't put too much stock in it either way. Think about it this way... if some sewing group did some work that to them was tricky and impressive, they'd all think it was the cat's meow. But I know I wouldn't give it a second thought.
 

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I had a group over yesterday aged from 35 to 70 and the common response was "You sure have a lot of stuff in this room just to watch a big TV." (Almost a quote from one participant) It depends on who they are every time. I've had people from different departments at work and the tech/marketing ones are amazed while the accountants/production don't seem to care. Doesn't really matter cause I like it.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by blw
I think it depends on the age group, too. It never fails to impress the teenagers and early-twenty-somethings that my kids bring home. (That is, unless their parents have something equivalent or better--so far it has only been the parents... none of the kids has had anything like it... yet.)


It regularly fails to impress those of my parent's generation, who almost universally think it's a waste of hard-earned money. This is, I think, partly due to the depression-era imprint on them, and partly due to the fact that our financial circumstances are well past what any of that generation (in my family) ever achieved.


In my own age group, reaction varies widely, from conversion (one of my guests is now actively saving money toward a new HT setup after seeing mine) to open contempt. To each his own, I guess. However, I guess I could say that I've managed to get a reaction from most of our guests, one way or another.
I've found the opposite to be true. My experience has been that the kids (say under 20) tend to be so used to high tech stuff that they don't see the theater as having that big a wow factor. The adults, particularily the older ones just seem to be amazed.


My mom, at 75, and very fiscally conservative, thinks it's great that I spend my money on such a "neat room". She is always telling her friends about my "fantastic home theater".
 

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I agree with Delvo's comments to some degree but I've had hundreds of guests in my HT and the analogy isn't quite as clean as the collectible stuff. I have a friend who collects civil war items from surgical instruments to knives used instead as weapons. I see how these things have been cared for and displayed and how his eyes light up when we go into the room. He has a small museum. I have almost no interest in this but I am sophisticated enough to appreciate his passion and acknowledge it.


Although almost anyone can get a cheap DVD player and rent the same films I show, my HT my room is more like a screening room. I know that essentially no one who has been in my theater has ever seen anything like it except the HT nuts at the HT meet.


I don't want to sound paranoid but I think some of the lack of comments or negative comments come from jealousy. So many teens don't want to act impressed because their zeal would uncover things that others of their age would make fun of ( you mean you never seen one of these before!?"). I had a real-estate agent who was a friend of one of my wifes close friends simply say right to my face " what a ridiculous extravagance" when he saw the room! Even if one feels that way one has to think what would motivate such a comment when you are visiting someones home!


Some of it may come from an inability to relate as Delvo has said but I think there is definitely more to it than that.


Art
 

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Invite a guy like me over and you'll have

a guy who appreciates Home Theater, for your guests can walk out, I have to be wheeled out. :)
 

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Lets face it. Almost everyone outside our hobby needs to have their heads blown off to get a response. I often have to break out the U-571 depth charge scene to get a response out of my friends, who are impressed with the bass. No comment about how clear and resolved the picture is. No comment on how lifelike the colors are. No comment on how well the soundstage is defined. Nothing but "WOW, those explosions are AWESOME!!" The subtleties (and not so subtle) are lost on most people. Oh well, at least I can enjoy it.


Mitch
 

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We are, indeed, a misunderstood group of audio/video folks.


It all comes down to priorities and passions. Audio, video, food preparation, gardening and just being in Alpha are my passions and priorities, and my lifestyle. I feel fortunate to have found these inner voices.


My wife just returned from visiting my family in Los Angeles (I don't go to L.A. or any city but that's part of my lifestyle and another story) where the recurring topic of conversation was the platform I am building for my listening/viewing sofa. I want to sit higher when listening to music or watching movies. My screen is wall mounted 50" above the floor, which is higher than usual.


This 9" high platform will enable me to be in full recline without losing any high frequency information from my modified Newform Research speakers. Your ears have to be within the plane of the 45" ribbons or you lose some response. There is no problem when I am upright as my ears measure 39 1/2" from the floor, but only measure 31" when fully reclined which is just under the ribbons. It's just another tweak to me.


Nobody could understand why I would do such a thing as putting the couch on a platform (or my throne as it is now called), why it was important, or why I had even asked my wife to measure the distance my ears were from the floor. So I'm seen as being ecentric, strange, crazy. Yet these folks have been to our home and have commented favorably on what they heard and saw. One folk, who has the best speakers out there (Bose), he thought, was blown away by what he heard. But he could not think of spending thousands of $$ for a/v equipment. But he drives a $35,000 car and vacations where ever. It is always priorities.



And whether or not our guests care, I always offer them the sweet spot.



Shelly
 

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Jon, remember, sometimes, it takes a while to sink in, or at least it seems that way. I have had people over who didn't say too much afterward, but then I hear that they were blabbing to everyone at work, or church or whatever about how cool it was. Almost like, I am cool, I cannot let you know that I want to live in your home theater, I am going to play it off, like everyone has this......


My dad is actually one of those people. He doesn't say anything, but then I get e-mails from obscure family members or former church family that he was telling them all about it and how the seats shake and everything...
 

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***I had a real-estate agent who was a friend of one of my wifes close friends simply say right to my face " what a ridiculous extravagance" when he saw the room!***


It's always annoying whenever anyone insults someone else's hobby, interests, and/or personal preferences. I know many people who have spent 10's of thousands of dollars on swimming pools, and I can appreciate the benefits of having one. However I personally would not spend the money on one. (I'd rather get a Sony G90 and maybe some Krell monoblocks) But do I tell people with pools that they are a "ridiculous" way to spend their cash?


Anyway, I built an HT for my wife and me and we both love it. If people want to come over and enjoy it too, thats cool, but if not I really don't care what they think. And furthermore, no small children will ever drown in my theater (I hope).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I should have added that while they didn't say anything about my theatre, they were impressed by my 32" Panasonic TV. A bottom of the line piece of crap I picked up for $450 at Circuit City for the family room. Not even flat screen. In fact, one friend is at odds with his wife because she wants a Sony XBR and he wants the same Panasonic TV as mine. After demonstrating my theatre for him, all he could talk about was the TV that was on before the Theatre demo. Figure that on out!


Jon


p.s. I have a Sony XBR upstairs, they didn't say a word about that either.
 

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Sorry folks, but our theaters are for us. If they do not see the essense that we see then ____ them. :D Besides, my theater only has to mean somethnig to me, as I am the one writing the checks.


Of course, if they are not impressed then start charging them admission!
 

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aviman33: maybe he cannot afford/ does not want a theater room, but thinks if you picked the Pany over a Sony, then he should make the same choice.
 

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I have had the same responses as the rest of you and I think it’s a combination of several factors. The average person just doesn’t relate to the way we think of our hobby. To them it’s just a big TV and they can’t understand why we would spend all the money we do. There are other factors but I think one of the biggest is jealousy, they know they will never be able to have what you have so they have to pretend it isn’t anything special or even belittle it. I built my room for myself and my family if others enjoy it fine but I don’t really care if anyone else thinks its nuts.


Earl
 
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