Front Projection Sounds Better!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Doug_H, Sep 6, 2001.

  1. Doug_H

    Doug_H Supporting Actor

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    Ok, I know this doesn't make sense so let me explain.
    I finally got around to installing my front projection system and while I love having a 100" widescreen picture (OH baby do I love it) I found a change in the sound that is even more impressive.
    Just to get all the facts out there first. Nothing in my sound system changed, not even placement. I have been using a 36" TV and placed the new screen as a drop down so nothing changed except the size of the picture when watching. The old TV is still there as well.
    I have always considered reference levels to be far to loud and my GF hated watching movies because of the volume. I dropped the volume to compensate however.
    With the new screen reference fits. I can't explain in any better than it isn't as loud, the larger screen has changed the perception of volume.
    The soundstage fits better up front which makes sense but the sound actually seems richer and deeper. The surrounds seem more active. The dynamics follow the screen more closely and bring the surrounds out.
    I am writing this because I am very excited at all of this and I have to wonder if others have had this experience as I have never seen it mentioned here. My buddies and GF have all remarked on the change so I know it isn't in my mind.
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    The Mischievous Rogue Strikes Again! The Humble Hanson Theater
     
  2. John-D

    John-D Stunt Coordinator

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  3. Deane Johnson

    Deane Johnson Supporting Actor

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    I know exactly what you mean Doug. I used to watch movies on my 30" direct view with my Atlantic Technology 370 THX speaker system and a Velodyne FSR 18" Servo Sub. When I installed front projection, all of a sudden the sound fit the picture. It's hard to explain, you have to experience it.
    Deane
     
  4. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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  5. GaryM

    GaryM Agent

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    I disagree that it's a placebo. One thing a 100" screen does is place a 100" piece of cloth over what were formerly acoustic reflective surfaces. It is my experience that this deadens front of the room sound reflections and creates a noticeably crisper, more directional soundstage, with utter clarity in the center speaker dialogue.
    Doug, might I suggest that you pay a little more attention to room decor with emphasis on replacing reflective surfaces with absorptive ones. The over-abundance of reflective surfaces in most homes is really terrible - for example, any piece of uncovered wallboard reflects 99+% of the sound, but cover it with a hooked rug or bookcase and it becomes a good sound absorber. Thick padded carpeting, acoustic absorber ceiling tiles, overstuffed furniture, and drapes can also be used to deaden the room.
    You see, what your GF was objecting to was the mishmash of direct and reflected sound she was hearing, which blurs the dialogue and makes the rest of the soundtrack muddy. You can't just drop 5.1-channel sound into an existing room and expect good results, you have to pay attention to room acoustics, too.
    Gary
     
  6. Luis Gabriel Gerena

    Luis Gabriel Gerena Second Unit

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    That's a great answer GaryM and its probably right. Congrats on your new theater like experience dude.
    quote: "placebo"
    Now that's useful...don't mind it, the "placebo guys" are always there, lurking in the shadows waiting for any info that is not easily explain or can't be measure to put their PLACEBO tag on it. You hear a difference then great enjoy it.
     
  7. Eric Samonte

    Eric Samonte Screenwriter

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    Placebo or not,I have to agree that the sounds seems more " theater-like" now that I 've got an 8 foot screen. And its not just me, everyone in the family agrees on it.
    ------------------
    Eric Samonte
    Dito sa Pilipinas..may Hom Tiyeter rin kami!
     
  8. Doug_H

    Doug_H Supporting Actor

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    Gary
    I agree with everything you said and I have always paid as much attention to accoustics as I could given I rent my home.
    My system has never sounded muddy or out of place but instead was too big for the picture. That is the best I could describe it.
    The effect seems to be that the volume is lower now than it was which I know isn't possible. It is possible that the large screen area is absorbing more of the sound however.
    Whatever the reason either in my mind or not the sound is so close to a quality theater that I am thrilled beyond belief.
     
  9. Sean M

    Sean M Stunt Coordinator

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    Is this screen, by chance, a microperf? You said that it's a drop down in front of a 36" tv and that your speaker placement hasn't changed. If your main speakers are behind a microperf screen, then the screen will roll off treble frequencies slightly (or a lot depending on the screen) and lock action to the screen better than any other speaker placement. It could also be a simple absorption of reflected sound if the speakers are not behind the screen at all.
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    "Experience is the one thing you can't get for nothing." - Oscar Wilde
     
  10. Doug_H

    Doug_H Supporting Actor

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    Sean
    I'm afraid not, the screen really drops down behind the TV and the speakers are out to the side. good thinking though.
     
  11. Guy Kuo

    Guy Kuo Supporting Actor

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    Sound quality improvement aside, I think there really is something to be said for achieving parity between picture size/quality and sound. It always strikes me as imbalanced when a system greatly outperforms in either video or audio. There is a sense that something is artifactual when you hear 40 ton dinosaur but see a ten inch tall lizard. Scaling between the two senses is all wrong. It seems you just got closer to parity between audio and video and it feels right.
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    Guy Kuo
    www.ovationsw.com
    Ovation Software, the Home of AVIA DVD
     
  12. Oswald Pascual

    Oswald Pascual Second Unit

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    I love these placebo pills!!! Give me more. [​IMG]
    I also have to agree. The sound now all of a sudden has presence!
    ------------------
    My Home Theater
    [​IMG]
    My DVD Collection Home Theater Pics
    Ozzie
     
  13. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Hey, scientists are looking into the placebo effect...they note that it seems to have a statistically significant positive effect on people! In short, placebos seem to work in the short-term.
    I'd go with the sound reflection idea. When I had my basement done, there were terrible echos before I had carpet put in.
    All I have to do now is place some sound-absorption material on the ceiling, which should help solve my center-channel muddiness problem.
     
  14. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Well, it might be a combination of psychological factors and the dampening effect of the screen in this case. Personally I'm a big believer in the psychological effects and can't really understand people who scoff at the notion; humans are pretty irrational and our senses are controlled by our brains after all.
    That is also why I tend to take almost all subjective opinions about music with a five-ton grain of salt, at least where its applicability to me is an issue.
    Anyway, glad your situation improved yet further! I'm going to have to get a FP myself soon.
    ------------------
    /Kimmo
     
  15. James W. Johnson

    James W. Johnson Screenwriter

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    Wow, I am going thru the exact same thing! I have been using a 32" direct view set for several years , my audio system has always far surpassed my video all of this time.
    But last thurday I got my first FP and built a 74" diag screen for it(going to build a 90-100" one soon). I have been planning a major speaker upgrade for quite a long time but after watching 4 or so movies with my FP I am not so sure that the audio upgrade is necessary.
    I am not talking a small difference here, the increased picture size has made a dramatic improvment in my audio sound both quality and quantity.
    My theory is that this is all about
    senses. We use hearing and seeing to soak up a film. With a small picture and a huge audio system I automatically used the audio as a crutch to be able to soak up the movie, sort of like a visually disabled person relys alot upon hearing to navigate thru day to day life.
    Now a huge picture enters my home theater and the tables have turned.
    Damn I love FP!!
     
  16. Lannie Lorence

    Lannie Lorence Stunt Coordinator

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    GaryM,
    Do you have any suggestions for any accoustical deadening items that would also be good for soundproofing my room from my apartment building neighbors? Kill two birds with one stone?
     
  17. GaryM

    GaryM Agent

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    I'm afraid not. The sound that goes through the walls and ceilings and floors is best addressed with sheet goods that make extra layers of acoustic insulation. There are also special techniques like resilient suspended floors - but such techniques are typically used to isolate home theater rooms from the rest of the house - not in apartments.
    If you don't have a thick carpet, get one, or lay additional rugs and pads over the wall-to-wall carpeting. Try tapestries and draperies on the walls.
    My expectations would be you can improve in-room acoustics but you won't make a real dent on transmitted sound unless you make extensive changes that are only appropriate for a structure you own not rent. I think the best alternatives for apartments are:
    1) Use five medium-sized speakers with 4-6" diameter woofers, and set the digital receiver for full range sound (i.e. set all five speakers to Large). Mount these on speaker stands and keep them away from walls. Avoid mounting speakers on walls or ceilings.
    2) Use tactile transducers in place of a subwoofer, and fasten them to the seating frames and not the floors. Drive these with the LFE output of the receiver, through an appropriate subwoofer-type amplifier.
    3) Don't even own a subwoofer.
    Gary
    [Edited last by GaryM on September 11, 2001 at 01:42 PM]
     
  18. Lannie Lorence

    Lannie Lorence Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the advice. I have never heard of these tactile transducers, but I will certainly look into them!
     
  19. Doug_H

    Doug_H Supporting Actor

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    Bass shakers are a great upgrade. I love mine.
    ------------------
    The Mischievous Rogue Strikes Again! The Humble Hanson Theater
     

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