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Picture or sound - which is the most important

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#1 of 45 OFFLINE   John_KM



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Posted March 19 2004 - 03:18 PM

Greetings all

In a nutshell, I'd like to hear from experienced users some opinions as to which is THE most important element in the movie viewing experience - the picture or the sound?

Are we approaching things the right way, as many of us new to HT have a background in 2 channel and assume the sound to be the most important aspect.

But is it?

For me, HT/AV is proving to be a very different and elusive animal compared to music, and I'm most interested in some opinions please.

All comments appreciated


John..Posted Image

#2 of 45 OFFLINE   JohnSmith


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Posted March 19 2004 - 11:10 PM

I would say sound. I can live with a slightly compressed movie (ie Divx) but if the speakers are unbearable to use for more than 10 minutes (really really harsh) then you'll just switch the audio system off and use TV speakers.

#3 of 45 OFFLINE   Kevin. W

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Posted March 20 2004 - 01:35 AM

AUDIOPosted Image Posted Image. Its the foundation of a great HT. You can have the biggest screen in the world but if the audio isn't upto snuff you just won't be drawn into what your watching.


#4 of 45 OFFLINE   JimmyK


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Posted March 20 2004 - 04:45 AM

That question is tougher than it appears on the surface. Part of it depends on how far apart in quality you get between video and audio. For example, which of the following would you prefer: 1) Fantastic sound system with a 13" black & white cheapo TV 2) State of the art front projection with a clock radio for sound. Personally, I wouldn't want to have either. But if we narrow the quality gap, say: 1)moderate/good 5.1 sound system with 110" fantastic picture 2)36" good picture with fantastic 7.1 audio I would pick #1 in this case. So I guess I'm saying I would give the edge to video as long as audio doesn't suffer too much. However, having said that, in my system I have spent more time and resources on audio, but mainly because I listen to music more than I watch movies. JimmyK

#5 of 45 OFFLINE   Levesque


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Posted March 20 2004 - 04:59 AM

I'm sorry, but the answer is both... Posted Image

A great HT experience is a combination of both good sound and good picture.

But if you are after the wow factor, guests usually gasp at my 120" diagonal picture before even talking about the sound. And if you look at my equipment, I have what some would consider an above average sound system.

I know it will sound strange, but the biggest wow always come from my least expensive speakers. My 8 Aura bass-shakers (120$ US for 4 pairs...) always impress all the guests alot more then the picture or the sound. LOL. Posted Image But after 10 minutes of shaking, they then start to concentrate on something else, like the PQ and the sound... Sigh.

So I could say that a good "shaking" system comes first, then the picture, and at last the sound... I'm just kidding here... Posted Image I really think that a combination of sound and picture will yield the greatest results. Focusing on only one part of the equation will transform a "wow" experience in an "ok" experience.

#6 of 45 OFFLINE   Yogi



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Posted March 20 2004 - 08:30 AM

I's say both, but then a nice big picture still doesn't make you jump when the corpse falls out of the closetPosted Image
The truth is not out there but within you.

#7 of 45 OFFLINE   Brad E

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Posted March 20 2004 - 04:03 PM

That's like asking which gender is most important in reproduction. Most, I think, would argue the female is the most important element. She packs the thing around for 9 nine months only to go through excruiating pain during delivery. But of course without the male none of this would have happened. So getting back to your question, I would compare the video to be the male and the audio to be the female. The audio does the most 'work' in the relationship.

#8 of 45 OFFLINE   AndrewErickson


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Posted March 20 2004 - 04:11 PM

A picture is worth 1000 words.

#9 of 45 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles



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Posted March 20 2004 - 04:16 PM

Both are very important. I'm a big 2-channel fan though, so my bias is towards 2-channel performance. Great picture is cheap though(except in time and effort w/a used CRT), audio is not so cheap.

#10 of 45 OFFLINE   VinhT


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Posted March 20 2004 - 05:22 PM

I'd rather watch a movie on a large screen in stereo than watch it on a tiny monitor with amazing surround sound.
Vinh Tran

#11 of 45 OFFLINE   RobertR


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Posted March 20 2004 - 05:37 PM

The word movie is a short expression for motion picture. You can have a movie with mono sound or even no sound at all, but the best surround sound setup with no picture is not a movie. It's much easier and less expensive to get first rate sound than it is to get a first rate picture.

#12 of 45 OFFLINE   Kevin C Brown

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Posted March 20 2004 - 06:46 PM

You have to decide that for yourself, just as a lot of us already have. Posted Image

Personally, I have a lot more invested in the audio portion of my system than the video, but that's also because I'm still a 2 channel guy at heart, and still utilize my system up to 75% for 2 ch audio.

But don't get me wrong. I will no longer put up with a player that has the chroma bug or poor de-interlacing, *and*, I still have a (HDTV compatible) CRT monitor because no matter what anyone says, CRTs *still* have the best video quality today. They just ain't flat.
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

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#13 of 45 OFFLINE   Yogi



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Posted March 21 2004 - 06:31 AM

You forgot to add, IMHO to that statementPosted Image

IMHO, its a subjective thing. There are videophiles that chase the perfect picture all their lives and so are some audiophiles in pursuit of the perfect sound. Both can be time consuming and expensive goals.
The truth is not out there but within you.

#14 of 45 OFFLINE   Jim Rakowiecki

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Posted March 21 2004 - 08:18 AM

That's kind of like asking what makes a great pizza. Is it the sauce or the crust or is it the toppings? It is a combination of all those things that really make the pizza great. What is the right combination or the correct the proportion of ingredients is a subjective thing so I think everyone here will the right answer no matter what they say.

#15 of 45 OFFLINE   James W. Johnson

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Posted March 21 2004 - 09:08 AM

The audio portion is the most fun to upgrade but the video remains the most important factor in my book.

#16 of 45 OFFLINE   TimRP


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Posted March 21 2004 - 09:16 AM

If money is a sign of ahything, I have I lot more money in my sound system then I do in my video system.

#17 of 45 OFFLINE   Kevin C Brown

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Posted March 21 2004 - 09:53 AM

I massively disagree with this. Posted Image Denon 1600, Panasonic XP-30, RP-91/82 (can't remember which one), and a good CRT set will give you the best video quality you can get. DVI/HDMI is now the game, but the idea is the same.
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

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#18 of 45 OFFLINE   Kevin. W

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Posted March 21 2004 - 11:46 AM

My audio setup cost me $6500CDN, video cost me $3000CDN. Though the picture on my RPtV is awesome without the audio it just wouldn't be the same. To me the audio is the most important. Kevin

#19 of 45 OFFLINE   Drew_W



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Posted March 21 2004 - 12:30 PM

I've spent most of my money on audio in the past few years. One of my systems has a 32" Wega (regular CRT non HDTV), the other is still TV-less (but functions primarily as an audio only setup anyways). Video is at something of a transitional phase as we move into HDTV...or are we? In any case, I'm waiting for plasma or similar technology to drop in price, and that some sort of standard come about regarding the future of display devices. I'm much more a fan of audio and the immersion into the experience it provides than video. Musical reproduction takes priority over the occasional movie.
I gave up on tracking my collection and actually started watching what I have.

#20 of 45 OFFLINE   John_KM



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Posted March 21 2004 - 08:00 PM

Greetings All

Thank you for your thoughts - it's appreciated.

The reason I asked the question is somewhat tied in with my post re high-end processors.

I have noticed and hence wondered, as to what is the most important element in the movie watching experience, as in the presence of the picture, (and of course, bigger is almost always better) I have noticed that perceived differences between high-end processors and cheaper receivers etc were little, when the experience was taken as a whole, i.e. picture and sound.

This lead me to wonder as to the correctness of my approach to HT re the importance of the sound, coming as I am from a 2 channel background, in that despite the obvious such as the plot, story-line etc of a film, being the lead element, the visuals as such were perhaps slightly the more immersive, 'being there' factor of the overall experience.

Intriguingly, I found on recent audition that a high-end processor that majored on strengths that would apply to 2 channel, such as transparency, detail etc, was outdone IMHO in the overall movie watching stakes (sound AND picture), by cheaper equipment that had obviously less overall resolution etc, but nevertheless had an excellent and even perhaps better sense of surround 'wrap' re the sound-field.

Somehow, this sense of excellent surround sound-field envelopment brought more to the sense of involvement overall in the presence of the picture.

My thoughts thus were, that the picture was ultimately the leading element, with the sound accompanying it as it were - certainly in the 'distraction' of the picture, the lower resolution of the cheaper processors was scarcely noticed, whereas the extra sense of sound-field 'wrap' definitely added more re that vital 'being there' feeling.


John...Posted Image

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