5.1 versus 7.1

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by SummyD, Apr 4, 2005.

  1. SummyD

    SummyD Stunt Coordinator

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    I would like to know just how much better is watching a movie in 7.1 versus 5.1? I mean, is it as big of a difference as 2 channel v/s 5.1 is? Does the difference in the 'wow factor' depend on the size of the room?

    I am planning to build an HT room in my basement (15*20*7) and am wondering if I should upgrade to 7.1 in the process and get wiring done for the 2 extra channels.

    Thanks in advance for your response.
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

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    Decent improvement, keep in mind there is real 6.1 content out there. Even the big improvement over really good two channel can be debated. I like 7.1 myself, I think it does a very good job of directing the multi-channel soundstage. 6.1 to a small lesser extent, 5.1 by a lesser extent still.
     
  3. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    since you're building, i suggest you run wire all over the place!!!. better to do it now then after the sheetrock is up. run wires to your ceiling, to your side walls, rear walls, etc. heck, run a conduit all around the room if you can. [​IMG]

    anyway, i pre-wired for 7.1 myself. i'm going to go 5.1 for now (since i'm buying all new ceiling speakers money is kinda tight). once i see how my 5.1 sounds, i'll decide if i want to leap to 7.1 or not.

    but at least i'm pre-wired and ready to go...
     
  4. SummyD

    SummyD Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks for your responses guys. Makes sense... I should pre-wire for as many channels as possible. What's next after 7.1 - some channels in the floor? [​IMG]
     
  5. John S

    John S Producer

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    Directly over head. is the next step, from what I understand. [​IMG]
     
  6. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    oh yeah, don't forget about your sub placement too. you'll want to put a power outlet and coax lines there. plus, put power in the ceiling ... in case you decide to run a projector anytime in the future, etc....
     
  7. RichAS

    RichAS Auditioning

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    SummyD I would definately run wires for 7.1 and even 9.1 and 12.1 (eventually they will be available)!

    Believe me 7.1 is better than 5.1 just as 5.1 was better than Stereo Surround (as I call it 3.0 or 3.1 with sub).
    Its just a matter of getting used to it. Your mind plays tricks on you becuase for years people heard TV coming from their TV built-in speakers. We got used to it and thats what we considered normal.

    When we went to 3.0 or 3.1 stereo surround - it was better and louder but sound was basically still coming in front of us as it used to be so not that hard to adjust.

    When 5.1 came out some people noticed their volume on (L-R and C) speakers were lower. Thats becuase less material was coming out from those speakers and being directed to the rear surround. For some people it took a while to get used to. Some people think rear surrounds don't play as big a role as sub and center speakers. This is typically why surround speakers are smaller and focus on higher frequencies and leave bass sounds to sub, and why receivers concentrate on bass management (for movies).

    For music - surrounds play much more bigger role if your receiver allows it. Here you can really make them do different things, but my comments are about DVD and movies only.

    The idea is that in the real world we hear sounds not only from the front and back of us but also from the left and right side of our bodies. We are surrounded by sound coming from all directions and 7.1 tries to re-create that experience giving you a more natural sound by placing you in the center of all the action. It will take some adjusting going from 5.1 to 7.1 but eventually you will get used to it and learn to love it. It just seems strange to your mind watching TV and having sound surround you but eventually your brain gets re-trained and all is well.

    The problem is whenever you go to your friends or parents house - 5.1 will not be enough anymore once you have 7.1 and get used to it.
     
  8. Brad E

    Brad E Second Unit

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    Going from 5.1 to 7.1 is not nearly as big of a jump as going from stereo to 5.1.
    I was disappointed when I hooked up my rears because I was expecting more.
    Certain scenes will make you appreciate them, but these scenes are few and far between.
    I wouldn't go back though.[​IMG]
     
  9. PeterK

    PeterK Supporting Actor

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    Definately go 7.1 the differences aren't huge. but I help envelope you in sound better. and if your just wiring now I'd reccomend 2 in the ceiling above listner, 2 more on the side channels especially if your don't have dipoles and are in a narrow room (
     

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