7.1 vs. 6.1

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by STLMIKE, Nov 25, 2002.

  1. STLMIKE

    STLMIKE Stunt Coordinator

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    First are any DVDs encoded specifically for 7.1, or does the receiver take 6.1 sound and convert it to 7.1?

    Do you have to have a specific type of room for 7.1 to work properly?

    How long until this becomes the standard, or would 6.1 suffice for a few years?
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    There is currently no 7.1 format for home theater, nor is any expected soon. The current "standard" remains 5.1.

    There is only one true 6.1 format, known as DTS-ES Discrete. Fewer than 50 titles have been released in this format.

    Two formats commonly dubbed "6.1" are really 5.1 formats with an additional channel matrixed into the rears. These are THX Surround EX (a/k/a Dolby Digital Surround EX) and DTS-ES Matrix. Because the rear center channel is derived from the left and right rears, these decoding formats can be applied even to soundtracks that weren't specifically designed for it. The results vary.

    For these matrixed formats, THX recommends two rear center speakers to minimize localization. In a standard implementation, these speakers play the same sounds.

    There are certain proprietary decoding formats, such as Lexicon's Logic7, that make different use of 2 additional rear speakers. But that's a bigger subject.

    M.
     
  3. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    First are any DVDs encoded specifically for 7.1, or does the receiver take 6.1 sound and convert it to 7.1?

    DTS ES is a true 6.1 format and is decoded as such. The others simply matrix the rears to come up with a 6th or 7th channel.

    Do you have to have a specific type of room for 7.1 to work properly?

    I'd argue yes. If you don't have the room to properly place rear centre speakers it could do more harm then good. If however you do have enough space behind you then it can add a significant amount to the soundfield produced. I find that if you have several rows of seating having the side speakers as well as the rear centre helps to even out the sound throughout the various seats.

    How long until this becomes the standard, or would 6.1 suffice for a few years?

    I don't see 7.1 becoming a standard any time soon...only DTS has a true 6.1 format and its not that widespread yet.
     
  4. Modena

    Modena Stunt Coordinator

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    "7.1 is actually synthesized from 5.1. DTS Discrete 6.1 is the only format with a sixth discrete channel. THX-EX matrixes the sixth channel in the two surround channels. And, 7.1 has to contend with 10.2 which is on the horizon. I suspect we will end up with processors that just change whatever the input format is, into whatever output format you like, using as many or as few speakers as you might have in your theater."

    I got this from somewhere else, but most people think that 6.1 actually sounds better than 7.1, I have not heard 7.1 though. 10.2 is where the future is, so I think 6.1 will be the best for a long time.
     
  5. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Most people I know, say that 7.1 sounds better than 6.1. [​IMG] (Both Logic 7, and THX Ultra2 generate non-mono rears from a 5.1 or 6.1 feed.)
    1) Due to the fact that 2 rears are less localizable than 1, and, 2) the psycho-acoustical effect of "reversal."
    "Reversal" happens when a sound is directly behind you, but the brain can miscontrue it to be directly in front of you. 2 instead of 1 rear speaker helps to alleviate that.
    3) Plus, in an ideal setup, the surrounds are actually *beside* you. Having 2 rears, gives you more better panning across the back of the room with properly placed surround speakers.
    I'll let ya know... [​IMG] I have a 6.1 system now, and I'll have all the components to switch to 7.1 in about 10 days...
    I still have a DPL decoder with a "mono" mode that will decorrelate the mono rears the 950 puts out now too...
     
  6. Modena

    Modena Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok, let me know.
     

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