How many people use their HT stuff properly?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Mark Hedges, Jun 30, 2003.

  1. Mark Hedges

    Mark Hedges Second Unit

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    It seems to me that a very high percentage of people do not get all they can out of their HT equipment. For some examples:

    1) 55" widescreen HDTV monitor connected to cheap DVD player w/ composite video. Looked terrible!

    2) 50" 4:3 HDTV monitor that is mostly used for VHS tapes, because rental DVD's skip too much on their KLH HTIB DVD player.

    If I would guess I would say maybe 50% of people out their are getting the most out of their equipment. I have learned not to say anything about a poor setup because people don't like to hear it.

    Mark
     
  2. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    A friend of mine has his DVD player hooked to a 19" tv on a rolling stand in his bedroom and his receiver and speakers connected to a 65" HDTV in his living room. Reason being: He likes to lay down when he's watching movies and football looks better on a big screen with surround sound.

    A person with priorities so far outta whack doesn't deserve such a fine tv. [​IMG]
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    I once had a co-worker whose boyfriend bought an NTSC-only Sony KV-36FV26 WEGA. He wanted a "big screen" to watch his DVDs on. And he was completely unaware of the only really compelling reason to buy the big analog set: its 16:9 raster-collapse mode. Until I provided his girlfiend (my co-worker) with detailed instructions, he had been watching his 16:9-encoded DVDs in 4:3 letterbox mode.

    She and he finally did as I suggested in my detailed, handwritten, step-by-step instructions and were blown away by the results. But, she told me, at first she was fearful that the "black bars" (i.e., letterboxing effect) would get bigger and the active image smaller.

    No matter how clearly one explains things and no matter how high the intelligence of the listener may be, opportunities for confusion are rife.

    Now, bear in mind that most mass-market retailers are staffed by employees who are themselves ill-informed. Blind leading the blind. No telling how many people are watching 16:9-encoded DVDs on 4:3 sets without 16:9 modes and the players not set up properly. No telling how many people are running their expensive displays in torch mode. No telling how many people think they're listening to DD 5.1 when they are actually listening to PL II because they've neglected to set up their players properly.

    Home theater is thriving in spite of the general marketplace.

    End of sermon. Thank you.
     
  4. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I know this couple whose front stage includes the surround speakers. So the TV is flanked by 4 speakers, two on each side.

    I did occur to me that it might be a safety measure for their 2 year old. Still, you never know.

    Don't ask me what it sounds like, I don't know, and don't look forward to finding out.

    --
    Holadem
     
  5. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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  6. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Forget about HT equipment, I see people everyday that can't even tell which is the left/right side on their headphones, even when it's clearly marked.
     
  7. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    And this can be taken to the other extreme...I can honestly say that until I got my Panny 47" HDTV ISF'd that it was nowhere near running at capacity! So it's not just real basic stuff, but even us "HT aficianodos" here in HTF have room for improvement.

    Another "on the other extreme" example is when I finally broke down and bought an SPL meter to balance the spekaers, and also speaker placement (more than a foot clearance really does help). Unfortunately my living room is a built-in inhibitor as it is not an ideal shape for an HT...
     
  8. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    I have fixed more friends set ups then I can count.
    The latest was a co worker who had retired & I hooked up his DIRECTV HD SAT xcver to his 60 MITS big screen. I noticed all his DVDs were full screen but I didnt have the heart to say anything. He was very nice to me when I was an engineer starting out and I felt like if I said anything I would embarrass him
     
  9. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    I have to confess I do this. :b I have a set of Sony headphones (MDR-P1) which I wear backwards because they are more comfortable that way.
     
  10. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    So I was recently in a clients house on a job (I transport people in wheelchairs to doctors appointments and such), and had noticed their "HT" on my way out the door.

    To this day, I can't believe people could so misuse a room.

    The room: Imagine a 25'*15'*8' rectangular room. There is a door (leading out) and a doorway leading into the kitchen. Both were directly across from one another on one end of the 25' length of the room. A nearly perfect HT room [​IMG]

    Normally such a room (Just one window) would be perfect for a 5.1 or even a 7.1 HT set-up. But these people had their TV right next to the door along the 25' wall. facing a couch. (Other furniture included a recliner and some bookshelves.)

    The system: A newish SONY 27" 4:3 CRT television was inside an AV stand, I wont complain about the TV since I only have a 27" JVC. They had a SONY DVD player (Model unknown) and SONY 5.1 reciever (model also unknown). And a set of SONY speakers (Must be a SONY sale!?)

    So the TV is in the proper place in the AV-stand. and the right/left tower speakers were on either side. BUT THE DRIVERS WERE FACING SIDEWAYS![​IMG]

    The surround speakers were on top of the reciever (Reciever was on top of the AV stand) and facing the couch. The center channel was on the floor, next to the DVD player. The subwoofer wasn't anywhere in site.

    Granted the system was pretty low-end. But I have never seen a more flagrant mis-use of a rooms potential.[​IMG]
     
  11. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    I'm sure many of those people, if they read this thread, would think:

    -I can't believe somebody would care which side of the headphones goes on which ear.

    -I can't believe people would pay a lot of money to have a brand new TV "caliberated". Or have their own sound meter. (Can't they go by how it sounds?)

    -I can't believe people I don't even know care how my equipment is set up.
     
  12. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    I still think my favorite is one I saw posted by another HTFer some time back about someone who had the five speakers for their surround system stacked up in a nice little pyramid on top of the TV. It may have been L/C/R on the bottom and SL/SR on the top, but who knows. Why did they set it up that way? That's the way it was displayed where they bought it.


    In my work I see a lot of expensive HT setups and I am often amazed by what people do. I think my favorite was a nice little family room system with a 55" Pioneer Elite HD TV, some pretty decent electronics and Martin Logan speakers all around. The problem is, they had a very expensive custom wood built-in cabinet made for the TV and electronics, with nice little, perfectly sized compartments for the Martin Logans. They actually had these expensive ribbon speakers inside the cabinet. I didn't have the heart to tell them what a horrible thing this was to do to the Martin Logans. I did wonder if the speakers were bought new with the system or if they already had them.
     
  13. Ashley Seymour

    Ashley Seymour Supporting Actor

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    If I would guess I would say maybe 50% of people out their are getting the most out of their equipment. I have learned not to say anything about a poor setup because people don't like to hear it.

    Mark, if it were over 5% I would be very surprised.

    How many people even own one of the popular calibration discs? Granted you don't need one to do a reasonable job on your TV, but very few people have the knowledge to even do a cursery calibration. If a TV/display device is not reasonably calibrated then I think they flunk the test of getting the minimum out of their equipment.

    Then the errors go up geometrically as you add each additional electronic piece to the puzzel.
     
  14. Mark Sherman

    Mark Sherman Supporting Actor

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    I design and install system for a living. When people fnd out what i do they always want me to take a look at their systems. Most of the time a FRIEND who knows about this stuff hooks up the system. And I have to look at it.

    Lets see there is hooking up the DVD player to the 5.1 system using Left and right cables instead of a digital cable. Or when they do use a digital cable they neglect to go in and set the output of the DVD player to YES or Bitstream so they never get DD.


    16x9 set using a dvd player set to 4x3 with the FILL mode on. and all of the DVDs are FOOLSCREEN to boot. what a waste

    My favorite is when i go over and see a Crappy TV Hooked to DIGITAL CABLE and they think hey I got HIDEF.



    I
     

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