speakers behind screen

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Robert Silge, Apr 16, 2005.

  1. Robert Silge

    Robert Silge Agent

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    So I'm planning on getting a projector soon, and was planning on getting something like a 100" Da-Lite screen. My question is on putting the speakers behind it. I know there are some screen that are somehow "designed" to have speakers behind them. I'm not sure how this makes a difference, maybe it has microperforations or something to let air travel through it easier, but I would have to imagine sound waves would be too big, so they're going to hit the screen anyway.

    is there a noticeable problem putting the center channel behind a normal screen? If so how could you get it above the screen if you were using a pull down screen? (I think I've read this is better for localization than putting it below the screen.)
     
  2. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Never put speakers behind a screen that's not perforated. It will sound horrible, it'll block all the high-frequencies. Try it yourself with any stereo, put a piece of cardboard in front of your speaker and listen how crappy it'll sound. Would you put cardboard in front of your TV so you couldn't see it? Why would you do the same thing to your speakers...
     
  3. Chris Stock

    Chris Stock Extra

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    Robert,

    Do yourself and your centre speaker a favour, either reposition the centre channel or buy a perforated screen. Obviously its cheaper to try repositioning the speaker (free!), otherwise a perforated screen will be a $1000 extra cost on top of your screen price.

    The next best place for better sound (other than behind the screen) is from immediately below the picture, pointing it at your seating position. Sound from the ceiling area (if you were to mount a pull down on a wall versus the ceiling), becomes quite directional. You'll find yourself looking up at the source and wondering why the sound is 'drifting' overhead.
     
  4. Robert Silge

    Robert Silge Agent

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    Oh, that's good. I had it backwards in my mind. Mounting a speaker BELOW the picture is infinitely easier.
     
  5. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Actually, there are many theater designers who disagree with you here. The argument being that your ears have better localization abilities from below (evolutionary threats) than from above (humans being eated by birds and giraffes? unlikely... [​IMG] ). Thus placing your center ABOVE the screen has been recommended by some designers as being preferred to below.
     
  6. Robert Silge

    Robert Silge Agent

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    Thus explaining my confusion I guess. Who knew that this would come down to evolution vs. creation. Threats from below or voice of God. What am I to do?
     
  7. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    My personal preference for perforated screens is for crt projectors and not the digital projectors due to their pixel structure and the microperfoations in the screen interacting with each other causing aliasing... physics 101
     
  8. Chris Stock

    Chris Stock Extra

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    Robert

    Easiest litmus test: go to your favourite AV store and sit in a home theatre set up which has different speaker arrangements. EG, floor standing, mounted from ceiling, mounted flush in ceiling, etc.

    For my taste (and I think this is what it boils down to), I tend to notice the difference in sound from the ceiling area, versus right in front of you. This only holds true when you use the 1/3 ~ 2/3 rule. That is, the bottom of the screen is a 1/3 of the way from the floor, leaving two thirds of the screen area within comfortable viewing height.

    Subsequently, if the bottom of your screen height is less than 1/3 (closer to the ground and further from the ceiling), then by all means install the speaker on top of the screen. But, should you do the opposite, then put the speaker below.

    Muddy waters....
     

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