Tomlinson Holman (Mr. THX) has invented 10.2 channel surround...I think

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Charles Bunnag, Oct 12, 2001.

  1. Charles Bunnag

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    I was flipping through a home theater magazine today (Im sorry I can remeber which one but it was yellow and had a picture of Penelope Cruz in the TV on the cover) Anyway, there was an article about Tomlinson Holman and his new sound format. I didnt have time to read the article thuroughly, but I beleived it said that he recently made a new sound format that supports 10.2 channels. CENTER placed directly in front, LEFT and RIGHT placed 30 degrees from the viewing position. HIGH LEFT and HIGH RIGHT place 45 degrees horrizontally and 45 degrees vertically from the veiwing pisotion, SIDE LEFT and SIDE RIGHT, SURROUND LEFT and SURROUND RIGHT placed 110 degrees from the viewer, and SURROUND BACK dirrectly opposite from the CENTER. Plus 2 SUBWOOFERS place in opposite diagonal corners of the room. I really wish I had time to to really read the article but I had to leave becuase my brother and I had to get home very soon. Anyways, if anyone has any more info on this, Id really like to hear about it Once again the Magazine was yellow, had a picture of Penelope Cruz on it and featured another cover article called "Best ome Theater for you $$$"
     
  2. John Chow

    John Chow Second Unit

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    That sounds about right. The store Bjorn's in San Antonio, TX is the only place (maybe not anymore) that has a 10.2 room setup. From what I understand Tomlinson Holman personally set everything up for Bjorn since they are friends. Anyways, I had a chance to demo it and it sounded seriously cool. However, since there aren't any movies(i don't think anyways) that are mixed in 10.2, we listened to some music as well as some demos of 10.2 sounds like ping pong balls going back and forth and such. I believe the source for all of the demo music/sounds were played through a computer, but I didn't get chance to grill them about the actual hookup. All of the speakers in the room were M&K, I believe some were the 150's, with the main fronts being 150Ps, but I may have that wrong.
     
  3. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    I sometimes get the opportunity to sit and listen in a theater which uses many, many, many, speakers to reproduce a movie or music soundtrack. And yes, the splitting is done by a professional processor in this case, not something anyone of us might own... unless we can clear over $100K for the processor. Still, it is really cool and includes at least two sub-bass modules which sit to the left and right of the primary seating row.
    I think all the speakers are custom done by Cat, and the site is called "Area 51". The entire HT is round and none of the speakers nor gear are visible except for the screen... The CAL cheerleaders and band is especially good for demos. Then again, ID4 kicks ass too!!!
    Now, if only they would sell something cheap enough for me to buy it?
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  4. Hubert

    Hubert Second Unit

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    Pardon my English, but sh*t. That'll never fly in home theater and probably not even movie theaters. People aren't going to buy that many speakers. I'm a fanatic and I wouldn't buy that many speakers even if every DVD came out with it. That's getting ridiculous. What next, 30 speakers?
     
  5. Charles Bunnag

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    Im willing to bet that if 10.2 becomes as common as DTS is now, it will somehow be made affordable. Im mean like 5-10 years from now though. Maybe if it becomes the new standard like Dolby Digital or DTS, speaker companies will have to find a way to make their speakers more affordable. Yeah, wishful thinking, but it would be nice.
     
  6. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    The article was written about a demo at the store Bjorn's in San Antonio that John Chow referred to in his post. I believe the speakers were from a company called Wise (or something close to that). The M&K speakers in the room were for a separate 6.1 channel setup.
    Anyway, while the report on the demo sounds interesting, even if speaker manufacturers could make a 10.2 setup more affordable, just how many home theaters could accomodate that many speakers? I can't even find a good place for a single rear center speaker. I would think this format would be more practical in a movie theater application.
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  7. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    Why would the speaker companies make speakers more affordable??? many of these companies already have-very expensive speakers and "affordable speakers". Personally I like b&w, but I can't see them saying, "OK, since 10.2 is the new thing, lets makes the 804s $600 instead of $3500" ya right, I think that they are more likely to say, "we make the 602 for $600 if that is your budget". Don't get me wrong, I love a good deal, but that isn't how it works.
    I think that it does force companies to continue to improve their equiptment, but good old fashion "competition" does that.
     
  8. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

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    Sounds great but I think it'll only stay in the realm of the very rich. Getting 10 high quality speakers is so expensive to be prohibitive for almost everyone.
    But, then again, it may become a standard when HD-DVD comes (if ever).
    Patrick
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  9. John A. Gordon

    John A. Gordon Stunt Coordinator

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    For more info on Tom and his 10.2 system, check out his website:
    TMH Corporation
    There is a cinema with a 10.2 system installed. It's at the Malco Theatre in Rogers Arkansas Malco .
     
  10. NathanP

    NathanP Supporting Actor

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    Ohhhhhhh..
    This is SO awesome, I read about it a couple o'days ago!
    Maybe I can afford it...
    Probably not.
    Nathan
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    "Okay look, the St. Louis Rams rule, everyone else sucks, so sit down and shutup!"
     
  11. NathanP

    NathanP Supporting Actor

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    Was that really Penolope Cruz?
    [​IMG]
     
  12. John Desmond

    John Desmond Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm thinking the speaker manufacturers must be paying Mr. Holman. Since most of us have somewhat fixed budgets, IMHO 10 crappy speakers will still be worse than 5 good ones.
     
  13. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    Shit, give me 7.1 discrete (not five front channels, but stereo back channels, not mono as is currently the case) Direct Stream Digital on HD-DVD and I'll be more than happy.
    With FMD or some other ultra high capacity disc it could be more than possible.
    Dan
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  14. Luke_Y

    Luke_Y Second Unit

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    If formats grow to that many channels I can see in-walls really growing in popularity.
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  15. Hubert

    Hubert Second Unit

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    Again, this becomes about as popular as the plague. I can't see it becoming popular. We're just getting to the point of 6.1. 10.2........how ridiculous. Sounds like a conspiracy to get people to buy more speakers. There's absolutely no need for 10.2 speakers in any home.
     
  16. Roger Dressler

    Roger Dressler Stunt Coordinator

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    >>There is a cinema with a 10.2 system installed. It's at the Malco Theatre in Rogers Arkansas
     
  17. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I am with the what is next, 50.8 crowd. At this point I have zero interest in anything above 5.1. Whatever comes next will have to be real groundbreaking for me to even consider it.
    --
    Holadem
     
  18. ChrisA

    ChrisA Second Unit

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    quote: Pardon my English, but sh*t. That'll never fly in home theater and probably not even movie theaters. People aren't going to buy that many speakers. I'm a fanatic and I wouldn't buy that many speakers even if every DVD came out with it. That's getting ridiculous. What next, 30 speakers?[/quote]
    Of course not. There is ample evidence however, that additional speakers over 5.1 can provide additional realism. I seriously think that commercial theaters should employ a new format such as created by Holman. For a home format, we've seen support for more than 5.1 channels from audiophile studios: Chesky 2+2+2 is one example. While there is a lot of competition and ideas floating around, I suspect that HD-DVD, and HD-DVD Audio will bring about more advanced changes for the home format. David Chesky emailed me a little while back in saying that he indeed wanted to do a center channel, but was limited to 2+2+2 with the current lmitations of DVD. DVD-Audio can support many discrete channels, and I'm sure that once HD-DVD Audio comes about, you'll see 24/96 in more than 5 or 6 channels.
    For Home Theater, I suspect the same. So for people who are saying things like "What's next? 30-50 speakers?" that is obviously just plain wrong. What is going on is more of a refinement of multichannel music and movies. Perhaps 10 channels won't make it to the home arena, but 7 channels is already a standard. If one or two more channels can provide greater realism, such as perhaps a height channel(s), then the advantages might indeed be worth the effort. Nobody is talking about more than 10 channels EVER. And certainly, we may see something more like 8-9. Something will succeed only if it provides greater realism or a benefit. So don't worry about having to buy more speakers. he only reason you will do so is if a format proves itself to provide superior results. Certainly I don't want to shoot down anything that might provide a significant improvement.
    One of the problems facing the Unites States is the glut in commercial theaters. There are too many theaters and slected theaters are in the process of closing. OTOH, this should allow commercial theater owners to upgrade the remaining theaters.
    One thing we can really use in the short term, since it takes very little bandwidth, is a discrete tactile channel limited to 0-600 Hz.
    I really do think it is critical that 'Hollywood' does indeed come out with a 0-600 Hz (limited bandwidth), discrete tactile channel. We really need a discrete
    channel to control what goes to the tactile channels and to independently and correctly determine what level each independant sound effect should be playing at to achieve realism. Certainly, a discrete tactile channel is the only way to achieve the true naturalness and as yet untapped possiblities with tactile transducers.
    I'm certainly going to continue trying to help others build platforms and get excited about adding an entire new level of experience to their Movies. As I wrote in the Meridian Forum (I use a Meridian 861) The impact of the Blue Man Group DVD-Audio with Buttkickers is an amazing experience.
    If a discrte tactile channel does come to fruition, tactiles may also find their way more easily into more areas such as music and DVD-Audio. I'm just retlentless on the need for a discrete tactile channel because I see the possibilities such a channel would provide. Again 0-600 Hz is based on my experience with tactile transducers, experience with my neuroscience degree, and as a physician.
    I plan on writing an article to be put out by Buttkicker, which explains that 0-600 Hz is needed, but anything higher than approximately 600 Hz is not perceived as tactile information. Subharmincs of vibrations induced may be pereceived, but fundamental vibratory information at say 1kHz is not felt. I disagree with Clark Synthesis, although I believe that you can induce subharmonic vibrations if a 1kHz or greater fundamental is generated, but you will only feel the 0-600 Hz subharmonics, not the 1kHz fundamental. I will get around to making a bigger deal about all of this soon.
    If you haven't experienced a Buttkicker in a proper, and I stress proper! setup, then you don't know what you are missing. And you have to think about what a huge difference a discrete tactile channel would do for tactile transduction.
    It seems that even the processor manufacturers aren't waiting for Hollywood. Several processor manufacturers are working on providing special outputs for tactile transducers, which will make the most out of using the movie soundtrack. This will set the stage for a discrete tactile channel, which is obviously the only way to take tactile transduction out of the stone age.
    There is certainly interest in 7.1 channels amongst may HT members. I only use 5 channels with stereo subwoofers (running the Meridian 861 in left, right mode). I plan on moving to 7 speakers at some point. I also hope to experiment with a height channel.
    As far as THX announcement on there 7.1 format:
    1) I am not interested in dipoles.
    2) They are whacky If they think I'm going to configure
    my speakers according to ULTRA 2.
    3) The only thing useful is they now acknowlegedge bass
    below 35 Hz [​IMG] As if I need them to ackowledge that in the first place.
    More meaningless stuff from THX:
    "NEW THX® ULTRA2 PROVIDES OPTIMUM PLAYBACK
    OF ALL MULTI-CHANNEL MUSIC AND MOVIE FORMATS"
    http://www.thx.com/press/ultra2.html
    Now if they would do something useful such as start a format for a 0-600 Hz discrete tactile channel, which takes very little bandwidth, that would be incredible.
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    [Edited last by ChrisA on October 13, 2001 at 01:16 PM]
     
  19. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    well i made the trek back home to san antonio because 1) i needed $$ from the parents and 2) i had to check out this 10.2 setup at Bjorn's. like John said, this is the only setup of its kind in the world. Tomlinson Holman (the TH in THX...X=experiment) is a long time friend of Bjorn's and was hired as a developer of the dedicated $200,000 room. (that price is ONLY the cost of construction, ie thick cement walls with carpet, layered floor with rubber spacers, independent hanging ceiling, special AC, and 500-lb wood and lead door!) this room is as quiet as almost any recording studio in the nation.
    the setup: there are actually 12 speakers and 2 subs in the audio system, with another 6 for the dedicated video unit. their places are: 3 in front, 2 sides, and 3 in back. the remaining four in the 12.2 are front-right, front-left, rear-right, and rear-left (all facing in diagonally from the walls). the subs are placed on the left and right, just above the floor. they look built into the wall, but i know that's probably not correct and there is an acoustic reason for that! audio speakers were all Whise Audio (Holman's own Aussie company), and the video speakers as well as the subs were M&Ks.
    the diagonal "extra" two rear-left and rear-right speakers are bipolars; the normal rear lefts and rights are normal dipoles. the computer used to playback the music (as there is nothing yet recorded to media in 10.2) chooses which speakers will function better and plays them. in a few cases, both pairs of speakers would play, making it a true 12.2 reproduction.
    the audio demos:WOW!!
    that's about all i can say for the sound! the first demo he played was of two people playing ping-pong with the sound moving around the room. they would play in front, then front to back, then right to left, then diagonally across the room...it was seriously the coolest thing i've ever heard! and (of course) the sound was crystal clear.
    next was the Halleluja chorus. the sound was very true and had alot of resolution! it was also very precise in placement of the sound. i could pinpoint where the timpani player was in comparison to the lead trumpet. probably the coolest thing about this recording was that you could choose where you wanted to "sit" in the recording. (much like alternate angles on a DVD) we heard the same recording from the audience and the choir section. amazing!
    video: at the end, we watched about 30 min of the Phantom Menace in the room using 6.1 (i think) and a huge projector. the picture was seriously rivaling that of local movie theaters, as the projector we used cost $90,000 alone [​IMG]. the speakers and sub were flawless in the THX opener, but i can see how this would f*&k up other peoples' systems! it was very cool.
     

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