Discussion in 'Home Theater & Video' started by Neo-Luddite, Mar 21, 2013.
Which surround format?
An increasing majority of folks watch movies at home with little if any *effects* via purchased / rented media or streamed from an increasing variety of sources. They really don't care.
Many are quite content watching 4:3 content distorted to fit their 16:9 screens.
I can't argue with that. Many are. But I think my statement is true for as many as it isn't, if not more.
As to the increasing majority, is that really because they don't find the theater experience preferable, or could there simply be economic or convenience factors at play?
I like going to the movies but sometimes it's all I can do to contain myself from barking at the wrapper-rustlers, popcorn chompers, talkers, and those that have to come and go a dozen times during the movie.
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Back on topic... music 95% NO surround.
OLD MOVIES... no surround.
Anything after EARTHQUAKE... (including Earthquake) ... as much surround as possible. I keep an eye out for Crown D-70 rack mount amps because one day I'll have the room to use 11 of them!
Pretty much sums it up for me.
When people set 16:9 TV's to full screen for 4:3 video it irks me to no end. I've pointed to them out how such settings chop of the top and bottom of real HD material. They don't listen. IMO they don't seem to understand the differences that different aspect ratios present.
That's actually a reasonable compromise to fill the screen, but not to what I refer. I'm thinking of the more common practice I see out and about where the 4:3 image is stretched laterally where images are visibly distorted - not just having the screen content cropped.
We are talking about the same thing 4:3 images are distorted and 16:9 signals have the tops and bottoms of the picture chopped off. My brother does this and I wonder if his vision is ailing. As he seems to be unable to see the distortion of peoples faces.
I'm apparently not making myself clear. With many 16:9 capable TVs, there are three ways you can view a 4:3 image: 4:3, zoomed, and 16:9.
With 4:3, the image is unaltered. What is noticeable is that the image does not fill the screen in either direction:
The "zoomed" view retains the image's 4:3 aspect ratio and completely fills the screen, but necessarily crops some of the image. This Samsung supports two flavors depending upon what parts of the screen get lost. Note there is no image distortion, - just a loss of content. This is most noticeable while watching sports where scores are frequently displayed in a strip at the bottom, but not obviously "wrong" or weird looking.
And finally, the 16:9 view to which I refer. This approach fills the width by laterally distorting the image, but nothing is chopped off. Do you see how her face and even the text at the upper left corner is "stretched" vs. the other two modes?:
This is the way my father-in-law does it and the way you see it in a range of public places where there is a TV monitor.
There's something off with those images. A native 4:3 image should fill the screen top to bottom(on a 16:9 display), and have 'black' bars on the sides. Why does the first pic have black bars on all four sides?
Only Samsung knows the answer to that question.
I guess that's why I bought an LG.
Seriously though, the aspect ratio thing drives me bonkers. It shouldn't be that big of a deal.
I worked for Sony way back, and had people pissing and moaning about getting ripped off because their 4:3 screens weren't 'full' when watching a movie that was in some sort of widescreen format. I also recall watching movies during the early days of DVD, and having to try and stomach some cropped and panned/scanned DVD that made you feel like you were on a friggen' Tilta a Whirl.
Honestly, it cracks me up that people can't get over the fact that their screens aren't completely full.
I routinely see people who have expanded a 4:3 image with black bars on the side to fit a 16:9 screen. Many of those images are distorted. It usually makes peoples faces look fat. Maybe it depends on how the TV handles zoom or whatever mode it is. The 4:3 images with a black surround on all four sides do not exhibit the same distortion when zoomed.
The broadcaster is sending a 16:9 format picture to view in 4:3 format which means it is letterboxed. But then when the 4:3 format hits the 16:9 TV (or maybe cable box), that doesn't know it is already letterboxed, it just knows it is 4:3 so it adds the pillars on each side to fill the 16:9 format. Viola, you end up with a letterboxed and pillared "postage stamp" image.
I get the same thing when I tune PBS on SD channel (bars top, bottom, and sides) but when I watch the same program on the PBS HD channel it fills the 16:9 screen normally, with no change in aspect ratio setting of the TV.
Well that opens another discussion. Mastering. A lot of movies are over done. What I am referring to the surround effects. For example.
Most movies have dialog. And if you cannot hear the dialog you cant follow the movie right? So you have the sound level up to hear the dialog and then some sound engineer thinks it's cute to WAAAAY over amplify the effect you may be watching weather it is a explosion of a crash or whatever, they screw it up being so damn loud.
I cut my teeth on a Pioneer VSX9500. Ran it for years on everything. I could easily control the sound mode and all speaker levels from the remote. It was Dolby SS and had three elements. Front LR. Center, Rear. The rear were tied to the same signal. Not stereo and were heard mostly in some certain sequences and were appreciated. The Shower in Top Gun for instance as well as the jet noise and other fades effects. The dialog ie all the voice came from the center so when there was dialog it was somewhat and mostly separate. you could hear it and the other stuff could come in loud it still could be heard.
Then came THX. Everyone had to be THX certified and then it was 5.1 then 7.1 and the movie makers were trying to out do each other. The irritation is the dialog comes from everywhere and the volume issues that come with any effects they choose to impress us with. I have to constantly turn up and down the volume. I do not enjoy it as much as the ol Dolby Surround sound. I bought a used Pioneer VSX-915 about 10 years ago and use it everyday. It's a THX 7.1 which I only use 5.1. Thats plenty. The ol Dolby movies sound better to me then the newer THX movies for the reasons stated above. Again it's the Mastering IMO. Like comparing CD sound to Vinyl. Audio Engineering is everything. But that being said having a good surround sound system with real speakers, not these puny packaged bose whatever soundbar excuse for SS is sooo much better on a daily business. Both of my kids HAD to get their own systems after leaving the nest. Flat screen speakers do not compare.
Hence - why I really like Atmos. It really makes the movie soundtrack and sound seem even more realistic.
If there is dialog coming from everywhere, which I presume is intended to mean from places that seem inapproriate for the scene, it sounds like a system or setup issue.
The dialog in my systems seems to come from where it should based on the scene at any given moment.
I like the directional dialog that came from the onscreen location of the character that was used on magnetic multi track movies of the 50s and 60s. Fox seemed to especially favor it as heard on movies like “”Demetrius and the Gladiators” and “Cleopatra.” That was when stereo was novel and the movie theater was the first place many people heard stereo.
In my experience surround sound is a cool novelty and works in certain applications, but overall I prefer a solid 2 or 2.1 setup.
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