Are Home Theater Magazines out of touch with the average person? - Page 3 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

View Poll Results: How much have you spent total on your Home Theater setup?
Under $1,000 4 6.78%
Between $1,000 and $2,000 4 6.78%
Between $2,000 and $5,000 21 35.59%
Over $5,000 11 18.64%
Over $10,000 17 28.81%
Don't ask, even I can't count that high! 2 3.39%
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post #21 of 40 Old 08-25-07, 04:21 PM
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Re: Are Home Theater Magazines out of touch with the average person?

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Marshall, why not mention this in your pod cast? The difference between reality and some of these articles.
Ha, I try to in every show, perhaps not as blatently though. For instance, in my last podcast, I mention that starting by trying to find the weakest link in your system is better than throwing your money at new speakers or a new receiver.

S&V and others often showcase $30,000+ theaters with obvious problems. My favorite was one with hellish-red ambient lighting. Think about how that would effect the color on yor projection screen. Just goes to show that money doesn't surpass a little know-how and a good setup.

I'll have to editorialize on these types of articles in a (near) future episode.
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post #22 of 40 Old 08-26-07, 06:44 PM
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Re: Are Home Theater Magazines out of touch with the average person?

I worked in a sound recording studio in the UK for a few years in the 90's.
The setup for monitors were valued at 40000 pounds sterling. What I must say is that there was a pile of amps driving the audio system, in comparison I would hazard a guess that 1 amp systems as most Home theatres are will not be able to compete with amps for every channel sound, no matter how expensive the tag is. Considering this was for a stereo setup, not 5 or 7 point surround makes it even more costly.
The studio room itself was actually a sound box, it was designed as part of the sound system, not many home theatres go that far.
Even then we haad problems, we had 60-80hz escaping through the ground annoying the locals.

Ever since then I have never heard any system come close to the separation, detail and range that was in the studio setup. As close as being there with no extra, and that was the point of it.

For me any system that has tone, flavour, a sound, is distorting the material in some manner.

But after all that, like video and skin tones, get that right and you are mostly there, for sound it's vocals for speech, although we also like base ina tribal way too. (Although teenagers a specifically excited by upper mids like electric guitars).
Get the speech area clear, so that it cuts through the rumble of base and other muddiness of movie audio sound tracks.

I personally use a cheap HTIAB, I will be going to a amp system when I up date to HD.
Now because I spent a bit of time balancing the sound levels to the viewing positions I get good sound relative to be able to hear the speech. Using compression on the system helps to keep explosive moments under control, whilst again allowing the speech to cut through.

Personally I find the difference in the systems very small, but you pay for adjustability.

Same with video isn't it, you pay for adjustible.

Light changes what it is doing depending if we are looking or not. Considering we only see this as a reflection of the past....what is it really doing now?
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post #23 of 40 Old 08-26-07, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Are Home Theater Magazines out of touch with the average person?

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The setup for monitors were valued at 40000 pounds sterling. What I must say is that there was a pile of amps driving the audio system, in comparison I would hazard a guess that 1 amp systems as most Home theatres are will not be able to compete with amps for every channel sound, no matter how expensive the tag is. Considering this was for a stereo setup, not 5 or 7 point surround makes it even more costly.

The studio room itself was actually a sound box, it was designed as part of the sound system, not many home theatres go that far.
I know you are only talking about stereo, but this sounds like the original THX setup and certified installations before they decided to lower the standards to 'out of the box' units. All THX installations used to be setup, calibrated and certified by a THX specialist that was also certified. Yes those are high end and ultra systems, but not something the average or even above average consumer could afford.

I like the analogy made earlier that these systems are more like pin up models than real women.

"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

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post #24 of 40 Old 08-26-07, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Are Home Theater Magazines out of touch with the average person?

Oh, by the way, the $20K DVD player isn't made up or a myth if anyone was thinking that, it was the Meridian 800 CD/DVD-Audio player; $19,450 to $22,450. I'm still looking for the article that said it was a bargin.

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post #25 of 40 Old 08-26-07, 08:51 PM
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Re: Are Home Theater Magazines out of touch with the average person?

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Oh, by the way, the $20K DVD player isn't made up or a myth if anyone was thinking that, it was the Meridian 800 CD/DVD-Audio player; $19,450 to $22,450. I'm still looking for the article that said it was a bargin.
I'll take TWO!!
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post #26 of 40 Old 08-28-07, 10:17 AM
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Re: Are Home Theater Magazines out of touch with the average person?

Home theater mags, like any kind of specialized mag are in touch with what boosts circulation, and what maximizes advertising revenue, i.e. they are in touch with their own bottom line. This is not unlike the movie studios that produce the content we have to watch on our HTs. I have gotten up from too many movies and remarked "That sucked." too many times. I am happy I have "only" spent ~$3k on the setup. (That is equipment prices, no room treatment, DIY install, and computer not included since I bought it for desktop use anyway.)

So are HT mags in touch with the "average" hobbyist? No way, since that would not maximize revenues. They are selling: Big $ systems and their advertisers are looking for new business.

OBTW, save your money on the audio cables. The $200/ft speakers cables are for suckers.
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post #27 of 40 Old 08-28-07, 11:39 AM
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Re: Are Home Theater Magazines out of touch with the average person?

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Home theater mags, like any kind of specialized mag are in touch with what boosts circulation, and what maximizes advertising revenue, i.e. they are in touch with their own bottom line.
If they want to stay in business, they are. Of course, this means including materials that will get and hold readership, regardless of whether the "average" reader can/will buy the equipment.

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So are HT mags in touch with the "average" hobbyist? No way, since that would not maximize revenues. They are selling: Big $ systems and their advertisers are looking for new business.
Well, then, how do you define "average?" In the case of any successful medium, it is based on the demographics of their target audience. Too often, people define "average" too personally. Everyone here is way above average (with a nod to Garrison Keillor).

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post #28 of 40 Old 08-28-07, 10:38 PM
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Re: Are Home Theater Magazines out of touch with the average person?

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...Well, then, how do you define "average?"...

Kal
It's the first statistical moment of the population.

However, in many populations, even large ones, the average, or mean, is skewed by the highest entries. The best example is real estate, but I think that carries over to "home" theater. Then the best way to characterize the population is the median. The home theater mags are not aimed at the median, at least in their editorial content. Advertising is, however, since that has to be more pragmatic. So you will see a big ad for the Panasonic $3,600 projector, but the cover article is about the Runco $36,000 PJ.
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post #29 of 40 Old 08-29-07, 07:49 AM
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Re: Are Home Theater Magazines out of touch with the average person?

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It's the first statistical moment of the population.
Perhaps, then, I should have asked for a definition of the population. My point is that any publication must interest and keep its readership by including content that they find relevant. Certainly, the world's population, as a whole, is not the target population; it is a small subset who want to read about particular items.

Quote:
However, in many populations, even large ones, the average, or mean, is skewed by the highest entries. The best example is real estate, but I think that carries over to "home" theater. Then the best way to characterize the population is the median. The home theater mags are not aimed at the median, at least in their editorial content. Advertising is, however, since that has to be more pragmatic. So you will see a big ad for the Panasonic $3,600 projector, but the cover article is about the Runco $36,000 PJ.
Again, my issue is not statistical but practical. It is likely that the target audience of readers actually likes to read about the Runco even though they may buy only the Panasonic. If so (and I think it likely), then the content is entirely appropriate.

Why are there no Bose ads here?

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post #30 of 40 Old 08-29-07, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Are Home Theater Magazines out of touch with the average person?

I do agree that it is interesting and fun to read about bleeding edge technology and seeing various setups does give people ideas and goals to shoot for.

My main point was when the magazines talk about high end, or bleeding edge and then as I mentioned say what a bargain it is as if everyone can scrounge around pocket change and come up with $10 or $20 grand.

I understand that these magazines aren't going to be reviewing Durabrand HTIB systems, nor would I want them to. They do however give the impression that Home Theater, especially when projectors are involved are a luxury for the rich, and even their common/budget setups are not realistic for the average person looking to set something up. By average, I don't mean those that have a $49 DVD player and a $100 Sherwood receiver, I'm talking about people like us and many that do read their magazines.

I also like cars and do love to read about the newest Porsche or Ferrari, but in reality my last sports car was a Trans Am. It was fun to read and dream but when it actually came to buying a 'toy' those magazines were useless in my decision making. Same goes for reviews on projectors or other ultra high end gear that are really only targeted for commercial or the indepenantly wealthy.

Now I must say the HDTV reviews I have seen were all very informative and did include the very sets that most consumers were interested in. I have no problem with articles on high end gear, it just came across the wrong way (to me at least) when they were refering to them as bargains. Sure they may be a bargain to some people (those that read the car magazines for Porsche and Ferrari with the intent of actually buying one ) but I really think for most people it's just an interesting read and something they would love to have, but then go to Best Buy to look at HDTV's and players.

Also as I mentioned I've seen HT rooms listed as bargin DIY setups that many on this site would have some trouble raising the funds to do without taking out a second mortgage.
So I am saying to me in some ways they are out of touch and think it would be better to just say "this is an example of the best of the best, but for most people this is probably more realistic..." Of course that wouldn't bode well with some advertisers

For example I know many people with projector setups. It is very realistic to be able to add a projector and screen for around $2K to $3K (depending on the price of the projector of course) and that includes the screen, cabling, mounts... that's a huge difference than $50K for a 'bargin' system. Many people convert their basements or a spare room, yet when I see a basement conversion, it's usually a 'bat cave' (I saw one that literally looked like Batman's Batcave) or as Sonnie mentioned, the article says DIY but they actually had contractors do most of the work. Wouldn't it be nice to see some realistic 'bargain' systems that real people have done but also look incredible? Our own Home Theater Gallery and the thread in the Screen forum showcases many fantastic Home Theater setups, ranging from very economical, to the same cost as the magazine featured theaters. The main difference is as I just mentioned, only some of the systems and setups were $50K 'budget/bargain' systems. Many are extremely attainable but a lot of people that read the mags but don't scour forums probably dismiss that type of setup as a fantasy, just like I thought when I saw a $20K CD/DVD player

"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

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