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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Alright, my second question; my first real important question I feel.

I was looking for DTS-HD on the official DTS site, but stumbled upon High Definition Speaker options which gave me a list of "Common 7.1 Speaker configurations", "Alternative 7.1 Speaker Configurations", and 5.1 and 6.1 Speaker configurations.

Now, I am planning on building a dedicated Home Theater room and was curious at to which Speaker configuration is best, if one can be such a thing.

But more importantly, what each configuration would do in terms in Movie applications, and Music Applications.

Essentially, I have 4 questions I have

Is any of the configurations better than each other? (Movie application sense, and Music application sense)

Are the configurations different ways to appreciate the same product?

Would one of the configurations better?

Could someone breakdown the effect of each configuration to the application of movies, and music?


Such as;

Movie Application
7.1 Standard: Provides good rear and side ambiance and surround effects, but lacks height depth.
7.1 Wide: Offers great rear surround effects and clarity, but lacks the feeling of effects from the sides, diminishing the true surround experience.
Etc...Etc...

Music Application:
7.1 Standard: This setup offers great musical clarity, balance.
7.1 Wide: Offers greater rear clarity and rear sound field width.
Etc...Etc...

Do my questions make sense?

Edit: Forgot to have the link present.
http://www.dts.com/DTS_In_Consumer_Products/HD_Home_Theater/Speaker_Options.aspx
 

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Re: Home Theater Configurations?

Alright, my second question; my first real important question I feel.

I was looking for DTS-HD on the official DTS site, but stumbled upon High Definition Speaker options which gave me a list of "Common 7.1 Speaker configurations", "Alternative 7.1 Speaker Configurations", and 5.1 and 6.1 Speaker configurations.

Now, I am planning on building a dedicated Home Theater room and was curious at to which Speaker configuration is best, if one can be such a thing.

But more importantly, what each configuration would do in terms in Movie applications, and Music Applications.

Essentially, I have 4 questions I have

Is any of the configurations better than each other? (Movie application sense, and Music application sense)

Are the configurations different ways to appreciate the same product?

Would one of the configurations better

Could someone breakdown the effect of each configuration to the application of movies, and music?

Such as;

Movie Application
7.1 Standard: Provides good rear and side ambiance and surround effects, but lacks height depth.
7.1 Wide: Offers great rear surround effects and clarity, but lacks the feeling of effects from the sides, diminishing the true surround experience.
Etc...Etc...

Music Application:
7.1 Standard: This setup offers great musical clarity, balance.
7.1 Wide: Offers greater rear clarity and rear sound field width.
Etc...Etc...

Do my questions make sense?

Good questions!

I am struggling with the same (see thread "the perfect sound circle"). Some experts on the forum seem to advocate the '"wide" configuration. IMO listening to different configurations in your own HT, followed by determining your own personal preference is ultimately the only way to go . Will take considerable amount of time though to do it good. I am starting that process myself, and in the meantime I keep on searching for other's opinions as well.

For now, I am starting with a 5.1 wide configuration (not even mentioned on the DTS site!) with the surrounds at 110 degrees and 15 degrees up (resulting angle when putting them at a distance of 7 feet and 2 feet above ear level). This configuations fits my room and I 'believe' will sound great.

May I add another configuration subject on which opinions differ greatly: the direction your speakers should be firing. This goes from "pointing them all directly at your ears in order to get the most accurate sound image as intended by the sound mixer", to "toeing alle of them out in order to widen the sweet spot, and increase the spatiallity of the fronts and surround effects of the rears". I am going with the latter for now, but am not claiming that to be the best choice for everyone....
 

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Lots of good questions here, My answer to what are the diferences between 5.1 and 7.1 other than amount of speakers is that with almost all movies even BluRay the audio is only encoded in 5.1 so the receiver needs to take the signal from the 5.1 and figure out what needs to be sent to the rear speakers in a 7.1 setup.
Most receivers do this painlessly and really enhances the sound field. If you have the ability 7.1 is the only way to go regardless of the movie being watched.
There are many different ways to place the speakers but preference always is that your mains and center should always be firing at your ears at the listening position. The surrounds being what they are should not be pointed directly at the listening position and should be mounted at about 6 ft above the floor. The side speakers in a 7.1 setup should be mounted so that they are directly in line with the main seating position and the rears placed about 4 ft apart on the rear wall see this diagram here The rears also need to be at least 3 ft behind the seating so that they don't fire over your head.
The idea is to fill the space with sound not so much to direct the sound at you.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Alright, Well here i compiled a list of Dolby's, THX's, and DTS's recommendations for the angles of the speakers.

Interesting the sites say the following;

Center:

THX- Center 0 degrees of listener (Horizontal), Above or Below (Vertical)
DTS- Center 0 degrees of listener (Horizontal), Preferred Above but can do below (Vertical)
Dolby- Center 0 degrees of listener (Horizontal), Preferred Below but can do above (Vertical)


Fronts:

THX- 45 Degrees of listener (Horizontal), At ear level (Vertical)
DTS- 30 Degrees of listener (Horizontal), At ear level (Vertical)
Dolby- 22-30 Degrees of listener (Horizontal), At ear level (Vertical)


Side Surrounds:

THX- 90-110 degrees of listener (Horizontal), 2-3 Feet above listener (Vertical)
DTS- 90 degrees of listener (Horizontal), No Information Provided (Vertical)
Dolby- 90-110 degrees of listener (Horizontal), "above ear level" (Vertical)


Back Surrounds:

THX- 60 degree angle from the main listening location (Horizontal), 2-3 Feet above listener (Vertical)
DTS- 150 Degrees of listener (Horizontal), No Information Provided (Vertical)
Dolby- 135-150 Degrees of listener (Horizontal), "above ear level" (Vertical)


Subwoofer:

THX- "If you have four subs, place them cross pattern in the middle of each wall. If you have two, put them in the middle of opposing walls. If you have one, place it in the middle of the front wall."
DTS- Left Corner
Dolby- Left side of room, right of the Left Front Speaker


Such a conflict of small changes between the standards of 7.1 Speaker Placement. WHICH one is better? lol
 

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Where the speakers will sound the best will depend on the room, to a certain extent. And the only way to know what is best is to experiment with locations.
But there are some rules to use as, at least, for starting points.

First determine the locations for the L/R. Measure the width of the room and multiply it by .276 (example: 17.5 ft x .276 = 57.96") or 58". That 58" is the distance from the center of the speaker array to the side walls. That % will produce the best soundstage. And what angle that makes from the centerline will depend on the seat location. In my case the angle is 23.5*, or a total angle of 47* as the L/R speakers are 8' apart and the seat is 10.5' back. Anywhere between 40~60* is considered good.

The narrower the room the smaller the dimension will be, of coarse.
If you can get that, or even close, will be determined by the size of the screen, in many cases. I've seen way too many rooms where the screen was really too big for the width of the room. To the point where the L/R speakers had to be stuck in the front corners, which will greatly pinch the width of the soundstage. And muddling the sound

I prefer having the center below the screen. I've yet to hear a center location I liked, that had the speaker closer to the ceiling than the floor.
As for the surrounds, going for around 90~100*, for the sides, and rears between 140~150*. And for height, between 5'~6' to the top of speaker, I find to be the best.
 

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This is some good information. But let's take a step back.

5.1 vs 7.1...Is it worth it?

At what point does 7.1 become adventageous?

Negating money, my theory is it starts with the room. I feel in smaller rooms, 5.1 will completely suffice. Plus, due to room restrictions, 7 speakers might not even fit! In larger rooms, where speakers begin to move farther from the listener(s), and there's more room available, a person can take advantage of 7.1.
 

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Negating money, my theory is it starts with the room. I feel in smaller rooms, 5.1 will completely suffice. Plus, due to room restrictions, 7 speakers might not even fit! In larger rooms, where speakers begin to move farther from the listener(s), and there's more room available, a person can take advantage of 7.1.
Right, a small room doesn't need as many speakers or as much power.
In any situation I don't want speakers above me, right next to me, or right behind me. I say at least 3 ft to the speakers.

If a room is such that the seating is right up against the back wall, forget 7 channels and just do 5 channels.
I've been in rooms that had the surrounds right next to the couch, and I'm not talking big speakers either, those silly little Orbs, and they were really annoying.

And if the room situation is such that you can't even put the side speakers at 90*, but the seating is a bit away from the back wall, then try the surrounds in the corners at 45* angles, thus providing more distance than if right behind.
 
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