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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Will we be seeing more and more "non-thrilling" movies getting released straight to video in the near future? Most of my typical middle-class friends who don't care much about theatrics now have large HDTVs and at the very least a HTIB system, and things are cheap enough at this point that I just got a decent projector (PLUS U5-732) used for $300 shipped to supplement the blossoming audio portion of my system, which was also bought on the cheap.

Are theaters really going to be able to sell non-action movies like they used to in the near future? I have no doubt that IMAX specials such as Avatar will continue their reign without a hitch, maybe even devoloping into 3-sided screens for full-blown immersion into the movie, but who wants to spend the kind of money necesarry for the theater experience just to watch something that doesn't give "the experience" any better than what they can achieve at home? Watching a thriller on IMAX is like going to an amusement park and is definitely worth the money to be blown away like that, but any more of this consumer-based theater building, and dedicated movie theaters really won't have much of anything to offer anymore in the way of non-action based films. My system isn't even finished, yet I still haven't seen any movie aside from Avatar in the theater for like 2 years. Am I alone on this?
 

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No you are not alone before watching Avatar the last movie I watched in a theater was The Matrix.
 

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My wife and I go to a movie only about once a year just for a change and always walk out wondering why we went as its not ever as good as the home experience.
That said many youth dont have that home theater experience so they are the ones that keep theaters in business.
 

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IMAX is the only theater worth going to. We have four in the Washington DC area but three are Smithsonian theaters which generally don't show "Hollywood" movies. Unfortunately none are IMAX Dome theaters either. I'll probably go see Avatar 3D in a theater, but only because it's 3D. Theaters are on the same road as libraries and music stores.
 

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There are some movies that MUST be seen on a big screen to be fully appreciated -- Avatar being the latest example.

However, there is something about a group viewing that helps some movies -- comedies especially. For example, I don't think I'd have thought The Hangover was as funny had I seen at home vs the theater. Horror movies are another genre that I think is enhanced by a group setting.

However, for your typical drama, I don't get anything extra by being a group setting.

All that being said, this group "enhancement" is often outweighed by the lack of courtesy that seems to becoming more and more prevalent. Man that makes me sound like an old codger. Anyway, cell phones that aren't turned off, talking in the movie, talking ABOUT the movie in the movie, etc can sometimes just ruin the whole experience.
 

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After watching those action movies on a descent setup at home you realize just how poor the imaging (, audio as a whole!) is in the theater. Yeah it's louder, but that's not the thing you care about most you know just what good speakers are capable of. Many times ambient or surround noise is just an amorphous blob behind your head giving you no idea of the directionality of the sound.

I'm sure you all have noticed what speaker set-ups look like in theaters (the last one I was in one, I counted 13 speakers.) Does anyone know what kind of "receiver" is used to distribute sound to these numerous speakers in theaters? And if so, why do you suppose it does such a poor job?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Some valid points here ^^^

I'm in the process of a major system overhaul, and even with ONLY two Klipsch RF-5s and a Velodyne SPL1200 (no center, surrounds because they were dragging behind) it still sounds significantly better than any of my local theaters. It'll be some serious doing to achieve what I saw at IMAX (I felt a blast of wind when the ship blew up at the end of Avatar, which I haven't felt before or since, though to be fair I was in the front row and presumeably eating a subwoofer sandwhich whenever something blew up :p) but that theater is an hour away and only worth the drive for a masterpiece of audio/visual, which, as mentioned in the opening post, warrants the straight-to-video release of movies that don't blow you away.

There certainly still is the group effect with comedies and whatnot where your friends increase humor exponentially, but I gotta ask- If the theater at home is better, and you can actually drink beer and serve wings and stuff, what's to stop you from just having friends over? , play your cards right while making the calls and you'll never have to pay for movie food again :D


One thing I will say could potentially be awesome, is that the movie business is driven by the free market, and they know that we'll only pay big bucks for an all-out experience to a greater and greater extent every year.. I can't wait to see what developes! Rotary subs, perfect 3D screens that take up the entire front 180 degrees of the theater to literally put you in the movie everywhere you look (imagine "We Were Soldiers" with the fight happening all around you. You'll miss some stuff in the movie depending where you're looking, but that's kinda the point- It's incredibly realistic that way, especially in the chaos of war.) I would also love to see effects coming from the seats, floor, and ceiling as well. IE: Something blows up to your left, and the seat subtly jerks to the right while a blast fan sends a "shockwave" at you, along with the smell of spent powder and small particles of debree. If there's a thunderstorm, they could leak small amounts of ozone into the room to make it smell legitimate, and if it's foggy, send some fog in the room with very subtle overhead lights used to enhance the white glowing (though that might be an issue with projectors..) If the camera follows someone over the edge of a cliff, tilts the seats forward to make the falling sensation believable, and if you're in an accelerating car/plane/whatever, tilt the seats backwards and send increasingly stronger vibrations to them to simulate speed. If the environment is jungle, waft in some warm, humid air, and if the environment is snowy, waft in the cold, icy air, etc., etc., etc.. I could go on for days!

Jeez I think I'm salivating haha, time to take some measurements in the ol' theater room downstairs :daydream::daydream::daydream: Seriously though, I would happily spend $30-$40 for a movie experience if they can pull off what I described in a believable fashion. I'm not talking about a Disneyworld thrill ride with 3D and effects being used just to shock people, I want total, seamless immersion into the movie- essentially just a much more extreme version of Avatar, which used the 3D solely to put you inside the movie. It's such a perfect concept, and I find it amazing that Avatar was the first to use 3D correctly- I really hope the empire it built brings even better stuff to the show sometime soon.

Or maybe I'm just a dreamer :p
 

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Does anyone know what kind of "receiver" is used to distribute sound to these numerous speakers in theaters? And if so, why do you suppose it does such a poor job?
They simply use a special processor in most theaters. It has card slots that they can add different decoders to correspond to the different formats available like DTS or THX. The processors have up to 9 independent channels with delay adjustments for each channel that then send each signal to multiple amps that then powers the speakers.
Where you say the quality is bad is simply that the theater chains dont recalibrate these setups often (some only do it once during initial installation) and the levels vary form movie to movie and sometimes the operators will mess with these settings witch over time will just get worse and worse.
The reason the picture quality can be so bad is simply use and ware on the film, If you go within a week of opening day the film will be much more vibrant and sharp but again most theaters run the reels every night several times and sometimes across several screens at the same time (quite impressive to see actually).
 

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They simply use a special processor in most theaters. It has card slots that they can add different decoders to correspond to the different formats available like DTS or THX. The processors have up to 9 independent channels with delay adjustments for each channel that then send each signal to multiple amps that then powers the speakers.
Where you say the quality is bad is simply that the theater chains dont recalibrate these setups often (some only do it once during initial installation) and the levels vary form movie to movie and sometimes the operators will mess with these settings witch over time will just get worse and worse.
The reason the picture quality can be so bad is simply use and ware on the film, If you go within a week of opening day the film will be much more vibrant and sharp but again most theaters run the reels every night several times and sometimes across several screens at the same time (quite impressive to see actually).
I figured they would have something with some serious beef to power all those speakers. I would love to watch a movie on a correctly-calibrated system. I feel like there is a lot of potential there.
 

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I'm with you. We treated two of our grandsons and their parents to "UP!" in 3D. It was a cheaper matinee and we bought limited snacks. Still the bill was over $80! I've since bought the BD and actually enjoyed the 2D at home more.

Last night my wife and I watched "Whip It" (a fun little film) in blu ray on our 120" screen in our dedicated HT. I was able to set the volume just where we like it. We enjoyed a nice glass of wine and some biscotti. The cost was far less than one medium drink and one medium popcorn at the local theater. PQ and AQ was superior to any theater in town.

There's just no incentive, except for the spectaculars, to go to the local movie house anymore.
 

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The next step for theaters is 3D sound in the form of IOSONO® spatial sound technology.

http://www.iosono-sound.com/products-and-services/cinemas/

I went to hear a demo at Todd-AO Burbank stage 2 and it was the most exhilarating dispersive audio experience I have had since going to Disney Worlds haunted mansion. The were able to place sonic images anywhere in space they chose, and they could do it over a wide variety of seats as well.

3D images combined with this 3D audio technology will keep the professional movie theater a bit ahead of home theater for quite sometime, or at least until somebody can figure out how to integrate this system into home theater proportions, and more cost effective as well(this system is not cheap by any standards).

http://www.iosono-sound.com/references/installations/
 

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I saw a joke once many, many years ago that said "by the time you can afford Hi-Fi, you can no longer hear it". Well, I've reached that stage at 75.

Somehow, the term "IOSONO® spatial sound technology" sounds like something that I am going to have to live without. Now, if they come up with something where I can connect a digital cable direct to my brain, I think they'll have something I can use.
 

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I saw a joke once many, many years ago that said "by the time you can afford Hi-Fi, you can no longer hear it". Well, I've reached that stage at 75.

Somehow, the term "IOSONO® spatial sound technology" sounds like something that I am going to have to live without. Now, if they come up with something where I can connect a digital cable direct to my brain, I think they'll have something I can use.
Now that's passion. You are still a part of a A/V forum even when you cannot truly appreciate all of the benefits of home theater. I commend you and hope I am still as involved as you when I reach 75! :clap:
 

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I'm educating myself for my next step in home theater, hence the involvement in this thread. I'll be moving to some sort of software control of my home automation soon, probably Cebotics HouseBot. Then it's receiver upgrade time as my old Marantz SR 780 doesn't do the new codecs.

Then, on the horizon, 3D, perhaps not for me, we'll see.

Just got back from working out with weights at the gym. I refuse to sit in a rocking chair and get old.

Forums such as this, and the help I can get, allow for a lot of "keeping up" that didn't use to be possible.

P.S. Toby, I see you're in Oklahoma City. I used to be Program Director of KOMA (1520) back in the early 60's when it was a major AM rock station. Love that city.
 

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Uh, how about waitresses/waiters dressed ala Hooter's/Chip-n-Dale's style for refreshments?:rofl: Or a 'keeper of the silence' usher that could zap cell phone users/noisy people?

Otherwise, I'm pretty happy at home:bigsmile:
 

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I personally hope the big theaters don't fold. While I agree that watching at home has most of the advantages, still there is something about the truely big screen & atmosphere there...& the popcorn is the best.

I only go for the special engagements like Lord of the Rings, some of the Harry Potters' & Avatar. Now that there is an IMAX 3D here, it seems like I only consider movies playing there. This is my point, I think they will always 1 up the home theater market with such technology & it's fun to go & be a part of it.

I'm suprized 3D projectors are not being touted yet. Thats got to be the next big thing for the home market. Makes you wonder what the big theaters will have for us next.
 

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Oh, I don't want them to fold- just for people to be more respectful of others, cleaner, take a shower before they go:yikes:

Our imax stinks because they won't play anything that's not historical/educational, and I do mean anything. It stinks having to see that imax theaters elsewhere have diverse showings, but then, I'm in 'West Texas' :rolleyesno:
 

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Our 1st IMAX here in Tallahassee was the same way, but it was part of our Challenger Learning Center (local museum). After a while they started showing limited big box titles. I bet they needed more revenue than the educational stuff was bringing.

Now AMC has added IMAX theaters in their Mall location, haven't seen any educational stuff there! You could ask the local manager why they aren't offering any movies. He should explain exactly whats going on. Find out where your IMAX's funding is coming from. You could check with them next. It tax dollars are helping support it, theres a good chance that taxpayer input will carry some clout...let your voice be heard.
 

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Our 1st IMAX here in Tallahassee was the same way, but it was part of our Challenger Learning Center (local museum). After a while they started showing limited big box titles. I bet they needed more revenue than the educational stuff was bringing.

Now AMC has added IMAX theaters in their Mall location, haven't seen any educational stuff there! You could ask the local manager why they aren't offering any movies. He should explain exactly whats going on. Find out where your IMAX's funding is coming from. You could check with them next. It tax dollars are helping support it, theres a good chance that taxpayer input will carry some clout...let your voice be heard.
AMC added an "IMAX" auditorium to our mall as well. If you have ever been to a real IMAX theater you see how gimmicky the AMC version is. Honestly, it was just a larger & louder version of the existing AMC auditoriums. I'm beginning to wonder if any of the IMAX technologies are being implemented in these new "hybrid auditoriums" at all. (I'm sure someone will correct me as soon as I post this.) I was not impressed. I wonder if IMAX is hurting for money to the point that they are simply licensing their name to theaters building big auditoriums.
 
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