XtremePlace Forum

AV Galaxy => Planet Home Theater => Topic started by: petetherock on October 06, 2007, 13:53

Title: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: petetherock on October 06, 2007, 13:53
Welcome all who venture forth into Home Theatre (HT) and wish to enjoy the cinematic experience in the comforts of their homes.

As a new member, also read the stickies in each section, there is a wealth of info in them, if you still have queries, then post them.


Many of us will not read past the first page on our point of entry, which is usually the HT section, and many will not bother to use the SEARCH function or the FAQ section, hence the reason for compiling this thread.

Re-creating the HT cinematic feel in your own homes is definitely possible, but there is a definite thought process.

- Get your budget sorted (remember pay peanuts, get monkeys)

- balance of music and HT - you cannot get good music with a cheap AV (audio-visual) amp

- there are VFM (value for money) items which come about, but don't expect a $500 amp to kill a $8000 piece of equipment

I hope to share some ideas and tips and I also invite the others who are real pros here to help make HT a wonderful experience for our brothers out there.

I make no attempt to hide my bias towards some brands, and I have my own beliefs and thoughts, but please feel free to disagree.

At the end of the day, if a $100 NTUC dvd player hooked up to a $200 21" CRT is your setup, simply enjoy it and have no worries...

OR you can take the first step towards a rewarding, possibly expensive hobby and make many friends at the same time.

And if after a few posts and ideas gathering sessions, you feel like an audition, I do welcome opinions and critisisms of my setup at regular demo sessions, as will many of the generous brothers here like Jag, J Yeo, etc

A gentle tip to newbies asking for advice on components to buy:

- Give Us a Budget! Who can tell what you want to spend

- music preferences - just for games (some simple boom box from Logitech or Creative might suffice) / a full Home theatre system / Stereo listening pleasure / headphones

Plus the ratio of the above

- what is the room size??

- basically the more info offered, the more replies!
Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: petetherock on October 06, 2007, 13:54
Remember the SEARCH Button is your friend and will cover many topics which others may have asked before.
Title: Systems threads
Post by: petetherock on October 06, 2007, 13:54
For suggested systems, there are many threads:




Title: Speaker threads
Post by: petetherock on October 06, 2007, 13:56




Monitor Audio









5.1 speakers thread:

Title: Buying a console ?
Post by: petetherock on October 06, 2007, 14:03
This might help:



Title: Amps threads
Post by: petetherock on October 06, 2007, 14:04
A good one on Onkyos by jeff:






Pioneer :




Yamaha 1.3HDMI amps:

Title: Displays
Post by: petetherock on October 06, 2007, 14:11
In case you nelgected to see
there is a section on displays which you should read before posting display related stuff.

There are good threads on Pioneers:









Samsung Full HD LCD:


Full HD plasma:


There are more plasma TV, Projector (PJ) owners here and for opinions on smaller and budget panels, PC related stuff, LCDs etc there are other possibilities

Title: How to help links
Post by: petetherock on October 06, 2007, 14:12
http://www.soundandvision.com/how-to (http://www.soundandvision.com/how-to)

How to audition and demo:
Title: Buying from overseas?
Post by: petetherock on October 06, 2007, 14:18
On transformers and conditioners:

http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=47050.0 (http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=47050.0)



on hum:

http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=37335.0 (http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=37335.0)

On buying overseas:
http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=114184.msg790801#msg790801 (http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=114184.msg790801#msg790801)

Thread on free shipping from overseas:
http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=139117.200 (http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=139117.200)
Title: Cables
Post by: petetherock on October 06, 2007, 14:21
Many threads, too many to list all again


But type in " LHS " and you will get lots of info


Many budget cables on sale there



"Adelphi" search will also yield heaps of info.

BTW Hean Lee Radio sells cables, plugs, transformers etc (google for their contact)

** I don't work for them **

Put aside about 10%, too much and IMO it becomes snake oil....
Title: Room treatment
Post by: petetherock on October 06, 2007, 14:24
The experts here will tell you more and I am hoping bro J Yeo, Jag and Joamonte (why do Js know so much about this I wonder...)

But a SEARCH (yes search) will get you a lot

Type "room and treatment" or  "rockwool" " acoustics" etc

for example:

Title: Subwoofer stuff
Post by: petetherock on October 06, 2007, 15:56
Some recommended dvds:


Subwoofer moments:


And of course the sticky on top for showcasing owners' prize possessions gives you an idea of the kind of power in the homes of brothers here.

Subwoofer hum:


Low Frequency Effect (LFE) buttshakers:


Calibrating the sub:

Title: SPL meter
Post by: petetherock on October 08, 2007, 04:08
Despite the advent of the auto-setup, IMO, this is an indispensible tool for proper setup and level setting.

Some useful links on this:


And of course if you didn't make it to the FAQ section:


I like this one:

"Excerpt from "UNDERSTANDING SURROUND SOUND - 5.1 And Beyond..." writen by Mark Techer, July 2000


A well designed controller will have a few standard items. Apart from different surround sound decoding algorithms, your audio processor should have level trims for all channels including the FRONT LEFT and FRONT RIGHT.

For those systems that do not, you will need to find the level where the Left channel that reads +75dB and remember or mark the master volume at that point. That number will your 00dB level, even though it may not be close to 00dB.

Also, not all volumes display in relative (negative dB figures), some display in “absolute” (number that increase with the loudness). If your system is such, then choose a “round” number and then adjust each channel trim to read +75dB on the meter.

The worst case scenario will be a unit that does not offer either trims on the front left and right channels or a master volume displayed in absolute values…

In this digital age, usually both the trims and the master volume control will be digital and the trims should be in half dB adjustments. Full dB adjustments are too course and may not allow total precision.

All well designed decoders will also have an internal noise generator. The tone emitted from the noise generator will be equivalent to an audio tone recorded at –30dBFS for film sound (18BIT) which is the same as 105dB – 30dB or +75dB. Using a Sound Pressure Level meter and these tones, you will be able to precisely adjust the acoustic output level of your system to equal that of a cinema or dubbing stage.

The end result will be that you will hear the sound track they way it was heard in the studio that created it both from channel to channel sound as well as absolute volume level.

The SPL meter should have an analog display. The use of the analog model is preferred as reading can be under 1dB and depending on the type of level trim on your system, totally accurate.

The radio shack SPL meter is the same type used by the film industry. Independent tests revealed that this meter was the most accurate model from a group of meters tested including more expensive models.

The new meter from JAYCAR is more expensive, but it has a calibrate feature. Whilst this meter is digital, it does display in 1/10th of a dB.


The meter has a rotating “range” dial and two switches. The range dial provides the SPL range you would like to measure in decibels starting form 60dB to 120dB. There is also a battery check “BATT” position just next to the “OFF” position.

The two switches are labeled “WEIGHTING” and “RESPONSE”. Set the “WEIGHTING” switch to the “C” position and the “RESPONSE” switch to the “SLOW” position.

Set the dial to the 70dB range. This will now allow you to read SPL from 60dB to 76dB.

EDIT: Position the meter in the prime listening position.

Hold the meter at arms length from the body. The meter should be at seated ear height, pointed up and slightly forward.


I use a tripod to hold the meter and move well away so that reflections from my body are not read by the meter and give false readings.

Activate the test tone generator on your surround sound processor. Well designed processors will default to a 0dB reference level position regardless of the actual volume position and start at the LEFT front channel.

Observe the level reading. It should be reading at +75dB/C/SLOW. If the audio level is too high, the meter’s needle will “peg” and you will have to reduce the trim level for that channel to read the desired +75dB/C/SLOW. If the audio level is too low, adjust the trim to read the correct level.


Once you are satisfied with the level, proceed to the next channel, working in turn around the room.


While the standard level for all main channels (including the Surrounds) is +75dB/C/SLOW, setting the level for both the subwoofer and the LFE channel is a little more complex.

Ideally you would use a Real Time Spectrum Analyzer. The level of the Subwoofer can be set with the SPL meter by the following method. The level of the Subwoofer should also read +75dB on the meter, however the tone for the Subwoofer is a “Warble” and the level will very along with the frequency. It will be difficult to set the level at the 70dB range.

Turn the dial to the 80dB range. If your processor has a Sub test warble, adjust the trim to read an average of +79dB/C/SLOW with the lowest part reading at –5dB on the 80dB scale. The level difference will be around just 4dB and is equivalent to the average level of +10dB when using the RTA.


The LFE channel is a fixed value in reference to the subwoofer level. That is if you increase the Subwoofer level, you will also increase the level of the LFE channel. Some decoders offer a separate trim for the LFE channel. It should be set to the same level as the Subwoofer. If the SUB trim is 0dB, then so is the LFE trim.



Once your system has been calibrated, you can enjoy a film. The 0dB reference level is the level you should watch films at. You may of course reduce this level if it is too loud.

DIALNORM may be seen on some format decoders. It is a part if the Dolby Digital coding and will advise you of the average level of dialogue in a program. If the DIALNORM reads a plus figure EG “DIALNORM +4”, you must reduce the level of the master volume by 4dB. When used correctly, you will find that the level of dialogue remains consistent across a wide range of program material. The peak levels however will vary occasionally resulting in some very high Sound Pressure Levels. "
Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: queks on October 08, 2007, 13:56
I make it a sticky thread. Let see whether is it useful to the newbies.  :D
Title: TV myths, warranty, and 1080p demystified.
Post by: petetherock on October 10, 2007, 11:06

TV warranty Issues:


Simple truth, examine the fine print and caveat emptor.

1080p myth busters:

Title: Some dangers to watch out for
Post by: petetherock on October 13, 2007, 07:45
Hearing loss



Title: Judder Issues
Post by: petetherock on October 13, 2007, 21:18

Title: The current formats
Post by: petetherock on October 14, 2007, 08:48
a good read:


Dolby Digital
What it is: The audio format familiar from DVD, Dolby Digital (sometimes known as AC-3) is one of the base standards of Blu-ray. It works basically the same way that it worked on DVD in configurations from 1.0 to 5.1, though it does offer a higher maximum bit rate of 640 kb/s (which is considered audibly indistinguishable from Dolby Digital Plus at the same rate).

What it is: Sometimes referred to as DTS Encore (though DTS themselves don't seem to use that name anymore), this sound format is another familiar holdover from standard DVD. Blu-ray, however, more ably supports the codec at its higher 1509 kb/s bit rate.
Level of support: All Blu-ray disc players are required to support the transmission of a DTS bitstream over a digital connection and internal decoding up to at least 2 channels. Most players (other than early models such as the Samsung BD-P1000) will decode internally to 5.1.

Dolby Digital Plus
What it is: An enhancement over standard Dolby Digital, DD+ offers higher bit rates and more efficient compression, resulting in improved sound quality. It can also support movie soundtracks up to 7.1 discrete channels (though honestly, the vast majority of Hollywood movies are only mixed for 5.1). On Blu-ray, DD+ is encoded as an extension to a "core" Dolby Digital AC-3 track.

DTS-HD High Resolution
What it is: Similar to Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD High Resolution is an enhancement over standard DTS that offers higher bit rates and better compression. DTS-HD HR is also encoded as an extension to a "core" DTS track.

What it is: A PCM track is an exact replication of the studio master, encoded on disc without compression. The benefit to this is that it maintains the purity of the source without any loss of fidelity that may come from compression. The downside is that an uncompressed audio track takes up a tremendous amount of disc space, which may (especially on single-layer BD25 discs) negatively affect the video quality of the movie. While the Blu-ray format is capable of utilizing PCM audio up to 24-bit resolution, studios may choose to encode at 16-bit resolution instead, depending on the bit depth of the original source or concerns about conserving bandwidth (downsampling a 24-bit master to 16 bits is technically not the same thing as compression).

Dolby TrueHD
What it is: Dolby TrueHD is a "lossless" compression codec. Although it is compressed to take up less disc space than a PCM track, once decoded it is bit-for-bit identical to the studio master (at either 16-bit or 24-bit resolution, at the discretion of the studio). It may help to think of it like a ZIP file that holds a PCM track. Once you unZIP the file, you get a 100% identical copy of the original PCM, without compromising any sound quality.

DTS-HD Master Audio
What it is: Another lossless audio codec similar to Dolby TrueHD. The difference between the two is that DTS-HD MA is built in a core+extension configuration (just like DTS-HD HR). Although a DTS-HD MA track takes up more disc space than a TrueHD track, it does not require a secondary standard track for backwards compatibility. Since both DTS-HD MA and TrueHD are lossless, they are both 100% identical in quality to the studio master, and hence identical in quality to each other.

Title: Tips and setup info
Post by: petetherock on October 20, 2007, 13:50
A collection of tips and HT Primers:


Subwoofer 101:




Subwoofer calibration and tuning


A super collection of subwoofer setup tips:

Basic setup tips 101:


5.1 vs 7.1 setups:


How much power do you need:


Rear speaker location:

Title: Posting pics
Post by: petetherock on October 21, 2007, 16:24
This is in the FAQs, but people visit that spot infrequently....

http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=31231.0 (http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=31231.0)

How to load pics:
http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=31231.15 (http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=31231.15)

Title: Repair work
Post by: petetherock on October 22, 2007, 06:07
Speaker cones

Martin Audio, 175, Bencoolen Street, #01-47, Burlington Square
Tel: 3364420

Amps etc

Memory Lane, B1 Adelphi

Adrian (mobile: 92281304)

Memory Lane. No.1, Coleman Street. #B1-11, The Adelphi. Singapore 179803. Email : veedubsg@yahoo.com

If its an expensive or esoteric model, best to let the dealer have a look

Also contact members here:

Calfie for repairs
Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: kuryakin on November 02, 2007, 16:05
Another recent resource article:

http://firingsquad.com/hardware/designing_firingsquad_reference_home_theater/ (http://firingsquad.com/hardware/designing_firingsquad_reference_home_theater/)
Title: Hi-Def DVD - Audio Streaming Over HDMI
Post by: petetherock on November 03, 2007, 13:03
A rather useful article on outputting audio from HDMI:

Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: Transworld on November 12, 2007, 11:31
One informative url.

How to connect your AV (http://www.ramelectronics.net/html/howto-av.html)
Title: Room acoustics
Post by: petetherock on December 03, 2007, 11:53
Useful link:






Treatment thread:
Title: Explanations of the new sound formats
Post by: petetherock on December 07, 2007, 08:46

List of discs


List of Regions and Region Free Blu Ray Discs:


Getting Hi Def from a legacy amp:

LPCM and TruHD and DTS-MA

Title: Vpost and other shipping methods
Post by: petetherock on December 11, 2007, 16:29
Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: RAF on December 14, 2007, 16:19
Hi there, am a newbie... looking for a 5.1 setup for my new place which undergoing reno at the moment... need some suggestions from the experts for

1) 42"/46"/50" full HD plasma (budget about $5k+)

2) 5.1 surround system: (budget about $3k+)
a)good front speakers for audio listening (2 channel)
b)surround and centre speakers (for HT)


Purely 5.1 surround system purely for HT at the moment (budget about $3k+)

I have been to francis's house to check out his tube amp and player and may get the same setup for my audio in future...

Please help...


Title: Video scaling
Post by: petetherock on December 30, 2007, 08:02


Title: How to audition
Post by: petetherock on January 09, 2008, 14:47
- The full range of music is good advice. Try to pick out certain things like the rasp in a vocal and compare it on other speakers - how do you think it should sound... for example the vocals on Eric clapton and BB King's, Riding with the King.
- Def take along what you know. I took, some simple Jazz, Piano's, Blues, Pop/Rock, Classical and big band.
- Take stuff your current system struggles with. I found fast, complicated stuff a problem on my then speakers - Jem / Kaiser Cheifs.
- Take modern and old stuff. Older CD's are typically recorded quieter and with less treble and bass. Do they sound good? Newly released CD's are usually
toppier and bassy (use of sub base). Do the speakers handle all this?
- Ask if you can take your own stuff along to play through - amp / CD player for example - how willing they are may depend on your budget.
If not, see if they at least can aim to have similar sounding equipment to yours and ask for them to perhaps change the amp or CD player if you think it might be that that is the problem.
- Ask if you can rearrange their room to be more like yours - I did and found I did not get any shocks once I got the speakers home.
Look at wall coverings, height of the ceiling, distance from side and rear walls that you can run you stuff and how close your sofa is to the wall behind you.
- If possible get the speaker manufacturers positioning suggestions and see how they fit into your room - try to recreate this audutioning room, not just how the guy there suggests.
- Try several pairs of speakers - perhaps 3-4 pairs but be aware your ear will tire after 1.5 - 2 hours and it will get harder to decern.
- Ask to be left alone in the listening room.
- Ask what happens if you buy them and can't live with them - can they be echanged up or down the price range.
- I made a spreadsheet of my thoughts against the speakers I'd heard, comments, pros and cons etc. Helped when comparing as you forget if listening over a few weeks. Be prepared to go back and reconfirm. A good dealer will of course do this for you. Be prepared to visit a few dealers as they do not stock all brands by any means. Take with a pinch of salt the speakers they reccomend. They probably just have a promo on them...
Title: Choosing a new AV amp
Post by: petetherock on February 16, 2008, 13:56
A good read:

Budgeting for a new HT:

Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: petetherock on February 25, 2008, 11:19
Added a new thread in audio on how to solicit opinions and buy a new stereo, but it also applies to HT:


Beginner's buyer thread:


Adelphi and Sim Lim Square (SLS)

Title: Multi-channel analogue inputs
Post by: petetherock on March 09, 2008, 00:12

Using the Analogue outputs on a Hi Def player


Title: Understanding the Differences between HDMI Versions
Post by: petetherock on March 11, 2008, 08:21

HDMI 1.0

Release date: December 2002


Single-cable digital audio/video connection with a maximum bitrate of 4.9Gbps.

Supports up to 165Mpixels/sec video (1080p at 60Hz or UXGA)
8-channels of 192kHz/24-bit audio (PCM)

Abstract: The original HDMI v1.0 spec was and remains sufficient for most purposes. The reason is that it is a solid backwards-compatible format that can , through PCM audio handle all of the high definition audio formats present today. The key is having a player that can decode these native HD audio formats to uncompressed PCM. DSD and DVD-audio cannot be natively sent over HDMI 1.0. What HDMI 1.0 fails to do, is account for additional bandwidth provided by Deep Color (10- 12 and 16-bit color depths). It also does not support the new xvYCC color space.

Practical Issues and tips: Most CableTV set-top boxes use HDMI 1.0. The maximum output for this spec is 1080p at 60Hz with 8-bit color depth. Regardless of any display of higher version of HDMI you may have, the source will always limit the maximum bit-depth potential. An HDMI 1.0 device can still pull 8 channels of uncompressed PCM audio and as is perfectly fine for most users.

HDMI 1.1

Release date: May 2004


Added support for DVD Audio
Slight mechanical and electrical spec changes

Abstract: HDMI 1.1 simply added the ability for the system to transmit DVD-Audio signal over the cbale form the player to the receiving device. If both devices are rated to v1.1 then a DVD-Audio signal can be sent and received. Please note that by "DVD-Audio" we mean the high resolution audio format, not the audio present on a typical DVD disc.

Practical Issues and tips: HDMI 1.1 is very common and was the first spec to hit the mass market apart from CableTV set-top boxes. Many AV receivers came out with this spec and are fine for handling DVD-Audio and uncompressed PCM audio.

HDMI 1.2
Release date: August 2005


Added DSD (Direct Stream Digital) support, allowing native transmission of Super Audio CD (SACD) content at up to 8 channels
Enabled and acknowledged an HDMI Type A connector for PC-based sources
Permitted PC sources to use native RGB color-space with the optional ability to also support the YCbCr color space for consumer electronics applications

Mandated that HDMI 1.2 and later displays support low-voltage sources such as those found with PCI Express technology (the current display interface standard for PC video cards)

Abstract: HDMI 1.2 was the biggest jump since the introduction of HDMI. It really brought the PC market into focus and was developed and announced so as to compete better with the emerging VESA DisplayPort standard. For those still clinging to their universal DVD players, HDMI v1.2 finally delivered the promise of a true one-cable solution for all current high-definition audio sources.

Practical Issues and tips: If you want to utilize a fully native universal DVD player without converting the SACD to PCM then HDMI 1.2 is required. We've found that if the player does a good job at conversion, however, v1.2 isn't always that important.

HDMI 1.2a
Release date: December 2005


Fully specified Consumer Electronic Control (CEC) features, command sets, and compliance tests
Minor changes to CEC (Consumer Electronic Control) spec

Abstract: This incremental change clarified one of the earlier promises of HDMI, Consumer Electronic Control - a feature that promised "smart" interoperability between components. Unfortunately, this wasn't exactly standardized across the board and, as a result, nearly all manufacturers products only interface within their own brands. Of all things, this is the most disappointing failure of HDMI to-date.

Practical Issues and tips: This is a common format for manufacturers using CEC. There is no practical reason to prefer 1.2a over 1.2. If you don't intend to use the native DSD signal from an SACD player via HDMI, v1.1 is just as good as 1.2 or 1.2a.

HDMI 1.3

Release date: June 2006


Increased single-link bandwidth to 340 MHz (10.2 Gbps)
Optionally supports 10-bit, 12-bit, and 16-bit "Deep Color" per channel (over one billion colors) up from 8-bit

Allowed the use of xvYCC color space (previously just sRGB or YCbCr)
Incorporated automatic audio "lip" syncing capability
Supported output of native Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio streams for external decoding by AV receivers

Made available a new Type C "mini" connector for devices such as camcorders
Added gamut Metadata transmission capability
Added Reference Cable Equalizer mandate to high frequency displays to recapture degraded copper cable signal

Abstract: To be plain, this update was a complete disaster. First of all, nobody asked for HDMI 1.3, except perhaps the companies behind the new high definition audio formats. Of course TrueHD and DTS-HD, the lossless audio codec formats used on HD DVDs and Blu-ray Discs could be decoded into uncompressed audio by the players. This makes 1.3 irrelevant for audio. What made HDMI 1.3 such as disaster was the increased bandwidth requirements - which hit an already suffering cable market with new requirements for digital signal transmission. Before HDMI 1.3, it was almost impossible to get a non-active copper HDMI cable to pass 1080p at distances greater than 50 feet. After HDMI 1.3, with the addition of Deep Color, that distance shrank to less than 20 feet, causing industry-wide failures on installed cabling systems.

Expensive active solutions started coming on-board to alleviate some of the problems within several months but even today there is a large amount of consumer confusion regarding cable certification and how far a signal will travel over copper cables. The spec also mandated that HDMI 1.3-compliant displays (sinks) which took advantage of high frequency content (Deep Color) must implement built-in cable equalization to help compensate for cable losses through copper cables. Thanks to several companies dedicated to certifying their products for specific distances, this issue is slowly becoming more manageable. The first product on the market with HDMI 1.3 was the PlayStation 3 gaming console.

Practical Issues and tips: HDMI 1.3 is a requirement for Deep Color support or use of the new xvYCC expanded color space. If high definition audio is important to you, you still may not need v1.3 if your player can decode the native HD audio formats into uncompressed PCM audio. This uncompressed audio, up to 8 channels, can be sent over HDMI 1.0.Typically, 24p support coincides with v1.3, however this is nothing more than coincidence of when both format and spec came into popularity.

HDMI 1.3a
Release date: November 2006


Cable and Sink modifications for Type C
Source termination recommendation
Removed undershoot and maximum rise/fall time limits.
CEC capacitance limits changed
RGB video quantization range clarification
audio control commands added to CEC and commands for timer control brought back in an altered form

Concurrently released compliance test specification included
Abstract: An incremental change, v1.3a is mostly an adjustment for manufacturers utilizing CEC features as well as those integrating the new Type C connector (seen only in smaller form factor products and quite rare to-date).

Practical Issues and tips: There is no consumer-focused practical difference between HDMI v1.3a and v1.3.

Title: Surround fields
Post by: petetherock on March 11, 2008, 23:25
Some images to help you get speaker placement right:







Title: BFD usage
Post by: petetherock on March 26, 2008, 07:07

Using the Behringer Feedback Destroyer DSP-1124P, (or the older model DSP-1100P), or the FBQ-2496 as a Parametric Equalizer in your Home Theater System to tame your subwoofer response
Title: FAQS on the PS 3
Post by: petetherock on May 09, 2008, 07:18

the menu selection that you see DD/DTS/AAC/2.0 LPCM/7.1LPCM ... it's called audio output. with emphasis on the word 'OUTPUT', as in, it is what the PS3 is transmitting to your AVR.

For the HD audio formats, like DTS MA HD and DD True-HD, it is DECODED by the PS3. The decoding converts either of the HD lossless formats into LPCM, and again, this is done BY the PS3, WITHIN the PS3.

After the decoding, the PS3 is ready to send out the decoded LPCM, in any of the formats (from 2.0 LPCM to 7.1LPCM) that you specify and/or that the decoded signal is capable of. At this stage, there is no longer any more DTS MA HD or DD True-HD, as it has already been decoded. So when your AVR receives the signal, it receives it as a multi PCM or LPCM, and the appropriate number of speakers will light up.

You can options like DTS/DD/AAC because the PS3 can bitstream it (without decoding), for your AVR to decode. In this case, your AVR will recognise that it is a DTS/DD/AAC signal as it is not DECODED yet, so the decoding is done by your AVR (assuming that it's capable) instead of by the PS3.

optical was not designed for HBR audio. So if you do this, yr optical is stuck to stereo PCM or SD bitstream audio. optical does not have capability to handle Dolby TrueHD bitstream, DTS MA bitstream and much less, uncompressed multichannel PCM

Set PS3 HDMI output to Linear PCM

PS3 decodes DTS MA, TrueHD etc and outputs as Linear PCM

Yr receiver only sees it as Linear/Multichannel PCM and displays as such.

Another good PS 3 link:

Why doesn't the Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD-Master Audio light on my AVR come on when I'm playing BDs with these lossless audio formats?

Because the PS3 is doing the decoding itself of these advanced audio formats, the AVR is always receiving multichannel Linear Pulse Code Modulation (LPCM) from the PS3 when playing such BDs (when connected via HDMI). The AVR may have an indicator showing that the input is PCM, LPCM, MLPCM, or something similar. The AVR would only activate the Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD-MA light if it were doing the decoding. It would only be doing this if the source device were outputting these advanced audio formats as a bitstream and the PS3 is not capable of doing this. The end result in sound quality is in most cases essentially the same (depending on the specific capabilities of the AVR) whether the decoding is being done by the PS3 vs. having the AVR do the decoding.

A penny for the numer of times this has been asked....
Title: Places to buy from
Post by: petetherock on May 12, 2008, 03:09
(bear in mind, it is only fair that if you ask a lot of questions, and that shop gives good service that you return to them)
I really detest folks who try to circumvent the shops by going to distributors after spending a lot of time with the dealer.

If you are adventurous, there are overseas locations like HK (Xindak esp), Taiwan (esp for Usher) but then don't bug the local guy.

Some shops where people had good experiences:





Anson Audio

Sim Lim Square

City Electronics (esp Yamaha and Marantz)

Merdeka (Pioneer and flatscreens)

Hung Bros (for headphone and PA related stuff)

LHS (Sim Lim Tower) for wiring

Hean Lee Radio (Jln Besar Plaza) for wiring, plugs etc

There are many other shops with bargains, but some have the personality of a porcupine, so beware if you just go cheap cheap....

Places for TVs:

Apart from the big chains, which do not always give much discounts, you can try the smaller shops with low overheads, but forget demos there.

Hong Liang (Alex village)

Maximum Credit

Evergreen (AMK)

Title: Cabling and connections
Post by: petetherock on May 15, 2008, 03:48
Schematic on bi-wiring:


Cables for HT:


Configuring the AV AMP:


HT Guide To AVR Features:

Title: The DTS Bomb Issue
Post by: petetherock on May 19, 2008, 09:51
More info here:

Users are reporting a loud "POP" that is described as a loud firework or gunshot when using one of the above listed receivers AND bitstreaming DTS MA. This can damage your equipment!!!
The theory is certain receivers have a faulty DTS decoder chip and when coupled with certain DTS MA tracks, will cause this issue.

Ronny Katz, the Sr. Manager of Professional Audio at DTS, has already responded to this thread (see post #599) and has stated the issue is not in the DTS track or stream, and to seek assistance from your specific AVR manufacturer. Mr. Katz will not comment any further on the issue.

It is unknown at this time if all or just some models are affected.
Certain members have been in contact with Yamaha and Onkyo, though nothing official yet, it does look promising.
It is unknown at this time if the receivers can be fixed via a firmware or may need a more involved matter like shipping your unit in for a hardware change.

"kinglerxt" has received a reply from Onkyo including a firmware fix for his particular model (see post #1788). Contact your Manufacturer or visit your official owners thread for more details.

In the mean time, I highly recommend anyone using any of these receivers to NOT listen to any bitstreamed DTS MA material.

Here's a list of reported titles causing this issue:
**note** There are certainly other titles that have not been discovered yet.
-1408 (BD import)
-Golden Compass (review copy)
-The Fly (BD) time-13:00
-Chronos (BD) time-38:52
-Fantastic Four (BD) time-4:22
-Hannibal Rising (HD DVD)
-Close Encounters of the Third Kind (BD)
-Eagles Fairwell Concert (HD DVD) time-23:40
-Master and Commander (BD import) time-17:24
-Flight of the Phoenix (BD) time-51:00
-Flyboys (BD)

Be aware that just because you played any of these titles, does not mean that you don't have a problem as it appears not all titles affect every receiver.
"The Fly" seems to be the definitive test that no one with stated equipment can pass.
**see link below for a video clip of the "POP"**
Test at your own risk!!!


Current gen Onkyos, x800 series Yamahas are confirmed to have it.
x63 series Yamahas, Denons and Marantz amps have sporadic reports of this too.
So far Sony seems unaffected

If you use a PS 3 to feed a LCPM signal, it will not affect you. Only Bitstream outputs.
An example of the pop:

Title: HDMI switching and repeating
Post by: petetherock on June 03, 2008, 14:07
As more people hop onto the HDMI bandwagon, you need to know the difference.

Some older / more budget devices only recieve HDMI video, with no audio, others can do pass through and some do switching (between difference source), or repeating
Others can upscale the source.


This video might help:


Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: snip3r on June 04, 2008, 10:54
Title: What is a future proof amp?
Post by: petetherock on July 23, 2008, 22:49
In order to avoid confusion on what makes a future proof amp, this will help...
Plus, I do not think an amp without pre-outs can be labelled as future proof...


5.1/7.1 PCM, HDMI, and DSP - An Explanation of the Future-Proof Receiver

First things first, HDMI 1.3 is unnecessary for a receiver, a future-proof receiver with HDMI 1.1 is all you need.

Words of caution:

1) Only some receivers with HDMI currently on the market output audio over HDMI, others simply ignore the audio signal and act as a switcher (i.e. Pioneer 1016tx).

2) Movie soundtracks are recorded with the .1 (LFE) channel 10db quieter than the rest of the channels. It is a receiver's job to increase the .1 channel by 10 db, when fed a Dolby or DTS signal. Some receivers do NOT apply this 10 db increase to PCM signals over HDMI, reproducing the bass much quieter than the rest of the soundtrack. See here for more information (including which receivers do what).

3) Some PS3 games (Ridge Racer 7) will only output 7.1 and 2.0 PCM, and thus, will only output 2.0 PCM when settings indicate a 5.1 channel setup. For such games, setting the output to DD will allow 5.1 channel setups to experience properly downmixed 5.1 channels of audio.


These aren't rigorous, so cut me some slack.

Simple Processing
- Level trimming (volume balancing)
- Distance adjustment
- Bass management

Surround Processing
- Dolby Pro-Logic IIx provides surround upmixing from 5.1 pre-HDMI Dolby formats and two channel formats to 6.1 and 7.1 channels.
- DTS EX provides surround upmixing from specially encoded 5.1 pre-HDMI DTS formats into 6.1 channels (7.1 too?).
- Some receivers also have THX Select2 provides advanced THX processing that attempts to improve sound quality for small rooms from sound formats that were originally mixed for theaters. Also provides surround upmixing from 5.1 channels to 7.1 channels.

EQ Processing
- Some receivers provide advanced equalization, or adjustment of the volume of specific frequency bands, to help correct room acoustical problems (some even in the time-domain, i.e. Audessy).

- Provides one analog channel of lossless uncompressed PCM audio.
- Most receivers have 5.1 analog inputs, some have 7.1.

SPDIF (Coaxial, Optical)
- Provides two channel lossless uncompressed PCM audio.
- Provides all pre-HDMI Dolby and DTS formats (5.1/6.1).

HDMI 1.1
- Provides up to 8 (7.1) channels of lossless uncompressed PCM audio.
- Provides all pre-HDMI Dolby and DTS formats (5.1/6.1).
- Provides DVD-Audio streaming as PCM.

HDMI 1.2
- Adds SACD streaming as proprietary DSD format.

HDMI 1.3
- Adds up to 8 (7.1) channels of post-HDMI Dolby and DTS formats (TrueHD, etc.).

Current HD-DVD and Blue-Ray Players
- Provides pre-HDMI and post-HDMI formats through analog outputs in lossless uncompressed PCM format.
- Provides pre-HDMI and post-HDMI formats through HDMI output in lossless uncompressed PCM format.
- Provides pre-HDMI formats through HDMI output in bitstream compressed format (Dolby/DTS).
- Limited to 5.1 channels (7.1 channels will come with later players).

- Provides 7.1 channels.
- 7.1 titles include: Resistance of Man (7.1 discrete video game), Descent (6.1 matrixed to 7.1), and Crank (6.1 matrixed to 7.1).

Levels of Receivers:

Level 1
5.1 receivers that provide SPDIF, 5.1 analog input channels and provide all three processing stages on digital sources.

Examples: Virtually all 5.1 receivers.

Level 2
7.1 receivers that provide SPDIF, 5.1 analog inputs, and provide all three processing stages on digital sources.

Level 3
7.1 receivers that provide SPDIF, 5.1 analog inputs, and 5.1 HDMI PCM but can't perform surround processing on PCM digital sources.

Examples: Panasonic XR57 (no processing at all).

Level 3.5 (added late in the game)
7.1 receivers that provide SPDIF, 7.1 analog inputs, and 5.1 HDMI PCM but can't perform surround processing on PCM digital sources.

Examples: Onkyo x04 series.

Level 4
7.1 receivers that provide SPDIF, 5.1/7.1 analog inputs, and 7.1 HDMI PCM but can't perform surround processing on PCM digital sources.

Examples: Panasonic XR700 (no processing at all). Onkyo 605. Sony STR-DG810 and higher.

Level 5
7.1 recievers that provide SPDIF, 5.1/7.1 analog inputs, 5.1 HDMI PCM, and allow all three processing types on all digital signals.

Examples: HK 645 and higher. Marantz SR6001 and higher (only with latest firmware?).

Level 6
7.1 receivers that provide SPDIF, 5.1/7.1 analog inputs, 7.1 HDMI PCM, and allow all three processing types on all digital signals.

Examples: All HDMI Denons. Yamaha RX-V661/HTR-6060 and higher. Pioneer Elite 81TXV and higher. Onkyo 705 and higher. Integra *.8 series.

Future-proof decisions:

If you don't care about 7.1 surround sound, then all receivers are future proof.

If you don't care about 7.1 surround sound for post-HDMI Dolby and DTS formats, or using generally inferior DACs in your player for post-HDMI Dolby and DTS formats, then receivers Level 2 and higher are future proof.

If you don't care about 7.1 audio for post-HDMI Dolby and DTS formats, then receivers Level 3 and higher are future proof.

If you don't care about 7.1 audio for 5.1 post-HDMI Dolby and DTS formats, then receivers Level 4 and higher are future proof.

If you don't care about being at the mercy of the generally inferior DACs in your player (vs the DACs in your receiver) for 7.1 audio and switching between HDMI and Analog output for 5.1 and 7.1 sources, then receivers Level 5 and higher are future proof.

If you want a true future proof receiver with full processing on post-HDMI Dolby and DTS formats, and true digital 7.1 channel support, then Level 6 receivers are future proof (see annotation).


The only current 7.1 PCM HDMI source is the PS3. Receiver manuals are notoriously vague on HDMI audio support. Therefore, there are very few confirmed Level 6 receivers. Some Level 5 receivers may be Level 6 receivers. Contacting the manufacturer is the best way to confirm Level 6 receivers until people begin testing with the PS3.
Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: SiriuslyCold on August 15, 2008, 15:22
Watch this instructional video from Disney


How to hook up your Home Theatre (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6bPLAYLuwE)
Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: petetherock on October 05, 2008, 08:56
10 tips for better home theater sound:


1. Navigate the speaker-setup menus:
Every 5.1/6.1/7.1 A/V receiver has a setup menu, but if you've never explored the options, your sound is probably out of whack. The first step is easy enough: select Speaker Size--large, small, or none--for the left- and right-front speakers, the centre speaker, and the surround speakers. As a rule of thumb, speakers with 6-inch or bigger woofers are considered large.

Next, grab a tape measure and input the full set of speaker-to-listener distances. The receiver will then make sure that the sound from all your speakers reaches your ears at exactly the same time. Some receivers require you to input that information as milliseconds rather than feet/meters--just remember that 3 milliseconds are roughly the equivalent of one meter (or 1ms equals 1 foot for the non-metric).

Finally, you'll need to make sure that all of the speakers are equal in level. Your receiver can send a test tone to each speaker, which will help you adjust the relative volume of each channel. As the sound jumps from speaker to speaker, the loudness should stay the same. You can adjust the level of each speaker by ear or you can…

2. Buy a sound-level meter:
There are some excellent, but fairly inexpensive, sound level meters on that market that will ensure more accurate level matching.

3. Ensure that speaker cables are connected correctly:
With that tangle of cables looming behind your A/V receiver, it's all too easy to mix up which wire goes where. When you're running through the speaker-level adjustments, double-check that the test tones are coming out of the intended speakers. DVDs such as Sound & Vision: Home Theater Tune-Up offer a bevy of additional tests. The Avia Guide to Home Theatre, also from Ovation Software, is a more advanced version as it has more tests and goes into greater details than the other disc. Digital Video Essentials is another test DVD that is available for PAL TV systems that also provides advice on how to adjust your home theatre for optimal results.

4. Tweak subwoofer-level and crossover controls:
Test tones and meters aren't the final arbiters in the bass department. If your sub's bass is boomy, thick, or uneven, first try lowering its level (volume) control--most folks crank their sub louder than necessary. Next, if your satellites are very small, the crossover control should also be set to its midpoint or higher. Bigger speakers produce more bass on their own, so they sound best with the sub's crossover knob set at or near the bottom of its range. Finally, moving the sub out of the corner and closer to one of the front speakers may produce smoother, flatter bass.

5. Purchase speaker stands or brackets:
Pulling speakers out of bookcases or from the tops of cabinets and placing them on floor stands or wall brackets can radically improve their sound quality.

6. Optimise speaker placement:
Even if you don't go for stands or brackets, just remember that's it's important to place the front speakers with their tweeters at--or as close as possible--to ear level. The left/right speakers should be equidistant from the 'cash seat' or primary listening position. If a speaker is within 45cm of a room's corner, angle it away from the corner and toward the main listening position.

7. Tame uncooperative acoustics if possible:
Rooms with wood or tile floors and lots of windows or mirrors always sound overly bright and zippy; a thick rug and/or window drapes will sop up some of the harshness.

8. Upgrade speaker/interconnect cables:
Are you still you using skinny, freebie wires? Moving up to higher-end cables can make a noteworthy improvement to your sound.

9. Add a separate power amplifier:
If your room is large and/or you really like to pump up the volume, you may need more power. Take a peek in your receiver's owner's manual or back panel to see if it has a set of preamp-out jacks for the left, the right, the center, the left-surround, and the right-surround channels. If your receiver is so equipped, you can go ahead and hook up a gutsy separate 100, 150, or 200W/channel amp to your receiver. Let the good times roll!

10. Buy matched speakers:
If you're currently using a cobbled-together set of speakers, consider moving up to a matched package. Even a moderately priced ensemble will offer far more cohesive sound.
Title: A discussion on power
Post by: petetherock on October 27, 2008, 11:16
New members and potential buyers often get seduced by the numbers game.

A cheap AV amp prints that it has 100 watts per channel for all 7 channels.

It weights less than 10 kg (non-digital class D)

I would bet my bottom dollar it will not even get half of that with ALL CHANNELS driven.

Basic amps have a smaller power supply, transformer and capacitance. If all that is Greek, just look at the Weight of the amp as a rough guide. A top of the line power amp can weigh more than 100 lbs and 'only' generate 200W per channel.

Most of the weight is taken up by such devices and the cooling devices and passive cooling is better and will mean the maker paid a lot of attention to the design, rather than slapping on a few cooling fans as an afterthought. Just look at the Brystons, Krells, M & Ls etc and see their designs. Lots of cooling fins, space for heat to dissipate and they weigh as much as a fridge.

What else?

What does THX mean?

First, it is important to realize that THX is a quantitative measure of quality that works in conjunction with the different surround sound formats (e.g., Dolby Digital and DTS) to bring the quality of the sound presentation to the highest standards. 

To ensure the highest possible quality in home cinema, THX defines stringent picture and sound track criteria for film-to-DVD (and film-to-VHS) transfers.  Such DVD titles are labeled as "THX Digitally Mastered for superior sound and picture quality" or simply "THX Certified".  THX also defines stringent performance standards for audio/video source and processing components.  These include strict performance standards for DVD players, receivers, preamplifiers, power amplifiers, speakers, interconnect cables, speaker cables, and even the room's acoustic characteristics (for dedicated home theater environments).

For the "everyday consumer", the "THX" label means that the highest standards have been used, whether the product is a DVD-Video title, or an audio/video component.

Some basic info: http://www.timefordvd.com/tutorial/THX.shtml


Without seen to be deliberately picking on a certain brand, but the new Onkyo 806 comes to mind immediately:

The 805 was noted to be hot enough to bake an egg and the cooling system was limited to 2 fans.

Well the 806 weighs less, has One fan and less cooling fins. More importantly see their Measured (not marketing speak) power ratings:


The results are tabulated as follows.

                  >6 ohm setting (default)   >4 ohm setting   
 8 ohm load   173 Watts                       36 Watts 
 4 ohm load   270 Watts*                      56 Watts

* Time limited test under controlled laboratory conditions


Instead of building a better cooling system, they throttle the outout to limit heating issues. No doubt some would say they won't buy a 4 ohm speaker, but in transients the dynamic output will be akin to getting the balls cut off, and all you get is a higher likelihood of clipping.

See a typical Krell, it is slated to (and does) double its output as the impedance halves. That is a mark of a good amp.

Speaking of 4 ohm designs. It is a common question to ask whether a member here can hook up their 4 ohm speakers to a AV amp rated at 8 ohms only.

Well it will Certainly produce some noise, but in prolonged driving the chance of clipping and poor transients and dynamics is defintely increased. You get what you pay for. A cheap amp with a basic power section (most AV amps under 2-2.5k) cannot produce the goods for such demanding designs.

However there is a partial remedy: directing most of the demanding bass energy to a LFE / subwoofer, leaving the amp to only drive the mid, treble which saps less power. This will allow you to make do with a cheaper amp and still get that powerful HT experience. However this limits the choice of speakers (anyway it is not a bright idea to buy an expensive speaker and power it with the cheapest amp on the market) and it cannot be run full-range.

The addition of a power amp also allows the use of a more basic AV amp as a processor leaving the grunt to the power amp.

At the end of the day, we should go shopping with open eyes and realistic expectations. Do your homework on the amp and what others use to partner it, read up on reviews which provide information on the real world power ratings (something What Lo Fi never does) and then DEMO the pair together.

Good luck
Title: Comaprison of BR players
Post by: petetherock on November 30, 2008, 16:29
Check this out:


Courtesy of landis
Title: Re: Comaprison of BR players
Post by: landis on November 30, 2008, 16:33
Check this out:

[img /img]

Courtesy of landis

this picture has been reproduced from the avsforum link http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1050507
Title: Ten Biggest Mistakes of Speaker and Home Theater Shopping
Post by: petetherock on December 05, 2008, 07:48

Ten Biggest Mistakes of Speaker and Home Theater Shopping

1. You went for an all-inclusive surround sound speaker package from a big brand name manufacturer noted for electronics and TV sets.
On the surface, it's not that irrational. If ________ (fill in Sony, Kenwood, any major electronics brand) knows how to build CD players, audio/video receivers or TV monitors, they must know how to design and build excellent loudspeakers, right? Not always. Good speaker design is so specialized, and requires such extensive acoustical research, measurement, and listening tests that the best speakers continue to come from companies with a long history of acoustical research and speaker design.

2. You bought speakers in a rush, without listening to them with your favourite recordings, and now you're disappointed because they sound boomy or harsh.
Experienced listeners and professionals will tell you that making careful judgments on different speakers takes many hours of listening so don't be rushed. Visit several stores, taking the same group of recordings of music you know and like, for each test. If you have the option of auditioning the speakers in your own house, so much the better. That's the room where the speakers you buy will be placed, and there's no better place to listen to speakers than in the room you'll use them in. In any case, you'll likely keep them for years, so take your time and don't let sales staff pressure you.

3. You were knocked out by the deep bass from the subwoofer and didn't concentrate on the center channel and main left and right speakers.
Sure, deep bass from a subwoofer is desirable, and it's impressive, but whether you watch movies or listen to lots of music, most of those midrange and high-frequency sounds--and all of the movie dialog--will come from the center channel and main left and right speakers. Listen critically to actors' voices. Do they sound "boxy" or unnatural and hollow? Are "ssss" sounds at the beginning of words exaggerated (sibilance) or sharp sounding? Do male actors sound nasal or if they had a head cold? Or are their voices "chesty" and too full? These are all speaker "colorations" -- unnatural changes in the tonality of speaking voices introduced by the loudspeaker, and they'll become tiresome and annoying after a short time. Voices should sound natural and dialogue should be easily understood.

4. You went for those attractive little cube speakers because they're so tiny and unobtrusive, but when things get loud with home theatre, the sound gets strained and off-putting.
They may look cute and almost disappear into your room's decor, but those tiny satellite speakers can move only so much air. They're okay at quiet background levels but the little 2-inch cones inside get rattled when things start to rock and roll. Nor will a subwoofer fill in all the important upper bass and lower midrange sounds that the 2-inch cubes can't handle.

Any speaker with any claim to authentic high fidelity, even a fairly compact model, must divide the sound spectrum into at least two segments, the bass/midrange for the woofer, and the treble for the tweeter. A single cone just can't do it well in normal rooms. As the price spectrum climbs, the best speakers divide the spectrum into three parts--bass, midrange, and treble--and use multiple drivers to achieve very clean high-level high-quality sound.

5. You saved money by getting two compact speakers you thought would be just fine to fill your 25- x 20-foot cathedral-ceiling living room with high-level sound. But they sound strained and edgy when you turn up the volume.
A speaker is a kind of electromagnetic air pump, and a modest single woofer and tweeter can't be expected to fill a big volume of space with wide-range sound at high listening levels. Too many shoppers expect a "bookshelf" speaker to produce deep, resonant bass. Unfortunately, the laws of physics dictate otherwise. Sure you can get listenable pleasant bass to about 50 or 40 Hz from a shoebox-size enclosure, but if you want the resonant, deep and satisfying sounds a big pop band or orchestra makes or the deep rumbling of movie soundtracks, you must get a subwoofer or floorstanding speakers--or both!

6. You set up your subwoofer at the side of the room and you're disappointed at the lack of deep, low bass.
Room placement of any speaker is critical, and with subwoofers it becomes crucial. Even shifting the subwoofer (or where you sit) by a few feet can have a profound effect on the quantity and quality of low bass you'll hear. If the subwoofer is placed in the middle of a "standing wave," the deep bass may almost disappear. Moving the sub a few feet along the wall or towards a corner may entirely correct the problem.

Experiment with subwoofer locations! Every room produces "standing waves"--areas in the room where bass may seem too boomy or may almost be absent. Yes, subs are awkward, but you'll only have to position them once. And you can try moving the couch or chair as well, if that's easier.

7. You bought a receiver or amplifier advertised as having "200 watts total power output" and now it seems to be underpowered.
Watts are comparatively inexpensive nowadays, but lots of amps and receivers are still advertised using the misleading "total power output" ruse, which sums the individual power for all five channels. That "200-watt" receiver may have only 40 watts per channel (40 x 5 = 200) which would be okay in a den or a dorm room (barely) but inadequate for good home theater in a living room.

Look for the receiver's power output per channel into 8 ohms at a specified distortion level over a rated frequency range, preferably with at least two channels driven. The power at a single frequency, usually 1,000 Hz (1 kHz) is often quoted in ads, but it can be misleading. A receiver or amplifier with rated power output of 80 to 100 watts per channel, from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, at 0.3% distortion (THD), with at least two channels driven, should be more than ample for all but the very largest rooms.

And don't forget dynamic headroom . . . don't even get me started on that one!

8. Two really nice guys sold you two impressively large speakers at an amazing price from the back of their truck in a supermarket parking lot. Somehow, the sound seems to be lacking something. . .
Don't laugh. This scam has been going on for years and even normally intelligent otherwise sane folks fall for it. The speakers will often have a brand name that's sort of familiar, like "Sonic Research", something close to that of a familiar brand. But such speakers are terrible. Often, they have tweeters or woofers that aren't even connected. They're just for show.

The best speakers come from dedicated speaker designers who most often have been in business for 20 years or more. It takes that long to refine and develop really great loudspeakers.

9. You bought good speakers with excellent reputations and let your spousal unit or companion persuade you to put them out of sight inside an antique armoire or entertainment unit.
Why buy really good speakers if you're going to place them inside shelving units or armoires? It's the old law of boundary effects. The more surfaces nearby or surrounding a speaker, the greater the likelihood of unpleasant colourations (see above). A speaker needs to operate more or less in free space. Smaller speakers sound their best on stands. If you must put them on a shelf, move the edge of the speaker so it protrudes from the shelf a bit to minimize boundary effects. Leave the armoire for electronics and storing CDs!

10. You went for the package speaker system from the famous-name manufacturer that runs the slick advertisements everywhere you look, and spends millions on promotion and little on research and design. The sound is a disappointment.
Sad to say, certain companies use the cheapest possible cone drivers, and spend millions on slick advertising, diverting most of their profits not to research and development of better sounding speakers, but to getting manufacturing costs even lower. The systems ultimately disappoint; indeed, in some cases the basic design hasn't changed in 30 or 40 years. But the ads are very compelling.

Before you buy, check out detailed test reports in reputable audio/video magazines and on the internet. Read message boards for owner's comments on particular brands and models of speakers. Ask questions about the quality and type of the individual component parts. And don't be seduced by fancy-sounding hype in slick ads.

by Alan Lofft, Axiom Audio
Title: Buying Discs
Post by: petetherock on December 10, 2008, 14:33
For new owners of Hi Def players eg Blu Ray

You can shop locally, which costs a lot more and you don't get anything more.

Or you can get from overseas, eg Amazon.com

This link will help keep track of the bargains:

Otherwise the disc sales section has a whole bunch of people selling new and old discs, which are usually cheaper than getting from local shops.

Look around before you begin shopping and there are also online rental shops to consider too.
Title: Deep Color is still a marketing hype
Post by: petetherock on December 15, 2008, 09:31



What is the new Deep Color capability of HDMI?

To understand this we need to understand what deep color is and what it does. Deep color is important to display technology and HDMI.

Basically, what deep color does is expand the colors on the display from millions to billions. This gives the display a vividness and color accuracy which has never been seen before in display technology. Deep Color defines colors by using an algorithm that can specify any color in that is found in nature. Deep Color eliminates the on-screen color banding, for tonal transitions that are smooth and graduations of color that are very subtle. It enables increased contrast ratio, and may represent many times more shades of gray between black and white. Deep color with a color bit depth of 24 bit is usually called true color. However, some people use the term true color interchangeably with deep color.

The notable addition to the new HDMI 1.3 specifications is the support added for 30-, 36-, and 48-bit RGB or deep color, a specification that takes color depths way beyond what the human eye can see. The standard that governs today's displays is called the ITU 601 standard. This standard only allows 60 to 80 percent of all the variety of available colors, even if the display unit itself is capable of supporting more. Most of the displays currently available only have a color bit depth of usually 24 bits RGB. This color bit depth will give sixteen million colors and that is noticeable to the human eye. This is the cause of onscreen effects and scaling which is distinguishable by people. With 36 color bit depth and 48 color bit depth the human eye does not have the ability to distinguish these effects. A device that has the capability to directly display colors in a specific format without having to minimize the number of colors by software is called a deep color device. This extra bit depth is needed to minimize posterization with extended gamuts such as xvYCC.

The actual definition of deep color is divided depending on the expert, and so there are actually two definitions for this technology. The first definition is a color that has a low lightness and a high saturation degree. These colors usually have a minimal amount of white in them. The second definition of a deep color is a color that is a strong or intense color with no appearance or hint of black. Deep colors may also be called accent colors. Usually deep color means that a color bit depth between 30 and 48 are utilized in the display.

It is extremely important for the consumer to understand that every movie that was ever transferred to a DVD or any other digital format has been transferred using an 8-bit color depth. While the newest Deep Color format may give an improvement in the quality of the picture, there is no content currently available, no archived material, no movies, and no TV shows, that can be trans-coded easily into the deep color system. With the current problems of Digital Rights Management (DRM) and High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) just starting to be worked out, it is highly unrealistic that the entertainment industry and Hollywood will hurry to produce software that is an exact copy of the original movie quality. The first place Deep Color has been used is in advanced gaming systems, starting with the Playstation 3 in November 2006.

What deep color actually means is that there are more colors in the display. With a color bit depth of 30 bit, the number of available colors in the display becomes one billion. If the color bit depth is changed to 36 bit, the number of available colors in the display jumps significantly to sixty nine billion colors. If the color bit depth is changed, this time to 48 bit, the available colors in the display will number 2800 times one trillion. This is an enormous number of colors. Plus a higher bit resolution can display more shades of gray. With 30 bit color depth, four times more gray can be represented in the display. Eight times more gray, or even higher, can be represented by a 36 or 48 color bit depth display.

Researchers have estimated that the number of colors seen by the human eyes are in the tens of thousands. But, depending on the lighting conditions and any surrounding colors, a human eye can tell the difference between millions of differing shades, an example is that you’ll be able to distinguish many more shades of black in darkness than you can see in brightness, so the additional shades will show a noticeable difference.
Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: chongau1 on December 26, 2008, 22:46
Hi Bros

Am planning on building a new HT system.
Appreciate your kind advice on what speakes to buy.
The following are the background info:
1. Budget - about S$5k
    Comprising of:
    - AVR: Denon AVR2309 - S$1k
    - Sub: SVS PB12-NSD - S$1.2k
    - Speaker: FL,FR, Center, SL,SR - S$2 to 3k
2. Preference
    70% Movie, 30% music
3. Room
    Front to back: 4.7m
    Left to right: 5.2m
    Height: 3.4m
Festive greetings to all.


Title: Banana Plugs Info
Post by: petetherock on January 14, 2009, 19:28





How to remove plugs from your amp:


Title: Things to look for in a new AV AMP
Post by: petetherock on January 21, 2009, 12:06
For new buyers some things IMO are important:

- enough HDMI ports
- HDMI 1.3
- internal lossless decoding
- able to matrix 5.1 lossless into 7.1
- enough power -- can it power your speakers for your room size
- good remote / user interface
- some form of auto setup
- preouts for adding power amps

(will add more later)
Title: Website to compare AV amp features
Post by: petetherock on January 25, 2009, 17:31

Contains side by side comparisons - very helpful
Title: Getting the Best from Your Loudspeakers
Post by: petetherock on March 04, 2009, 15:55

Title: An important read on video processing
Post by: petetherock on March 28, 2009, 16:37
As more amps add video processing into their amps, its important to ask yourself, so do you need it?

It may be better to invest in a source with a good video chip and get an amp with "pass-through" function.
Alternatively, a display with a good video chip / interlacer is possible.


It is easy to see that the video processing in today’s A/V receivers varies significantly from product to product. It is important to understand what you are compromising when you decide to use an AVR for your video processing instead of a source device or your display. It is nice to see that some of the midline receivers such as the Onkyo and Sony do offer very capable HD video processing and that most of the receivers offer high-quality passthrough performance of HDMI signals. This is very important with high-quality 1080p signals like those from a Blu-ray or HD DVD player and HD gaming systems like the PS3 and Xbox 360.
Depending on your budget, you may want to investigate the quality of the source component or display and look at receivers in your price range that will simply pass the video through and allow the display device to handle your video-processing duties if it is more capable. HT includes performance results for video processing in all of our display device reviews to help you make these choices.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because you are paying top dollar for your new AVR, you’re always going to get top-of-the-line video processing from it. It is important to research what each company is using and how it will affect the overall quality of your video presentation.

Another primer on video processing, scaling etc:

Title: Room treatment tips
Post by: petetherock on May 19, 2009, 08:07
This is a useful article:




Title: Re: Marrying your HT and stereo system
Post by: petetherock on May 27, 2009, 08:49
Courtesy of Siriusly Cold:


1: Receiver + Stereo integrated Amp


stereo integrated amps are a dime a dozen (well almost, and even older ones are quite good sounding)

two pre-amp stages will mess with the signal upredictably
controlling volume between CD and DVD listening will be a challenge

Title: The issue of bi-amping
Post by: petetherock on August 04, 2009, 09:05
Many new AV amps include this feature, which allows unused rear channels to be used to bi-amp a front pair of speakers.

Theoritically there should be some improvement sonically, seperating the more demanding bass woofer from the more delicate tweeter.

However many of the AV amps have pathetic power supplies and using more channels will tax them more than it is worth. Sonically they are nothing to boast about anyway. So YMMV....

There is no harm trying and those who want to see if it benefits them are welcome to bring their AV amp over and bi-amp my B/W 805s, which should be revealing enough to hear any sonic differences.

If you are using a more beefy amp or power amp (with a good quality processor) then you may indeed hear some difference. But for those who are using simple setups, with modest setups the trouble may not be worth it.

Title: Simple AV amp setup tips
Post by: petetherock on October 06, 2009, 13:36
- you may wish to have a mirror behind the amp stuck to the wall or the shelf so you know what inputs are there

- label each cable

- give yourself not only enough room for the cable connected, but also for you to put your hand there and remove it in future

- I suggest at least 4 inches of space around the amp - more if you own one of the Onkyos or other designs where there is a fan to blow the heat away

- the amp should ideally sit on the strongest shelf and be on the top shelf too

- cover unused inputs with the silicon or plastic cap protectors to prevent oxidisation

- I stick a simple light near the back of my amp - so I can see what I am doing to adjust the cables and also remove them more easily
Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: wingboi on October 29, 2009, 17:08
hi all, i need help from you guys. im still thinking whether to get a sound system or not. btw im placing it in my room. budget is around 450 to 500. hmm. normal room size. please help. im a noob in this.
Title: Some buying tips - my personal take
Post by: petetherock on November 21, 2009, 16:02
Just some personal opinions on shopping for a new setup.


The steps are simple:

- decide on a budget - no sense gazing at setups which cost a lot more or less, as the lust factor may set in and when you assemble something that costs a lot less, it may sound so different from that dream system that it is all a let down...

- WAF == don't underestimate this. Life is a compromise. If we could have miles of cabling sprawled all over plus a brace of SVS subs in our living room, thats nice, but for the sake of matrimonial harmony, we have to decide if satellites and cutesy speakers can placate the wife instead of mean big black boxes.

- HT, music or both. Both will cost you. HT is about ambience, the surround effect, room treatment and speaker placement. Don't underestimate the importance of room treatment. So if you your lair is also your living room, understand the limitations of getting the right surround effect.

As for music, know that good stands for bookshelve speakers and many other audiophile tweaks do help. If you want a good musical experience from that budget HT setup and want a "musical system", then you are not being realistic.  Expect a good stereo amp to do the job or understand that a AV amp is probably only as good as a stereo amp which is 1/4 the cost.

Finally hard work - it takes time and effort. It has been written many times that no amount of money spent on fancy equipment will replace elbow grease and you should expect to spend time placing your setup and moving furniture to ahcieve an ideal HT experience. With that, you can spend less and yet get a dcent effect. Or wonder why it sounds so different compared to the homes you auditioned.

Final words - a bit of advice, you can audition a few homes, but each owner has a difference emphasis and taste. Get one or two closest to your taste and budget, then build things up from there.

After you buy, sit back and enjoy!


PS: about a month after you buy, there will always be a better system, newer features and something else you could have done. If that drives you mad, then you are now truly a Xtremeplace member.... :)
Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: MatJenin on December 03, 2009, 13:53
Dear brothers & sisters of the AV world,

I am new here and would like to solicit some advice....  I noticed many of the aftermarket power cables are of US type pin. Where can I get one with our local type of pin?  What kind of modification is needed if I were to purchase the US type? Where can I get it done?

I will be taking delivery of my Yamaha 2000 series Amp & CD Player with Soanos 2 speakers in a few days time. And intend to use one of those cable to improve the system. Also, should I connect the CD to Amp using "balanced" or "unbalanced" interconnect? What the difference? Is there noticeable difference in term of audio quality?

Thanks so much!
Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 03, 2009, 14:04
You can custom build the cables. A few places sell the power cords in bulk and you can match it to a Hospital grade UK style plug along with the grade of IEC connectors.

I got mine from AVIT in SLS.

I believe bro DJQ also can modify the iego cables with UK plugs.

Alternatively, you can get a distributor/conditioner with universal plugs that can accept US plugs or both US/UK designs.

Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: MatJenin on December 03, 2009, 15:53
Thanks bro. Got any advice on my qn on "balanced" vs "unbalanced" interconnect?
Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: Doggie Howser on December 03, 2009, 16:03
I have not been able to do an A:B comparison of the same cables in balanced vs unbalanced config before.

But I generally find balanced quieter with lower noise floor. Definitely recommended.

Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: MatJenin on December 03, 2009, 19:41
Noted. Thanks so much bro!
Title: Mounting a projector
Post by: petetherock on January 04, 2010, 20:35

An excellant thread with pictures.
Title: Crawling for bass
Post by: petetherock on March 21, 2010, 17:23
Courtesy of Bro Desray:
This is a technique used by many Home Theater enthusiasts to 'locate' the best subwoofer location in your listening room. Hear out what Alan Lofft has to say about this technique and how to do it correctly. It'll be easier to execute when there is 'space' to move around. If you are constrained by space...since its quite common for most HDB dwellers, such as myself (4m x 4m cubic) then 'crawling' around may a challenge for some of us especially when there are a lot of speakers lying all around - let's face it, most of us are contending for space here...we're not like the Americans with a huge basement to play around with *sighz*...if you're facing such issue and yearn to fix the sub's frequency response for a crispier and punchy bass note, you can invest in a dedicated Sub-EQ or a AVR with Audyssey Multi-XT EQ technology built-in...to resolve poor placement predicament.


Try it today and see if it works for ya...it worked for me :)

We hasten to add that you should add your furniture first, then do this and then the Audyssey or other auto-setup devices, and finally use the SPL meter.
Title: > What To Listen For When Auditioning Speakers
Post by: petetherock on September 06, 2010, 08:59

Some highlights:

When comparing two speakers side-by-side, doing an AB
comparison, be extremely careful to match the levels before
evaluating. A slight level difference can make one speaker
sound better, even though the difference may not be perceived
as a level difference. Some claim that you will be influenced
by a difference of less than 1/2 dB!

First and foremost, the sound should be natural. If you listen
to vocals, close your eyes and try to picture someone singing in
the same room with you. Does it sound realistic? Likewise with
instruments. You selected recordings of instruments that you
like and have heard live. Do they sound like what you remember
them sounding like live?

Your very first impression should be something like "what nice
sound". If your initial gut reaction is "gosh, what a lot of
detail", the system is likely to be heavy in the treble (often
interpreted by beginners as "more detailed") and you'll probably
find that annoying after a while. If your first reaction is
"hey, what powerful bass", then the system is probably
bass-heavy, rather than ideal. The most common mistake for
beginners is to buy a system with REALLY powerful bass, because
it sounds "impressive" at first. After a while, though, you'll
get tired of being thumped on the head by your music.

Not to say that good bass and treble aren't important. But your
first realization should be that the music is all there, and
that it comes together as good music, without one particular
part trying to dominate it. Sit back and listen to it for a
bit. You should be able to pick out the individual instruments
if you want. They shouldn't force themselves on you, and you
should also be able to hear the music as a single piece, the sum
of its parts, without feeling like each of the instruments is
trying to grab your attention away from the others.
Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: petetherock on March 04, 2011, 07:36

How to Buy a Blu-ray Player
By Shane Buettner • Posted: Feb 28, 2011

Getting the Best Blu for Your Buck

In addition to supporting the legacy lossy surround formats we’ve enjoyed for years on DVD, Blu-ray Disc offers lossless audio in the form of DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD. This means that while the digital data file that contains the audio content is compressed to save storage space on the disc, the signal is fully restored on playback, bit-for-bit identical to the soundtrack master. The DVDs we’ve lived with for years got a lot of sound out of an often MP3-sized bit bucket, albeit by discarding some information. Lossless audio is a sea change in terms of dynamics, detail, and overall transparency. You don’t need a set of golden ears to hear the difference; with even a moderate system, we think you’ll be wowed.

Most BD players today can transmit DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD as native bitstreams or perform full internal decoding to PCM. When you’re buying a player, be mindful of the A/V receiver or surround processor you’ll use with the player. If it’s a newer model with HDMI audio processing capability, welcome to single-cable heaven. Older HDMI-equipped AVRs and processors may not be able to decode DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD internally, which means conversion to PCM in the player is required. That’s A-OK, as both transmission methods are qualitatively similar if not identical in the end result. Both offer the full lossless audio experience. Just be aware that with bitstream audio, you’re forgoing access to secondary audio for commentaries, PiP streams on the fly, and the various sounds that accompany menu selections. If you choose PCM out from the player, you won’t have to jump into the player’s setup menu to access such features when you want them.

Many pre-HDMI A/V receivers and surround processors have multichannel (5.1 or 7.1) analog audio inputs. If this describes your equipment, you’re still not out of the lossless audio market. If you’re not ready to upgrade, you’ll have to spend extra bucks on a player that not only has internal decoding for DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD, but has multichannel analog audio outputs as well. While this too offers full-resolution, lossless audio, it’s not our first-choice connection method for lossless audio. Your AVR or surround processor will typically have more sophisticated bass-management options for your surround sound system than a BD player will. And with many AVRs and processors using the multichannel analog inputs, this bypasses advanced, performance-enhancing post-processing features like DSP modes or even room EQ. HDMI offers the best combination of performance and flexibility.

Blu Basics: All That Video
The simple truth, which manufacturers of expensive BD players won’t be thrilled to read, is that our testing of BD players has consistently revealed that basic 1080p Blu-ray playback over HDMI yields essentially perfect performance regardless of the player, even on a large screen. If you’re a videophile (like we are), the purchase of a player with superior video processing will primarily buy you improved performance with upconverted DVDs and the few Blu-ray Discs that are mastered at 1080i (some concert videos and TV programs, for example). But even that won’t cost you an exorbitant amount of money. Sub-$300 players we’ve tested from Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony offer very good processing with a broad variety of discs, while OPPO’s $499 BDP-93 is totally beyond reproach. Among the processing sets we’ve tested in BD players, proprietary solutions from Panasonic have consistently passed all of our tests, and we’ve seen great performance from name-brand solutions like HQV (Denon’s players) and Anchor Bay’s VRS (OPPO’s first players, Marantz, and others). This isn’t to say that these are the only solutions that offer fine performance, or that these are the only players that offer great performance and value. Sony’s PS3 remains one of our favorites, and it doesn’t even offer processing for HD signals. But if you’re a videophile and you’re looking for the best pure video performance, these standouts offer the best potential to make your entire existing library of DVDs and the variety of material on Blu-ray Disc look their best. But there are other factors to consider too.

Blu Basics: Firmware Updates Are a Sad Fact of Life
With Blu-ray Disc players, firmware updates are a necessary evil. Most often, these updates don’t offer anything new or exciting in terms of updated features or functions; they merely ensure that you’ll be able to play the next blockbuster release without any hiccups.

Sony’s PlayStation 3 is popular, and it’s apparent the studios work hard to ensure proper playback on that platform. The PS3 is more devoid of playback issues than any player we’ve experienced. OPPO’s players have been nearly as solid, but perhaps just as importantly, OPPO has been ultra swift on the trigger finger when issues have arisen, delivering fast, easy-to-implement firmware updates when needed. Overall, player stability seems much improved since Blu-ray’s early days. These players probably aren’t the only platforms that provide this level of reliability, but since our firsthand experience with them is extensive, they’ve earned this shout-out.

Performing updates from the Internet is the fastest, simplest way. So consider whether the equipment rack your player will be located in has a hard-wired Ethernet connection, or look at players that either come with or offer accessories for Wi-Fi Internet connectivity. Even if you’re not a fan of BD-Live Internet-based interactivity, you’ll need Net access to keep your player up to speed with the latest firmware updates.

Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: petetherock on March 04, 2011, 07:36
Blu Extras: Interactivity and the Need for Speed
The only way in which Blu-ray Disc is a step back from DVD is in its loading and disc-access times. Early players were plagued with agonizingly slow load times, especially for discs heavy with the Java coding that powers all of BD’s compelling interactivity—the real-time chapter menus and PiP, games, BD-Live connectivity, etc. The PS3 became an early sensation for its speed and reliability and remains so for those same reasons. OPPO’s BDP-83 was the first standalone player to challenge the PS3 in terms of speed and reliability, and the other current standouts include recent players from LG and Samsung. Depending on your frustration tolerance, speed might be the best reason for you to buy a certain player over another and the best motivation for those who bought sluggish first- or second-generation BD players to look at an upgrade.

Blu Extras: Stream Away
It’s not a dramatic stretch to call the PlayStation 3 the set-top box that won the format war for Blu-ray. If the PS3’s evolution as a multiplatform media hub has taught us (and manufacturers) anything, it’s that Blu-ray players don’t need to be dirt cheap to move off the store shelves; they just need to offer desirable features and therefore more value. Today’s BD players are Internet-connected devices that offer a host of streaming applications and features to grab content off the Web. YouTube videos (for all you Double Rainbow Guy fans out there), Flickr and Picasa photos, and Pandora Internet radio are all regulars on a variety of players from the major manufacturers. We’re currently recommending players from LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba that have compelling streaming feature sets (OPPO’s next generation of players will follow suit). Fans of movies on demand can look for Blockbuster, Netflix, and Amazon apps. But we’re especially high on VUDU’s HDX streams. When the bandwidth is there, VUDU delivers the highest-quality 1080p streams we’ve seen and is now offering 5.1-channel Dolby Digital Plus surround sound. (Netflix is also rolling out Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 with its streams as well, but at press time, the hardware platforms supporting it were very limited but sure to grow.) VUDU isn’t Blu-ray quality, but we’re still impressed. Just check the spec sheet for the streaming apps you want before you buy. Also note that the quality of your streaming video feeds will depend heavily on the speed of your Internet connection. If your broadband pipeline is too slow, it’s time to call your ISP and ask for that turbo-charged data package.

To 3D or Not to 3D
Not all 3D will be created equal. As we go to press, the only way to get full 1080p 3D at each eye is from Blu-ray 3D. All of the 3D formats in use for cable and satellite appear to be half-resolution 3D masquerading as high def. Unfortunately, at present some of the best Blu-ray 3D content is only available in exclusive bundles of 3D equipment from specific manufacturers, but that’s a story for a different day. For now, whether you’re looking for a Blu-ray 3D player or the right manufacturer’s bundle with a 3D player and 3DTV, we have some hot tips.

First, beware of a player labeled “3D ready.” While the word ready means good to go to you and me, in this arena, it means that the player requires a firmware update to play back Blu-ray 3D Discs in 3D. While that update may arrive in all haste, the update will happen on the manufacturer’s timetable, not yours. If you want 3D now, your safest bet is to be sure the player you buy is 3D capable the day it comes home with you. Sub-$200 players are already out there, so it’s an affordable proposition.

When you’re shopping for a Blu-ray 3D player, you must again consider the A/V receiver or surround processor you’ll be connecting the player to. While you can connect the player directly to the 3DTV, you’ll get the best audio performance if separate components provide lossless audio capability. If you’re a big spender and are buying a new AVR or surround processor with your 3DTV and Blu-ray 3D player, just make sure to get an HDMI 1.4–equipped model that the manufacturer specifically calls out as 3D capable. However, if you just bought an AVR or surround processor of the HDMI 1.3 or earlier variety, don’t panic. OPPO, Panasonic and Samsung make Blu-ray 3D players with dual HDMI outputs, and other manufacturers will undoubtedly follow suit. This allows a direct video HDMI connection to the 3DTV and a lossless-audio-capable HDMI audio connection to your AVR or surround processor.

Note too that Blu-ray 3D players are backward-compatible with 2D Blu-ray Discs, DVDs, and CDs. If you think you’re a candidate for a 3DTV down the road, you can cover your bases by investing in a 3D player now and playing all the 2D Blu-ray Discs and DVDs you can handle until you get to the third dimension.

Good Hunting
Home Theater magazine has been front and center with the Blu revolution. We get our hands on every significant player out there, and these are the hot tips we’ve distilled over time. This is the best head start we can give you in finding the right Blu-ray player for you and your system.

Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: petetherock on May 21, 2011, 09:46
A nice primer to room treatment:

Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: petetherock on February 13, 2012, 06:03
A nice simple and basic article on setting up the HT:
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/technical-articles-and-editorials/technical-articles-and-editorials/integrating-high-end-two-channel-audio-into-home-theater-without-compromise.html (http://www.audioholics.com/tweaks/connecting-your-system/basic-home-theater-setup-guide)
Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: petetherock on June 22, 2012, 15:08
Nice article about integrating two channel into a HT system:

Title: Some basic info on how to ask for help
Post by: petetherock on January 25, 2013, 14:01
Some basic info on how to ask for help

Welcome to XP,

If you are new to the forum, or a relative novice in this hobby, there are ways to get an opinion, and good etiquette in getting a reply.

If you post in a random fashion, or post vaguely, then don't wonder out why no one replies.

Some basic tips:

that's a very basic but important tip. Include as much info as possible:
- budget
- room size
- music taste
- type of speakers
- what partnering equipment you already own

If you have pictures of your HT room, include them.

Other tips:
- if post at 11 am, and don't get a reply in one hour, give people time!!! It's annoying to find someone who behaves like a kid and "up"s their post within hours.

Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: petetherock on October 23, 2014, 20:33
I think this post from bro Desray should to be in the sticky:

We all can agreed on one thing...4K is awesome but it is also a PITA because both HDMI and HDCP implementation are not moving in tandem (hand-in-hand) with each other...that's why the confusion and frustration for early adopter of 4K...Frankly I felt short-changed when I read the developments on HDMI 2.0 and HDCP2.2.

I understand a lot of members here are still very confused as to what the heck is all these HDMI 2.0 and HDCP2.2 is all about...maybe let's break it down in simple hard truth (facts)

#1: HDCP 2.2 will ONLY be present in HDMI 2.0

#2: HDMI 2.0 requires a hardware upgrade on your AV equipment - like Bluray player and AVR but there is NO NEED for you to get a new set of HDMI cable. The present High-Speed HDMI cable with Ethernet should suffice

#3: The current batch of AVR with HDMI 2.0 input/output already have the FULL SUITE of features like the ability to support 18Gbps throughput rate and support for 4K/60 with 4:4:4 at 10 or 12bit amongst other things...The issue here lies with the stupid HDCP2.2 specs not moving in tandem with the HDMI 2.0 production schedule! And if 4K streaming or source like a 4K bluray is going to use HDCP2.2, then we may not be able to get any picture!. Hence we face with half-baked implementation for 4K passthrough and upscaling feature on the AVR which is akin to the heart and brain in a typical Home Theatre setup.

#4: Looking ahead, BDA has just recently announced on the availability of 4K standard bluray which is most likely to utilize HDCP2.2 for its DRM...the existing AV gears we are having now may work provided we forgo HDCP2.2 standards...But proponent like SONY gonna be pissed off... :P

#5: If HDCP2.2 only affects the transmission of an encrypted video signal from the source - i.e. bluray player to the target (say a 4K UHD TV or Projector) and audio is not affected, then the best bet is of course to get another new bluray player (e.g. Oppo BDP-203/205) with dual HDMI 2.0 and full HDCP2.2 compliant to send separate video and audio signals to the 4K HDCP2.2 compliant display and a AVR with HDMI 2.0 connection but w/o HDCP2.2 feature for multichannel processing. Dolby Atmos and probably Auro 3D able to pass through bitstream format with ease even at HDMI 1.4 specs...so audio is not the issue here.
Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: petetherock on April 05, 2015, 17:24
A good article on monopole, bipole and dipole speakers:

Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: kelvinsin on June 21, 2015, 20:53
Hi all, i plan to upgrade from 5.1 to 7.1 with two rear surround speaker.
Below is my planning for the speaker position which mount on the ceiling due to space constraint as its corridor and main entrance behind the sofa seat.
1) I have a pair of JBL CM52 as surround speaker and will mount together when my house renovation. Would like to know any budget speaker can be match with my system to give a harmonic surround performance?
AVR: Pioneer LX76
Front: Tannoy DC6Tse
Center: Monitor Audio Bronze
Rear: JBL Control CM52
Sub: PB2000
Cable: Front - Belden 814 3mx2; Choseal 2mx2
         Center - Audioquest G2 16AWG 2mx1
          Rear - Monoprice 14AWG 14mx2
          Sub - QED Reference Sub 3mx1
2) Does 1m distance away from sofa (As shown in B) with tilted angle is ok to produce the required rear surround effect? How far distance should away in between 2 rear surround speakers (As shown in A)?

I understand there may has some lost on SQ but I'm looking for minor compensation with the highest WAF i can get now. Not easy to get agreement from wife to "contaminate" the living room with our HT system. Haha...
Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: synthesis on June 21, 2015, 21:06
Where's you current surround speaker position?
Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: wizardofoz on June 21, 2015, 21:11
In a similar setup I put my rear surrounds pretty much above the pictures on the rear wall about 4-5' apart.
Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: kelvinsin on June 21, 2015, 22:07
This is my plan for the surround speaker position, slightly behind audience seat and towards audience seat.

Should I consider back the JBL control series to be the rear surround? Or should consider smaller size bookshelf to mount it easier?
Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: synthesis on June 21, 2015, 22:22
I think you can place the back surround speakers below the false ceiling facing down in between the down lights. Maybe you can ask your contractor to flush mount your speaker inside the false ceiling. The effect may not be much different as if you place the speaker in the other section of the living room. Much better WAF.
Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: kelvinsin on June 21, 2015, 22:57
I think you can place the back surround speakers below the false ceiling facing down in between the down lights. Maybe you can ask your contractor to flush mount your speaker inside the false ceiling. The effect may not be much different as if you place the speaker in the other section of the living room. Much better WAF.
You mean mount the rear surround speaker on false ceiling and facing downward? Is this too near with the surround speaker and the sound direction will come from above instead of behind?
And I a bit worry bout the false ceiling is afford to load with all long wirings and the speakers.
Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: joagib on June 21, 2015, 23:13
If I were you:
1) I will consider a pair of slim 30" stand for the surround back speakers,placed behind sofa corner.
2)If stand is not possible, I would mount both SB speakers on the rear ceiling,1m away,1.2m apart  pointing shoulder or 1.5m apart pointing MLP.(To optimise back stereo effect)
3)Surrounds LR  to be lowered to ear level. (To optimise LR surround stereo effect like gun shot/moving objects..etc
4) I would look out for budget Definitive Technology Pro monintors...small but powerful enough to do the job,easy to match most speakers brands.
Hope this helps.
Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: synthesis on June 21, 2015, 23:47
You mean mount the rear surround speaker on false ceiling and facing downward? Is this too near with the surround speaker and the sound direction will come from above instead of behind?
And I a bit worry bout the false ceiling is afford to load with all long wirings and the speakers.
Yes that's what I meant. You may fix to the beam instead of the false ceiling. Alternatively, you may place behind the beam under the crown moulding, facing downward. This will give similar vantage angle compared to as if the speakers are placed farther into the other section of living room.
Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: kelvinsin on July 14, 2015, 19:26
Hi all,want ask a silly question.
I have lx76 7.1 which using bi-amp for LR (front+front height), normal output for center, surround and surround back.
I got a spare old pioneer 819 avr with 5.1 channels. Issit possible to preout the front height signal into the 819 and output to speaker via front channel?
I just dont want to sacrifice the bi-amp connection while can utilize the spare avr to setup a 9.1 system.
Does it possible?
Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: wizardofoz on December 12, 2015, 09:56
bro totally off topic for this thread.

Last 2 Velodyne that I looked at that had similar issues had fatal failures and parts were more than the cost of a new sub, one even had the driver totally cooked too as well as the amp.

suggest you remove the post and contact calfie as I have no time to look at it for now anyway. Busy time of the year - but heed my point on cheap subs failing with expensive parts replacements. Agent was little or no help.

Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: petetherock on January 31, 2016, 12:27
A nice write up on what is a HT BYPASS:

I have a Denon A/V receiver hooked up to a 5.1-channel speaker system. The setup works fine for movies, but every now and then I want to listen to good ol’ stereo recordings ( I have a modest collection of CDs stored as Apple lossless audio files).  I am tempted to purchase a high-end integrated amp for just this purpose. Which gets me to my question: Can I hook both my receiver and the integrated amp up to my front L/R speakers?

A My advice: don’t. There are other, more elegant ways to do what you’re looking to do. Integrated amps with a home theater-bypass feature are a great option for those like yourself who want to integrate high-end stereo playback with a conventional surround sound receiver for movies.
Basically, home theater-bypass is a stereo RCA jack input on an integrated amp or preamp that hooks up with the main left/right outputs on your A/V receiver. When you select this input, the signal will bypass the preamp’s gain controls, letting you use your integrated amp purely as a stereo amplifier without having to worry about adjusting volume when watching movies—the receiver’s own volume control takes over that function. Then, when you select other components connected to your integrated amp, such as a turntable, CD player, or external DAC, its volume control will operate normally.

[size=78%]Read more at http://www.soundandvision.com/content/what-home-theater-bypass-feature#biikcGWPshfc5JGI.99 (http://www.soundandvision.com/content/what-home-theater-bypass-feature#biikcGWPshfc5JGI.99)[/size]
Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: petetherock on February 25, 2016, 21:40
How to attach speaker cables to your amp:



Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: petetherock on May 05, 2018, 21:26
A useful article on 4K, UHD and HDR:
http://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=293133 (http://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=293133)
Title: Re: Before you post, this thread might help answer some of your questions in HT
Post by: petetherock on May 22, 2019, 18:24
Got this off AVS, very useful for those going into REW:

Calibration Software (YPAO/Audyssey/MCACC etc.)
measures the time it takes for sound signals to travel from the processor, to the speakers, then the sound waves to the mic.

The sub signal also has to pass through the amplifier/processor before sending a rather long Low Frequency wave to the mic.
The distance of your powered subwoofer may have been identified by your automatic setup as being further away than it physically is.
This is to compensate for phase matching with your other speakers. Even if the physical distance is closer than the setup microphone identified,
it is not advisable to change the subwoofer distance unless something really doesn’t sound right.

There are also a number of factors and room/furniture influences that will affect the time it takes for those sound waves to reach your MLP.

The "Distance" number is just a reference and should not be used to measure any physical locations of speakers or subs in your room.
What the software is actually doing is measuring delay for how long a sound signal takes to reach your mic, and subsequently your "ears"

Adding More Distance will apply less Delay to the Signal, Reducing the Distance will apply More Delay to the Signal.


I will often use an SPL meter to level match all my speakers output (after YPAO), but I never adjust the speaker/sub distance numbers.
I also prefer to run my Subs 8 to 10dB Hot because a *House Curve helps LFE signals "sound" flat, as opposed to just "measuring" flat.

If you want to get serious about Sub Calibration, get Room EQ Wizard (REW) a free download
and a calibrated USB mic like a UMIK-1 that can actually measure down to 10Hz (YPAO mic is limited to 31Hz)

*What is a House Curve? : https://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/rew-forum/96-house-curve-what-why-you-need-how-do.html (http://"https://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/rew-forum/96-house-curve-what-why-you-need-how-do.html")

Getting Started with REW: A Step-by-Step Guide
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/91-audio-theory-setup-chat/1449924-simplified-rew-setup-use-usb-mic-hdmi-connection-including-measurement-techniques-how-interpret-graphs-10.html#post22823228 (http://"https://www.avsforum.com/forum/91-audio-theory-setup-chat/1449924-simplified-rew-setup-use-usb-mic-hdmi-connection-including-measurement-techniques-how-interpret-graphs-10.html#post22823228")

REW Download site
https://www.roomeqwizard.com/ (http://"https://www.roomeqwizard.com/")

REW users Forum
https://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/rew-forum/ (http://"https://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/rew-forum/")

From the miniDSP website: miniDSP UMIK-1 (https://www.minidsp.com/products/acoustic-measurement/umik-1)

The UMIK-1 mic must be calibrated with download file available on miniDSP site after you enter your serial number
(You need to use the 90º Calibration file to use your UMIK-1 in the upright (aimed at the ceiling) position (recommended for multi-channel and sub calibration)

UMIK-1 Calibration File load through REW, and make your first REW Sweep
https://www.minidsp.com/applications/acoustic-measurements/umik-1-setup-with-rew (http://"https://www.minidsp.com/applications/acoustic-measurements/umik-1-setup-with-rew")

$20 Boom Mic Tripod stand from amazon https://www.amazon.com/Microphone-Ohuhu-Holders-Adjustable-Collapsible/dp/B00OZ9C9LK/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1533906758&sr=8-13&keywords=boom+mic+stand (http://"https://www.amazon.com/Microphone-Ohuhu-Holders-Adjustable-Collapsible/dp/B00OZ9C9LK/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1533906758&sr=8-13&keywords=boom+mic+stand")