First thing today were the great seminars sponsored by the AAHPAV.
Specifically, Audio System Design for Music & Theater Rooms (Acoustic) given by Russ
Herschelmann. he covered many of the aspects in creating and placing a
music/movie/sound reproduction system sounds its best in the home environment. Many
subjects were covered like minimizing combing effects when using multiple speakers through
proper speaker placement, calibrating a system for proper reproduction (surround sound),
different type of encoded/decoded signals (DTS, SDDS, THX, Dolby Surround...), and much
more. It was great to hear him stress how important the actual room and acoustic
makeup of the room are. Every dimension of a room will have specific resonances
which can be calculated and effect the output of a sound production system
accordingly. As a side note, on the Tweaks Page there's a
link to have your room's acoustics analyzed. Wish there were more guys like Russ
helping to educate the advantages of properly integrating a system within a room.
Some of my friends have been amazed how a system can be transformed simply by moving the
speakers or adding some acoustic treatment. The great thing about trying to better
your music reproduction system simply by moving the speakers is the price. It's
The next seminar was Video System Design for Theater Rooms, again by Russ
Herschelmann. He stressed how vitally important it is to have a properly calibrated
video display. Must admit that a properly adjusted display makes a huge difference!
As tubes age (video tubes), the brightness also decreases as well. As you
boost the contrast of a TV, you also shorten the life of the tube. In fact a large
tube high definition (1080i) picture tube is virtually impossible to make due to the high
scanning rate needed. As for rear projection, there are the usual box-type and the
other is basically a front projector configured as a rear projection system. The
problem usually is that the screen is designed for maximum brightness. What happens
here is color shift anomalies. If you use a diffusion-type screen on a box-type
projection set you can get a more linear on and off axis viewing but at the cost of
overall brightness. Of course one of the best, and possibly cheapest, front
projection video tweaks is in painting the room flat black. By controlling the light
and it's reflections you can gain a better picture. As the light is reflected off
the walls, it is also reflected back onto the screen! There's more, though this is a
music/audio website so... Then again aint nothing more beautiful then a Formula 1
race on television.
One of the most informative and entertaining seminar was the one given by
Michael Heiss which discussed preparing for all the new audio and video formats. We
haveta face it here folks, technology moves fast! As much as i love vinyl, one day,
the day will come, possibly someday soon, digital technology will reproduce sound/music
better (and then there's video). Well, at least almost anything is better then the
current NTSC or PAL video cassette standard when it comes to video reproduction fidelity.
Bottom line is, we all better be prepared for the future. If you're in the
process of building home, hope you have run enough wire for all the new digital
technologies. The computer industry moves fast and i foresee the day when we all
will have a master computer systems for full home integration. Now as for how well
that kinda system will reproduce music... only time will tell.