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Cinema Vs Home Sound


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#1 Wonka1

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 10:58 AM

Over the years I have often seen a film at the cinema in which I have been somewhat disappointed by the sound quality. At home I have a mid-level system, consisting of whatmough, p12's, p2's, FX3 rears, M&k vx1250 subwoofer, yamaha 1700 receiver and panasonic bd35 blu ray player. It is a modest system, certainly not to the level of many forum members, however my sonic experences at home are typically better than at the movies.

Yesterday I watched Episode 1 at the cinema, which in the last 2 yrs has been re-fitted out with a krix cinema system. I was absolutely shocked at how good it sounded, actually much better than at home. This suggested to things to me, 1) perhaps cinema's are finally investing funds to ensure a better aural experience and 2) time to update my equipment :hyper:

#2 Drizt

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 11:02 AM

Which cinema did you go to?

#3 Elill

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 11:16 AM

Best Cinema in Sydney is the one at Top Ryde - brand new(ish) and full of QSC's latest goodies.

I still prefer a high quality home cinema like PeterM is building, but its pretty hard to go past some of the newer commercial ones

#4 SDL

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 11:31 AM

I find the sound in cinemas is usually pretty good to very good. What I find not so good at the cinema is the picture.

#5 Wonka1

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 01:02 PM

Which cinema did you go to?


Hoyts Penrith - extreme screen.

EIill I would be suprised if PeterM's theater does not take the sound experience to an even greater level. Looks amazing.

#6 MarkTecher

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 01:16 PM

There are good and bad cinemas, have no illusions. A good cinema will have a 3 way active system for the each LCR. The area around the speakers should be treated (ie the baffle wall). The auditorium should have good isoloation control over reverb.

Whilst the images are moving to digital, it is up to the cinema tech to be ensure the images are in focus. For CinemaScope, the anamorphic lens must also be adjusted correctly. Sadly, I have seem many a cinema where the Scope presentation looks bad because the astigmatism adjustment is not correct.

Digital offers scratch free images, but i still think a new 35mm print looks better than a digital one at this time.

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 03:58 PM

Recently what I posted along similar lines ...

thats just the matter of getting a good quality 3D capable projector into a home setup ! unless they start putting twin barco;s into commecial theatres I think at this point very easy to get 3D thats comparable or even better in some cases in the home.

audio wise a commercial theatre will always struggle to achieve the same as whats possible in the home. a large commecial theatre means setup has to allow for a broad spread of audience with associated compromises as opposed to the main listening position centred setup possible in the home coupled with the more precise speaker positions in a home theatre.

a commercial theatre has an uphill battle with lfe and bass performance as well I think. where quite astounding bass and lfe possible in the home. given relatively smaller spaces and subs available. with a commercial theatre your dealing with comparitively massive spaces and the subs they utilise would be shamed in many cases by the subs some use in their home setups. the commercial installations also have to have subs responses rolling off at 40hz or so. to minimise distruption to adjoining theatres and public places and also because to achieve lower freq in such huge spaces at adequate spls not really practical.

i this current times I think its relatively easy to achieve better than commercial theatre audio and picture in the home. that is not to say they are not special theatres around. eg Imax experience with their huge theatres of scale I would say very difficult to recreate in the home. and there are other special theatres eg acmi in melbourne. and there is the likes of the rivoli in camberwell. a couple of examples regardless of home theatre I would say always worth visiting for their ambience and the movie theatre experience and for a PQ and SQ thats also pretty decent :)

#8 MarkTecher

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 09:15 AM

a commercial theatre has an uphill battle with lfe and bass performance as well I think. where quite astounding bass and lfe possible in the home. given relatively smaller spaces and subs available. with a commercial theatre your dealing with comparitively massive spaces and the subs they utilise would be shamed in many cases by the subs some use in their home setups. the commercial installations also have to have subs responses rolling off at 40hz or so. to minimise distruption to adjoining theatres and public places and also because to achieve lower freq in such huge spaces at adequate spls not really practical.


Not in a THX certified cinema which is capable of 20Hz. They also have the best sound isolation and best control over reverb. Unfortunately, we don't have many (if any at all now) that pass that standard or are still certified. There are none in Queensland which is disappointing. A large part of that is about the anual fees payable to THX for the bi-annual testing.

In the home, many HTs will have a peak (or peaks) that tends to boom. To many, this peak is percieved as a good thing. Cinemas don't this issue because of the much larger spaces and therefore have less reflection issues with bass than we have in a HT.

#9 Guest_McAudio_*

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 09:31 AM

I find the sound systems and quality of sound in cinema's absolutely disgraceful! I even got to the point of having an argument with the CEO of Village Cinemas asking why they build such cheap poor quality cinemas? His answer...

"For the 4% of the population that notice the difference its not worth it"!

Fine... thats why I started investing in my own system.

The best cinema in Melbourne was screen 1 at the Bourke St Village Centre. 800 seat THX certified auditorium, amazing powerful sound (fantastic bass) and a huge screen! It has now been closed for several years and was the show piece for Village and their international investors.

I have zero interest in going to the cinema's and paying top dollar for crap (not to mention the money people pay to sit in a comfy seat at Gold Glass with their tiny screens, poor sound systems, horrible auditorium acoustics and people walking in and out non-stop with food and drink). I will however see a movie at IMAX.

Anyway... that's just me and we are all different. People ask me what is the difference in paying $100 for a DVD player or $10,000? The answer... If you can't notice the difference, there isn't any. Its the same with cinemas :-)

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:37 AM

Not in a THX certified cinema which is capable of 20Hz. They also have the best sound isolation and best control over reverb. Unfortunately, we don't have many (if any at all now) that pass that standard or are still certified. There are none in Queensland which is disappointing. A large part of that is about the anual fees payable to THX for the bi-annual testing.

In the home, many HTs will have a peak (or peaks) that tends to boom. To many, this peak is percieved as a good thing. Cinemas don't this issue because of the much larger spaces and therefore have less reflection issues with bass than we have in a HT.


Not come across any commercial theatre In melb either that I'd say fall in that category either.

Mark running a couple of thx ultra2 subs myself. And take a lot of care in their eq tunning and setup. Done a lot of measuring over the years And pretty easily capable of pretty smooth response 200-15hz back to my listening position. So no peaks and boom here.

And not just my place been other home theatres have visited where audio easily surpasses the commercial theatres.

#11 SDL

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:47 AM

I think in Victoria the Australian Centre for the Moving Image is THX certified and I belive Village Ballarat still is THX certified. I have been to the Flinders Street one but didn't take a lot of notice at the time.

#12 davep

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:50 AM

Village Gold Class Southland has been pathetic a few times. One instance the rear/side speakers were not even active and I had to tell the operator to switch them on (or do whatever they needed to do) - they couldnt figure it out and we ended up with a refund. VIllage Knox watching Battle LA - the sound cut out for about 3-5 minutes (another refund). Southland again watching Pirates On Stranger Tides, and there was a big scratch in the film, or a hair on the lens or something, which was prety distracting (refund). Southland again (I live around here, sue me), James Bond Casino Royale - the opening car chase had audio, but no picture (they couldnt restart the movie, refund).

I dunno whether I just have bad luck with movie theatres, or thats a pretty common experience, but I find my setup at home sharts all over anything offered at the movies.

#13 SDL

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:55 AM

No that is Southland....used to live near there and found Europa better than the Gold Class.

#14 :)

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 11:18 AM

I find the sound systems and quality of sound in cinema's absolutely disgraceful! I even got to the point of having an argument with the CEO of Village Cinemas asking why they build such cheap poor quality cinemas? His answer...

"For the 4% of the population that notice the difference its not worth it"!

Fine... thats why I started investing in my own system.

The best cinema in Melbourne was screen 1 at the Bourke St Village Centre. 800 seat THX certified auditorium, amazing powerful sound (fantastic bass) and a huge screen! It has now been closed for several years and was the show piece for Village and their international investors.

I have zero interest in going to the cinema's and paying top dollar for crap (not to mention the money people pay to sit in a comfy seat at Gold Glass with their tiny screens, poor sound systems, horrible auditorium acoustics and people walking in and out non-stop with food and drink). I will however see a movie at IMAX.

Anyway... that's just me and we are all different. People ask me what is the difference in paying $100 for a DVD player or $10,000? The answer... If you can't notice the difference, there isn't any. Its the same with cinemas :-)


That's it I guess. For them case of laws finishing returns to be chasing small proportion ie 4% of public look for these things. Atleast theres IMAX. But yeah other commercial theatres definitely going for the experinece rather than necessarily aiming to be the pinnacle of audio visual performance or anything. IMAX I see best around but unfortunately they don't show most movies. But it's ok we mostly go to movies as an outing, experience. And as said before elsewhere a good movie still a good movie !

#15 :)

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 11:20 AM

I think in Victoria the Australian Centre for the Moving Image is THX certified and I belive Village Ballarat still is THX certified. I have been to the Flinders Street one but didn't take a lot of notice at the time.


Acmi is very good. Have mentioned that before. Not sure if thx certified. Went there to see opening of movie my dad was in hehe. So yeah mainly just art house stuff ! Hehe

#16 Guest_McAudio_*

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 11:30 AM

That's it I guess. For them case of laws finishing returns to be chasing small proportion ie 4% of public look for these things. Atleast theres IMAX. But yeah other commercial theatres definitely going for the experinece rather than necessarily aiming to be the pinnacle of audio visual performance or anything. IMAX I see best around but unfortunately they don't show most movies. But it's ok we mostly go to movies as an outing, experience. And as said before elsewhere a good movie still a good movie !

Even the experience doesn't do anything for me anymore as the screens are getting smaller and smaller. Couldn't believe the first 3D film I saw at Knox and how small the screen became. Never again! Only IMAX now gives the whole experience and they are getting more movies all the time (at least the big ones anyway). Knox VMAX is a good size (also limited to films screened), but why couldn't they have built the auditorium correctly and put in a good JBL system??? Oh yeh... the 4%

Good on you for your refunds. I wish more people would do the same!

#17 SDL

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 11:57 AM

Even the experience doesn't do anything for me anymore as the screens are getting smaller and smaller. Couldn't believe the first 3D film I saw at Knox and how small the screen became. Never again! Only IMAX now gives the whole experience and they are getting more movies all the time (at least the big ones anyway). Knox VMAX is a good size (also limited to films screened), but why couldn't they have built the auditorium correctly and put in a good JBL system??? Oh yeh... the 4%

Good on you for your refunds. I wish more people would do the same!


And this is where perhaps we differ. I actually enjoy Gold Class because we do it as an experience. Rarely, with two young children (4 and 1) do we get a chance to go out and enjoy some time alone. So once in a while we go out for a dinner and a movie and invariably Gold Class for a movie some overpriced stickydate pudding and a couple of drinks while watching after dinner, while my parents watch the boys. For my wife and I, we really love watching movies and is why I had no problem convincing her to invest in a dedicated room HT, so this makes a good getaway night for us going to a dinner and Gold Class and enjoying a date like we used to. So what the sound and picture are better at home, for us it is about escaping from home for a few hours.

#18 Dork(original)

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 03:09 PM

Good and timely topic.
The GLW and i was at Karingal VMAX on Sunday.
The movie was Safe house.
There was three great smudges on the screen :pinch:
We complained to the ticket kid.She rang the procectionst kid
and said thanks for informing us.
I said "not good enough I want comp tickets"
We went away pissed off.
Sent an email to HQ and got a big fat zero(actually i will fire off another email now)
Paul.

#19 Guest_McAudio_*

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 03:45 PM

Have any of you guys been up in the projection room? There is one guy up there controlling 10-20 screens/projectors! How on earth does he know whats going on with each screening???

Years ago when Knox had THX screens they had the THX "certified" engineers check the screens prior to the release of one of the Star Wars films (can't remember which one). Anyway, the rear speakers were wired incorrectly... and these are the "experts" auditing a screen. What chance do we have with one high school projectionist running 10-20 screens?

If you don't get your refund... consumer affairs! I am sick of them charging so much money for crap, and then they advertise they are the best in the world!!!

#20 Prior

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 04:35 PM

Over the years I have often seen a film at the cinema in which I have been somewhat disappointed by the sound quality...
Yesterday I watched Episode 1 at the cinema, which in the last 2 yrs has been re-fitted out with a krix cinema system. , actually much better than at home. This suggested to things to me, 1) perhaps cinema's are finally investing funds to ensure a better aural experience and 2) time to update my equipment :hyper:


That's why it sounded good - the Krix gear! :P Probably biased as I am a huge Krix fan, but if you were looking to upgrade your gear, definitely check out their speakers...

I'm with SDL. My wife and I value the Gold Class as an "experience". We do the same - have a night out and end up at GC. We often have the dinner there too. I've found Doncaster is the best GC as it's the newest, and often has a great menu, and the food is usually pretty good too!

Cheers,

Chris

#21 Dork(original)

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 04:43 PM

Have any of you guys been up in the projection room? There is one guy up there controlling 10-20 screens/projectors! How on earth does he know whats going on with each screening???

Years ago when Knox had THX screens they had the THX "certified" engineers check the screens prior to the release of one of the Star Wars films (can't remember which one). Anyway, the rear speakers were wired incorrectly... and these are the "experts" auditing a screen. What chance do we have with one high school projectionist running 10-20 screens?

If you don't get your refund... consumer affairs! I am sick of them charging so much money for crap, and then they advertise they are the best in the world!!!



Mc,
i have been in the projection room.
At Village they call it "The broadway"
Next time you're at the movies ask for a look.
If they can they will :blink:
Paul.

#22 MLXXX

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 05:41 PM

In the home, many HTs will have a peak (or peaks) that tends to boom. To many, this peak is percieved as a good thing. Cinemas don't this issue because of the much larger spaces and therefore have less reflection issues with bass than we have in a HT.

Yes even a small theatre within a cinema multiplex will tend to be much larger than the biggest of home theatres, making the attainment of non-boomy bass relatively easy to achieve.

I usually avoid initial screenings of popular movies. That way I find that typically there may be no more than about 20 patrons per session I attend, allowing my partner and me to sit in the middle of a row, and somewhat towards the front of the theatre. This gives the oportunity for good surround sound and a good view of the screen. Years ago I would often notice deficiencies in public cinema sound, such as odd sounding bass, a prominent midrange, and noticeable distortion. [The larger theatres in an old multiplex can still be problematic for my ears, but the smaller theatres are usually fine.]

These days I find the sound of the inidvidual theatres in a modern multiplex is usually "competent", i.e. an apparently wide, even frequency response, with no obvious distortion. No doubt if an A B comparison were available I could prefer one sound system over another, but in recent years I have not been conscious of any obvious deficiency in the sound of most cinema theatres I have attended [in Brisbane]. Sound tracks of modern movies often involve full symphony orchestras (e.g. the Harry Potter series of films) and the quality of the music when seated centrally in the theatre can be quite impressive.

For those who like the convenience and intimacy of a home theatre, the sound may be able to be optimised to personal taste, within any budgetary constraints.

Importantly we now have lossless [or very high bitrate lossy] audio tracks available in the home, thanks to Blu-ray discs, a big improvement over DD or even DTS surround sound on DVDs. (To add insult to injury, the sound of PAL DVDs of films was typically sped up by 4% relative to the original filming, lightening the timbre of voices and music [25fps/24fps]. For many people in Australia and Europe that went unnoticed but I personally noticed it and deplored it. NTSC DVDs avoided PAL speedup, but provided poorer video quality.)

Edited by MLXXX, 15 February 2012 - 08:30 AM.


#23 MarkTecher

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 06:53 PM

Yes even a small theatre within a cinema multiplex will tend to be much larger than the biggest of home theatres, making the attainment of non-boomy bass relatively easy to achieve.

I usually avoid initial screenings of popular movies. That way I find that typically there may be no more than about 20 patrons per session I attend, allowing my partner and me to sit in the middle of a row, and somewhat towards the front of the theatre. This gives the oportunity for good surround sound and a good view of the screen. Years ago I would often notice deficiencies in public cinema sound, such as odd sounding bass, a prominent midrange, and noticeable distortion. [The larger theatres in an old multiplex can still be problematic for my ears, but the smaller theatres are usually fine.]


Depends on which cinema you go to. I remember watching SW3 ROTS at Garden City during a "marathon" (and because most of the people were outside for this film which was playing at reference) thinking when it this going to end? It was loud because there was no bodies to absorb sound.

These days I find the sound of the inidvidual theatres in a modern multiplex is usually "competent", i.e. an apparently wide, even frequency response, with no obvious distortion. No doubt if an A B comparison were available I could prefer one sound system over another, but in recent years I have not been conscious of any obvious deficiency in the sound of most cinema theatres I have attended [in Brisbane]. Sound tracks of modern movies often involve full symphony orchestras (e.g. the Harry Potter series of films) and the quality of the music when seated centrally in the theatre can be quite impressive.


Most of the cinemas in Brisbane have been retro fitted and sound quite good. The best sounding cinema was cinema 3 of the Meyer Centre. Since that time, several of the BCC cinemas have under gone retrofits and sound very solid.

For those who like the convenience and intimacy of a home theatre, the sound may be able to be optimised to personal taste, within any budgetary constraints.


Budget contraints aside, the key reason the professional industry dislikes HT is said this very sentence. How would you feel if you invested 200 hours into a project working woth some of the best equipment on the planet, only to have to altered 'for person taste"?

Importantly we now have lossless [or very high bitrate lossy] audio tracks available in the home, thanks to Blu-ray discs, a big improvement over DD or even DTS surround sound on DVDs. (To add insult to injury, the sound of PAL DVDs of films was typically sped up by 4% relative to the original filming, lightening the timbre of voices and music [25fps/24fps]. For many people in Australia and Europe that went unnoticed but I personally noticed it and deplored it. NTSC DVDs avoided PAL speedup, but provided poorer video quality.)


The sounds were (at least should have been) pitch shifted down.
D-Cinema also has lossless now too.

#24 MLXXX

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 08:18 PM

One of several duplicate posts.

Edited by MLXXX, 20 February 2012 - 09:39 PM.


#25 MLXXX

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 08:18 PM

One of several duplicate posts.

Edited by MLXXX, 20 February 2012 - 09:40 PM.