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biologist

Is 7.1 dead?

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From my first DVD purchase may years ago I've kept a database of all my titles and included info on each such as the actors, directors, run time, release date and just because its always on each DVD and Blu Ray I've also been documenting the media format and maximum channel output.

Out of curiosity the other day I checked just how many movies I had that were in 6 or 7.1 channel capability. Not many, less than 3% of my collection. Obviously I have a lot of old films, some barely rate a stereo soundtrack, so checking just the blu ray part of the collection only 5% had 6.1 channel sound or greater. (Currently I have over 1200 DVD and Blu ray titles so its a reasonable sample size)

Now am I missing something here? Is 7.1 poorly supported because its not deemed worthwhile anymore, is there another standard in the wings that people would rather aim for? or is 5.1 the default and 7.1 tracks only created by perfectionistas?

Personally I'm very happy with 5.1 sound, or in my case 5.2 sound. I can't see what an extra two rear speakers could do for my setup which is pretty darn good in my opinion. And yes I've tried it and not been overly impressed. My A/V amp has 7.1 capabilities, all the higher end new models do, but I bought it more for its dual subwoofer out channels than its 7 channel capabilities.

So, is 7.1 dead? what will replace it? is 5.1 the old king returned?

:) cheers

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7.1 has never been abundant, just another marketing tool. I have often wondered why in your average size home theatre why you need 7.1 speakers anyway.

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I do not see a lot of point in 5.1 let alone 7.1. On top of that there are so few movies with even semi decent audio encoding.

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even though i have the speakers for it, i would rahter bi amp the fronts then bother with 7.1, never interested me.

in the right room, maybe?

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I'm not qualified to offer opinions on 7.1, never experienced it, i went from 5.1 to 2.1 and am happy. Just wanted to say that Biologist's speaker list reads like my dream list!

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7.1 means an extra pair of speakers = cost / significant other annoyance / an extra two amp channel / more cable. 5.1 is enough methinks.

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What will this mean with all the new Receivers doing 9.1 channels and more?

Will it be supported from the Movie industry?

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All it means is that receivers will be doing their DSP bit with either 5.1 or 7.1 ie DD Pro-logic IIz.

Very much doubt that the industry will invest time, effort & $$$ to produce anything for the consumer market given that the current medium can only support 8 channels.

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7.1 has always struck me as a huge gimmick.

Heck, I'll argue against using a centre channel as well :-)

I can see the argument for it in a SERIOUSLY large room. But it's like 3d, without content it's fairly pointless.

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What will this mean with all the new Receivers doing 9.1 channels and more?

Will it be supported from the Movie industry?

I'm currently running 9.1 using height speakers. It's great for music and concerts using pl-11z.

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7.1 has always struck me as a huge gimmick.

Heck, I'll argue against using a centre channel as well :-)

I can see the argument for it in a SERIOUSLY large room. But it's like 3d, without content it's fairly pointless.

A true dts-hdma 7.1 soundtrack sounds amazing, but they are few and far between

Edited by com5984
spelling

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As I was leaving the audio/home theatre game 11.2 was the buzz. It never seemed to eventuate in any great detail either. I'm happy with my 2.2 system.

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I have built a 7.1 system dased on Lowther full range drivers

Unless you have experienced it you wont know

For example

If you are in a car crash from the rear you dont need to see it you hear & feel it

You are being chased

Someone fires a gun from behind ect

Having said that, up until now the titles were a bit thin on the ground due to the limitations of the DVD capacity

Now with blue ray I hope more will be available

I am now in the middle of a decision

To go back to 5.1 or rebuild again to 7.1 in a new speaker build project

FR

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It's not that 7.1 died, it's just never been born, still just a twinkle in the eyes of the marketers.

What kinda pisses me off is the price point of intergrated receivers. If I want a really good and powerful receiver I basically pay for 7.1 or higher and never use it. Come on, give me a top receiver with ONLY 5.1 and without all the myriad of bullshit extras that add nothing but another line on the marketing speel.

27 million inputs, yer right, give me 3 inputs and a real 200 watts rms per channel with no frills rather than 27 million inputs and a false 100 watts per channel and a hoard of frills.

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I actually think its a significant improvement on 5.1.....room permitting. In small spaces 5.1 is enough

Now in terms of having 4 to x surrounds, it just depends on the room. Large rooms with multiple rows require even more

The additional 2 channels are important for envelopment, something that is very important in surround systems

Full range isn't necessary. If you're getting isolated bass below 80hz you've not set it up right

In saying all that - a high quality 2 channel setup, with a properly treated room will generate significant surround effects as your room is your processor, so to say

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Was it alive in the first place?

Of all the blu-ray titles released thus far here is a pretty in-depth list of 7.1 (keep in mind soundtracks sometimes vary from zone to zone)

http://www.blu-raystats.com/Stats/Stats.php?OrderBy=Title&Audio=7.1

Heh! Thats a great database for the BluRay Titles. Is there one available for DVD's? I've tried looking for one previously and not found anything like this. Cheers Craigandkim! Interestingly this database says only 5.5% of the 3250 titles have a 7.1 soundtrack, so that does support my observation.

Considering some of the comments above I can see the value in 7.1 or greater audio tracks for large venues, or large home cinemas. But realistically most peoples home cinemas, even high end ones, will be relatively small rooms so a 7.1 soundtrack is unlikely to be of real benefit to the majority of users and I guess the industry has already worked that out.

bio :)

Edited by biologist

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I know a bloke who mixes soundtracks for movies and his done some fairly big name movies to. He told me as far as he knows there has never been a 7.1 sound track done. Said he has done a few in 6.1 but that's it. Tells me that any music that been mixed in the 6.1's has been very difficult to make it sound any good.

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I was in a hifi store and the sales person said that you should not spend too much for speakers 6 and 7. Basic speakers and one can upgrade if 7.1 sets off.

Spend more on the centre and left and right.

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I was looking at a pair of Dynaudio Confidence C1's from the US a few months ago - they were part of a 7.1 setup, with 7 x C1's as the main speakers. They were being replaced by 7 x C4's according to the vendor......

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mmmm 7.1 9.1 it will keep goin the home theatre receiver manufacturers will keep goin because they think the more bells an whistles they add= sales, and unfortunately for the majority of the people buying this stuff it works, i dont think theres a person alive who would use the amount of crap on an av amp now, but they will keep addin useless crap to them if it makes them sell. i tried 5.1 i wasnt a fan, but i dont watch movies that much, i guess im old school but to me nothin is better than high quality 2 channel sound. I got nothin against the multi channel lovers out there, but i think quantity now rules quality, but thats just the way the world thinks now. cheers to those with 2 ears who like the good stuff.

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" got nothin against the multi channel lovers out there, but i think quantity now rules quality"

Thats a pretty back handed, ignorant, comment.

I tend to find people who dont want to addopt new technology and see it useless as a _____ are those who cant/choose not to afford it (or are content with what they have, in this instance they tend not to get involved in these discussions as they're happy as).....dont write off superior technology because you dont have it/think its stupid/dont understand it.

In terms of bells and whilstles, you'll find most of the features listed in AV amps are passive....yes many useful active features (getting moreso), but when you go through the list most of it is like say ABS Brakes for cars, its there you use it everyday but dont know it

But yes - if for example, you have $2k to spend, IMO, get the best 2 channel you can get your hands on and forget multi-channel, its not cheap but the rewards can be had if done correctly....

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Exactly, if multi-channel (any multi-channel- music or movies) is done properly (in the mixing stage) it will absolutely leave 2 channel behind for shear involvement and presentation.

Considering the lack of 7.1 software, the cost of two extra channels/amplification and the relatively small benefits of installing 7 speakers in the smaller consumer environment, I do believe that 5.1 is more than adequate at presenting a believable experience.

I will pose this question though- how many home theatre set-ups are actually configured correctly to extract the optimum audio experience as intended by the director/producer? This in part relates to equi-distant speaker placement, correct centre channel height, correct usage of x-overs (speakers & sub-woofer), level matching, etc, etc.

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how many home theatre set-ups are actually configured correctly to extract the optimum audio experience as intended by the director/producer?

Stuff all I suspect......one of the reasons mine is on hold until we can afford to do it right....and in the mean time I'll play with my toys in the living room :)

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