Home Theater IMAX Experience w/ A Robinson-Youtube


Anyone see this tutorial/educational viedeo series on Youtube? Home Theater writer Andrew Robinson has a series of Youtube videos on the subjects of home theater and IMAX Home Theater, where he discusses his opinions, experiences, and recommendations on home theater, HT theory and design, construction ideas, equipment, IMAX experience, technology, and so forth?
Looking for input on what others think of the series, the expressed opinions and suggestions vs your personal opinions, experiences, and competing advice on doing dedicated home theater?
I do find some of his recommendations interesting, but most of the time he demonstrates and suggests that all of this is, ultimately, "left up to your ideas, choices, and interpretations as what choices you make, equipment options and choices you chose for IMAX type of results"!!! Well I find issue with that, and don't agree with many of his opinions, choices, applications, suggestions, and recommendations, personally! Leads people to just do WHATEVER, and expect their dedicated home theater will be as good as anything, or "close enough" to high performance, IMO.
For example: in the IMAX series, he suggests that, since you can do an "inspired" IMAX system, you can pretty much just chose any type of loud speakers you have laying around the house, and they will work just fine!. Also, you can sit as far back and or as close as you like to the screen, and even forgoes the acoustics, from what I could tell!
Thoughts?...
avgoround
It would be helpful if you would provide a link...

-RW-
"I do find some of his recommendations interesting, but most of the time he demonstrates and suggests that all of this is, ultimately, "left up to your ideas, choices, and interpretations as what choices you make, equipment options and choices you chose for IMAX type of results"!!!"

OK

"Well I find issue with that, and don't agree with many of his opinions, choices, applications, suggestions, and recommendations, personally!"

That's probably why he tells you to use your own judgement.

Leads people to just do WHATEVER, and expect their dedicated home theater will be as good as anything, or "close enough" to high performance, IMO."

You lose me there. I would probably say something like "Leads people to just do WHATEVER sounds and looks good to them. Performance is relative to the individuals tastes."
I think he does a good job of explaining what he is trying to accomplish. We all know there are certain scientific rules that dictate how we are going to perceive our systems. He is saying we all don't have $2,000,000 to do a Imax theater at home but using a few Imax guidelines we can come to a reasonable fake for short money. In this day and age with the technology we have I agree with him.Like we all know most of us would do a ton of research before setting on such a quest. What gear you would use would be personal preference. The room and other factors are what we have to work with and there would be no way for him to cover all of that in a small youtube series.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Upn4aeARWoc

Don't get me wrong...this kinda stuff, at least, does inspire me to want to design "better systems", and work towards putting a better effort foreword in building the very best HT scenarios I can implement. However, I just think that overall impression left by the series is one of "just go with whatever works for you", and it only end's up giving guideposts for "inspiration" for your project, and that all should turn out just fine!
My personal experience, over years of playing with this stuff, is that building a top flight system takes quite a bit more meticulous effort to achieve a quality final product, and that there's a right and wrong way to do things for best results, considering such a wide range of variables people will no doubt encounter. Basically, I find lots of holes in the details given here -or not given - which will, inevitably, hinder good visuals, integration, acoustics, sound and pic quality, practical application, and so forth...without more input and insight, and from lack of knowledge from the users end -All I'm sayin.
If you're gunna use a $2 million dollar IMAX home theater product as a "guidepost" , and clue people in to leaving things "up to you're personal interpretation", I think you're inevitably going to delude people into thinking what they end up with is nearly the same system or performance level, ...which it's probably not.
"My personal experience, over years of playing with this stuff, is that building a top flight system takes quite a bit more meticulous effort to achieve a quality final product, and that there's a right and wrong way to do things for best results, considering such a wide range of variables people will no doubt encounter."

I understand where you are going with this, but when you make absolute statements like "there's a right and wrong way to do things for best results", I think you'll be doing more arguing than listening to music or watching movies. What if you set up a system the right way and I don't like it. Does that make me wrong?

Lets look at this a different way and maybe you'll see my point here. List some specific examples of what you believe is the "right way" to do things when setting up a theater. Some basic guidelines that everyone MUST adhere to, in order to say that their system is "right".
"We all know there are certain scientific rules that dictate how we are going to perceive our systems."

I'm not sure I understand what you are talking about in the above quote. To me, scientific rules are variables that are fixed. They can't be altered. How we perceive something can vary greatly. Different people can have different opinions on the exact same thing. I don't see how scientific facts force everyone to perceive the same thing.
The rules are set, acoustics only work how they work, electronics only do what they were designed to do. Not everyone will perceive them the same way in different rooms or environments but they will always only work one way.Opinions are just that, without fact to dictate them they are worthless. That's the problem with this hobby, willful ignorance. Copper can only do so much but many claim they have magic that can transcend it's limitations. Silicon and magnets are barriers that even if you put a outrageous price tag on them will only do what they are supposed to do. I know quality is a factor and controls also but that is just another set of rules.
Criderfive,

I respect your opinion even though we disagree. You don't say otherwise, but it looks like you favor the objective more than the subjective when it comes to audio. But my main issue is this: For all the talk about science and facts, no one ever backs their position up with any. Objectives reference all kinds of tests and studies but they are never able to produce them. That's why I don't take their claims seriously.

"That's the problem with this hobby, willful ignorance. Copper can only do so much but many claim they have magic that can transcend it's limitations."

Can you show me one example of someone making the above claim? That shouldn't be too difficult if there are many of them out there. I just want to see one.
Zd542, I do think you and Andrew Robinson would make good "Woods mates", should you be lost in a forest! -just go with whatever. (or maybe instead of simply rebutting on my statements, perhaps you could point out some specifics of what's seen on the videos, and comment and recommend in regards to those, no?!)

Lemme make my position real clear... If your average AV enthusiast, hobbyist, or DIY simply picks the ball up and runs with it, after watching these video's, more often than not, the end user's results are going to be poor picture quality and low-fidelity sound quality! PERIOD! Overall experience will be nothing special, in fact, likely lack-luster, at best! ..good results are going to be more involved and knowledge/experience intensive, regardless.,

In case you need me to expound more on my position (no, I don't need to get you a colorimeter and sound meter out to show/tell you what the readings will be! - but guarantee everyone sitting in the theater can easily identify that things aren't so great looking or sounding, and that things could be overall much better, guaranteed!) -What is compromised pic quality, you ask? Um, the black levels are grey, the contrast is poor (with washed out color and contrast, loss of shadow detail), due to white colored ceilings and floors near the screen surface (untreated)! IMAX picture quality? Yes, you'll need 4K projections and processing (source material?), and sitting closer than 40% viewing angle, will require such! -although, yes, some could argue that some JVC,Sony,Panny 1080p's, with their tight pixel structure and processing are viewable at such close distances, perspectively. Still, every other 1080p projection tech will show easily discernible pixel structure, distracting during many instances from a projected image. But make no mistake, IMAX calls for 4K, not 1080p!
What is low fidelity sound quality? Hugh holes (main issue in bass response ) and peaks in the frequency response of the bass, improper reverb and tonality from any given seat in the room, dead/lifeless sound + poorly delineated sound stage, smeared imaging from the soundstage/loud speakers, one speaker booming in your ear on far end seating locations, phase issues, hole in the crossover frequency for mains vs sub from seating positions, lack of dynamics and impact due to improper loud speaker selections, locations, and settings, overall bombastic, uneven, bright in some spots/rolled off in others tonality, and so on.
Also, no, someone cannot simply put loud speakers "where they think they should go", and or chose "whatever equipment they have laying around"-implemented in a given space - and expect great results that will wow their friends, and stand as a reference against anything QUALITY! In fact, enthusiests and weekend warriors have been doing this sort - WITH POOR RESULTS - for years!,...and my experience is they fail miserably in any quality attempt. .. Might as well get a flat screen and a sound bar (in fact, they guy recommends one in the videos!!!) and forget about it! -er maybe some Bose. Whatever works, you know. after All, who's to say your Beats headphones and sitting 1 foot from your computer monitor isn't as good?! ...I always say, anyway. George Lucas would be impress, regardless, I'm sure.
You just made my point. Pretty much everything you listed above is subjective or a guess on what can or may go wrong. Not only that, you are getting actual facts wrong. Here's one example.

"Might as well get a flat screen and a sound bar (in fact, they guy recommends one in the videos!!!) and forget about it! -er maybe some Bose. Whatever works, you know."

I do know because every IMAX theater I've ever been in uses Bose speakers.
Zd542, you are correct we will have to agree to disagree and yes audio is very objective.Thank you for the mutual respect.The op has a valid point there are right and wrong ways to do things in the a/v world. Case in point, my father in-law has a 55" led lcd that he insists looks fantastic on the sports setting, every time I'm there I have to re calibrate his set because people are not orange and black is not grey.Now to be fair I do things wrong in my own set up. I have a 120" screen that I sit 12' away from and at times because my siting distance is to close ( the science of how our eyes perceive things at different distances dictates this)on a very busy action scene it can be distracting. I know it's wrong but I like my big screen and 95% of the time it works fine. The men at Dolby laboratory have spent decades figuring how to do surround the right way. They set parameters to follow if you want the best experience. Not to get to philosophical here but there are universal truths and this applies to a/v too. You also asked for evidence of my claim that company's sell magic and call it science, most commonly called snake oil in a/v circles. So here it is, and the site I linked has many great articles on various myths that many call truth with evidence to back it up. http://www.audioholics.com/audio-video-cables/top-ten-signs-an-audio-cable-vendor-is-selling-you-snake-oil
Criderfive,

Thanks for the answer. You did take the time to give me a quality response, so I just want to clarify my position on doing things the "right way". I fully understand that there may be a textbook way to do things. Maybe its something product specific like THX, or maybe its something generic, like room acoustics. What I was trying to say was simply this: Even if you do something exactly the "right" way in audio, quite often people don't like it. For example, you can show someone a system that exhibits, high quality, audiophile bass, and they still prefer crappy one note bass from something like a car stereo. Over the years, I've found that you just can't force people to like something just because you do, or because its the "right way".

As far as the Bose comment, I know that I may have throne you off on that a bit on that one. I'm pretty sure you were talking theater in the more traditional sense (THX, Dolby Digital, 5.1 etc.). The topic of this thread is to try and reproduce the IMAX experience. For IMAX audio, Bose is what they use. That, of course, leaves the door open to say that you have to use Bose speakers to do it right. I won't lie, every time I re read this quote from the OP, I start laughing: "For example: in the IMAX series, he suggests that, since you can do an "inspired" IMAX system, you can pretty much just chose any type of loud speakers you have laying around the house, and they will work just fine!.". Out with the Wilson's and in with the Bose!

As far as the link to ausioholics, we may still disagree. There's a lot of info and I didn't have a chance to read everything. I use mostly Audioquest cables in my system and read through some back and forth dialog pertaining to them, and found it very interesting. I'll pick out a few quotes and make some comments.

"Audioquest Response

A quick look at your web site gives the impression that you are on a quest to prove that the evaluation of component audio performance is something best determined with test instruments. While I agree that measured performance is important, I'm an old fuddy duddy that still believes that the ear is the best test instrument of all. Years of evaluating (blind) various metals, insulation materials and cable geometry bare this out. That you would include AudioQuest DBS cables.....cables that you've never heard... in your list of audio snake oil makes it quite clear that your mind has already been made up before doing any evaluation at all."

Without doing any type of hands on testing, scientific or not, I can't see that any comments are anything other than a guess.

"Electrical properties of cables are well known and documented from DC up to GHz (reference. Henry Ott,Dr. Howard Johnson, etc). To insist otherwise is futile. Exotic cable psuedo science only exists in consumer audio. Why is that? In our opinion it appears the exotic cable industry thrives on consumer ignorance and a lack of industry checks and balances. Audioquest and other exotic cable vendors claim all sorts of "audible distortions" from cables. Yet they offer no measurable proofs or methods for analysis. Ever hear of a device called the "Audio Precision One". This proven and industry standard audio analyzer is capable of measuring audio distortions well below human audibility. Surely if all of this distortion was present, a simple measurement would prove it. No? Have Audioquest and other exotic cable vendors discovered new types of audible distortions not currently known by proven science and engineering disciplines? If so, why not publish a paper on it at AES or IEEE and have it peer reviewed. It may even be worthy of a Nobel Prize."

That's a fair point if its true. Cable companies like AQ do provide some specs. I can't help but think, though, that if the critic thinks the results from using the Audio Precision Device is so important for an evaluation as to the quality of a cable, why leave it up to AQ to do it (or any other cable company, for that matter.)? Using the machine is his idea, and there is nothing stopping him from doing a test with it.

"Our mind has not been made up about the quality of your cables. Despite your unproven and mostly fictitious claims, if your cables measure well based on proven science (you know lumped element analysis) they may actually perform well. If we had samples to review, we would certainly confirm this. We have no issues with cables costing as much as yours do provided that the supporting claims for the products are based in reality and do not clearly violate engineering and scientific truths while being pawned off as such. Perhaps if you made the consumer aware of the fact that producing cosmetically pleasing cables does carry a considerable manufacturing and materials expense, your price justification would be vindicated."

Complete speculation. How can you say that AQ's claims are mostly fictitious without listing the claims that they think are fictitious? Not only that, I don't see how they can make any claims at all when they haven't so much laid a hand on a pair of cables. And they don't need AQ to send them cables for evaluation. They can get them from Best Buy if they want to test them so badly. Return them when they are done.

"Alternatively we can arrange a controlled DBT with your cables and say 10AWG Zip Cord with a panel of listeners and do a statistical analysis to determine correlation that your cables really do sound "better" and that your reasoning is sound. We are willing to work with you on exposing the truths about your claims to promote better understanding for our readership and the rest of the audio community. Here is your chance to educate the public about a science that is allegedly not well understood and have an independent source peer review and confirm."

Same thing again. Why ask AQ if they want to take part in a DBT and not continue if they don't? Do it anyway. Its a blind test. The results should be identical regardless of weather AQ participates in them.

To sum up, that's my main issue. Critics go on about all of this testing, but they never do it. Why? I could if I really wanted to. There seems to be agreement that well done DBT's would be a big help in determining what claims about cables are true. I agree. No doubt that claims are a mixed bag; some true and some false. But until the critics start actually testing the cables, I just can't take them seriously.
""...Some one actually did take the time to give YOU a quality response??...Electrical properties of Audioquest cables, speaker cable distortions, and mixed bag of claims for well done DBT's????..subjectively crappy car stereo experiences and Bose "Cube"(?) IMAX flippin' theater failings????!!!!"" ..WELL GE!..IM ALL,LIKE,CONFUSE-IFIED!!!
Someone here give me an "AMEN!" -that ALL this contribe chat-spat sounds like a bunch of argumentative forum-room dribble, and decades old flash-backs of Ott and Doc Johnson's "double blindfold interconnect and 12gauge loudspeaker cable testing's, prove no sonic performance difference in audio cables argument!" leftovers from a multitude of timewasting threads gone bye, if you ask me!!? ...MMAAARRVELLOUS!!
Yes, certain AVforum chat-cacklers here,..you can blow off all you like in stating that "there are no realities, facts, or real actual conslusives" for any of this, and insinuate that any typical Samsung Galaxy 5 smartphone's video experience, with Apple Iphones audio, is as good as any IMAX's! -and that, really, none of us Professional AV guys know what they hell we're talking about!! TeerrrRRIIIFIC!
ZD452,I'm certain about one thing..and that's the vast majority of us here (I'm taking liberties) know exactly how likely crap-tastic any system you're going to put together, from your actual efforts are going to perform, and so I, for one, don't personally need to waste my time coming over to your place for any sort of "come over to my place for the demo of a life time system" screening!!..CAUSE I WON'T BE ABLE TO HEAR THE ACTUAL SYSTEM PLAYING, OVER YOUR UNCEASING NON-SENSE OPINIONS!!! -been there and done that, umpteen bazillion times over the years with many other of the opine's on these forums, and I'm pretty sure that NO ONE'S GOING TO BE IMPRESSED! That IS a given, if there ever was one! But you keep up the good fight of spouting more air, and less examples of what the vast majority of any comparing would find a high end experience!!
...in the mean time (I was referring to Bose "Cubes/lifestyle" systems, ..not some custom active high end Bose offering, that no one can get for their home system anyway...nor should they.), I'll just keep on getting REAL MONEY PAID TO ME, for actual REAL quality system installs and builds....cause I know nothing, apparently.
FTR,ZD452, we all think you're cool, edgy and informed! ..of what, I have NO IDEA...
Oh and, FTR,.. gourmet restaurant food, upscale fashion as well as hi-end commuter automobiles are all subjective realities too!!. -you see, cause no one can factually argue that McDonnalds isn't ACTUALLY the best tasting food ever offered, nor is a $100k Mercedes any better than a golf cart, as a commuter car, either!
Point well made sir!...there are no realities. ..It's all merely an illusion. ...at least in your funky world
BRAVO!!
..Do you have a radio show on somewhere I can tune into, by chance?
Avgoround,

What I really don't understand here why you bothered to post this question to begin with? You're so emotionally caught up in your position on this, why ask people for their opinions?

"Looking for input on what others think of the series, the expressed opinions and suggestions vs your personal opinions, experiences, and competing advice on doing dedicated home theater?" - Your words.

I'm really not trying to be mean by saying this, but you can't handle this discussion. What's the big deal if people don't always agree on things. That's the whole point of these forums. You seem particularly upset about me thanking Criderfive for giving me a quality answer. Why? He's one of the few people that have ever given me anything to support the type of argument he makes. So what if I read the AQ article and didn't agree with it. If you think something else, that's fine.

Instead of all the insults and examples that are not relevant to this discussion, why not just point out something I said and ask for clarification? If you don't agree with me, that's fine. But to go on like this is just silly.
Zd542 I have to thank you again for a honest discussion. That is why I don't post to much. I do see your point of view. Many things can be subjective and go against the grain when it comes to preference. Anyone would be foolish to argue that's not true. I do like doing things the way they are designed to work. It keeps things simple for me but I do push the boundaries my self from time to time, sometimes out of necessity sometimes just to see if it improves my overall a/v experience.I think that was the whole point of Andrew Robinson's general statements. We all know what is right and what defines a IMAX theater but play around have a good time and do what works for you. Many of us including myself loose sight of this from time to time and some never get it at all. I think all the arguing hurts this hobbie more than any false claim made by manufactures. Newbies enter a site like this and read forums get confused and aggravated at all the different opinions and just say why bother life is complicated enough, I just wanted advice on how to set up a stereo or home theater that I can enjoy. Anyway good discussion.
No no no, ZD542! ..you came to redirect the post, point out that the post was irrelevant and pointless, that no one could ever prove that anything stated is either correct or incorrect, is better than anything else, and that opinions on the matter are relative to ones own opinion, regardless! GREAT!
I do, however, have the right to call you out on your intent! -which was to illicit a response! ..which you did. ..and so I did. ..and so we all did.
WINNING!!!

So let's recap, reflecting- plus from your inferences, as I gather:
-NO, just because 99% of the AV enthusiasts and novices alike will ABSOLULTELY POSITIVELY AND 100% MEASURABLY achieve deficient and horribly low-fidelity and innacurate poor video quality from their audio systems and displays, DOESN'T actually mean that:

1), A huge acoustic hole between satellites and subwoofer DOESN'T really mean that it sounds bad! -it's just more good sound! TRUELY!
2) Just because tonality is drastically different from
seat to seat, DOESN'T mean that you're not getting accurate even good quality sound from the whole listing area!..NO!!!
3), and, just because your loudspeakers are distorting -and
have low dialog intelligibility, cause they're from WalMart -and have no tweeter -DOES NOT mean they aren't as good as
Wilson MAXX reference loudspeakers..YES,THAT'S TRUE!!!
4) when your video display is all washed out and low
contrast looking, with gray black level, it IS IN NO WAY an
indication that the picture quality is not what was
intended from the original source! -WINNING!
5) also, When you use direct firing mono loudspeakers
directly firing next to your ear on a side seating
location, THERE ISN'T REALLY a WAY LOUDER speaker
BLAIRING in your ear, pulling you
completely out of the experience, dominating the sound
n distrascting you from the main soundstage up front!.
ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!..DOESN'T HAPPEN!!!
6) ..Or, when you use any ol 1080p video projector, and sit
2 feet from the screen - and get to see every pixel - it
isn't a sign that you're probably too close, or using
the wrong gear for the job!! -okYES!..THAT'S PROBABLY TRUE
7) or, even though vast majority of people trying to put to
gether a quality system, will in no way use any acoustic
treatments in the toom or sidewalls, to improve sound by
eliminating troublesome reflections, DOESNT MEAN that
the soundstage isn't all indistinct sounding, lacks any
solid detail or imaging, poor microdynamics, lacking
high fidelity overall quality, and doesn't ACTUALLY matter
-Ok, lemme think about that one!
8) Just having your loudspeaker placed behind a perf screen
actually is good enough to make it sound good, regardless
of where the actual speaker are back there, even if you
don't end up measuring anything, or listening first. ..
..NO REALLY, IT'S OK! ..just stick em "yaee wide" and
you're probably good. ..JUST GO WITH IT!..IT'S ALL FUN!!
9) ..when you don't address the sound isolation issues from
the sounds outside, and or keeping the noise from the home
out of the space/room, you really lose anything!..IT'S ALL
GOOD BROTHA! ..don't even think twice about those points!
10) ...anyone's opinion about what is good sound or image
quality, really is OUT OF LINE, and they should just keep
things to themselves, ..CAUSE IT'S ALL THEIR ISSUES,
IN THE FIRST PLACE!!

Yes, ZD542, in the end, ...there really is no need for these postings - nor any real need for this site, for that matter! We're just all here blowing air, and taking up data space on the grid, that is the Matrix anyway!
...WHAT IS REAL?!..WHAT IS REALITY?! ..I always say, anyway
Criderfive, I see you didn't say that you appreciated any of my points of view. Ouch!..that hurts!!

THAT'S IT!!- my $4000 Audio/Video Calibration tool, is now going up for sale on Ebay! After all, no need to measure frequency response or color temperatures of displays - and other meaningless stuff like that - if none of that really matters anyway (or anyone cares, or can really tell the difference, when it's all said and done), right?!

Oh man..I must be in the wrong business.
Avgoround,

Well, I tried to be nice and look at what it got me; another list! I was going to say that if you didn't fully understand my point, read Criderfive's last post. He just lays it all out extremely well. I won't speak for him, but I don't think he was siding with me and not you. If that's what you took away, I believe you missed the point. Again. As for your lists, I'm really at a loss for words. You're creating responses to fictional statements. You really need to get a grip on reality. Its a good thing people can't read minds. If they could read yours, Barnes and Noble would go out of business.
"As for your lists, I'm really at a loss for words. You're creating responses to fictional statements" (Zd542)

Fictional statements? I'm not making responses to fictional statements. In fact, I'm not making any responses in regards to any statements! I'm mearly making EXAMPLES of what will be completely un addressed, and completely out of whack, when you simply follow the guidelines provided by the Imax Home Theater Experience by Andrew Robinson! No no..THAT'S TRUTH!
I Don't even need to argue this FACT!. I would take 100 out of 100 test guinea pig Imax Theater Wanna Be attempts from this post, go and take my handy dandy $4k meter over, and pretty much nail all the points I listed, to their failings!
That, my argumentative conversing co-horts, IS FACT!!!
So now it's just a matter of whether anyone actually care's about hi-fidelity accurate sound quality or a quality projected image?! If not, we can argue till the cows come home, and you still are listening to and viewing a distorted image and low fidelity distorted sound reproduction. Period...end of your banter...non-debatable, ..just your own view points, after that. Cause they all ended up with nothing special to be proud of...if descent, period. Weeeeeeeeeee!!!! Dunno what else ta tell ya.