Print

Print


Theater attendance has been dropping, at least in the US. Streaming movies are going to kill most of 
it off soon, if trends continue (of course if Hollywood would make more good movies that large 
segments of the population want to see, they might have some say in the matter, as demonstrated by 
the millions of theater seats filled by American Sniper, an unheralded mega-blockbuster). There's 
always been this talk and claims about "home theaters." I know plenty of audio and video 
professionals and less than 10% of these people that I know have "home theaters" that include 
sophisticated surround-sound systems. There just aren't large numbers of people -- or even much of a 
viable niche market -- interested in more than 2 speakers for sound. I'm one of that tiny niche, but 
I don't listen to much music-only content with my 5.1 system. It's more of a neato gadget than 
anything else. I do like viewing the movies that win sound-oriented Oscars each year using the 
surround system, but most TV and movie watching is done using only the built-in speakers on the 
TV's. And I'm a person who's very audio-interested, much less interested in picture quality than 
sound quality. So I can't imagine much of a market for the sound-only surround stuff. I think most 
of the recent SACD stuff coming out of Japan is 2-channel. There are a few diehards still putting 
out a few dozen new surround-SACD titles each year, but I bet their sales are in the hundreds of 
units per title. Perhaps it's a workable business model with those numbers, I don't know the full 
business picture. Supposedly, multi-channel high-rez downloads are in the offing. We'll see if 
that's viable. 2-channel hi-rez downloads are a very tiny niche right now, but said to be viable.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "DAVID BURNHAM" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, April 24, 2015 4:16 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] interesting theory on why 2-channel audio prevailed in the mainstream


>I think the main reason 2 channel audio prevails is the lack of flexibility of where you can sit to 
>listen to surround sound. Surround certainly prevails in movie theatres where the audience is in a 
>position to appreciate it. Also it's easier to design two channel set-ups. My home system has 
>basically the Mark Levinson system. Each channel has two Quad electrostatic speakers mounted one on 
>top of the other with a Decca Ribbon tweeter in between. My woofer department departs from Mark 
>Levinson by using an M. and K. powered subwoofer on each channel. As you can imagine, this speaker 
>system takes up most of half the room and if a surround system took up the rest, there's not much 
>room left for me!
>
>
>     On Friday, April 24, 2015 3:59 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
> http://www.americastalkradionetwork.com/category/thd_rssfeed/
>
> check out the theory espoused in the 4/19/15 show -- Steve Jobs and the iPod are what killed
> surround sound! I'd more "blame" the near-zero WAF (wife acceptance factor) for 5 or 7 speakers in
> the living room. Plus the total lack of interest among most TV viewers and music listeners. But, 
> the
> move to earbuds and ultra-portable audio did reduce speaker-based listening in general.
>
> -- Tom Fine
>
> PS -- when you have the president of an audiophile group telling the host of an audio-oriented 
> radio
> show that "no one" listens to surround-sound audio-only content anymore, I would say that bodes 
> very
> badly for any long-term viability for already-niche SACD and Bluray audio formats.
>
>
>
>
>