Reality Technologies - New surround technology

QuadraphonicQuad

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oxforddickie

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Come on people, give them a break. It certainly isn't going to happen over night, let them just get on with the work needed, it'll be announced here when there is something worth knowing
 

byrdman7

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I will try to be as clear as I can. The 4.0/4.1 mode works really well and I have no complaint. The 5.1 mode is a whole different story. It is UNUSABLE due to center channel level issues and steering. I am miffed about having to try and make the 5.1 usable as the consumer spending my time and money. If you want 4.0 or 4.1 great sound from a stereo source the Surround Master is for you. If you want the 5.1 mode save your money, DPLIIx works MUCH better.
 

chucky3042

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Hi Q8

We had a bit of an initial number crunch prior to Xmas and found that it should not be a problem. I is still scheduled somewhere between April and mid year depending on being sidetracked!

Regards

Chucky

Hi Chucky,

I know you guys are probably under a lot of stress with getting the first batch of units out, people needing help with issues and percieved issues and whatnot. Also I know you guys are just getting back from the holidy break (I wish I had that long of a holiday break, I should come work for you guys). I don't want to add to your stress, but I did want to remind you that there are some of us here waiting with baited breath for the SQ decoding option. I just wanted to see if you guys have started crunching the numbers for the SQ decoding and if you have made any progress.

Thanks!
 

Steve Schoultz

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Hey Chucky,
I'm sorry you disagree with release with an "obvious issue" comment. I choose my words carefully and didn't use the term defect or flaw. You say it was an issue you discussed with David and choose a setting for a smaller center channel speaker. You also mention it is a good compromise to only need one attenuator rather than five. Why no mention of this in the manual or no attenuator included in the package? I brought up the center channel level because I thought I was not hooking up the unit correctly or my unit was bad. I have a full range center speaker. So, I stand by my original comment.
I have praised the performance of the Surround Master in everyone of my posts. I'm completely satisfied with the 4.1 configuration as I believe that is best for stereo-to-quad synthesis. Consider me a satisfied customer, just want all the facts.
Steve
 

byrdman7

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Hey Chucky,
I'm sorry you disagree with release with an "obvious issue" comment. I choose my words carefully and didn't use the term defect or flaw. You say it was an issue you discussed with David and choose a setting for a smaller center channel speaker. You also mention it is a good compromise to only need one attenuator rather than five. Why no mention of this in the manual or no attenuator included in the package? I brought up the center channel level because I thought I was not hooking up the unit correctly or my unit was bad. I have a full range center speaker. So, I stand by my original comment.
I have praised the performance of the Surround Master in everyone of my posts. I'm completely satisfied with the 4.1 configuration as I believe that is best for stereo-to-quad synthesis. Consider me a satisfied customer, just want all the facts.
Steve

Steve highlights valid points. I asked for confirmation on the center channel issues being solved, see post #215. I received a reply, see post #217. I have a question Chucky. Was the unit installed in a 5.1 system and listened to before shipping out?

Reagan
 

chucky3042

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Hi Steve

Yes I agree that we need to include suitable comment in the instruction manual but this will need to be in the next batch.

Regards

Chucky

Hey Chucky,
I'm sorry you disagree with release with an "obvious issue" comment. I choose my words carefully and didn't use the term defect or flaw. You say it was an issue you discussed with David and choose a setting for a smaller center channel speaker. You also mention it is a good compromise to only need one attenuator rather than five. Why no mention of this in the manual or no attenuator included in the package? I brought up the center channel level because I thought I was not hooking up the unit correctly or my unit was bad. I have a full range center speaker. So, I stand by my original comment.
I have praised the performance of the Surround Master in everyone of my posts. I'm completely satisfied with the 4.1 configuration as I believe that is best for stereo-to-quad synthesis. Consider me a satisfied customer, just want all the facts.
Steve
 

chucky3042

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Hi Reagan

Yep, all of the first 100 units were personally tested by me as I wanted to ensure all was well before allowing our other staff to take over. We trialed the 5.1 mode on many configurations in multiple room setups for a 3 month period. So far most comments we have had on the 5.1 have been good but we are taking your comments very seriously and are reviewing this again.

Dave's comments on the use of center channels for the vocalist are highly important additionally our listening speaker layout was more like quad plus a center channel which does not comply with the positional specifications of Dolby (refer our manual).

Regards

Chucky



Steve highlights valid points. I asked for confirmation on the center channel issues being solved, see post #215. I received a reply, see post #217. I have a question Chucky. Was the unit installed in a 5.1 system and listened to before shipping out?

Reagan
 

byrdman7

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Hi Reagan

Yep, all of the first 100 units were personally tested by me as I wanted to ensure all was well before allowing our other staff to take over. We trialed the 5.1 mode on many configurations in multiple room setups for a 3 month period. So far most comments we have had on the 5.1 have been good but we are taking your comments very seriously and are reviewing this again.

Dave's comments on the use of center channels for the vocalist are highly important additionally our listening speaker layout was more like quad plus a center channel which does not comply with the positional specifications of Dolby (refer our manual).

Regards

Chucky

Your reply leaves me speechless.

Reagan
 

Quadwreck

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Honestly, I don't know how anybody can have great expectations of a 4-channel matrix being reconfigured to 5.1. It's just going to have differing results in the extra channel because all of the mixes are not identical.
 

byrdman7

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Honestly, I don't know how anybody can have great expectations of a 4-channel matrix being reconfigured to 5.1. It's just going to have differing results in the extra channel because all of the mixes are not identical.

Expectations begin when a company offers a product with a 5.1 mode that does not work out of the box.
 

oxforddickie

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I'm going to have to agree with you here 'Quadwreck'. I've experimented in trying to produce 5.0 and 7.0 decodes from quad sources and decided it was a pointless exercise as the results were worse than listening to the original four channel decoded version.

I believe this unit should be purchased for the decoding of QS material for playback in its original configuration, that being 4.0, and for the 'creation' of a surround sound field from non matrixed sources, and any issues related to such 'creation' has to be accepted as a side effect of such processing.

It needs to be remembered that it's not possible to know what the effects are going to be with every type of musical source, and any variations in the percieved effect obtained in creating an artificial sound field from a standard stereo source are to be accepted as normal.

One thing i do ask 'Byrdman7' is what exactly are you putting through the unit. QS encoded material, stereo......? A little more information may be helpful
 

ChristopherLees

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with the Marantz Sr-5003 that (I think) byrdman7 uses, I think you have Audyssey MultEQ auto setup and room EQ calibration on DPLIIx
but not on the 5.1 analogue inputs that the reality technologies decoder would go through.
 

byrdman7

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I'm going to have to agree with you here 'Quadwreck'. I've experimented in trying to produce 5.0 and 7.0 decodes from quad sources and decided it was a pointless exercise as the results were worse than listening to the original four channel decoded version.

I believe this unit should be purchased for the decoding of QS material for playback in its original configuration, that being 4.0, and for the 'creation' of a surround sound field from non matrixed sources, and any issues related to such 'creation' has to be accepted as a side effect of such processing.

It needs to be remembered that it's not possible to know what the effects are going to be with every type of musical source, and any variations in the percieved effect obtained in creating an artificial sound field from a standard stereo source are to be accepted as normal.

One thing i do ask 'Byrdman7' is what exactly are you putting through the unit. QS encoded material, stereo......? A little more information may be helpful

I have played stereo Redbook CD, DVDA and SACD. All the material in the left/right channels of the discs is steered to the center. I agree with your statement. The Surround Master is a modern chip based QS decoder, nothing more, nothing less which is by no means negative. The unit sounds great in the 4.0/4.1 mode.
 

byrdman7

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with the Marantz Sr-5003 that (I think) byrdman7 uses, I think you have Audyssey MultEQ auto setup and room EQ calibration on DPLIIx
but not on the 5.1 analogue inputs that the reality technologies decoder would go through.

I am old school and use a sound pressure meter to set speaker levels.
 

byrdman7

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We live in a plug and play world. The majority of consumers are going to be turned off when you have to change speaker levels or purchase in line attenuators to listen to this unit in 5.1 Then you have to change them back to use the other components in your system. People complain about Blu-Ray loading time so I can imagine what will happen when they hook this unit up. Who wants to spend precious "sweet spot" time adjusting a receiver, not me. I could use more as it is :>)
 

chucky3042

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Hi Reagan

When you say "All the material in the left/right channels of the discs is steered to the center", I am really concerned that somehow you have received a faulty unit.

Could you please do a simple test for me.

1 Input a signal (don't care if its music or tone) into the left input and then observe the outputs (should get close to full magnitude 5.1 Left front, greatly reduced center channel, almost nothing from the 5.1 right channel

2 Input a signal (don't care if its music or tone) into the right input and then observe the outputs (should get close to full magnitude 5.1 Right front, greatly reduced center channel, almost nothing from the 5.1 left channel

3 Input an identical signal into BOTH the left and right inputs. Should get minimal signal from 5.1 left, 5.1 right and a full signal from the 5.1 center output.

If this is not what you observe please return the unit and we will rectify the problem and return it to you (we will pay the transport this time).

If the above description of operation is correct then the unit is working as designed. (You are also welcome to return it in good order and we will do a full refund).

Regards

Chucky

I have played stereo Redbook CD, DVDA and SACD. All the material in the left/right channels of the discs is steered to the center. I agree with your statement. The Surround Master is a modern chip based QS decoder, nothing more, nothing less which is by no means negative. The unit sounds great in the 4.0/4.1 mode.
 

byrdman7

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Hi Reagan

When you say "All the material in the left/right channels of the discs is steered to the center", I am really concerned that somehow you have received a faulty unit.

Could you please do a simple test for me.

1 Input a signal (don't care if its music or tone) into the left input and then observe the outputs (should get close to full magnitude 5.1 Left front, greatly reduced center channel, almost nothing from the 5.1 right channel

2 Input a signal (don't care if its music or tone) into the right input and then observe the outputs (should get close to full magnitude 5.1 Right front, greatly reduced center channel, almost nothing from the 5.1 left channel

3 Input an identical signal into BOTH the left and right inputs. Should get minimal signal from 5.1 left, 5.1 right and a full signal from the 5.1 center output.

If this is not what you observe please return the unit and we will rectify the problem and return it to you (we will pay the transport this time).

If the above description of operation is correct then the unit is working as designed. (You are also welcome to return it in good order and we will do a full refund).

Regards

Chucky

I purchased the unit for the 5.1 mode and came close to asking for a refund. I then set it up for the 4.1 mode and really liked what I heard. I have raved about the 4.1 performance and called a spade a spade on the 5.1 mode. I could not find a quality built in line attenuator local so I ordered one. I will try to balance the center output to match the other channels and see what happens. If it is still a mess, I will go back to DPLIIx and move on.

Reagan
 

Q8

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If it were my call I probably would have made all the levels the same. But it is a difficult question. They are trying to make a plug and play box for the average consumer, which has a dinky center speaker. Most of those people are used to having dinky sound from the dinky center, and likely already adjust the volume for that channel up on their receiver anyway. Also if this is really aimed at the mass market, the HTIB people will have all dinky speakers anyway, so the center will still sound too loud to them. I would say that it would be better to have a center that is too quiet than too loud. If it is too quiet, so what, you really don't need a center for this sort of synthesis anyway, but if it is too loud, it completely trashes the front stereo image, like it has for Reagan. But I know that some 5.1 people with large surrounds and a dinky center would complain that it was too quiet. But really. What good is a center channel with this type of surround synthesis, maybe if it pulled vocals only to center or something, but it doesn't do that, so it's pointless.
 

chucky3042

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Hi Q8

Really good comment and you clearly understand the difficulties here. The only negative is that on a lot of systems setting the center low or "level" in spite of inadequate center channels the listener then ends up with a severe hole in the middle with the main action or vocalist missing. The cost of a separate pre amp or booster is higher than an attenuator.

As mentioned I welcome comment and am happy to do an update on software. Believe it or not the Surround Master is the result of 4.5 years of R+D effort and whilst looking simple it is in fact so complicated that we could not contain all its functions on one DSP. I regret any inconvenience to users but some things can only be finalised by the feedback of customers even after our best efforts and intentions.

Regards

Chucky
 
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