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  1. #1

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    Default The human eye can process much more information than the human ear

    I remember my AP Biology teacher said this back in high school: "The human eye can process much more information than the human ear." If that's the case, with regards to audio/video setups - would it be a bigger bang for the buck to have a high-end projector and mid-level audio gear, or super exotic audio gear and a mediocre TV?

    Which would you prefer and why? The reason is I've turned the downstairs rig into a surround setup, and it's not much better than a 2-channel setup IMO. In fact I prefer the 2 channel more. However, with a small TV - it seems like you need to have surround sound to be immersed in the experience.

    Note: I am not a biology major so I haven't investigated this further. Was just wondering.
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    Never gave much thought to the "processing" part of home theatre, but I have to agree with that sentiment.
    If I'm watching a 37" HDTV from 8'+ away, it seems to me that I would not really care if an entire live orchestra was supplying the music/soundtrack, I would still feel like something was missing ;)

    From a purely subjective point of view, I'd get the largest video component I could afford/fit into the room, and get an audio system that's worthy of it later on (assuming you don't buy everything all at once).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Serendipity View Post
    I remember my AP Biology teacher said this back in high school: "The human eye can process much more information than the human ear." If that's the case, with regards to audio/video setups - would it be a bigger bang for the buck to have a high-end projector and mid-level audio gear, or super exotic audio gear and a mediocre TV?

    Which would you prefer and why? The reason is I've turned the downstairs rig into a surround setup, and it's not much better than a 2-channel setup IMO. In fact I prefer the 2 channel more. However, with a small TV - it seems like you need to have surround sound to be immersed in the experience.

    Note: I am not a biology major so I haven't investigated this further. Was just wondering.
    My .02 on this the audio and the video have to be worhty of each other. If you take the time and spending for an HT audio experience then the video should be lets say.... timber matched :D So depending on your budget and how you feel, you could decide fid a mid to hidh level set-up and be quite happy.

    For example, I still use CRT 480i TVs in both my living room and bedroom so the audio is not as elaborate as the HT which uses an AVR and 720p PJ. Personnally I prefer my experience with a PJ but some may prefer a flat panel and that is a choice. Oh, you just reminded me I have 2 sets of HT seating coming in in a couple weeks

    Cheers!
    TK

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    Quote Originally Posted by Serendipity View Post
    I remember my AP Biology teacher said this back in high school: "The human eye can process much more information than the human ear." If that's the case,...
    Of course that's the case:

    Frequency range of human hearing: 20 Hz to 20,000 Hertz, or a bandwidth of 19,980 Hertz.

    Frequency range of human eyesight: 400 Terahertz (10 to the 12th power) to 790 Terahertz, or a bandwidth of 390 x 10^12 Hertz.

    The range of frequencies processed by our ears is microscopic relative to the range of frequencies processed by our eyes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Serendipity View Post
    ...regards to audio/video setups - would it be a bigger bang for the buck to have a high-end projector and mid-level audio gear, or super exotic audio gear and a mediocre TV?
    Depends on what your entertainment goals are and whether you are primarily an audio person or a video person. In my home theater system, I have a high end plasma, high end Blu-ray player, mid-level audio electronics, and lower high end speakers. In that system, the quality of video reproduction is far more important than the quality of audio reproduction. If audio quality is more important to you and you spend more time listening to two channel music, then more bang for the buck would come from optimizing audio quality. The reverse would be true if you spend more time watching movies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Serendipity View Post
    ...However, with a small TV - it seems like you need to have surround sound to be immersed in the experience.
    I'm not quite clear on what you mean by this. Do you mean that the small speakers of a small TV can't supply satisfying sound? If that is what you mean, I have also found that the speakers of large TV's (50" and up) were also inadequate for satisfying, room filling sound when watching movies, but were ok for casual TV viewing. I have always muted the TV speakers when watching movies.
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  5. #5

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    Yes. With the small speakers built into a flat panel TV, the experience is not there. You've got to have a surround setup to at least enjoy the experience.

    I don't mind watching a high-end projector and having mid-level audio gear to accompany it. The reverse won't work for me. An LCD TV with $10k amps and Focal speakers still won't cut it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarqueKnight View Post
    Of course that's the case:

    Frequency range of human hearing: 20 Hz to 20,000 Hertz, or a bandwidth of 19,980 Hertz.

    Frequency range of human eyesight: 400 Terahertz (10 to the 12th power) to 790 Terahertz, or a bandwidth of 390 x 10^12 Hertz.

    The range of frequencies processed by our ears is microscopic relative to the range of frequencies processed by our eyes.
    Well, the other way to look at that is that the frequency range of our hearing covers three orders of magnitude (three "logs", if you will); the visual range varies over a range of frequencies of only about two-fold (0.3 logs).

    It might also be interesting to compare the dynamic range of hearing vs. vision. We can hear sounds over a range of roughly 12 orders of magnitude (0 to 120 dB). The rhodopsin system in the eye (rods) can detect a single photon impinging on one rod, but there is considerable neuronal filtering (as I recall) to minimize "shot noise" when light intensity is ultra low... I honestly don't know the dynamic range for vision.

    Our ears (with their attendant processor!) are profoundly selective and sensitive devices, especially in the midrange.

    Peak visual acuity is in the "green to yellow" part of the spectrum.

    See that gap around the wavelength of about 450 nanometers (nm)? Things get a little dicey in the blue/green/teal zone, especially for males!


    (these are absorbance spectra for the rods and the three flavors of cones in the human eye)
    Last edited by mhardy6647; 05-30-2010 at 08:38 PM.
    all the best,
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    As a testament to the above, if you look at it from a business stand point more people tend to want bigger and better TV's vs bigger and better audio equipment.

    Looking at a typical Best buy shows what sells.
    Many people own a relatively good/upper end HDTV with a mediocre HTiB system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xcapri79 View Post
    As a testament to the above, if you look at it from a business stand point more people tend to want bigger and better TV's vs bigger and better audio equipment.

    Looking at a typical Best buy shows what sells.
    Many people own a relatively good/upper end HDTV with a mediocre HTiB system.


    However, no audio passionate falls in that cathegory. I'd understand potentially quality sound bar or satellites (which I actually own for the HT) but an actual HTIB

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    Quote Originally Posted by TECHNOKID View Post


    However, no audio passionate falls in that cathegory. I'd understand potentially quality sound bar or satellites (which I actually own for the HT) but an actual HTIB
    We are the exception and not the typical BB customer. Most home theaters I've seen are HTiB systems.

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    Interesting posts DK & mrh. Something to think about. Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by xcapri79 View Post
    We are the exception and not the typical BB customer. Most home theaters I've seen are HTiB systems.
    Agreed however, Serendipity is also part of the minority. I couldn't see him having a nice 2 channels and then go to his HT and settle with a crappy HTIB. I can't even stand computer speakers with my laptop and I am not even part of the High end owners.

  12. #12

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    Another point to ponder, hearing is more analog, as the eardrum vibrates to the sound and that is passed directly to the hammer, anvil, and stirrup, still in an analog format. Then, on to the cochlea, where the fluid there is once again directly stimulated by the vibrations and in turn stimulates the tiny hairs that create the auditory signals that the brain gets. I don't know how much further processing is done in the brain or how that works from there on.

    Vision, on the other hand, is "processed" much more right from the start. The eye basically "sees" edges, color and movement. The processing starts at the level of the retina, where the signals from individual rods and cones are modified by the signals of surrounding receptors. Kind of like an audio equalizer where adjusting one frequency influences the adjacent frequencies, too. I don't know if I'd call it "digital" processing, as opposed to the more analog transmission of the hearing, but it is processed a lot along the way before it becomes our perception of what is actually out there in the "real" world.

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    I am going to go with my ears process more, I am legally blind without my glasses.
    Yep, I have drunk goggles for anyone with perfect vision. My ears however are great :) ...for now ha.
    I do agree with the training your senses part. I have trained my eyes to scan for details as I am looking around, so that I can pick up things most people don't. I think it is a good trait to have in a police officer.
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    let me get this straight lol. your a blind cop? if that isnt apropos i dont know what is hahaha!!! how bloody convenient is that eh? lol

    i read an article about the order of senses. if they all function properly vision is by far the most active. ever notice how you sometimes close your eyes during a specific passage? thats a natural reaction to allow your ears to take over as main receptor.
    Last edited by mhmacw; 05-30-2010 at 11:47 PM.

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    I understand the basic idea here ONLY if we are viewing the human perceptual fields as RAW DATA PROCESSING units analogous to a CPU. But what about the Qualitative differences between seeing and hearing. They are, after all two different forms of perception...is it 'appropriate' to compare them only "quantitatively" or does that merely demonstrate a 'Hard Science' bias in how we think about ourselves and the world.

    I for one...do not believe that this is the most valid comparison between the two. So in my opinion the question concerning should I put more into my visual system than my audio does not quite make sense.

    Let me elaborate. We know for example that 'some' people are better at hearing and musical related activities than visual ones. Some are better at verbal communication and processing than visual. In short, for some sound is more important than sight, and for others sight is more important than sound and there are, of course many in between.

    So 'primary' modality should ALSO be taken into consideration and not simply here's a terabyte here's a kilobyte kind of thinking? One final example, the person on earth who can remember the most information is NOT the most intelligent human on earth--though it would seem that he has the best and greatest STORAGE and Retrieval system.

    On another note. Serendipity...HOW did the exam go?

    cnh

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    Quote Originally Posted by TECHNOKID View Post
    Agreed however, Serendipity is also part of the minority. I couldn't see him having a nice 2 channels and then go to his HT and settle with a crappy HTIB. I can't even stand computer speakers with my laptop and I am not even part of the High end owners.
    Absolutely. Sometimes a good video setup can complement a GREAT audio system, and vice versa. Even if it is only 2 channels. I still remember the first time I heard Pink Floyd over KEF speakers driven by monoblocks and an SACD player. Then seeing them live in concert on a big screen in DD 5.1. I couldn't go from a nice 2 channel system and then go to an HT with crappy HTiB speakers. To a large extent, I don't even watch movies on the projector anymore, it's there solely for live music (Concert DVD) enjoyment.

    Just purchased "The Very Best of Enya" video collection in DTS 5.1 and I was hearing things I never heard before compared to the CD version. Surprisingly, the projector adds a lot to the listening experience.

    The 2 channel guys should try a decent projector with their rig (JVC, Epson, Runco, Marantz, etc.). You may be surprised at what you've been missing. Concert DVDs are wonderful!

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    I think most hobbyist are sort-of anal about nearly everything. I'm willing to spend more on audio, put I'm relatively picky about my video too.

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    Not me (FWIW). You'd laugh at my TV (a mid-1980s hand-me-down Toshiba 27").
    all the best,
    mrh

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarqueKnight View Post
    Of course that's the case:

    Frequency range of human hearing: 20 Hz to 20,000 Hertz, or a bandwidth of 19,980 Hertz.

    Frequency range of human eyesight: 400 Terahertz (10 to the 12th power) to 790 Terahertz, or a bandwidth of 390 x 10^12 Hertz.

    The range of frequencies processed by our ears is microscopic relative to the range of frequencies processed by our eyes.
    On the other hand, the difference between 400 THz and 790 THz is only
    about one "octave" compared to about 10 for the audible audio range, and
    the eyes have only 4 different receptor types, whereas the cochlea can
    detect a much wider range of frequencies along its spiral folded length.
    It's much more complicated than that, however, for both sound and sight.
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    The human eye can process much more information than the human ear
    Link this to the fact that, different parts of the brain process different senses. Of these, the two that have the highest density of neural connectivity, are those that process sight and sound.

    I guess that explains why imaging always tends to lead tonality while listening to music.

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