As WHF reported today Humax has issued the firmware fix to enable multichannel sound output, so the freeview hd fox t2 is on order - 120 quid from Amazon.
the thing arrived yesterday and was up and runnignwithin minutes. Note: HDMI cable is included, although desctription on Amazon does not say so.
Turned out the software was old so had to install the updated one.
My first experience of freeveiw HD and it is positive. Picture much better than SD and the other half agreed immediately. Good.
Multichannlel sound - did not explore fully yet but initially not really much impression.... disbalance between centre/rear/main or jsut particular programs broadcast in stereo? need to observe a bit more.
One compalint so far - sharp clicks from speakers when switching (HD only?) channels.
While I wait for the receiver to complete the 2010 system upgrade, I thought I would post about another old and trusted part of my system. It is an 'accessory', but I think it is very important as it allows all components to work together smoothly.
The trusty old programmable universal control - Marantz RC5200.
I got it about 8 years ago and it has been serving me well since then. With it I not only can replace 6 or 7 different remotes by one, but also can change components without changing the interface I am used to - all I have to do is to replace the IR commands. The buttons and screen layout stays the same! This is especially useful as I have moved flats (rented ones) and things like TVs and set top boxes change, so the codes had to be changed.
It is rechargeable and the batteries last abt 2 months between recharges (recharging is in the cradle). It is very similar to the Philips Pronto range of the time and is a combination of hard buttons and b/w touchscreen with backlingt. It can be programmed and edited either on the unit directly (which is a bit fiddly) or on a PC, which is much easier and it uses a speacial software package for that. It is so old by now that this software is only compatible with Win Me, so I had to keep my old laptop just for use with this remote!
So, here is the old workhorse (stock photo):
The screenshots of the main control layouts I use:
The screen for music playback from MacMini:
The screens for TV:
And a screenshot of the editing program:
Some buttons like 'go to music' contain long sets of commands that switch the right boxes on and off, change the inputs, pre-set volume etc. Great stuff!
Unfortunately, I do not have discrete command for all components/commands (e.g. the Teac receiver). This means I can only use power on/off toggle, instead of discrete on or off commands, which prevents programming of activity-based buttons. If I had discrete commands for all components the number of buttons would have been much smaller. I hope when I get the new receiver the discrete codes for it will be available.
Anyhow, this remote has proven to be a great part of the system through the years and I highly recommend having a similar advanced universal remote if you have anything more than 2 boxes, especially that these days they are getting cheaper and cheaper and more advanced at the same time.
What a nice suprise! It turns out my tv box turnes into a recorder in October!
Agreed, very impressive ATC actives ! Great pics too. Interesting area where you live. Like the architecture , can I say nicely European ? Compared to the area where I live - very bland. Enjoy !
I see you went with ATC 50's. Good choice given your space. Yes there is such a thing as overkill and you can go too far and the 100's are IMHO not the kind of speaker you would want in a living room and dining room combined. They belong in studios or dedicated listening rooms mostly - like the 150's or 300's.
Interesting that the voicing is so close that really it was just a matter of a slight difference in bass (and of course overall SPL) that distinguished the two. Few companies voice speakers as closely as ATC. Most companies try to offer a "range of sound" with each model sounding and looking different in order to meet a variety of listeners preferences. It is odd that a company that makes nearly the same engineered boxy product with only minor design tweaks for over 25 years can still be so successful - in an audio business that is more like fashion clothing with new fall and spring models and a spectrum of colored sound that can suit everyone's taste. (you only need think of the most successful names in teh Audio industry to realize how this is so true).
So how about the C4 - did you decide to keep it? I think it very unfair to compare this sub to a mere modest level REL. You would need to look into some other professional type sub designs to make a fair comparison - such as Genelec or PMC or a high end consumer design like a JL Audio Fathom (which seems to have a big following in the US).
Anyway - great thread and great pics!
I'll only add that if you do decide to keep the sub and to use if for music (and not just HT) then have you considered getting some equipment to measure room modes and then to EQ the sub (notch filter) to ensure you get the flatest in room response?
Yes, I have decided to keep the sub and use it for music and movies (but I do not watch movies a lot). I switch it off most of the time when watching TV.
Yes, I was thinknig of looking at room response but did not really research yet what steps would need to be taken and what hardware/software is needed for measurements and for compensation. Can I do measurements with a software on a computer (mac or PC) and an inexpensive microphone? which software? ...
Yes. A laptop PC, a microphone (nothing fancy ECM 8000 from Behringer will do), a microphone stand, and an EMU 0202 or other equivalent audio interface is all you need (audio interface is to power the mike and handle D to A and A to D). If you use MAC then I'd suggest Fuzzmeasure - it uses sweeps which is the best way to go (you can do sweeps of several seconds and then average many of them to improve signal to noise). If you use PC then try Room Eq Wizard.
With this equipment you can measure both frequency response and the time domain response (waterfall plots) as well as the distortion as a function frequency/SPL level from your overall active amp and speakers. There are some examples on my virtual system page on Audiogon.
There is far too much focus in consumer hifi regarding frequency response. If you delve into professional audio you will realize this is just the first step in achieving good sound. Professionals spend a lot of time designing acoustic environments with the correct balance of reverberation - concert halls and studios spend millions of dollars to achieve that balance. Speakers like ATC are also carefully designed to have a desirable time domain and waterfall response (unlike many home hi-fi speakers). Your room has a lot to do with how your system sounds and an RT60 or a waterfall plot is extremely useful in understanding what acoustic treatments may help. After all - now that you have spent a small fortune on world class gear - the next largest performance improvement could be the room!
so, how does it work? I get a software and a mic (+ an interface to conncet it). the software generates signals, ouputs them (via which output - digital or anlaog?) to the hifi, the sound gets into the mic, the software then analyses it and plots a graph? which graph(s)?
How do I use the output of the software? do I need the actual correction device at this point and play with its settings until I get 'good' graphs? si the software any use without the correction device?
My system's pretty close, but a couple of practical differences:
water cooled home made PC with RME AES32 card, running Foobar in ASIO mode, linked to a server in another room with FLAC encoded music library.
chord QBD76 - dual wire AES connection to RME, working as master clock via Chord Prodac BNC
Meridian G02 balanced pre-amp - Chord Indigo XLR cables
ATC SCM50SL AT's
I have tried to avoid pre-amps in the past, but they are really necessary to protect the speakers (even ATC's cam be damaged - or your ears, given the high output voltages of something like a QBD) and of course if you need another input (you should hear the Wii through this system).
Also if you want to watch a movie, cricket or whatever with this, then you can't use the RAM buffer to get over the timing errors, otherwise the video is out of sync with the sound. To get the best sound quality therefore, you need to use the DAC as the master clock (the QBD won't act as the slave) and something like the RME pro-audio soundcard lets you do this, USB doesn't. Finally, if you want the best out of the QBD (I can't speak for the Benchmark) then you want 176 kHz which means dual wire, and if you haven't got the Blu transport, there aren't many other ways of doing it.
I'm just waiting for the iPad to have APTX then the Bluetooth connection will be a neater way to manage the music.
If most of that sounds like gobbledegook, then you must choose whether or not to enter something of an audio twilight zone.
You've got some excellent components. The QBD76 in particular is an superb source component for active SCM50's.
All the best
Rick @ Musicraft
Musicraft (Derby) - Specialist Hi-Fi, AV & Multimedia dealer
You just hook the audio interface output to your preamp or speakers and then let the software drive the audio interface. At the same time as the interface drives your system it will digitize the input on the microphone. Once you have made measurements then you will see what you room is doing. You may even experiment by moving the speakers around or changing your listening position or simply by moving the sub around. Once you get the best response in the room you can start notch filtering the bass (you'll need a PEQ for this and you need to notch down the humps while ignoring the troughs and concentrating on frequencies of less than 120 HZ). Finally you can experiment with bass traps (corner traps are usually the most effective) and if you have some uneven RT60 times you can try to smooth these out by adding acoustic panels, rugs etc.
An even RT60 response is as important as a flat frequency response. Also excessive RT60 (too much reflections) or too low RT60 (too dead a room) can be a major detriment to sound quality. You'll need to do some reading on RT60 to know what is optimal for your room size and your music tastes. Large rooms can support higher RT60's and classical music tends towards higher RT60. Rock and Pop tends towards lower RT60s as do smaller spaces. A higher RT60 is also acceptable below 100 Hz but will ruin things if you have high RT60 over the midrange. The worst is a very uneven RT60 over the frequency range. Remember 40% to 50% of what you hear is reflected so room RT60 is very nearly as important as your main system.
native aptx on ipods and ipad woudl be really nice - why apple did not do it now?! I have seen somewhere that the new macmini does have native aptx...
but until then - an aptx dongle seems the only way.
thanks, Shadorne, very useful. I may have a go at this kind of tuning a bit later.