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Is the Emergence of Very Large Panel Video Displays Good for Audio? (No replies)

Gerry Lemay
3 months ago
Gerry Lemay 3 months ago

I have a bit of a prejudice on this topic but I also live with two flat panel displays.  The issue is that the screen or display is located in a very sensitive area in the theater.  A conscientious audiophile will struggle with the proper location of the LCRs (left, center, & right front speakers)  for best sound quality, but insert a big acoustical sail (screen) in the room and the game changes.  There are several conflicts that exist between the screen and the speakers:

  1. The center speaker should be placed perfectly between the right and left speakers and at the same height... oops!
  2. A large screen needs to be clear of obstructions (speakers) and its dimensions can seriously affect the left/right speaker separation.
  3. The frame of the screen can create diffraction distorting the sound of the LCRs. (OK not so much for flat panels against the wall)

Deciding the best layout for speakers around a giant flat panel is not arbitrary.  The best positioning depends on the scenario.  Certain compromises are "acceptable" but others cause havoc.  Its a worthy discussion to have if high performance audio is your aim.

For my two cents, I always recommend projection with an acoustically transparent screen.  If that's not possible (you want to watch the Super Bowl with the lights on), we need to think carefully.


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