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Old 11-10-07, 10:21 AM   #40
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Join Date: Aug 2003
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Default Re: Blizz removes HW sound acceleration from WoW

Originally Posted by AlphaWolf_HK
Well that isn't true. Actually Aureal advertised A3D as having technology that Nasa used, more as a means of hyping their products than anything else. They didn't start from Nasa. And nasa didn't create HRTF either. HRTF was created by SRS labs and then nasa later used the technology as a cheaper, not better, alternative for sound reproduction.

This is an advertising theme that isn't unique to aureal. For example, the so called "space pen" that many claim to have been invented by nasa wasn't invented by nasa, nor is it anything that took a lot of time and effort by some scientific team to create. It was actually invented by somebody in the 40's, and it happened to fit a particular need for nasa, so they used it. There was no intention of it even being a "space pen" during its inception.

1. I never claimed NASA "invented" HRTF. But the fact is that NASA ran a space sim program which resulted in a virtual 3D sound system over headphones.

2. Marketing or not, Aureal used some of NASA's technology and research when they brought Aureal 3D to the consumer PC market.

Originally Posted by AlphaWolf_HK
Well, for aviation this would make sense, namely because speaker systems aren't as useful or as practical as headphones when it comes to aircraft due to external noise and weight concerns. However for games or any type of theater or home theater applications, this doesn't apply, and the use of normal speakers is only impractical if you simply have a lower budget.

Otherwise if this was the case, it would definitely be common to have headphone setups in higher end theaters where budgets are virtually unlimited when it comes to the soundstage (especially amusement park rides that depend on a theater configuration) rather than speakers.

In fact it would be a lot cheaper to use headphones rather than the kind of speakers they use. They also wouldn't have to insulate the crap out of the walls, and add echo barriers everywhere, which is also very costly.
I agree that speakers are preferable for pre-recorded content such as movies or music where vertical postitioning of sound is less important.

I find your movie theater example is a little silly. There're other considerations than accurate sound reproduction when you run a movie theater. If all movie theaters were equipped with individual headphones instead of surround speaker set ups it would completely ruin the social aspect of watching a movie in a theater.

Whether headphones or speakers are best suited for interactive entertainment such as computer games is a matter of personal preference. In my opinion both alternatives have their pros and cons. Speakers may lack the postional accuracy, but cinematic effects such as explosions and gunfire sound more convincing on a decent surround speaker set up. On the other hand headphones and HRTF technology allow for accurate positioning which is very useful in first person shooters. I still remember the eerie sound from howlers converging on my location the first I played Undying equipped with a Sensaura soundcard and a pair of Sennheisers

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