I am going to cherry pick this post to give it more clarity, and brush aside the personal comments.

You keep bringing this intelligibility issue up, but even though I explained it to you, you don't seem to understand. First off, this started when I complained about the directionality of the center speaker distracting me. I proposed using additional speakers mounted higher to bring the dialog up to center screen. To clarify, I tried the center speaker both below and above the TV, each time an inch or two from the TV frame. Follow me so far?

Yep, I understand very clearly. You picked the wrong center channel design for your hometheater. Then you applied a band-aid over the problem with the hope it would improve. THX already tested dual center speakers, and found them unacceptable at the listening position. If you were laying on the floor or ceiling, it would probably work just fine.

You explained to me that additional speakers would create combing and reduce the intelligibility of the dialog. I already knew this and technically you were correct. After I added the extra speakers I told you that even with combing, this arraignment was the lesser evil.

So the choice to fix the problem was to add another one. This was what was personally accepted, and not a real answer to the issue at hand.

Even with these minor audio aberrations, I no longer found myself looking at the bottom of the screen when people spoke. When switching the extra speakers in and out, these aberrations were barely noticeable. I would call that a success.

Well of course the directional emphasis was no longer noticed, you now have a ambiguity issue. Sometimes we CHOOSE not to notice that which is obvious. So a PERSONAL success? Perhaps, we can ignore anything out of personal convenience.

You insisted that I use one center because that was how the media was recorded and let my mind do its job into fooling me that the audio was coming from the screen, disregarding the fact that after years of trying it this way, it didn't work for me. It didn't work on any system that I listened to and some were far better than mine.

It probably never occurred to you that placing a center channel near a boundary(floor in this case) would pull the image towards that boundary? Ever heard of an loud first reflection? How about a boundary boost? The real answer here is to raise the height of the loudspeaker, not add another one creating more problems that one has to ignore. There is a reason why THX has gone through all of the research creating a hometheater standard. It is called dubbing stage to hometheater translation. When we deviate from those standards(by using a non standard exotic design for a center channel and then placing it near a boundary) then we are setting up ourselves for translation issues. That is a basic fact.

I will say this, this directionality would lessened the further I would be from the screen and center speaker, but normal size rooms put a limit on this.

Of course it lessened, the room was more dominate than the speakers output. Duh

This brings us to your comment about “When one complains about the dynamic range or dialog ineligibility of a soundtrack on film, A mixing engineer would first ask what is wrong with YOUR system...”. This is a rather ignorant statement. A good engineer would first ask what movie are they referring to and listen to that before jumping to the conclusion that it's the equipments fault. Common sense, don't you think? You can't assume that all movies are of the same quality.

How does a non audio engineer know what a audio engineer should think? They don't. So this comment is what is ignorant. I would ask what is wrong with your system, because A) I have never experienced this on any of my systems. and B) I have never experienced this on the dubbing stage where film soundtracks are created. While there are some well mixed soundtracks, and poorly mixed ones as well, there are dubbing stage audio standards that all dubbing stages follow to ensure continuity from there to the theater, and from there to the home. If you don't follow those standards, then expect that you will have problems playing back a soundtrack.

In the studio, playback is made at much higher sound levels than most people listen to at home. I'm guessing here, but in the studio or movie theater, dynamic peaks are over 100db and even, in some cases, over 110db. Normal listening levels for speech are around 60-65db. Can you see where this is going? I've found that at home I listen at about 80db max, some people even lower If I turn a movie recorded at 100db down where the peaks are 80db, what happens to the dialog? It goes down to about 40db peak and that's for the loudest parts of the dialog. Follow me?

Playback in the studio is 105db peak at the mains, and 115db peak with the LFE channel. The standard NC level of the dubbing stage is 15-20db. Dialog average is 70-75db. What you are telling me is that you are designing in playback errors into your system. If your background level is typical of the average home (NC level of 40-50db), then your 40db peak level on the dialog will bury the dialog in background noise. That is a user induced issue, and not one found on the dubbing stage. Follow me?

If I am having a conversation with someone at normal levels and someone 5 feet away starts using a jack hammer, it would be almost impossible to hear the other person. If this were a recording that I were playing back on my system and I turned it down when the jack hammer starts, the dialog is reduce to a level more akin to a whisper in a library. I'm over explaining this, but you seem to need it...

Since we carefully balance all of the elements in a soundtrack(with a bias towards the dialog), this analogy is just plain silly and ignorant. Dialog is king in a movie, and no soundtrack mixer would allow any effect to be louder than the dialog. There is no over explanation here, just a lack of understanding of how soundtracks are mixed.

However, after the movie is finished, I need quiet to recover from the intense audio assault. If the noise levels effect people this way, it's not good for their health to play at those volumes.

This is a personal issue, and possibly be an example of listening to long term distortion coming from ones system. I would also love to see a SCIENTIFIC study that supports this notion, not personal opinion that cannot be translated to everyone.

I know that you add all the sound effects to heighten the excitement in movies, but when it is a constant drone of explosions, bangs, and clangs, it actually hurts the movie. I actually fell asleep watching a Star Wars movies at the theater because of the constant drone.

This is personal opinion, and should be judged as such. Others don't share this opinion. Especially those who have systems with the necessary dynamic range, broad frequency response, and low distortion.

You seem to very biased but that is understandable since your knowledge is limited to the studio. The world outside the studio is much different.

How do you know my knowledge is limited to the studio? I have several hometheaters and multichannel music systems, and use the one in my signature to check my mixes on occasion. The studio I work for has several hometheaters for QC.

This is an ignorant statement at best.

Our listening environments can come in every configuration possible, with walls, doors, openings, and windows, all in the wrong place for optimum sound. Our equipment comes in all flavors from tiny TV speakers to full blown high end surround systems. Because of this, there is no standard rule that applies for home setup, certainly not studio standards.

Well yes there are standards, people just have to follow them. This is the definition of a 5.1 audio system and a screen, not a hometheater which is a defined space designed specifically for watching movies at a high level.

While the “standard” can be used as a guide, compromises “have” to be made in the home environment.

Compromises don't "have" to be made, the end users choose them.

Perhaps you are able to mentally block these flaws, not everyone is so lucky.

Not lucky at all, just smart. I don't build these of flaws into my systems in the first place. All of my systems are in dedicated rooms.

This exchange is a prime example of not knowing how soundtracks are made, not understanding the environment they are mixed in, and using a center speaker probably better designed for music(too directional for movies) than a movie soundtrack. We have poor speaker placement, high ambient background levels, and band-aids applied galore.

Movie soundtracks are mixed in a pristine environment on very high quality equipment. We mix for the highest quality there, and let the chips fall where they may once they leave the dubbing stage. Re-recording engineers cannot account for all of the compromised movie and hometheaters out there. There are too many of them.