Surround Sounds Home Theater Package

As technological improvements in sound continue to happen, our expectations continue to rise. The sound we experience in a movie theater entices us to demand a similar experience at home and audio component companies have responded with improved surround sound systems. Hence, the home theater package attempts to incorporate elements of surround sound that we get at the movies. Movie studios are now issuing DVDs that are compatible with these home theater packages. They design the sound for their DVD releases with the home theater configuration in mind. The confluence of sophisticated sound design and home theater package improvements only serves to enhance your home theater enjoyment.


The two major surround sound platforms are Dolby Laboratories (including Dolby Digital as well as Dolby Pro Logic) and Digital Theater Systems (DTS). DTS features several sound enhancements in home theater packages such as concert hall, rock, classical, and vocal settings to name a few. With the advent of these two formats, we are experiencing a similar type of dichotomy we saw with the opposition of Beta and VHS formats with videotapes. Some DVDs are made with Dolby technology while others feature DTS technology and this can lead to some confusion and mismatches.

The distinguishing features of DTS allow for a clearer sound than Dolby because it uses a lower compression ratio than Dolby encoding but the downside is that DTS is not often found in television broadcasts. When buying a home theater package, you should be aware of these positives and negatives and match them to the features of your system. In addition, DVDs are mostly encoded with Dolby audio, which creates some problems for those who buy systems with the DTS format. Thus consumers have to be knowledgeable about what they want and what their choices entail.

The variety of speaker configurations extends from the 5.1 channel set-up to the 6.1 and then to the 7.1. In this terminology, (.1) refers to the channel supporting a sub-woofer while the first number (5, 6,7) corresponds to the number of speakers arrayed around the room. All of these configurations have left, right, and center speakers with additional rear speakers. The higher numbers merely add a left, right, and center speaker to the rear set-up. A sub-woofer is a channel that carries a lower frequency bass boost and is incorporated in each package. The variety of channel splits and mixes should be designed to be compatible with either the Dolby format or the DTS. This decision is entirely up to the consumer, given that the consumer has done some research or sought the proper advice.

At this point, you should have all the tools needed to make the appropriate choices. Let the sound envelop you and enjoy your home theater package.


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