Dumb question Re: surround sound

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by RobHalford, Sep 30, 2003.

  1. RobHalford

    RobHalford Auditioning

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    Yes, a dumb question from a Home Theater newbie. Bear with me, and thanks (in advance) for the clarification.

    Ok, I just bought a Hitachi 51 s500 TV. Nice, nice.
    So I want to get surround sound. I see places that offer a 5-speaker setup (Fluance, etc.).

    Alriiiight.... is that all I'd need? Buy this surround sound speaker set... plug 'em into the back of the ol' tv... and voila? ...?

    Or is there more to a surround sound audio setup than that? I'm not looking for cutting-edge technology or anything--- I just want my sound and music coming from all directions. [​IMG]

    I guess what I'm asking is if I'll NEED to buy anything other than a 5-speaker set. amps, receivers, etc.
    Thanks; great forum here.
     
  2. Brian Corr

    Brian Corr Supporting Actor

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    Here's the basic's you need:
    TV
    DVD player
    Receiver with surround capabilites (DTS, Dolby Digital, Pro logic II, etc.)
    5.1 speaker system

    Also, You can go to the dolby website and you can read lots of info on surround sound.

    Keep in mind there are 2 parts to all this, the audio and the video.
    The audio from a dvd player, cable box, or sat receiver is usually processed by the A/V receiver - this decodes the sound into surround (dts, dolby digital, pro logic II, etc, depending on the source and how it was recorded) and is output by the speakers.
    Or you can hook up the dvd player, sat, cable, etc directly to the tv, but then you only get sound from the tv's speakers, which isn't going to give you true surround sound. True surround sound is that where separate channels of audio are directed to independent speakers, hence 5.1 or 6 channels of audio (5 channels for the mains, center and surrounds, and 1 channel for the .1 which is LFE, low frequency effects - subwoofer)
    The video can go straight to the tv from the dvd player, cable box, satellite receiver, etc or can be run to the receiver, where the receiver does all the switching of the video. Then a single cable can be ran from the receiver to the TV. This keeps you from having to switch inputs on the tv when changing what you watch (switching from sat to dvd for example)
    That's it in a nutshell. Feel free to keep asking questions if you need more info. I could babble all day long about it. [​IMG]
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    You can't simply plug six speaker boxes to the back of the TV and get Dolby Digital 5.1. Most TVs don't even have speaker terminals on the back.
     
  4. EricB

    EricB Agent

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    Why do I have this feeling somebody's gonna be spending a hell lot more than he intended to? [​IMG]

    Anyway, the cheapest and simplest solution is a 'home theater in a box.' But then, if you could shell out more, go Brian's way and procure each component separately, and you'll most probably get better results.
     
  5. DarrenAlan

    DarrenAlan Stunt Coordinator

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    Don't forget cabling & speaker wire, especially if you're married and your wife is a stickler for home decor. There are some flat products out there that can be hidden under rugs/carpets and even one speaker cable that is a "tape" that can be painted over and is virtually invisible.

    www.accessories4less.com

    Once you have your whole system up & running, even if it's fairly modest, you'll wonder how you lived without it. Just watched LOTR "Two Towers" over the past three nights and loved every minute of it!!!
     
  6. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I second what Darren said about this. I played ‘Fellowship of the Ring’ for one of my wife’s friends (who is a self-described fangirl) and all she could say was ‘you have spoiled this forever—I’ll never be able to watch it at home again--and this while I was between subwoofers. [​IMG]
     

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