What is Sound Sound?



Pictured: Harman Kardon AVR 225 DTS Receiver


In the early days of filmmaking, movies were made with images only, no sound. In 1927, however, a new era was entered with the movie "Jazz Singer', in which sound was introduced. This was the first step in theatre sound-effects technology, one that has led to major developments in the industry. Movie sound technology began with monaural sound and has evolved to include stereophonic and Surround Sound.

Now, there are a number of advanced technologies that significantly improve audio performance in movie theatres. These advanced technologies include Dolby Digital, DTS, and the THX system. These technologies can also be enjoyed at home. Let's take a look at these technologies.

In a movie theatre viewed from above, you would find the speakers are arranged so as to surround the audience. Speakers are placed In front of the screen along the walls to the left and right oft the audience and to the rear.

By contrast, at home it is not easy to arrange the same equipment in the same position as in the theatre because of differences in room size and layout as well as acoustical problems. The layout, therefore, usually consists of left and right front, centre, and 2 surround speakers normally placed at the rear. Depending on the system used you may also have a Low Frequency Effect (LFE) speaker also known as a subwoofer.

Dolby Pro-Logic was the first major step forward in home theatre systems it encodes a centre and rear channel in the existing analog audio tracks, a good effect could be achieved with a pro-logic amp. Today's Dolby Digital and DTS systems use a totally digital signal to achieve 5.1 channels.
All six speakers are controlled independently in the Dolby Digital and the DTS sound systems. In addition, in the Dolby Pro Logic system, the Left Surround (LS) speaker and the Right Surround (RS) speaker receive the same signals (monaural), and the system does not have Low Frequency Effect (LFE). The LFE is for low sound and counted as 0.1 channel and it is this reason that Dolby Digital and DTS are often called 5.1 systems. Therefore the pro-logic system would be called a 4 system (seeing the rear speakers are mono).

Most amps sold today are backward compatible, therefore if you purchase a DTS amp you will be able to play Dolby digital and Pro-Logic signals as well as the DTS signals.


More of this Article

A Surround Sound Intro
Dolby Pro Logic Sound
Dolby Digital Sound
DTS Sound
Setup Your DVD player
What is Wide Screen TV

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Did You Know?

The Transistor invented in 1948 by J. Bardeen, W. Shockley and W. Brattain was invented by accident. They were experimenting with a diode when they discovered their creation.



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