A Conversation for Home Cinema Sound Standards


Post 1

Dr Bob

Thanks for this useful and informative entry. I have a question.

If a DVD is encoded with THX sound, how is this heard on a regular Dolby 5:1 system?

For anyone who's now thinking they ought to get some form of home cinema, I thoroughly recommend it. I have a Sony DVD hooked up to a Sony 5:1 amp with and a nice Sony sub-woofer with 5 hand-sized speakers. It really didn't cost that much, it's not intrusive, and it has transformed movie watching at home. The truth is that the movies, for quite some time, have also been the "talkies," and unless you have good sound and vision, you're really not getting the best experience.

Apart from improved picture quality, DVD's real edge over VHS is in sound. I've always found VHS frustratingly poor, especially for hearing dialogue against background noise, but DVD really delivers.


Post 2


I don't honestly know, but Star Wars defaults to 5.1 and has a screen where you can select the audio track. I have read somewhere that if you play a DTS soundtrack through a 5.1 system you can damage the speakers, but that was in publicity material for a speaker manufacturer, and they would say that wouldn't they? I haven't tried it though...



Post 3


THX was developed by George Lucas as an enhancement of dolby prologic which is based on a stereo signal - the sound is steered to centre and surround speakers in addition to left and right, but is still only from 2 channels.

5.1 audio is 6 channels (the left right centre and 2 surrounds and a subwoofer channel which is the .1).

Both Dolby Digital (or AC3) and DTS typically offer 5.1 audio - however you need a suitable decoder for DTS - it is entirely likely that playing a DTS soundtrack through a system without the necessary decoder could damage the speakers - it would just sound like modulated white noise played very loudly.

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