Surround Sound Systems

How would you like to feel immersed in the sound field of the movie you're watching, similar to what you experience in a large Dolby Digital or THX commercial movie theater--only you'd be in your living room, den, or family room?

The sound of arrows whizzing over your head in Gladiator, or helicopters flying to your left and right in Black Hawk Down? Virtually every major movie release on DVD nowadays has a Dolby Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack.

That's six separate and distinct channels: left and right front speakers; a center-channel speaker for movie dialogue; two surround speakers for directional and ambient sound effects; and a sixth ".1" low-frequency effects (LFE) channel that feeds your subwoofer to recreate the movie-theater impact of those dinosaur footfalls.

The goal is to duplicate, in your own home, the surround sound envelopment and integration of picture, drama, and sound that you experience in a commercial Dolby Surround movie theater, only on a smaller scale.

The entertainment is for you, and your friends and family. Depending on the size of your listening room and your budget, Home Theater system can be custom-tailored to your needs.

If you already have decent stereo speakers, you may only need to add a shielded center channel speaker, a subwoofer and a pair of surround speakers to complete your system.

What else do you need? You must add a Dolby Digital Surround Sound 5-channel Audio/Video Receiver , which contains all the circuitry to “decode” the DVD or videotape movie soundtrack and effects, plus five built-in amplifiers for each of the five loudspeaker channels (the subwoofer always has its own dedicated built-in amplifier).

And finally, you need a DVD Player . (You can use a Hi-Fi stereo VCR, but it will only deliver analog Dolby Surround, not 5.1-channel Dolby Digital.) A DVD player is less than $200, and a Dolby Digital/dts A/V receiver can be had for $300 or more.

That’s it – a complete surround sound home theater system. Dim the lights, micro the popcorn. Let the show begin!

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