Maybe you're using a great home stereo system, but even with a large-screen HDTV and buttered popcorn, you might not achieve the "movie theater" effect. That's because sound systems in movie theaters use surround sound technology. And without that, you're just watching plain old TV.
Technologies Driving the Evolution of Surround Sound
To create dimensions with surround sound, audio is split into multiple channels so that different information can be supplied to different speakers. Information for these channels may be found on a soundtrack or created by processing in an audio receiver.
The number of full range channels is indicated by the first digit in figures like "5.1" or "7.1". The ".1" refers to the Low Frequency Effects channel. A 5.1 orientation is supported by audio technologies like Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic II – formats found on most DVDs and Blu-ray discs – and you may occasionally find formats supporting a 6.1 orientation. Recently, new technologies such as Dolby Pro Logic IIz and Audyssey DSX have further expanded surround sound to seven or more channels.
Ultimately, the orientation you choose will depend on your listening preferences. So, while a 5.1 receiver will give you actual surround sound, if you have space for more speakers and are willing to spend more for a more realistic soundstage, you might want a 7.1 or 7.2 receiver.
Enjoy True Surround Sound with an All-in-One System
For those who want to enjoy true surround sound at home, Denon has created the DHT-1513BA Home Theater System. It comes with our AVR-1513 3D Pass-Through 5.1 Channel Receiver and a premium surround sound speaker system from Boston Acoustics. The discrete circuitry of the receiver enables the faithful reproduction of surround sound while built-in audio technologies from Audyssey optimize your system's sound quality and performance. It is also equipped with an array of decoders including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.