Home Theater Setup with Digital TV

Home Theater Setup with Digital TV
HD Essentials:
Get in the Middle of the HD Action
The Dolby HD
Audio Buying Guide
Dolby Digital provides up to 5.1 separate
The Importance of Good Sound
channels of crystal-clear digital surround
How important is sound in the entertainment experience? Consider: You can
listen—on an iPod, a radio, an elaborate stereo or surround system—without
any visual cues whatsoever. You can be totally caught up in a song, a symphony,
an interview.
sound that brings entertainment to life. A
worldwide standard in film, broadcast, and
DVDs, Dolby Digital delivers unrivalled audio
in home theater systems for an exciting,
enveloping surround sound experience—the
perfect complement to HDTV.
But just try watching TV, even a program as visually compelling as figure skating,
with no audio. Your first impulse will be to turn on the sound.
Ready for Digital Television?
On February 17, 2009, all broadcast TV transmissions in the US will convert to digital.
What exactly does that mean? In a nutshell—good things: better picture, better
sound, and more content.
After March 1, 2007, it became mandatory
for all television reception devices (including
TVs, VCRs, and DVRs) imported into the US
or shipped interstate to contain a digital tuner.
Now is a great time to make your own switch—from just watching TV to enjoying
everything this new home entertainment experience has to offer. Imagine: brilliant
picture quality from a digital, high-definition television (HDTV), with sound
to match.
If you get your TV signals over the air—that
is, through an antenna rather than via cable,
satellite, or the Internet—a TV without a
digital tuner soon won’t be able to pick up local
broadcast signals. You’ll need a converter box,
available from most home electronics stores.
With HDTV you see the rain. Add a top-notch surround sound system, and you’ll
be reaching for your umbrella.
Cable and satellite companies will provide
their customers with appropriate set-top boxes,
if necessary.
Analog sets should continue to work with
gaming consoles, VCRs, DVD players, and
similar products that you use now. For
households wishing to keep using their analog
sets after next February, the US Congress is
issuing coupons that can be applied toward
the cost of eligible converter boxes. Visit
www.dtv2009.gov/ for more information.
Get Into the Sound
As part of the new broadcast standard, every new digital or high-definition
television includes built-in Dolby® Digital audio technology, giving you access to
the same high-end audio you hear at your local movie theatre. The ATSC standard
that guides all broadcasters and TV manufacturers includes “theatre-quality”
audio, Dolby Digital, for up to 5.1-channel surround sound.
The result is DVD-quality audio with broadcast programs, whether you’re listening
through the stereo speakers built into your digital or HDTV, or enhancing it with
a home theater system.
It’s your choice. You can enjoy stereo audio directly from your new TV. Or, you
can take the sound to a much higher and more exciting level via a home theater
system that features multiple channels for compelling surround sound.
2.1 sound system Two speakers, an
amplifier, and a subwoofer. The “.1” refers
to the subwoofer that produces those
deep bass sounds you feel as much as you
hear. Not all 2.1 systems support surround
sound, so look for a virtual technology such
as Dolby Virtual Speaker.
5.1/7.1 Five or seven speakers plus a
subwoofer used in the surround sound
format and the home theater.
ATSC Advanced Television Systems
Committee, the government-directed
committee that developed the ATSC
digital television transmission system.
Blu-ray Disc The newest optical disc
format to support high-definition movies
and entertainment. It offers more than five
times the storage of standard DVDs.
Component system Several units
purchased separately that combine to
provide a home theater entertainment
system. Components include a set of
speakers, an amplifier-tuner, and select
video sources such as a DVD player or
Blu-ray Disc player.
HDMI 1.3 A compact audio/video
connector that transfers uncompressed
audio and video data over a single cable
HDTV High-definition television provides
high-resolution, high-quality pictures plus
Dolby Digital audio. It is typically in a widescreen or 16:9 format.
Home-theater-in-a-box A kit that includes
components, such as the speakers and
amplifier-tuner system, for an affordable,
easy-to-set-up home theater.
S/PDIF Sony/Philips digital interface, a
serial interface used to transfer digital
audio from a CD or DVD player to TVs and
sound systems.
SDTV The basic level of digital picture
resolution that can be either in the
traditional TV (4:3) or wide-screen format.
It also includes Dolby Digital audio.
Sound bar A single speaker unit that is
an alternative to a discrete 5.1 surround
system. Not all sound bars support
surround sound, so look for virtual
technology such as Dolby Virtual Speaker.
Surround sound Multichannel audio that
encircles the audience with the sound of
the movie or program. In a 5.1 system, this
typically means Left, Center, Right, Left
Surround, and Right Surround, plus the
“.1” for the subwoofer.
Wide-screen 16:9 The aspect ratio
(width to height) for high-definition
television images.
Get Started
Putting together a great home theater system can be easy—all you need
are a few key components, some of which you may already own.
1 Digital TV
For optimal viewing, you’ll want a wide-screen HDTV set with a 16:9 (width to
height) aspect ratio. These most closely duplicate cinema screens, so you’ll see
movies just as the filmmakers intended. HDTV broadcasts (think sports!) and
most DVDs also play in the wide-screen format. For optimal viewing flexibility,
including the ability to receive over-the-air broadcasts, make sure your TV has a
built-in HD tuner. Plasma TVs offer a great picture with deep blacks, and at above
the 50-inch screen size, are a great value. LCDs perform well in bright rooms
due to their matte screens and are available in a number of smaller sizes. When
space is not an issue, larger screen rear-projection DLP™ TVs provide excellent
image quality.
2 Digital Programming Source
Dolby Digital is the audio standard for digital TVs and DVDs. You’ll need at least
one source component with a Dolby Digital output. This could be a DVD player,
the set-top box from your digital cable or digital satellite service, or the TV itself
for over-the-air television signals.
A Cool New Source for Movies If you have an HDTV, you may want to consider
a Blu-ray Disc™ player to round out your home theater. The high-definition
Blu-ray™ format lets you take full advantage of your HDTV’s display capabilities
and the latest Dolby high-resolution surround sound technologies such as Dolby
TrueHD. Kevin Hunt, in the Chicago Tribune, writes: “But if I buy a Blu-ray player,
or another audio-video receiver, it will be as much for [Dolby] TrueHD as for the
1080p video.”
3 Home Theater Sound
A receiver is the heart of a multichannel home theater system delivering 5.1
to 7.1 surround sound. All audio and video inputs go into the receiver, which
then connects to the digital or high-definition TV and speakers. Look for a unit
with plenty of inputs and outputs, as well as sufficient amplifier power for
your speakers.
Speakers and a Subwoofer There are many speaker options to choose from—
running the gamut from a single “sound bar” speaker to eight speakers in a full
surround sound system. Surround systems are available for a wide range of budgets
and room sizes, from prematched “home-theater-in-a-box” (HTIB) systems to
elaborate custom setups. Be sure that any system includes a subwoofer, for all
the dramatic sound of earthquakes, explosions, and trains (just to name a few).
4 Cables
Most newer TV sets, A/V receivers, and disc players use HDMI™ 1.3 connectors.
HDMI, or high-definition multimedia interface, is a technology that allows a
single-cable connection between components. A welcome end to the tangle of
cords on the floor! This cable carries both audio and video signals and also allows
the components to “talk” to each other. We recommend you look for a receiver
with at least two HDMI 1.3 connectors—one for your DVD or Blu-ray player and
one for your TV set.
Finally, you’ll need speaker, audio, and video cables (using HDMI 1.3 cables for all
your audio/video sources reduces the clutter). You may already have some cables
you can use. Replace very old or inexpensive speaker cables as they can degrade
the sound quality of your system.
Consider Your Options
HD Setup
No rule says your surround speakers must be permanently placed in one spot.
If the location interferes with daily traffic patterns in the room, leave enough
speaker wire attached so you can store them out of the way when they are not
in use. Then simply place them properly when you are ready to screen your
favorite program.
Is Bigger Better?
When buying a new TV display, bigger isn’t always better. Take your room
size into account. Check the minimum and maximum viewing distances for
a particular display and make sure it works with the size of your room.
Avoid Cable Clutter
Connect your home entertainment system easily and avoid a messy web of cables.
Buy components and cables that support the latest technology with HDMI 1.3.
HDMI 1.3 combines support for audio and video in a single cable—no need for
separate cables.
HD Quality Sound Guaranteed
A Typical 5.1 Speaker Setup
For more information on how to set up speakers,
visit www.dolby.com/speakersetup.
When buying an entertainment system, look for the Dolby logo. Dolby Digital
technology is the audio standard for the ATSC digital TV. Look for Dolby’s newest
advances, Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby TrueHD, in Blu-ray Disc players and the
newest A/V receivers.
Dolby and the double-D symbol are registered trademarks of Dolby Laboratories.
All other trademarks remain the property of their respective owners.
© 2008 Dolby Laboratories, Inc. All rights reserved. S08/19844/19921
Questions for Your Salesperson
HD Shopping Checklist
What is the TV resolution: 720 or 1080p?
Digital TV (Details to consider)
720p is the basic level of resolution for
broadcast HD; 1080p is a higher resolution.
Do the TV and A/V receiver have HDMI
1.3 connectors? How many?
Make sure you have a minimum of two
HDMI 1.3 connections.
How many—and which—inputs and
outputs does the receiver have?
Look for HDMI 1.3, S/PDIF, S-Video, and
RCA component video connections.
Can this A/V receiver hook up to the
TV and support Dolby technologies?
Ask to see the Dolby logo on the unit and
on the packaging.
Digital Programming Source
Is it the right size for the room?
Over the air—antenna
Does it have HDMI 1.3 connections?
HD satellite service
HD cable service
Display type (Choose one)
Screen resolution (Choose one)
Home Theater Sound
A/V receiver with Dolby technology
Speaker configuration (Choose one)
Sound bar
HD broadband service
Blu-ray Disc player
Cables and More
HDMI 1.3
Speaker wire
Universal remote
In the space provided, sketch the room where your HD entertainment system will be.
Include solid walls, windows, and major pieces of furniture such as sofas and chairs.
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