From movie theater...
Thrilling multichannel surround sound used to be the exclusive province of movie theaters. Then Dolby Laboratories extended its film sound technology into the home as Dolby Surround–and "home theater" was born.
To home theater...
Dolby Surround "folds" four sound channels–left, center, right, surround–into the two audio tracks of regular stereo program sources. A home theater system with Dolby Surround Pro Logic decoding "unfolds" the four channels to recreate the enveloping sound field you experience at the movies.
It's as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Dolby Surround home theater sound has just three elements:
1. Stereo programming encoded with Dolby Surround.
2. Audio electronics with Dolby Pro Logic decoding.
3. Home theater speakers.
In addition to Dolby Stereo movies on TV, there are dozens of series and specials produced in Dolby Surround, from The Simpsons to Star Trek: Voyager, from football to talk shows.
Dolby Surround CDs and audio cassettes are available on labels such as RCA Victor/BMG Classics, Delos, and Concord Jazz.
Any regular two-channel stereo broadcast or recording can bring you Dolby Surround encoded programming. It must actually reach you in stereo to be properly decoded, however. While most cable companies rebroadcast local stations in stereo, they do not always rebroadcast satellite feeds such as premium movie channels in stereo. Check with your local cable company.
Identifying surround programs
Encoded video and audio cassettes, laser discs, and CDs generally display the Dolby Surround logo. Some TV programs show it during the titles or end credits; others use only a generic "Surround/Stereo where available" identifier, or no surround ID at all.
Home Theater Electronics
Dolby Pro Logic decoding and multichannel electronics–necessary to turn your TV into a home theater–are available in a wide range of equipment.
An A/V receiver–with built-in Dolby Pro Logic decoder, multichannel amplifier, and AM/FM tuner–is the most popular route to home theater.
Adding a Dolby Pro Logic decoder/amplifier to an existing stereo system easily converts it to multichannel home theater.
A system of separate components, such as a Dolby Pro Logic decoder/sound processor, pre-amp, and multiple power amps, provides state-of-the-art performance for the dedicated enthusiast.
"Plug & play" alternatives, including rack systems (A) and big-screen TV sets (B), are available with Dolby Pro Logic decoders and multichannel amplifiers all built in.