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DVD & Home Theater Gear Discuss DVD and Home Theater Equipment.

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Old 12-11-01, 02:08 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Seattle
Posts: 4,454
** DVD and Home Theater Hardware FAQ **

DVD and Home Theater Hardware FAQ


How does TV display an image?
What is a plasma TV?
How far should I sit from my TV?
What is HDTV?
What is aspect ratio?
How do you watch standard 4:3 TV programs on an HDTV?
What is burn-in, and can video games create burn-in on my TV?
What is soft matting, hard matting and pan & scan?
Why do I have black bars on my TV?
I have a wide screen TV and I still have black bars, why is this?
What is anamorphic?
What is progressive scan?
What is 3:2(also called 2:3) pulldown detection?
What is THX?
What is DD5.1, DD6.1, DD7.1, DTS, THX-EX, DTS-ES?
What is DVD-Audio and SACD?
What are region codes and RCE?
What is macrovision? (a.k.a. Can I connect my DVD to my VCR?)(a.k.a. Why does my DVD picture look terrible?)
What is a dual layer DVD? (a.k.a. Why does my DVD player pause for a second?)
What is seamless branching?
What is the chroma bug?
What are all these connections on the back of my DVD player and TV?
How do I hook up a DVD player to a TV without video input?
What are the different lengths I can run cables?
What are Dipole, Bipole, and Monopole speakers?
How do I set up my home theater receiver, speakers, and sub?

Glossary Of Terms

Useful Links


How does TV display an image?

All televisions use the process of interlacing the odd and even horizontal lines of an image. When the picture is "drawn" on the TV screen it is done by first "drawing" the odd lines horizontally at 1/60th a second and then "drawing" the even lines horizontally at 1/60 a second to build the entire image. This means the entire image is drawn in 2 passes, 30 times a second. The alternate to this is progressive scanning, which is described in detail under "What is progressive scan?"

NTSC is the US standard for the television signal. It is 525 scan lines at 60 interlaced fields per second and 29.97 frames per second. Of the 525 scan lines, 480 scan lines are used for the actual image. The rest of the scan lines are used for sync information.

PAL/SECAM are standards used by Europe and the rest of the world for the television signal. It is 625 scan lines at 50 interlaced fields per second and 25 frames per second.

For more in-depth info on how Television works visit How Stuff Works

What is a plasma TV?

A plasma/LCD TV is usually referred to as a monitor or display. Just like computer monitors a plasma display is inherently progressive so it does not have the ability to display an interlaced signal. The specifications of the plasma display, determines how an interlaced signal gets converted. In the case of a 1024 x 768p display, all incoming signals will be converted to a 768 progressive image.

How far should I sit from my TV?

The general rule for projection TVs is to sit 2.5 x the screen size. So for example if you have a 55" TV, then 55" x 2.5 = 137.5", or 11 feet from the screen. Of course this is not a hard rule and you should try different positions.

There really is no rule about direct view(tube) TVs, just try a few different sitting positions.

What is HDTV?

HDTV is the next step in broadcast television and will become the standard in the future. It is digital broadcast television with a much higher resolution over standard analog TV broadcasts and is displayed in widescreen 1.78:1(16x9) ratio. The current image resolution standards for HDTV are 480p, 720p and 1080i. (the "p" stands for progressive and the "i" is for interlaced.

The resolution breaks down to this:
  • 480p - 640 x 480 progressive

    720p - 1280 x 720 progressive

    1080i - 1920 x 1080 interlaced
HDTV also contains higher resolution audio information such as Dolby Digital 5.1

Most of the HDTV capable TVs require an external HDTV decoder box and a special antenna for receiving the HDTV signal. HDTV is also broadcast via satellite and requires a HDTV satellite receiver and a special dish(called a "Multi-Satellite" dish and it is oval in shape).

An excellent source for HDTV programming and stations is HDTV Galaxy

What is aspect ratio?

The aspect ratio of a film is the ratio of width to height of a films image.

Example: 1.85:1 means the image is 1.85 times wider than it is high.

Common aspect ratios are as follows:
  • 1.33:1 - Also known as 4:3. This is the size of a standard TV screen.

    1.78:1 - Also known as 16x9. This is the size of HDTV screens.

    1.85:1 - Commonly used for comedies and dramas and is very close to 1.78:1 so little or no formatting is done to fit widescreen TVs.

    2.35:1 - Mostly used on action/adventure movies and the most common "wider" of the widescreen aspect ratios used.

How do you watch standard 4:3 TV programs on an HDTV?

Most HDTVs have a few different options for displaying 4:3 material. There is a stretched mode that stretches the outside edges of the image to fill the screen. There is a zoom mode, which zooms in on the center of the image to fill the screen. And there is also a mode that puts bars(usually gray) on the sides of the image to properly display it in its 4:3 ratio.

What is burn-in, and can video games create burn-in on my TV?

Burn-in is caused by a static(non-moving) image displayed on the screen for long periods of time which age the CRTs in that spot prematurely. RPTVs are much more susceptible to burn-in than direct-view(tube) TVs but direct-view sets can have the problem(it only takes longer). RPTVs are more at risk because the CRTs have to output at a much higher level to maintain the brightness.

Video games can cause burn-in on RPTVs with such things as life bars, score boxes, etc. Basically anything that doesn’t change.

Burn-in can also occur on wide screen TVs if the the 4:3 viewing mode is used too much(4:3 mode puts the gray bars on the sides). The black bars will also cause burn-in when viewing widescreen movies. The black bars actually casue the burn-in to happen much quicker than the gray bars.

On RPTVs the best way to prevent burn-in from happening is to calibrate your TV, keep the brightness and contrast down and limit the time playing games to 15% of your total TV viewing.

What is soft matting, hard matting and pan & scan?
  • Soft Matting: A movie composed and filmed in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio within a 1.37:1 frame. When the movie is shown in the theaters mattes are used on the projector to block the image on the top and bottom to just display the 1.85:1 image. Because the actual frame size that was filmed is 1.37:1, when it's time to transfer the movie to video for TV broadcasts the matting is not used so the full 1.37:1 image is displayed, which will display more image material on the top and bottom.

    Hard Matting: Hard matting is the same process as soft matting however the matting is done on the camera and only the 1.85:1 image is exposed onto film.

    Pan & Scan: Pan & Scan is the process of framing a wide screen movie to a 1.33:1 frame, to display on a standard(4:3) TV. The framing is moved around to display the "important" scenes of the movie. The problem is up to 43% of a 2.35:1 movie is lost when this is done.

Why do I have black bars on my TV?

In order to preserve the original aspect ratio(OAR) of a movie, horizontal scan lines are used to create the "black bars" on the top and bottom(also called letterboxing). The black bars can be reduced buy using the zoom feature found on most DVD players, however you lose information on the sides of the image when you do this.

I have a widescreen TV and I still have black bars, why is this?

There could be 3 reasons for this.

First, the DVD you are watching could be letterboxed(non-anamorphic). Even movies that are 1.85:1 will have black bars if it is non-anamorphic, because the scan lines that make up the black bars are hard coded into the image to create the widescreen picture. Also keep in mind that to properly display a 1.85:1 non-anamorphic movie on a widescreen TV you will have "bars" on the top, bottom and sides.

Second, any movie, both anamorphic and non-anamorphic, that has an aspect ratio greater than 1.85:1 will have the black bars. Again you can reduce the black bars by using the zoom feature found on most DVD players.

Third, your DVD player may be set to 4:3 mode. Most DVD players are set at the factory for 4:3 mode. The setting will be found in the DVD player menu.

What is anamorphic?
  • In film: Anamorphic filming is a process where a movie is shot in its intended aspect ratio(2.35:1 for example) but the image is squeezed in from the sides, using an anamorphic lens, to horizontally to fit in the 1.37:1(Academy Frame) standard. When the film is shown at the theaters an anamorphic lens is used on the projector to "un-squeeze" the image onto the screen to the intended aspect ratio.

    On DVD: Anamorphic for DVD is a simple process in the DVD authoring phase that adds more lines of resolution to the displayed picture. This is a benefit for widescreen TV users or those with 4:3 TVs capable of doing "anamorphic squeeze". Essentially the image is also "squeezed" when it is authored onto the DVD. The mode you have your DVD player set for will determine how the image is "un-squeezed". 16x9 mode for widescreen TVs, 4:3 mode for standard TVs.

    Example: When a 1.85:1 movie is displayed on a standard(4:3) TV, 346 scan lines are used for the picture and 134 scan lines are used for the "black bars" in order to produce the widescreen image. Alternately when the same movie is displayed on a widescreen TV, 461 scan lines are used for the picture and only 19 scan lines are used for the "black bars". More lines of resolution mean a higher quality and more detailed image.
In most cases you will know a DVD is anamorphic by reading the back of the DVD case. It will say "Anamorphic", "16x9", "Enhanced for widescreen TVs", etc.

What is progressive scan?

Progressive scanning simply put is the process of displaying each frame of film as one single frame at 1/60th a second. It de-interlaces the signal on the DVD and displays it progressively, however you must have a TV that will except a progressive signal in order to benefit. The image quality is much better with greater detail and less flicker, over an interlaced signal.

Most DVDs are encoded as interlaced. If the material is from a progressive source(like film) it is done using interlaced field pairs. If it's an interlaced source then it is encoded as it is presented. It's the de-interlacing that differs.

Two de-interlacing methods are discussed.
  • Method 1: If the material is from a progressive source(film) then the DVD player will de-interlace the signal by re-interleaving the field pairs into a single frame. This process is also called weaving.

    Method 2: If the material is from an interlaced source then the DVD player will use line doubling to de-interlace the signal into a single frame. This process is also called bobbing.
It is the job of the progressive scan chip to determine what type of source material is on the DVD (progressive or interlaced) and choose the appropriate de-interlacing.

What is 3:2(also called 2:3) pulldown detection?

Film is shot at 24 frames per second(fps). The NTSC TV signal runs at 29.97(30) frames per second. This means that the 24fps source must be converted to 30fps to be properly displayed.

There are 2 fields per video frame on NTSC video. The way the conversion works is by alternating different combinations of 3 and 2 film frames per video fields. Every 4 frames of film end up being 5 frames of video.

Film frame 1 goes in video frame 1, fields 1 & 2
Film frame 2 goes in video frame 2, fields 2 & 3 and video frame 3, field 1
Film frame 3 goes in video frame 3, field 2 and video frame 4, field 1
Film frame 4 goes in video frame 4, field 2 and video frame 5, fields 1 & 2.


Film Frames1234
Video Frames12345
Video Frame Field 112234
Video Frame Field 112344

Take 24fps and 30fps...the common denominator is 6.

What you know: 4 film frames = 5 video frames using 3:2 pulldown.

6 x 5 = 30fps (NTSC standard)

Got that?

For more detailed information go here

What is THX?

THX is a certification process of home theater(HT) hardware. The HT hardware is put through rigorous performance and ergonomic testing to obtain the certification of THX standards. It insures that the equipment tested is capable of reproducing movie soundtracks accurately and to the THX standards.

THX Select - THX Select is geared to the "average" consumers home theater setup. The requirements are still strict for certification, however the equipment test is made for smaller home theater or living room environments.

THX Ultra - THX Ultra is geared towards a high-end dedicated home theater. The home theater equipment goes through a much more strict certification. It also includes extra hardware used for controling the audio environment.

For more information visit THX

What is DD5.1, DD6.1, DD7.1, DTS, THX-EX, DTS-ES?

Dolby Digital is the most commonly used soundtrack surround processing for movies. DTS is a competing surround processing company. DTS is often considered better than its Dolby Digital counterpart because DTS uses less compression on the audio track. On some movies the DTS track is noticeably better, on others it is hardly distinguishable.

The following refer to what type of surround sound and the number of speakers needed for a particular movie. The .1 refers to the sub woofer.
  • DD5.1 - Dolby Digital 5.1 - 6 speaker setup. 2 Front, 1 Center, 2 Rear surrounds, and 1 sub.

    DD6.1 - Dolby Digital 6.1 - 7 speaker setup. 2 Front, 1 Center, 2 Side surrounds, 1 Rear center, and 1 sub.

    DD7.1 - Dolby Digital 7.1 - 8 speaker setup. 2 Front, 1 Center, 2 Side surrounds, 2 Rear surrounds, and 1 sub.

    DTS - Digital Theater Systems - 5 speaker setup - Same as 5.1 setup.

    THX-EX - Also called Dolby Digital Surround EX - Can either be a 6.1 or 7.1 setup.

    DTS-ES - Digital Theater Systems - Can either be a 6.1 or 7.1 setup.
The use of these different surround setups depends on how the movies are presented on DVD and the ability of your home theater equipment to decode them.

What is DVD-Audio and SACD?
  • DVD-Audio - Multi-Channel audio recorded at a high bit rate. The 2 channel DVD-Audio spec is 192KHz sample rate and 24 bit sample size. The 5.1 multi-channel spec is 96KHz sample rate and 20 bit sample size.

    SACD - This is a competing audio format that is proprietary to Sony and Phillips. The specs are the same as DVD-Audio for both 2 channel and multi channel.
Both of these audio formats offer an astounding improvement over conventional CD audio, which is recorded at 44.1KHz sample rate and 16 bit sample size.

As of yet there are no receivers that will decode DVD-Audio or SACD. Your DVD player must be able to decode DVD-Audio and SACD and you use the analog 5.1 audio inputs on your receiver(if it has them).

Also another thing to keep in mind is that both DVD-Audio and SACD send a full range signal to each speaker(excluding the sub). Therefore to properly utilize these audio formats you would want to have all full range speakers in your surround setup. However, Some of the newer players do have bass management for those with small speakers.

DVD-Audio and SACD discs are still a bit expensive, usually ranging from $20-$30

What are region codes and RCE?

Because movies are released at different times around the world the DVDs are also released at different times. In order for the studios to control this they have region coding on their DVDs. The region codes refer to different geographical regions around the world. It prevents a DVD of one particular region from being played on a DVD player of a different region.

The following are the 7 regions in use.
  • Region 1 - U.S., Canada, U.S. Territories

    Region 2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, and Middle East

    Region 3 - Southeast Asia and East Asia, and Hong Kong

    Region 4 - Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Central America, Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean

    Region 5 - Eastern Europe, Indian subcontinent, Africa, North Korea, and Mongolia

    Region 6 - China

    Region 8 - Airplanes, cruise ships, etc.
RCE(Regional Code Enhancement) is an extra layer of copyright protection on DVDs that prevents them from playing in region free DVD players. However there are workarounds, see the DVDTalk RCE FAQ for more information.

What is macrovision? (a.k.a. Can I connect my DVD to my VCR?)(a.k.a. Why does my DVD picture look terrible?)

Macrovision is a form of copyright protection that prevents you from making a VHS copy of a DVD. If you have your DVD player connected through a VCR, your picture will be degraded in the form of random colored lines, fading or flickering or black and white.

What is a dual layer DVD? (a.k.a. Why does my DVD pause during a movie?)

On some or maybe even all of your DVDs you may have noticed a slight pause at some point during the movie.

This is because the disk is dual layer. There are two layers of information on the disc so that more information can be stored on one side(typically 4 hours of video). When you see the pause in your movie that means the laser pickup is switching to the other layer. The layer change does not necessarily come at the exact mid point of a movie and is usually placed in a logical spot like a scene fade.

You can recognize a dual layer disc by the gold color.

What is seamless branching?

Seamless branching is a way to add deleted scenes or special material into the playback of a single version of a movie. The option to play these scenes as part of the movie is selected in the DVD's menu.

Example: Let’s say you have a film that has a rated and un-rated version. When the DVD is authored the full rated version of the film can be encoded onto the disc. The scenes that make up the un-rated version of the film can be placed in another area of the disc with specific time code algorithms. When you choose the un-rated version of the film from the DVD menu, the rated version plays and when a flag appears for the un-rated material it will "jump" to that scene. When that scene is done it will "jump" back to the rated version and continue.

Using seamless branching is a way to save space on a disc as you only need one version of the film encoded onto the disc. This allows more space for special features and alternate audio tracks like DTS.

What is the chroma bug?

The chroma bug, also know as chroma upsample error, is an error in the MPEG decoder when converting the color information from low resolution to high resolution. It is evident as lines or corduroy patterns on certain areas on the DVD image. Most of the time it is hardly noticeable and other times it is blatantly obvious.

Known MPEG decoder chips with chroma bug:


Known players with the chroma bug:

Apex - 600A
Denon - DV2800
Meridan - 800
Mitsubishi - DD6000
Onkyo - DVS939
Pioneer - DV05, DV09, DV37, DV38A, and DVL909
Proceed - PMDT
Sony - DVPS360, DVPS7700, and DVPS9000ES
Theta - Voyager
Toshiba - SD1600, SD5109, SD6200, SD9100, and SD9200

What are all these connections on the back of my DVD player and TV?

There are several connections that can be found on your DVD player, TV, and home theater receiver.

The following are common types of connections and their description:
  • Composite Video - This is a single video connection(sometimes colored yellow) that carries the entire video signal over a single wire. This is considered the lowest quality of the different video connections. It uses a RCA connector type and should be 75ohm.

    S-Video - This is a single video connection that carries the video signal over 2 separate internal wires. The luminance(brightness) and chrominance(color) are sent separately across the 2 wires. This yields an improved picture over composite video. This cable should always be 75ohm.

    Component Video - This video connection requires 3 separate cables. You might see them labeled as Y/Cr/Cb or Y/Pr/Pb. What a component connection does is separate the luminance(Y), the color red(Cr/Pr), and the color blue(Cb/Pb). The separated signals are sent across the three separate cables. All three cables use a RCA connector type and should always be 75ohm. Component video yields the best video quality

    Audio L/R - These cables carry the left(usually colored white) and right(usually colored red) stereo signal. The cables use a RCA type connector.

    Optical Digital Audio - Also called TOSLink. This connection carries the digital audio bit stream via light wave over a "glass" cable. This connection is commonly used to connect a DVD player to a receiver in order to use Dolby Digital Surround or DTS, Most DVD players do not have built in decoders for Dolby Digital and DTS facilitating the need to use the optical connection.

    Coax Digital Audio - This carries the same signal as the optical cable does, but over physical wire instead of light wave over glass. This cable uses a RCA connector and should always be 75ohm.

    5.1 Audio - These can be found as outputs on a DVD player and as inputs on a home theater receiver. You would use the 5.1 outputs if your DVD player has DD or DTS decoders built into it and your receiver has the 5.1 inputs. You would also use these outputs/inputs for DVD-Audio. This cable uses a RCA connector type.

    RF Coax - This is the cable used for cable TV and satellite connections. When cabling a satellite system or digital cable, RG6 coax should be used. For analog cable RG5 can be used but RG6 is preferred.

How do I hook up a DVD player to a TV without video input?

Most TVs have at least a RF coax(cable TV) input. You can hook your DVD player up to that input through a RF Modulator. You would connect your composite video out(yellow cable) to the RF modulator and connect coax cable from the RF modulator to the TV’s cable input.

You can purchase a RF modulator from Radio Shack. Catalog # 15-1244

What are the different lengths I can run cables?

This is assuming you are using a decent set of cables for the build quality, low-loss capacitance and good shielding. Also the shorter the cable length the better, but you are not limited.
  • Audio cables - Up to 30 feet.

    Video cables - If you go over 50 feet it is suggested that a line booster be used.

    S-Video - Monster cable has been tested up to 200 feet with no signal loss.

    Speaker wire - If you run speaker wire over 50 feet then at least 14 gauge wire should be used(12 gauge preferred).

What are Dipole, Bipole and Monopole speakers?

Dipole and bipole speakers are most commonly used for the surround speakers. They disperse the sound so that the listener can’t detect where it is coming from. A monopole speaker is what is most commonly used as your "main" speakers.
  • A dipole speaker has two sets of drivers in the same speaker cabinet that are opposite each other. The drivers are also out of phase with each other. Meaning that when one driver is pushed out the opposite driver is being pulled in.

    A bipole speaker has two sets of drivers in the same speaker cabinet that are opposite each other. However the drivers are wired in phase. Meaning that both sets of drivers are being pushed and pulled the same.

    A monopole speaker contains one set of drivers. A 2-way speaker has a mid-woofer and a tweeter. A 3-way speaker has a bass-woofer, mid-woofer, and a tweeter. A 4-way speaker adds a super tweeter.
One school of thought on the use of dipole and bipole speakers is, some consider that the soundtracks made for today’s movies have more precise programming and that the dispersion effect that dipoles and bipoles have is contradictory to what was intended to be heard.

How do I setup up my home theater receiver, speakers, and sub?

So now you have your new home theater receiver and speakers and it’s time to set it up. There are some guidelines to follow but not everyone’s room and acoustics are the same, so in the end you should set everything up in a way that suits your space and above all what sounds good to you. This can be complicated process of placing speakers, listening, re-positioning speakers, listening more, and so on. The sub can be the most challenging of all to place correctly. Just keep this in mind...time and patience will yield a better setup.

First of all if this is all new equipment you want to run your receiver, speakers and sub through a "break-in" period. You don’t want to place everything and calibrate it only to have the sound change because everything is starting to break-in. This is a must for speakers but it is especially true for the sub. I suggest breaking-in the sub for at least 20 hours. My suggestion is to run a CD that has good bass and percussion on repeat during the day. It doesn’t have to be loud but you want it to loosen things up a bit.

Secondly, I highly recommend purchasing a sound pressure level(SPL) meter. This is an indispensable tool in calibrating your speakers and sub. You can purchase one through Radio Shack, catalog # 33-2050.

Here are some common guidelines for speaker setup. These are just suggestions for setting up your speakers. You should always try every possible combination and choose the one that sounds the best to you.

Receiver Setup:

Most home theater receivers have an on-screen menu for setting up the receiver and speakers so you want to have a video connection from the "monitor out" on your receiver to your TV.

Next you want to determine what type of speakers you have in relation to their frequency response. In most receivers there is a setting for the speakers for either "large" or "small". The general rule is that if you are using large floor standing speakers for your mains then you would set them to "large" and if you have bookshelf speakers for the surrounds then you want to set them to "small". Your choice for speaker size also determines how much signal gets sent to the sub.

After you set the speaker size there should be another menu to run test tones to each individual speaker and to also adjust the level of each speaker. This is where your SPL meter comes in handy. The goal here is to set all the speakers and the sub to the same level(but I actually set the center speaker just a little louder so the dialogue cuts through better). **Note: These instructions are for the above mentioned Radio Shack SPL meter** Set your SPL meter to "C - Weighting", "Slow Response", and the range dial to "80". Now run your test tones starting with the left front. See where the needle is on your SPL meter. Continue on with the rest of the speakers and adjust each level to match that of the left front. Before you reach the sub set the "Range" on your SPL meter to "60". Now adjust the sub to the same level. (Again you may want to have the center level a notch above all the rest)

Speaker Placement:

5.1 Setup:
  • If using monopole speakers for your rear surrounds they should be behind and angled in towards the listening position. Monopole speakers should be on stands as wall mounting may cause to much sound reflection. Also the speakers should be at ear level or if they are higher they should be tilted down towards the listening position.

    If using dipole speakers for your rear surrounds they should be on the sides of the listening position. The sides are preferred because the drivers in a dipole speaker are out of phase, which makes it tougher to pin-point a sweet spot. These can be either on stands or mounted of the wall and it is not necessary to have them at ear level.

    If using bipole speakers for your rear surrounds they should behind the listening position. Having them behind the listening position is preferred because of the way a bipole disperses the sound but also has a more accurate image. These can be either on stands or mounted of the wall and it is not necessary to have them at ear level.

    Sub. The sound wave that a sub woofer outputs is omni-directional so it can be placed pretty much anywhere in the room. One thing to keep in mind though when placing your sub in relation to the listening position is that a subs sound wave develops at around 8 to 12 feet from the subs speaker. That means that it is not best to have your sub too close to the listening position because you are not really hearing the bass as much as you are feeling it. The most common setup is to have the sub behind, and to the left or right of either one of the front speakers.

    Here are a couple of good, detailed threads on subs.
    Sub Talk
    Sub EQing

    Mains(front left and right). The front left and right speakers should be around 10 to 12 feet apart from each other and angled towards the listening position. If your mains are too far apart from each other, the sound stage becomes too wide and you lose your stereo separation. If your mains are too close together you also lose your stereo separation as both speakers sound as if they are one.

    Center speaker. The center speaker should be placed above the TV and angled down towards the listening position. It can also be placed on a stand in front of the TV and angled up towards the listening position. Essentially the center speaker should be at the same level as your mains but this is usually impossible to do in most setups. On top of the TV seems to be the best method.
6.1 Setup:
  • The rear surrounds, whether they are monopole, dipole or bipole should now be on the sides of the listening position. The 6.1 setup adds a rear center speaker. Follow the same rules for the rear center depending on the type of speaker it is.

    Sub setup same as 5.1.

    Mains and center same as 5.1.
7.1 Setup:
  • Same as the 6.1 setup however instead of a rear center speaker there are 2 separate rear speakers. Follow the same rules or these speakers depending on the type of speakers they are.

    Sub setup same as 5.1.

    Mains and center same as 5.1.
Now that your receiver is set up and your speakers are positioned and broken in you want to choose an excellent DVD for sound. I recommend U-571, The Mummy Returns and Star Wars TPM. Now the fun begins. It’s time to start moving speakers around until you find what sounds best to you. One great trick I learned for the sub is to actually put the sub in the listening position and move yourself around the room until you find where it sounds best, then put the sub in that spot.

Again just take your time and you will be rewarded.

Glossary of Terms
  • AC-3 - Dolby Digital. The nominal bit rate for Dolby Digital is 384KBps

    Active Speaker/Sub - A speaker or sub with a built in amplifier

    Anamorphic DVD - A process which encodes a DVD with the maximum lines of resolution allowed for the aspect ratio of the movie

    Aspect Ratio - The ratio of a films width compared to height

    Bi-Amping - Using multiple amplifiers or channels to power a single speaker’s drivers separately, using a crossover.

    Bipole - A speaker with 2 sets of identical drivers mounted opposed and wired in phase

    Burn-in - A problem caused by prolonged viewing of static images that causes early wear of the CRT creating a “ghost” image

    Chroma - Abbreviation for chrominance and referring to the color aspect of a video signal

    Clipping - When a signal passing through an amplifier or other electronic circuit exceeds that circuits' voltage or current limits. Clipped signals are usually manifest themselves as distortion

    Convergence - Alignment of the red, blue, and green electron guns in a TV. An adjust more common to RPTVs

    Crossover - A device that uses band-pass filters to split the signal into separate frequency bands.

    CRT - Cathode Ray Tube

    DAC - Digital to Analog Converter

    Dipole - A speaker with 2 sets of identical drivers mounted opposed and wired out of phase

    Direct View - Another term for a standard tube TV

    DLP - Digital Light Processing

    DSS - Digital Satellite System

    DTV - Digital Television

    Frequency Response - The ability to handle a designated frequency range

    HDTV - High Definition Digital Television.

    Lines of Resolution - Used to describe the relative resolution of a TV or display. For TV and DVD the resolution is defined by one number referring to vertical resolution. For LCD and plasma displays the resolution is defined by 2 numbers referring to vertical and horizontal resolution.

    Luma - Abbreviation for luminance and referring to the brightness of the video signal

    Monopole - A speaker with one set of drivers

    MPEG - Moving Picture Experts Group. A committee in charge of multimedia compression formats

    MPEG-1 - VHS quality video compression

    MPEG-2 - DVD quality video compression

    NTSC - National Television Standards Council. Television standard used in North America

    OAR - Original Aspect Ratio. The intended aspect ratio of a movie

    PAL - Phase Alternate Line. Television standard used outside the US

    PCM - Pulse Code Modulation. Allows up to 8 channels of audio to be included in a single bit stream

    RF - Radio Frequency

    RGB - Red, Green, Blue. The primary colors used to create the TVs image

    RPTV - Rear Projection Television

    SECAM - Sequential Color With Memory. Television standard used outside the US

    Y/Cr/Cb or Y/Pr/Pb - Also known as component video. Y = Luma, Cr = Red minus luma and Cb = Blue minus luma

Useful Links

MPEG Committee


Dolby Digital


The Letterbox and Widescreen Advocacy Page

Jim Taylor's DVD FAQ

Anamorphic Widescreen For Dummies

Monster Cable's excellent source for basic hook-up diagrams

Home Theater Forum

SMR Forums

Home Theater Spot
Audio Review

AVS Forum

Audio Forums


Last edited by palebluedot; 04-23-10 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 08-03-14, 02:29 PM   #2
New Member
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 1
Re: ** DVD and Home Theater Hardware FAQ **

Is there any way to install ho e theater at our home ourselves.
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