Digital TV
Plasma TV
Digital Television
Plasma Television

Audio Choices for HDTV

by: Mike McAlister

HDTV essentially provides a far superior sound quality just because the audio of HDTV is transmitted through digital signals. The distinction in sound between an HDTV television and a regular analogue television is rather perceptible. The difference is more like the one you get between an audio CD and an audio cassette.

The difference in audio quality offered by HDTV televisions is however more than that. Most HDTV programs are transmitted in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. So to maximize the advantage of this technology, you need to have the proper equipment.

What is Dolby?
Dolby technology was created by Dolby Laboratories, Inc. The most renowned provider of digital audio technology in addition to Dolby Laboratories known reliability and superior products has made Dolby Digital Surround the standard for HDTV. Many television companies replace their own surround sound systems, but they can hardly match the performance of Dolby. Therefore, it is imperative to check the specifications on an HDTV television before you buy so that you can ensure that it uses Dolby Digital Surround.

The options you haveWhile using Dolby Digital Surround Sound, you have three options for set up. The first option is buy a television which features high quality center channel speakers, woofers, tweeters, and the television comes installed with Dolby technology. In this case, it is not required of you to purchase additional equipment for the Dolby Digital Surround Sound.

The second option you have is to attach an external set of surround speakers to your HDTV. Here, the surround sound set up would include two front speakers, a pair of surround speakers, a center channel, and a subwoofer. Sometimes, the front speakers include subwoofers. The position of these speakers is vital for the quality of the sound you get. The Center Channel Speaker should be just at the center either above or below the television. The Front Left and Right Speakers should be positioned in the form of an arc in line with the Center Channel Speaker. Again the two Surround Left and Right Speakers should be placed to the left and right sides behind the position from where you are listening. You can wall mount these speakers.

The third and final option you have to get the quality Dolby Digital Surround System is to use an external set of front speakers with your HDTV television. This set up is especially useful if you do not have enough room for the external surround sound system. It won't give you the best quality of surround sound, but it does provide an alternative to those who can't avail of the previous two options.

The other entertainment equipments
You can connect the audio and video outputs of the DVD or VCR to the AV receiver's video outputs. If you need to connect a separate DVD and VCR, one can be attached to the VCR1 connection and the other can be attached to the VCR2 connection. Then the audio and video inputs of the DVD and VCR should be connected to the AV receiver's VCR video and audio outputs. This will allow the DVD and/or VCR to record video signals that come through the AV receiver and you can also view the VHS tapes and DVD's on the HDTV.

To take maximum advantage of the Dolby Digital Surround Sound technology, one of the video outputs of the DVD player and VCR needs to be joined to the AV receiver. The digital coaxial audio or digital optical connection should also be connected to the AV receiver.

Connect to your CD player
You can connect your CD player to an AV receiver. The CD player's digital audio outputs is to be connected to the AV receiver. You can even connect a CD-Recorder to the AV receiver. Now, the CD-Recorder will work like a regular audiocassette deck.

About The Author
Mike McAlister is a contributing editor at

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