to Tekniikan Maailma (16/03)
Theater - some thoughts
'Home Theater' has - in my opinion - become one that many in
the consumer electronics field - and the media - refer to
only as 5 or 6 channel sound reproduction.
this results from the spread of Dolby Digital 5.1/6.1
formatting. What is unfortunately being overlooked is that
for the same limited budgets and space, excellent stereo
equipment may be a far better solution.
Digital - properly set up - really requires the same quality
of sound in ALL 5 or 6 channels. Thus ALL speakers and
amplifier channels must be excellent if the final result is
to be excellent.
booming, honky speakers as rear and side speakers is a fast
way to ruin good sound. It is like putting a ready-made
commercial sauce on a good steak - you never taste the
steak! For the same reason, the addition of a 'subwoofer'
often only puts horrible 'bass sauce' on top of
- taking the particular true power possibilities of an
amplifier and splitting it up into 6 channels instead of two
will - among other things - decrease the power reserve
necessary to give clean, defined sound as well as limit the
are often asked and tempted to just compare 'surround' sound
to the sound from a TV - which is always horrible - no
matter how big the words 'Hi-fi' have been written on the
carton it came in!
would be best advised to listen first to what kind of sound
comes from excellent stereo and use that for a standard -
not at all just 'expensive' stereo - (too much equipment is
sold with price being a sole indicator of sound quality).
When sound tracks are made well, an excellent stereo system
('stereo' - from the Greek word for 'solid') will give a
full 'wall' of sound with center sounds from the center,
'ordinary multi-channel' equipment is known for not playing
music properly - that is even admitted by many supporting
'home theater' as meaning 5/6 channel - and thus it is said
something is good for music and something else good for
films. Two points dispute this logic - 1) with so much of a
film sound track being music - why shouldn't that be
'hi-fi?' and 2) if a film is to give a similarity to real
experience - the voices in the dialogues and other sounds
should be as natural as possible - and that requires
HI-FIDELITY - not just superficial surround sounds. And, of
course, stereo systems will play traditional music with
sound coming from the front - as it should.
the above was summed up - in a rather distorted way - when I
heard a person say they knew 'high fidelity' speakers
existed - but were there also 'home entertainment' speakers
available? I believe that should bring out the wrong kind of
thinking going on rather clearly. Hopefully, people will
start to do some of their own research and critical
listening and not just consume 'terminology' and 'formats.'