Home Theater 101


Surround Sound, as its description implies, is a method of reproducing front and rear sounds. Done correctly. It can immerse you into the movie and add considerably to the experience of movie watching. Usual formats are 5.1 & 7.1

5.1 systems consist of Left, Center and Right speakers at the front and a pair of surround - (Left and Right) speakers along the rear sides. A 7.1 configuration adds a pair of Surround Back speakers (Left and Right) at the rear of the room. The “.1” refers to the LFE or Low Frequency Effects channel.






  1. The Front speakers (Left and Right) should , ideally, be placed on either side of the display at about ear level. In the case of floor standing or tower speakers, this would automatically ensure it. Positioning would become relevant in the case of small (satellite) speakers.


  1. The Center speaker could be placed above or below the display as convenient. Dialogue constitutes a large part of the soundtrack and it should therefore be in the center.


  1. The Surround speakers should be placed on the rear sides (left and Right) of the room. These provide both directional and ambient information , like a crowd scene, rain, etc.


  1. The Subwoofer reproduce the “LFE” channel referred to above. This channel reproduces - as the name suggests - low frequency effects like cannon shots, explosions, etc. The placement is relatively uncritical but should be on the floor. It is usually convenient to have it in front, at the side of one of the Front speakers.


  1. A 7.1 system would, in addition to the above, require a pair of speakers (Left and Right) to be placed at the rear of the room.