Here is a good article on Home Theaters and the lingo:
What is Home Theater? Since the mid- to late-1990s, home theater systems have rapidly grown in popularity, as consumers have looked for ways to enjoy movies at home the same way they do in traditional movie theaters. With the advent of DVD and Blu-ray players, having true at-home theater-quality sound and video has now become a reality. This technical article will help explain what a home theater is.
So what exactly is home theater? A home theater system enables you to reproduce the sound and video quality of a commercial movie theater in your own living room. Prices for home theater systems can be as low as a few hundred dollars or up into the tens of thousands of dollars. Fortunately, creating a home theater of your own requires only a few components. A basic home theater system consists of a television, a DVD or Blu-ray player, an A/V receiver that supports surround sound, and five speakers.
What do you need for a Home Theater system? What devices/components are needed for a home theater system? The most basic components for a home theater system would consist of a video display (a standard TV, a plasma or LCD TV, a projector, etc), a surround sound A/V receiver, and a video source (DVD or Blu-ray player, cable or satellite box). When creating more elaborate home. When it comes to how many speakers? What kind of speakers? There are many different options. The most basic setup would have five speakers: 2 front speakers (left and right), a center channel, and 2 rear speakers (left and right). Higher end speaker setups would consist of up to 9 speakers: 2 front speakers (left and right), a center channel, 2 mid-rear speakers (left and right), 2 rear speakers (left and right), a center rear channel, and a subwoofer.
How do I hook up a Home Theater system? Hooking up a Home Theater system is a lot easier than it sounds. The fundamental rule when connecting the components together is that all the cables are connected, OUT to IN. The sound or the video signal will transfer OUT of a device, a DVD or Blu-ray player, CD player, VCR etc., and IN to another, surround sound receiver or a video display. How you hook up your system will depend on the selection of inputs/outputs your device has. Here are some diagrams on how to connect the components together. High-end home theaters are installed by professional home-theater installers. Please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can refer you to one of our dealer partners.
Glossary of Industry Terms
5.1 Surround Sound - See Dolby Digital (AC-3) and DTS (Digital Theater Sound). It would incorporate speakers: FR, CC, FL, RR, RL and the Subwoofer.
6.1 Surround Sound - This sound field is used with new media such as THX Surround EX and DTS-ES 6.1 Matrix. It utilizes a rear speaker that is located directly behind the seating area (CRC). It would incorporate speakers: FR, CC, FL, RR, CRC, RL and the Subwoofer.
7.1 Surround Sound - This is typically a receiver/amp manufacturer's proprietary surround sound field to fill in the two new back surround channel speakers. It would incorporate speakers: FR, CC, FL, MRR, MRL, RR, RL and the Subwoofer.
Dolby Pro-Logic - This is the surround sound "standard" format from the 1990's. It is still used today for VCR's and standard Cable TV due to the limitation that they can only output analog. It consists of five speakers plus a subwoofer, however, only has three discrete channels: Front Left, Front Right and both rears acting as one channel. The center channel output the combined audio from the Front Left and Front Right speakers.
Dolby Digital (AC-3) - Dolby Digital is a 5.1 surround sound setup. It consists of five discrete speakers (5) plus a subwoofer (.1). The ".1" from 5.1 is a certain LFE (Low Frequency Effects) signal designed for a powered subwoofer which will deliver the thump and the boom from movies. A complete Dolby Digital signal outputs a frequency range of 20Hz to 20,000Hz, the subwoofer will output only 20Hz to 120Hz.
DTS (Digital Theater Sound) - Another digital surround sound format, similar to Dolby Digital. It is a competing format to Dolby Digital which was released about a year after. DTS (Digital Theater System) is a 5.1 surround sound setup. It consists of five discrete speakers (5) plus a subwoofer (.1). The ".1" from 5.1 is a certain LFE (Low Frequency Effects) signal designed for a powered subwoofer which will deliver the thump and the boom from movies. A complete Dolby Digital signal outputs a frequency range of 20Hz to 20,000Hz, the subwoofer will output only 20Hz to 120Hz.
HDMI - HDMI cables, also known as High-Definition Multimedia Interface, not only transmit video, but audio as well. HDMI is the next generation for connecting audio/video devices together. HDMI cables are used with high definition devices such as blu-ray players and game systems.
Optical - Optical (Toslink) cables use a beam of light to transmit high quality sound with nearly zero quality loss.
Digital Coax - Digital coax cables uses an RCA cable to transmit high quality digital surround sound.
Component Video - Component video cables connect video devices together, typically used with DVD Players, HDTV set-top converters, and even some games systems. It utilizes three separate RCA connections which transmit in an RGB (Red, Green and Blue) format. It will deliver the highest picture quality from an analog source.
Composite Video - Composite Video Cables are the most basic connection between video devices. It is used with DVD Players, VCR's, TV's, Cable Boxes, etc… It consists of a single "Yellow" RCA cable.
Line Level Signal - Line Level Cables are a single RCA Cable, or a non-amplified signal usually connecting a receiver/amp to the Powered Subwoofer. This signal is transmitted using an RCA cable.
Low Frequency Effects (LFE) - This refers to the low frequencies that a subwoofer will play from many movies, typically a range of 20Hz - 120Hz. In a digital surround sound environment it will deliver the ".1" that you would see from 5.1, 6.1 etc… When you see an explosion in a movie the speakers will allow you to hear it but the subwoofer, outputting the LFE's, will allow you to "feel" it.
Monitor/TV Out - The video output from the receiver/amp directly to the TV. This connection will output the video signal from the source that has been selected on the receiver/amp. The Monitor/TV Out are Composite Video, S-Video or Component Video outputs.
S-Video - This connection outputs a high picture quality from DVD's, SVHS VCR's, Digital Satellite Boxes, Digital Camcorders, etc. S-Video is a much higher quality format when compared to composite video, but is becoming obsolete with the popularity of component and HDMI video.
Until Next Time!
The Cable Guy
Courtesy of National Technology