Are you looking for a surround sound system audio format in Phoenix to compliment your Valley of the Sun home? Do you have questions about which different types of audio formats are available? Well, there are dozens if not hundreds or even thousands of audio format types out there. Since the first phonograph player invented by Thomas Edison himself in 1877 we have seen sound reproduced in a variety of mediums from smoke etched cylinders, to vinyl records, to magnetic tapes and optical Cd’s. And since the 90’s almost every device that reads one of these audio formats also has a few ways of getting that audio signal to the speakers so you can hear the music. These include Analog RCA, Digital S/PDIF, Digital Optical, and now Digital HDMI. These are a few ways that devices can deliver audio singals to your receiver so that the sound can be decoded and amplified and sent to your home theater speakers. Now for the most part in today’s home theater systems you only have to deal with a couple of these formats. I’ll go through each one and explain its use.
These are the connectors that look like little eyes. They almost always come in pairs of red and white. They are pretty much standard on any device that either produces audio or amplifies it. Although there have been some devices released in the last few years that don’t support this almost archaic format. for example Apple TV only has an HDMI out and an Optical Out. I’ll explain these in a min. There really isn’t much signal degradation with this format. In fact some Audiophiles believe that analog will always be superior to digital due to some quality restraints that inherently limit any digital format. This format supports one channel of audio per connector or cable. Hence the fact that you have two connectors on a CD player, one for left and one for right. But there are some receivers that support 5.1 or even 7.1 surround sound analog inputs. This is a much older surround sound format, and you usually can’t find a device that outputs 5.1 surround in analog therefor rendering this format obsolete. But stereo analog RCA is still a good high quality format that is used widely in home theaters today.
This is your basic 5.1 surround sound digital format. The signal is sent over a single RCA coaxial cable. This connector will look like the analog RCA connector but there will only be one and it will usually be colored black or brown. You can get away with using a regular RCA audio cable but it’s not as reliable and may degrade the audio signal. You are much better off purchasing a Digital RCA Audio cable that was designed with the higher tolerances. In order for you to be able to use this format your receiver must support Digital S/PDIF. Your receiver has to be able to decode the digital signal and send it to your speakers. Most receivers support this feature but make sure you check before making a purchase. This format supports 5.1 surround sound that is uncompressed and true to the original quality of the audio tracks.
This is basically an optical version of the S/PDIF signal. It is sent via light through a fiber optic cable and decoded by your receiver. The connector looks like a part to a lego set, it is small and square and will have ridges down the connectors side. Again your receiver must support this format. If it does not you can still purchase an optical to RCA converter for about $40 online or through Infinity HD. This format supports 5.1 surround sound.
HDMI is more than just an audio format. It actually has many purposes including video, audio control and other device to device communication. This is the flat connector that can almost be mistaken for a USB connector. This is a very new and high quality format. An HDMI cable alone has 19 conductors in it. The cables have to be built with high tolerances and are expensive to manufacturer, but don’t skimp out on a quality HDMI cable. A good HDMI cable will last you a long time and will ensure that you have compatibility for future formats that have yet to be released. Anyway, getting back to audio. HDMI is currently the only format that supports 7.1 surround sound.
Well, those are most of the audio formats you will be using in your home theater system. But hopefully you won’t need to know this information on a day to day basis while enjoying your home theater. But I’m a geek about this stuff, so I like to talk about it. Hope you find this article and my others informative. Thanks for reading. If you have any questions about another type of audio format in Phoenix home theater systems or any other topic on this site feel free to call us.
Looking for a reliable and trustworthy Phoenix audio video specialist to complete your project? Let the professionals at Infinity HD put your mind at ease by doing the job correctly from the beginning.
Call Infinity HD today at (480) 787-0443.