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Audio Formats

Home theater systems are not used solely for watching DVD movies. Many people are finding value in the audio playback capabilities of surround systems. A high-quality surround system can re-create concerts and audio recordings with incredibly lifelike realism. Boasting much higher quality than a compact disc, these new audio formats look to revolutionize music listening. One note of warning: These new audio formats have yet to gain mainstream acceptance, and thus, the technology and hardware may change quickly.

New compression methods are also being used in these audio discs. Lossless compression ensures the highest quality recording and playback. Lossless compression is a compression scheme that does not alter the decoded signal at all. This requires the compression method to be more efficient at packing the data into the given area. Dolby Digital and DTS are both examples of “lossy” compression methods, meaning that information is discarded that cannot be uncovered even when uncompressed. These two compression schemes discard information to allow the data to fit into a smaller place. Unlike lossy compression methods, lossless compression methods can re-create the exact source when decompressed.


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