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Chapter 2. Surround Sound Formats > The Choice is Yours

The Choice is Yours

You’re now familiar with the common formats of surround sound. With the wide array of choices, you may be wondering which surround sound format to choose. Most budget systems won’t consist of home theater receivers with Dolby Digital EX or DTS ES surround formats. For most budget home theater systems, most often you will want to select Dolby Digital for DVD playback. If DTS is available on the DVD, it is usually a preferred format due to its lower compression ratio. If you are watching normal broadcast television, Dolby Pro Logic II is probably your best option.

Most home theaters are used for many different purposes, including watching sporting events, television shows, and playing video games. Understanding the different formats and what types of media provide those formats allows you to maximize your home theater enjoyment. With this in mind, don’t expect to get Dolby Digital from your old VCR tapes, but also make sure that when viewing a DVD, you select a digital format to experience the best audio reproduction possible.


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