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The Sony Guide to
Home Theater

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Table of Contents

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  • Page 1 The Sony Guide to Home Theater...
  • Page 2: Table Of Contents

    Contents What is Home Theater? ........... Page 3 Why Sony? ..............Page 4 What You'll Need: Sources, Sight & Sound..... Page 6 Home Theater Sources DVD Players............Page 7 About Progressive Scan........Page 9 Super Audio CD Playback........Page 10 Digital Satellite Receivers........
  • Page 3: What Is Home Theater

    So if you've been on the outside of home theater, now is the time to jump in. And if your home theater is a few years old, now is the time to upgrade.
  • Page 4: Why Sony

    The Sony Dynamic Digital Sound® (SDDS®) system is a fixture in movie theaters from coast to coast. And you can find Sony products in the broadcast, cable and satellite TV studios where programming is created, edited and distributed.
  • Page 5 A breakthrough in professional audio, the Sony OXF-R3 Oxford digital mixing console. In all the world, no other company has this intensity of home theater focus—or this breadth of home theater expertise. Only Sony. The Sony Guide to Home Theater...
  • Page 6: What You'll Need: Sources, Sight & Sound

    What You'll Need: Sources, Sight & Sound Home theater combines three essential elements into one powerful experience. These elements are Sources, Sight and Sound. SOURCES. A good DVD player is the essential source for today's home theaters. In one easy purchase, a DVD player offers studio-...
  • Page 7: Home Theater Sources

    Home Theater Sources DVD Players The essential home theater source component, a DVD player is also one of the best entertainment values today. It delivers digital picture quality that until recently you would only have seen in a TV broadcast studio. You'll hear digital-quality surround sound.
  • Page 8 And multi-channel Super Audio CDs are the perfect complement to multi-channel home theater speaker systems. DVD-R/RW, CD MP3 playback. It's best to get a DVD player that can handle all the different types of discs you'll want to play.
  • Page 9: About Progressive Scan

    In the early days of television, when 12-inch diagonal screens were commonly used in living rooms, showing only 240 lines was not a practical concern. But in today's environment of 61-inch diagonal projection systems, the illusion of a continuous picture on the screen begins to fall apart.
  • Page 10: Super Audio Cd Playback

    Over 600 Super Audio CD titles range from landmark jazz and classical recordings of the analog era to the latest in rock and pop. The Super Audio CD catalog includes labels as diverse as Universal, AudioQuest, Chesky Records, Columbia, Delos, DMP, Epic, Legacy, Sony Classical, Telarc, EMI and Virgin Records, to name just a few.
  • Page 11: Digital Satellite Receivers

    And in many cities, you can even enjoy your local TV channels, brought to you by satellite! The DIRECTV service provides digital picture quality, plus CD-quality digital sound including Dolby Digital surround sound on selected channels.
  • Page 12: About High Definition

    NCAA football, the Rose Parade, the Super Bowl, the U.S. Masters Golf Tournament, the U.S. Open Tennis Championships, and the 2002 Winter Olympics. In addition, ABC has announced that it will transmit the NBA finals and the Stanley Cup, as well as the 2003- 2004 season of Monday Night Football in HDTV.
  • Page 13: High Definition Tv Receivers

    DVI-HDTV interface enables superb, uncompressed digital-to-digital connection from the set-top box to the television. Your High Definition signal is carried with full picture quality. The connection is also secured by HDCP technology to protect the signal from piracy.
  • Page 14: Personal Video Recorders

    TV when you need to take a break, then resume watching exactly where you left off. So you're always free to take a phone call or take a trip to the kitchen. You can "rewind" live TV and repeat a line of dialog that you might have missed. And you can have the recorder capture up to 80 hours of TV shows, ready for viewing whenever you choose! You can even rate TV shows as good or bad, and the recorder will "learn"...
  • Page 15: Network Media Receiver

    Simultaneous record and playback. Here's another trick that hard disk recorders can do that VCRs can't. This feature lets you record a current show onto the unit's hard drive, even while you're watching another show that you've previously recorded! Season Pass automatically records every episode of your favorite show every time it airs—even if the network changes the schedule.
  • Page 16: Vhs Hi-fi Vcrs

    Even in the age of DVDs and personal video recorders, the old VCR still has a role to play. Some movies are not yet released on DVD and some rental stores still have more VHS cassettes than DVDs. You may own a shelf full of VHS movies that you still want to play.
  • Page 17: Home Theater Sight

    LCD front projection and plasma flat screen television! You also have a choice of the squarish screen with its 4:3 aspect ratio or sleek, widescreen television with the new 16:9 aspect ratio. This section will step you through your choices. At the end, we'll point out some features worth looking for.
  • Page 18: Choosing A Screen Size

    The guidelines for choosing a TV screen size are not set in stone. Much will depend on the amount of space you have for a television, the size of your room and particularly the viewing distance. But the "right" screen size also depends on your preference.
  • Page 19: Choosing A Screen Type

    BENEFITS. Despite the new competition, the CRT continues to be the most popular type of television. It's not hard to see why. The age of the flat CRT, ushered in by Sony's own FD Trinitron® picture tube, means that today's best CRTs are more accurate than ever.
  • Page 20 LIMITATIONS. Currently LCD televisions cost more and they are somewhat limited in viewing angle and contrast ratio. LCDs are generally limited to screen sizes of 30 inches and less, although larger sizes are soon to appear in the marketplace. The Sony Guide to Home Theater...
  • Page 21 63 inches diagonal, yet svelte enough to mount on the wall, in an armoire or on a tabletop stand. Even large plasma TVs can be as thin as 5-1/4 inches. The picture is only part of the beauty.
  • Page 22 CRT rear projection can be affected by image retention and "burn in." Care needs to be taken when selecting aspect ratio and using videogames to avoid the possibility of image retention due to uneven aging of the CRTs.
  • Page 23 LCDs are immune from "burn-in," so there's never any harm from videogames left on too long, DVDs in pause or station logos on the corner of the screen. LCDs also need no magnetic shielding from your loudspeakers. And there are no altitude limits.
  • Page 24 BENEFITS. If you want the biggest possible picture, LCD front projection is the definite way to go. You can project images as large as 25 feet diagonal. If you want the least impact on your home décor, that's another good reason to go this route. In portable use, you can place the projector on a coffee table.
  • Page 25: Features To Look For

    A big step up from a line doubler, Sony's family of Digital Reality Creation™ circuits does an even better job. By replacing analog picture patterns with their High Definition digital equivalents, DRC doubles the number of scanning lines and doubles the number of pixels on each line.
  • Page 26 And this unwanted artifact happens frequently, occurring on two out of every five video frames! To make matters worse, the problem is not limited to those times when you're watching movies. Most prime-time dramas, music videos and commercials are also shot at 24 frames per second. That's why CineMotion 3-2 reverse pull-down is so important.
  • Page 27 Super Fine Pitch™ CRT. An improvement in the FD Trinitron picture tube. Behind the screen, we've reduced the spacing or "pitch" of the Aperture Grill by 65%. You get higher resolution, greater precision and a television that takes full advantage of High Definition source material.
  • Page 28: Home Theater Sound

    The benefits of Dolby Stereo were confined to the movie theater as long as television and home video were limited to just one channel of audio. But the launch of high fidelity stereo VCRs and stereo TV broadcasting in the early 1980s changed all that.
  • Page 29: Surround Sound Formats

    Scalability. While the Dolby Digital system is often called a 5.1-channel system, it can also support fewer channels, all the way down to mono, for movies and TV shows produced before the 1970s.
  • Page 30: A/v Receivers

    96/24. The DVD-Video standard offers the possibility of a dts 5.1-channel signal encoded at a 48 kHz sampling rate. However, dts has created a way to extend the sampling rate to 96 kHz while retaining full backwards compatibility. Older decoders can handle the new discs (although without the benefit of the 96 kHz sampling rate).
  • Page 31 Surround sound decoding. All modern A/V receivers will decode Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic signals. You should also look for dts decoding. If you're a home theater enthusiast, you may also want the full laundry list of decoding systems.
  • Page 32 Inputs and outputs. As the nerve center of your entire A/V system, your receiver needs a good complement of inputs and outputs. Make sure that the type of inputs and outputs matches your other equipment, especially your DVD player, DIRECTV receiver and television.
  • Page 33: Speaker Consistency

    To appreciate the importance of consistent sound, consider a mis-matched stereo system with a big, bass-heavy speaker on the left and a small speaker on the right. Every time the music emphasizes the bass notes, the stereo image will appear to "wander"...
  • Page 34: Types Of Speakers

    The satellite speakers are often designed to be hung on a wall or to sit on a cabinet or shelf. Wall mount brackets are a great solution for positioning satellite speakers.
  • Page 35: Bringing It All Back Home

    Bringing it All Back Home We've completed our tour of Sources, Sight and Sound. Now is the time to put it all together. This section will review the practical considerations for buying and installing a home theater system. Before You Buy STEP 1.
  • Page 36: How To Buy

    SCENARIO B. Let's suppose you have both a television and a good DVD player that you want to keep. You can step up to home theater with the purchase of a Sony Home-Theater-in-a-Box system. This will include an A/V receiver and a 5.1-channel speaker system, complete with subwoofer.
  • Page 37 SCENARIO D. Maybe you're passionate about having equipment of the highest quality. Maybe you hate the idea of having a room where A/V equipment is a prominent visual feature. Or maybe both points of view are represented in your home! Whatever the case, you may best be served by custom installation.
  • Page 38: Where To Put It All

    Floor-standing speakers need no further hardware, but most satellite speakers are designed to sit on a shelf, mount on floor stands or attach to the wall with mounting brackets. Be sure to check if these are included with your speakers.
  • Page 39: Finishing Touches

    Finally, wireless headphones will let you enjoy full-volume entertainment at night, after others in your house have gone to sleep. It's like having your cake and eating it, too.
  • Page 40: Home Theater Connections

    The physical connector is called either an "RCA" or "pin" plug. In stereo, the Right and Left are usually color-coded so you don't mix them up. Right plugs and jacks are coded in Red. Left plugs and jacks are coded in white. In some cases, 5.1-channel connections are used, for example in taking the output of a multi-channel Super Audio CD player to an A/V receiver.
  • Page 41 Speaker cables are usually coded to help you in this process. The "hot" side of the speaker cable will be red, have a stripe or have ridges on the insulation, so you won't need to trace the polarity down the entire length of the cable. In speaker wire, lower gauges offer thicker conductors for better sound, especially over long wire lengths.
  • Page 42: Video Connections

    VCR to the television. While you can watch VCR tapes as "Channel 3" or "Channel 4" on your television, this use of the RF connection can degrade color, detail and sound quality. You'll get better picture and sound when you watch tapes using the composite video and line- level audio connections.
  • Page 43 "composite" of the two. Composite video connection of source equipment enables far higher resolution and far better color than RF connection. In home theater equipment, the physical connector is the same "RCA" or "pin" plug as used for line-level audio. To avoid confusion, the video connectors are typically color-coded yellow. Because...
  • Page 44 Red, Green and Blue, abbreviated R/G/B. This is most often used for connecting a PC or an LCD front projector. The physical cable usually has a D-sub 15-pin connector that includes a pair of thumbscrews for secure mating.
  • Page 45: Home Theater Glossary

    (of a total 525 lines) displayed at 30 frames per second. Interlaced ("i") scanning divides each frame into two fields of 240 lines. Each field lasts for 1/60 second. 480p. Enhanced definition TV signal with 480 active scanning lines, progressive ("p") scanning and a rate of 60 frames per second.
  • Page 46 Anamorphic. A type of lens that "squeezes" a 16:9 widescreen picture into a standard 4:3 image. For proper playback, the image needs to be "unsqueezed" by display on a 16:9 screen or by letterbox presentation (with black bars at the top and bottom) of a 4:3 screen.
  • Page 47 96 kHz sampling and the heightened realism of 24-bit quantization. dts ES discrete 6.1 and dts ES matrix 6.1. Decoding systems that add a Surround Back channel. In the "discrete" case, it's a completely separate channel. In the "matrix"...
  • Page 48 High Precision deflection yoke and a Fine-Pitch Aperture Grille. Frequency response. In audio, the ability of a system to convey music from the deepest bass frequencies to the highest treble. In video, the ability of a system to convey high resolution, which corresponds to high video frequencies.
  • Page 49 Liquid Crystal Display (LCD). A television display type that uses a viscous liquid and a mesh of transistors to turn pixels on and off. LCDs are used in both direct-view and projection television. In both cases, LCDs require a light to generate brightness.
  • Page 50 "panning" the frame. Cinema purists hate Pan & Scan because it disrupts the director's original vision. Others appreciate a picture that fills their 4:3 screen. Personal Video Recorder (PVR). System that records video onto a hard drive. PVRs...
  • Page 51: A Final Word

    Before they can be viewed, images captured on all other digital still cameras and camcorders will need to be formatted on a PC to the DCF file format, using third party software not supplied with the television.

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