Technology: Cheap surround sound offers best seat in the house


By BARRY FOX Movie buffs will soon have the best of both worlds when they watch films on TV and video: cinema-style surround sound, without a roomful of extra loudspeakers. From the summer, most new video releases of feature films will have stereo soundtracks encoded with Dolby surround sound. This surround sound can be decoded by domestic Dolby Pro Logic circuitry, now built into an increasing number of hi-fi amplifiers, VCRs, TVs, and add-on decoders. The technology produces four separate channels – three for the front of the room (left, centre and right) and one (shared by two speakers) for the rear. But many people do not want the expense and trouble of installing extra speakers, especially at the rear of the room. So the electronics industry has come up with a cheaper answer using specially adapted loudspeakers. ‘Front Creation’ Dolby Pro Logic simulates surround sound from just two extra loudspeakers at the front of the room, one on either side of the TV screen. Technics of Japan will be first on the market with Front Creation products later this year,
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