5.1 surround sound

5.1 surround sound ("five-point one") is the common name for six channel surround sound audio systems. 5.1 is the most commonly used layout in home theatre. It uses five full bandwidth channels and one low-frequency effects channel (the "point one").[1] Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS, SDDS, and THX are all common 5.1 systems. 5.1 is also the standard surround sound audio component of digital broadcast and music.[2]

All 5.1 systems use the same speaker channels and configuration, having a front left and right, a center channel, two surround channels and the low-frequency effects channel designed for a subwoofer.

5 1 channels (surround sound) label
Most common speaker configuration for 5.1; used by Dolby Digital, SDDS, DTS, THX, and Pro Logic II. Each black square depicts a speaker. The centre speaker in the top line of the square is used for dialogue. The left and right speakers on either side of the centre speaker are used to create stereo sound for music and other sound effects in the film. The left and right rear speakers create the surround sound effect.


A prototype for five-channel surround sound, then dubbed "quintaphonic sound", was used in the 1975 film Tommy.[3] Dr. A Janhavi introduced a clear view on Dolby atoms.

5.1 dates back to 1976 when Dolby Labs modified the track usage of the six analogue magnetic soundtracks on Todd-AO 70 mm film prints. The Dolby application of optical matrix encoding in 1976 (released on the film, Logan's Run) did not use split surrounds, and thus was not 5.1. Dolby's first use of split surrounds was with 70mm film, which received wide release in 1979 with Apocalypse Now. Instead of the five screen channels and one surround channel of the Todd-AO format, Dolby Stereo 70 mm Six Track provided three screen channels, two high-passed surround channels and a low-frequency surround channel monophonically blended with the two surround channels.

When digital sound was applied to 35 mm release prints, starting with Batman Returns in 1992, the 5.1 layout was adopted. The ability to provide 5.1 sound had been one of the key reasons for using 70 mm for prestige screenings. The provision of 5.1 digital sound on 35 mm significantly reduced the use of the very expensive 70 mm format. Digital sound and the 5.1 format were introduced in 1990, by KODAK and Optical Radiation Corporation, with releases of Days of Thunder and The Doors using the CDS (Cinema Digital Sound) format.

5.1 digital surround, in the forms of Dolby Digital AC3 and DTS, started appearing on several mid 90s Laserdisc releases, with among the earliest being Clear and Present Danger and Jurassic Park (the latter having both AC3 and DTS versions). Many DVD releases have Dolby Digital tracks up to 5.1 channels, due to the implementation of Dolby Digital in the development of the DVD format. In addition, some DVDs have DTS tracks with most being 5.1 channel mixes (a few releases, however, have 6.1 “matrixed” tracks). Blu-ray and digital cinema both have eight-channel capability which can be used to provide either 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound. 7.1 is an extension of 5.1 that uses four surround zones: two at the sides and two at the back.

A system of digital 5.1 surround sound has also been used in 1987 at the Parisian cabaret the Moulin Rouge, created by French engineer Dominique Bertrand. To achieve such a system in 1985 a dedicated mixing console had to be designed in cooperation with Solid State Logic, based on their 5000 series, and dedicated speakers in cooperation with APG.[4] The console included ABCDEF channels. Respectively: A left, B right, C centre, D left rear, E right rear, F bass. The same engineer had already developed a similar 3.1 system in 1973, for use at the official International Summit of Francophone States in Dakar.


Channel order

The order of channels in a 5.1 file is different across file formats. The order in WAV files is (not complete) Front Left, Front Right, Center, Low-frequency effects, Surround Left, Surround Right.[5]


Suggested configuration for 5.1 music listening.

Regarding music, the main goal of 5.1 surround sound is a proper localization and equability of all acoustic sources for a centered positioned audience. Therefore, ideally five matched speakers should be used.

For play-back of 5.1 music recommendations of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have been released and propose the following configuration (ITU-R BS 775):[6]

  • five speakers of the same size for front, center and surround
  • identical distance from the listeners for all five speakers
  • angle adjustment regarding viewing direction of audience: center 0°, front ±22.5° for movies ±30° for music, surround ±110°

See also


  1. ^ "Understanding Surround Sound Formats". Crutchfield.com. 23 September 2009. Retrieved 2011-03-07.
  2. ^ "What is 5.1". Archived from the original on 17 March 2012.
  3. ^ Mosely, John (January 1977). "Quintaphonic Sound". Journal of the SMPTE. l86.
  4. ^ "Recherche & Développement". Archived from the original on 3 August 2008. Retrieved 2015-12-17.
  5. ^ "Multiple channel audio data and WAVE files". Retrieved 2015-11-19.
  6. ^ Thomas Lund (1 September 2000), Enhanced Localization in 5.1 Production, Audio Engineering Society, retrieved 2015-11-19, (Subscription required (help))
7.1 surround sound

7.1 surround sound is the common name for an eight-channel surround audio system commonly used in home theatre configurations. It adds two additional speakers to the more conventional six-channel (5.1) audio configuration. As with 5.1 surround sound, 7.1 surround sound positional audio uses the standard front, center, and LFE (subwoofer) speaker configuration. However, whereas a 5.1 surround sound system combines both surround and rear channel effects into two channels (commonly configured in home theatre set-ups as two rear surround speakers), a 7.1 surround system splits the surround and rear channel information into four distinct channels, in which sound effects are directed to left and right surround channels, plus two rear surround channels.

In a 7.1 surround sound home theatre set-up, the surround speakers are placed to the side of the listener's position and the rear speakers are placed behind the listener. In addition, with the advent of Dolby Pro Logic IIz and DTS Neo:X, 7.1 surround sound can also refer to 7.1 surround sound configurations with the addition of two front height channels positioned above the front channels or two front wide channels positioned between the front and surround channels.

Big Ones You Can Look At

Big Ones You Can Look At is a VHS and Laserdisc featuring music videos by the American hard rock band Aerosmith. It was released on November 1, 1994. In addition, there are outtakes and band interviews. Running time is 100 minutes. The suggestive title comes from – and is a companion to – the 1994 compilation album Big Ones.

A DVD release (out of print, unknown if official or not) was released in Brazil with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 Surround sound tracks and quality better than the VHS and Laserdisc releases.

Some scenes from the Pump era were culled from the band's previous video compilation The Making of Pump. Along with the band members, various individuals make cameo appearances during the outtakes and making-of segments, including Marty Callner, John Kalodner, and Hank Azaria. The behind the scenes segment for "Eat the Rich" includes the band's collaboration with Melvin Liufau, Wesey Mamea, Liainaiala Tagaloa, Mapuhi T. Tekurio, and Aladd Alationa Teofilo, playing the log drums.

Among the notable actors appearing in the videos include: Alicia Silverstone, Liv Tyler, Edward Furlong, Stephen Dorff, Josh Holloway, Jason London, Brandi Brandt, Kristin Dattilo, Lesley Ann Warren, and Nicholas Guest.

Dolby Digital

Dolby Digital is the name for audio compression technologies developed by Dolby Laboratories. Originally named Dolby Stereo Digital until 1994, except for Dolby TrueHD, the audio compression is lossy. The first use of Dolby Digital was to provide digital sound in cinemas from 35mm film prints; today, it is now also used for other applications such as TV broadcast, radio broadcast via satellite, digital video streaming, DVDs, Blu-ray discs and game consoles.

Earth to Atlanta

Earth to Atlanta is a live DVD concert of the band Widespread Panic filmed at the Fabulous Fox Theater in Atlanta, GA on May 9, 2006. This 2 DVD set features the performance of the band's nationwide simulcast to 115 Regal/Edwards/United Artists cinemas nationwide. This was a companion piece to the 2006 CD release Earth To America. The DVDs were filmed in High Definition/ 5.1 surround sound. The collection features 26 songs, including live versions of “Tall Boy”, “Travelin’ Man”, “Pigeons”, “Time Zones” and “Second Skin.”

Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking

Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking is a 2010 science documentary television mini-series written by British physicist Stephen Hawking. The series was created for Discovery Channel by Darlow Smithson Productions and features computer generated imagery of the universe created by Red Vision. The series premiered on 25 April 2010 in the United States and started on 9 May 2010 in the United Kingdom with a modified title, Stephen Hawking's Universe (not to be confused with the 1997 PBS series by the same name).An original soundtrack was composed for the series by television and film composer Sheridan Tongue, combining symphonic orchestral recordings with electronic and sampled elements. The score was recorded and mixed in 5.1 surround sound for HD broadcast and DVD and Blu-ray release. The first episode Aliens was uploaded on documentary video hosting service Vimeo 26 April 2010. Other episodes are available on same website. In addition, the episodes are also available on iTunes for purchase. However, the episodes are only available as TV shows.Hawking appears on screen in linking scenes using his own synthesized voice, while the voice-over narration is provided, in character as Hawking, by actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who played the physicist in the 2004 BBC TV film Hawking.

Live at Donington (AC/DC album)

Live at Donington is the DVD recording of the Australian rock band by AC/DC show at Donington Park on 17 August 1991, and it was the band's third Monsters of Rock festival. The two-hour show was performed before 72,500 spectators and included real cannons, the Hells Bell, an inflatable Rosie and an inflatable Angus. It was filmed in 35 mm Panavision and had 26 cameras that included one situated inside a helicopter. The DVD includes special features such as stereo and 5.1 surround sound, Iso-cam versions of certain songs for different band members, and audio commentary from Angus and Malcolm Young.Another option allows the viewer to focus on just one member for the length of a song. This option is available for Angus Young on "Thunderstruck", "Back in Black", and "Highway to Hell". The option is offered for Malcolm Young on "T.N.T.", Brian Johnson on "Whole Lotta Rosie" and Cliff Williams on "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap". For unknown reasons, this option was not available for Chris Slade. One other feature is a full catalogue discography with audio interview of all international albums.

Despite the commercial success of the DVD, many hardcore fans were disappointed that the audio was fixed, with many differences than the original video, though the DVD officially released in Brazil still has original audio. Tracks from Live at Donington on AC/DC Live have the original audio.

Live from Austin Texas (Widespread Panic album)

Live from Austin TX is a performance by Athens, Georgia's Widespread Panic that came from the Austin City Limits vaults. The DVD is part of the Austin City Limits concert series that features previously unreleased performances from the television show. The finished product is limited selection of eleven songs that have been re-mixed and remastered in stereo and 5.1 surround sound. The original performance was recorded on October 31, 2000.

Loaded (The Velvet Underground album)

Loaded is the fourth studio album by American rock band the Velvet Underground, released in November 1970 by Atlantic Records' subsidiary label Cotillion. It was the final album recorded featuring founding member and main songwriter Lou Reed, who left shortly before its release.

In 2012, Loaded was ranked 110 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Mark Linett

Mark Linett is a record producer and audio engineer. He has done repeated work with the Beach Boys, including remastering their recordings that appear on the "two-for-one" album re-releases. He also produced and engineered the Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound version of Pet Sounds. He has also worked with Brian Wilson, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane's Addiction, Los Lobos, Rickie Lee Jones and Randy Newman. His honors include three Grammy Awards.In 2014, Linett made a cameo appearance as Chuck Britz in the Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy.

Movies Now

Movies Now is an Indian high-definition television channel featuring Hollywood films. It was launched on 19 December 2010 with a picture quality of 1080i and 5.1 surround sound. The channel, owned by The Times Group.

In June 2016 Times Network decided to launch another channel called Movies Now 2,which later renamed as MNX.

In July 2017 Movies Now 2 was rechristened into MNX channel in Hollywood.It has exclusive content licensing from films produced or distributed by MGM and has content licensing from 20th Century Fox, Universal Studios Walt Disney Studios, Marvel Studios, Warner Bros and Paramount Pictures

One Man Band (James Taylor album)

One Man Band is a live album by American singer-songwriter James Taylor that was released in November 2007 on Hear Music. It was recorded over several days at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The songs span over five decades. The premise for One Man Band is that instead of having a wide array of instruments, as with most concerts, Taylor is accompanied by only his guitar and Larry Goldings on piano. There are some exceptions, such as the pre-recorded Tanglewood Festival Chorus sings on "My Traveling Star" and "Shower the People". Also, a "drum machine" (in this case, a large mechanical device that physically plays drums) made by Taylor and his friend Gordon Fairfield appears on "Slap Leather" and "Chili Dog".

The digital discrete 5.1 surround sound mix of One Man Band won a TEC Award for best surround sound recording in 2008.

The 1984 Suite

The 1984 Suite is a remix/compilation album by the British musician, Mike Oldfield released in 2016. The compilation pulls together tracks from his two 1984 studio albums; Discovery and The Killing Fields. The album is available as part of the Discovery deluxe edition or as a standalone vinyl LP but not as a standalone CD. It has also been released in 5.1 Surround Sound as part of the Discovery deluxe set.The album features two previously unreleased tracks: "The Royal Mile", which is labelled as a newly rediscovered track from the 1984 period, but is in fact a re-worked version of "Afghan", a B-side of "Tricks of the Light"; and "Zombies (Halloween Special)", a reworking of the song "Poison Arrows" with the original vocals replaced by robotic "Stephen Hawking" style vocals with the lines "Somebody's out to get you" replaced with "Zombies are out to get you". The album also contains a slightly longer version of "The Lake" than the version on Discovery. All tracks were newly re-mixed from the original multitrack tapes.

The track "Zombies (Halloween Special)" was released as a digital single on 31 October 2015 with a new promotional video.

The Videos 1994–2001

The Videos 1994–2001 is a music video compilation by the Dave Matthews Band, released on August 21, 2001 on VHS and DVD. The compilation features all of the band's 12 music videos from their first four albums, from "What Would You Say" to "The Space Between", with the earliest released in 1995, contrary to the compilation's title. Each video features a Dolby Digital stereo and 5.1 surround sound mix, as well as an audio commentary by the video's director. The compilation also features a behind-the-scenes documentary for "Don't Drink the Water", "Stay (Wasting Time)", and "I Did It".

Three Sides Live (film)

Three Sides Live is a 1982 concert film featuring the English rock band Genesis. It was released in support of the band's same-titled live double album released in June 1982. Directed by Stuart Orme, the film features live performances from two shows during the band's 1981 tour of Europe and North America in support of their studio album Abacab. The shows are from 28 and 29 November 1981 at the Savoy Theatre and Nassau Coliseum, New York, respectively. The film includes interviews footage shot backstage and the group travelling with the crew and families. Some of the featured songs are incomplete due to editing.

Three Sides Live was released in 1982 for Betamax and VHS, followed by a laserdisc release in October 1991. It was released on DVD with 5.1 surround sound in November 2009 as part of the band's concert film box set Genesis Movie Box 1981–2007. It was released on Blu-ray disc on 4 November 2014 after a duplicate of the original 16mm film was restored.

Tube Bar prank calls

The Tube Bar prank calls are a series of prank calls made in the mid-1970s to the Tube Bar in Jersey City, in which Jim Davidson and John Elmo would ask "Red," the proprietor of the bar, if they could speak to various non-existent customers. The gag names given by the pranksters were puns and homophones for often offensive phrases. Recordings of the calls were circulated widely on duplicated cassette tapes and may have been the inspiration for a long running gag in The Simpsons.

VOID (Video Overview in Deceleration)

VOID (Video Overview in Deceleration) is a 5.1 surround sound DVD by The Flaming Lips released on August 23, 2005.

It contains new commentary by the band and nineteen music videos made by the band throughout their musical career.

Why Pink Floyd...?

Why Pink Floyd...? was a re-release campaign of Pink Floyd's back catalogue, released in three stages over 2011–12. Under the campaign, multiple forms of the band's material were released, with new remasters and unreleased tracks. The albums were available in three different configurations: "Discovery", "Experience" and "Immersion". The "Immersion" boxsets of The Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here featured 5.1 surround sound mixes of the original albums, while that of The Wall did not. Wish You Were Here was also released in an SACD version. A new best-of album, titled A Foot in the Door – The Best of Pink Floyd was released, as well as Sampler, a Best Buy exclusive compilation.


Wireless Display (WiDi) was technology developed by Intel that enabled users to stream music, movies, photos, videos and apps without wires from a compatible computer to a compatible HDTV or through the use of an adapter with other HDTVs or monitors. Intel WiDi supported HD 1080p video quality, 5.1 surround sound, and low latency for interacting with applications sent to the TV from a PC.

Using the Intel WiDi Widget users could perform different functions simultaneously on their PC and TV such as checking email on the PC while streaming a movie to the TV from the same device.WiDi was discontinued in 2015 in favour of Miracast, a standard developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance and natively supported by Windows 8.1 and later.

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