Home Theater 101

March 10, 2015


Welcome to the first BLOG for Florida Villa Entertainment Services Inc. With this blog we are going to try and touch on all of the topics that would interest the Vacation Rental Homeowner, answer questions for the Property Manager, and help the Vacation Renter make decisions on their next rental purchase that will enhance their vacation experience. So let’s get started. In our opening BLOG, we are going to discuss the basics of Home Theater, What to look for when designing a Theater Room, Latest Trends in Equipment, and in general try to simplify things for the novice.

5.1 vs 7.1

5.1 channel Home Theater receivers have been the standard for two decades. They provide a perfectly good listening experience, especially in small to average-sized rooms. A 5.1 channel system consists of:

  1. A Center Channel to provide an anchor stage for dialog or music vocal.
  2. Left and Right Front channels to provide the main soundtrack information, or for stereo music reproduction.
  3. Left and Right surround channels for side and front to rear motion effects from movie soundtracks and ambient sounds from music recordings.
  4. The Subwoofer channel, which provides the extreme low frequency effects, such as explosions or bass response in music performances.


7.1 channel Home Theater Receiver features that could be of Benefit:

  1. A 7.1 channel system incorporates all the elements of a 5.1 channel system, but instead of combining both surround and rear channel effects into two channels, a 7.1 system splits the surround and rear channel information into four channels. In other words, side sound effects and ambience are directed to left and right surround channels, and the rear sound effects and ambience are directed to two rear or back channels. In this set-up the surround speakers are set to the side of the listening position and the rear or back channels are placed behind the listener.

For a visual look at the difference between a 5.1 channel speaker layout and 7.1 channel speakers layout, check out an excellent diagram provided by Dolby Labs.

5.1 Setup

7.1 Setup


The 7.1 channel listening environment can add more depth the surround sound experience; provide more a specific, directed, and immersive sound field, especially for larger rooms.

  1. In addition, if you prefer 5.1 channels for your main room, most 7.1 channel receivers have the ability to use the extra two channels to provide a 2-channel speaker operation in a second location. What this means is that, in many cases, while you are listening and watching your DVDs in 5.1 channel surround sound in your main room, someone else could be listening to a CD (provided you have a separate CD player connected to your receiver) in another room, without having a separate CD player and receiver in the other room – just the speakers.
  2. Another option that is becoming more common on 7.1 channel receivers is the use of Bi-amping. How this works is that if you have front channel Speakers that have separate speaker connections for the midrange/tweeters and the woofers (I am not referring to the subwoofer, but the woofers in your front speakers), you can reassign the amplifiers running the 6th and 7th channels to your front channels. Then enables you to retain a full 5.1 channel setup, but still add two additional channels of amplification to your front left and right speakers.

Using the separate speaker’s connections for the 6th and 7th channel on your bi-ampible speakers, you can double the power delivered to your front left and right channels. Your front mid-range/tweeters end up running off of the main L/R channels and your front speakers woofers running off your 6th and 7th channel Bi-amp connections.

The procedure for this type of setup is explained and illustrated in the user manuals for many 7.1 channel receivers. However, as I mentioned earlier, although this is becoming a more common feature, it is not included in all 7.1 channel receivers.


If you are still confused as to which system is correct for your room and application, Give us a call here at Florida Villa Entertainment Services Inc. and we would be more than happy to come out to your house and give you a FREE In-Home Consultation.

In the future we will be diving into a whole host of topics such as Soundbars, Projectors, Home Automation, Game Rooms, Pool Tables and so much more…. Stay Tuned!!


Florida Villa Entertainment Services Inc
8681 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway
Suite 130
Kissimmee, FL 34747
407-238-2389 Office

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