Surround Sound on Broadcast TV-Taiwan

Does anyone have a surround sound set up for your TV or DVD player? Are you able to watch your TV shows in surround sound? Is it worth it?

For those of you that don’t know… Surround sound in the USA is encoded or hidden silently into the left and right channels of the normal stereo signal. If you have an AV receiver that can decode this signal, it works. In theory, that should work here in Taiwan. But you never know. Maybe they don’t give us the encoded Dolby surround tracks in Programming not meant for the USA. BTW… no… if the Channel is mono, that is not stereo… you will not get surround sound.

The second question is… it it really worth it for my situation or is a decent stereo set up good enough. I live in a set of row houses that have paper thin walls. It’s not that bad but I can’t blast it. I just want to get the illusion of being in the center of the action. Is this possible at a reasonable volume?

I have MOD by the way.

Is there no digital television with Dolby Digital 5.1 in Taiwan? I thought, this would be standard nowadays.

Well, if 5.1 is worth it… it depends. You can have nice sound without letting the entire house hear you. You just musn’t use the subwoofer that loudly. But too a large degree it just depends on the movie you are watching. Sometimes it is quite nice to have some sound behind you, but if you are fine without it, it’s also ok. But 5.1 setups aren’t that expensive, so it may not be that much of a problem. Also, you can use them for playing computer games, which may be much better than watching movies.

But analogue Dolby Surround is not that good. The rear speaker has only one channel, and the frequence spectrum is much smaller. Try to get Dolby Digital, it is much better. Dolby Surround is technology from 15 years in the past.

Does MOD carry surround sound? I know MOD can pass digital audio over HDMI, and I might have seen something once alluding to 5.1, and never tested it. I haven’t seen anything on MOD worth watching with surround sound anyway.

If you’re not satisfied with your sound then my advice is to upgrade your front left/right speakers before you add anything else. I just posted something on this topic here: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=73145&start=20 If you already have a receiver then you are already mostly there because you won’t need an amp.

People are often surprised what two good front speakers can do, so see if that is enough to satisfy you. Rear speakers IMO are kind of gimmicky and I don’t even like them in the theater that much – feels like bad 3D movie conversions. But if you want them then you don’t need to spend a lot on them. Try whatever speakers you currently have and see how that works out. Even action movies don’t use the rear channels all that often so you might be happy just hearing anything at all.

If you are gaming then surround might be more important, but then you might want to be looking at surround sound headphones instead.