Surround Sound Systems

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Surround Sound Systems – How do our surround sound systems work and how do we design them?

Surround Sound Systems – Die hard movie fans truly enjoy surround sound. Nothing adds to the movie-watching experience quite like multiple speakers surrounding and enveloping you inside the movie itself. But how does a home surround sound system recreate this experience? The easiest way to explain it is to work backwards.

Plano Texas Handyman can help you design and install a great home theater system, call us at 214-507-3415 or visite for more information to our capabilities.

If you have a standard 5.1 surround sound system, then you have five primary speakers, and one subwoofer. Of these five speakers, one is a center channel speaker, which is designed to sit horizontally at the center of your display and deliver dialogue, a pair of vertical left and right speakers, a pair of surround speakers, and a subwoofer sitting on the floor for bass. However, it is important to understand that no matter how great your speakers are, they require something more to optimize performance. If you are looking for a sound system for a retail store, small or large, you can learn more about how to go about this so it feels inviting for customers to come in.

The thing that makes surround sound really shine is your audio video receiver or preamp. This piece of electronics sends the correct audio signals to the correct speaker so that your center channel plays the center channel information, and the left surround speaker plays what it’s supposed to as well.

But how does your receiver know what to do? It receives information from your source material, whether it’s a Blu-Ray disc, cable TV program, video game, etc. Encoded along with the video information is an audio track that’s designed to tell your receiver where the different audio signals are supposed to go. As long as your playback device and your receiver know how to decode the information, everything works.

Of course the first step is creating the surround sound information. This is done by people. Most surround sound isn’t recorded when a movie is produced. Instead, audio engineers sit down with all of the recorded audio and decide which sounds should be reproduced by which speakers. Without the experts doing all this work in the beginning, the rest of the system breaks down, and you don’t have a surround sound experience at home.

Designing the Ultimate Home Theater Setup

So you want to build a serious home theater, but you’re not sure where to start? While we can’t make every decision for you, we can give you some direction. Here are things to keep in mind.


If you’re truly looking to build a home THEATER there’s only one real way to do that, and it’s with a front projection display. A projector and screen combination is the best way to recreate the movie theater experience. You’ll want to go with a 4K projector to get the best possible image quality and the largest possible screen size (of course) depending upon viewing distance.


If you’re going for the best of the best, then you’ll want to design a Dolby Atmos speaker system. Might we suggest Klipsch Dolby Atmos ® enabled speakers? With Dolby Atmos ®, sound comes alive from all directions, including overhead, to fill a home theater with astonishing clarity, detail, and depth. You’ll need at least one subwoofer, but if this is the ultimate home theater, you’ll want two. Choose your subwoofers based on the size of your room, not necessarily the other speakers you’re using. The larger the room, the larger the subwoofer you’ll want to use.

A/V Receiver

Since we’re using a Dolby Atmos ® speaker system, an audio video receiver that is capable of such a system is critical. In addition, choose a receiver with many HDMI inputs since its the primary connection for most components and should handle most future upgrades to your system. We recommend a Denon AVRX4300H 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Receiver with Built-in HEOS wireless technology featuring Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.


Don’t skimp on the wire. You want CL3 rated wire if you’re going to be running it through the walls–the ultimate home theater doesn’t show any exposed wire. 16 gauge wire is probably ok, unless you’ll be doing extremely long runs for your surround channels. In this case, upgrade to 14 gauge wire.

Additional Equipment

You’ll need something to play movies on, of course. This means a quality Blu-Ray player or other devices. Since access to movies is essential, you should have a Netflix or other streaming service subscription, which are starting to roll out more 4K and UHD content.

Universal Remote Control

Now that you have selected your equipment, you need an easy way to control it. A programmed universal remote control will allow you to control everything from one place, as well as power up your entire system with a single button.


There are lots of options out there for “movie theater seating,” so choose what is most comfortable for your lifestyle. Something that allows you to put your feet up and with a place for your drink sounds ideal.


The movie doesn’t start until the lights dim. Controlling the light in the room allows your to see the screen properly and adds ambience to the room. You may want to consider blackout shades, as well as installing dimmers to the lights in your room, which can also be programmed into your universal remote control.

Already have your ultimate home theater? We would love for you to share suggestions here!

Plano Texas Handyman can help you design and install a great home theater system, call us at 214-507-3415 or visite for more information to our capabilities.

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