All About Sound: What is Home Theater?

A home theater is a collection of speakers and audio-video components designed to reproduce the movie-theater experience in the comfort of your own home. Although the size and the quality of the video screen or monitor are very important, a high-quality, properly set up multichannel surround-sound speaker system is what really brings a home theater to life!

Traditionally, music has been recorded in two-channel stereo; however, as the number of artists releasing multichannel music DVD’s and SACD’s continues to grow, multichannel surround-sound recordings are being embraced across the recorded-music industry.

Multichannel sound adds dimension, spaciousness and a heightened sense of realism to the music-listening experience. Recorded and engineered aesthetically, multichannel music will accurately reproduce all of the direct and reflected sound of the original acoustic space. Direct sound provides localization cues that can be realistically placed within the soundstage. Reflected sound completely envelops us in the music’s natural ambience.

Here’s what you will need to enjoy home theater and multichannel music:

A/V Source

DVD-Audio/DVD-Video, SACD, DSS, VCR, CD, etc.


Direct-view/rear-projection TV, or front-projection system.


Audio/video receiver or surround-sound preamplifier/processor and amplifiers. For 5.1* multichannel sound either setup must be able to decode Dolby® Digital and/or DTS®. For 7.1* multichannel sound either setup must have, additionally, one or more of the following: THX™ Surround EX™, Select™ or Ultra™; Dolby® Digital EX™ or Pro Logic II; DTS®-ES™ or Neo:6™; or other 7.1-channel modes.


What home theater and multichannel music do not require are different types of speakers – one type for home theater, another for listening to music. Choose musically accurate speakers because they have the sonic precision needed to reproduce music as well as movie dialogue and special effects cleanly and naturally. Paradigm® speakers – musically accurate and timbre-matched – are created to satisfy audiophiles for both music and movies by providing The Ultimate in Sound for Music and Home Theater™.

Front Speakers (1)

Reproduce dialog, sound effects and much of the music.

Center Speaker (2)

Reproduces dialog, sound effects and music. It can be placed on top of a TV/display (or behind a perforated screen in a front-projection system) or below a TV/display.

Surround Speakers (3)

Reproduce ambience and sound effects critical to the full dimension of multichannel music and movies. Surround speakers with a uniform reverberant sound field and accurate full-bandwidth bass work best.

Rear Speakers (4)

Contribute dimensional size and realism. Here also speakers with a uniform reverberant sound field and accurate full-bandwidth bass work best.

Subwoofer (5)

Handles deep bass, giving dynamic power to low-frequency effects in movies and the bass content in music.

Paradigm Perfect Bass Kit™ digital room correction system (6)

Adjusts for the negative effects of the room on bass quality in a process that takes less than five minutes. Optional accessory.

See your Dealer or visit the PBK™ section under Subwoofers.