Originally Posted by DynamicM3
Hows does a 3.1 channel soundbar process a 7.1 channel source over LPCM (referring to the CT-100/500). Does it stack the 4 rear channels on the 2 fronts or does it simply mute the rear 4? Thank you.
The answer is that it "simulates" 7.1 LPCM. It also simulates Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS, 5.1 LPCM, and more as well and the technology is pretty astounding. Imagine this...
A real sound setup positions the audio in the room but must be placed in those certain areas (ie Rear speakers need to be behind you etc.). A soundbar however either creates a dome like field (Polkaudio Surroundbar, ZVOX, etc.) or bounces sound beams off the walls (Yamaha YSP, Sony HT-CT series, etc.).
It's a different kind of surround that is nothing like a Real setup but still enveloping.
For Deeper thought, do you use a sound card that has a Virtual Dolby Digital setting for Headphones (Creatives cards do, I think AC97 does as well)? How does it do 5.1 or 7.1 sound from just headphones? Certain companies have figured out a way to trick our ears into thinking sound is all around us when it really isn't. The way they figured it out is a mystery to me but I can explain a little bit
Producing left and right channels is of course easy but then soundbars tries to spill the sound outside the box itself by filling in the gaps virtually in between the area of the left and right sounds, broadening the surround field. As for rear effects (not rear sound, they are different), most soundbars try to cause an echo, which then is suppose to be pushed right behind. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, aka very few are able to hear rear effects. It usually entails if you have the sofa not against the wall, the farther away from the wall, the more room the rear effects have to be produced/bounced.
Almost like bouncing soundbars, they create a somewhat Enveloping type of surround sound like your in a dome/bubble. It only goes so far though and some companies produce settings that broaden that field.
The surround can be convincing at times, especially with games and movies that use "Directional Sound". Movies like Diehard (on Bluray) and Games like Ratchet and Clank Future are going to make you wonder how the soundbar is able to produce sound in various places in your room. Of course soundbars are not for everyone and can't be explained deeply because you have to try one yourself.
Despite my love of the CT100, I know for a fact that only ONE Soundbar (besides Passive soundbars and Mittsubishi's TV/Sounbar combo) causes a very near gray line between real 5.1 sound systems and soundbars: The Yamaha YSP's...