What is stereo?
Too many of our AV brethren do not understand
fundamental AV terms. I have confronted many for decades with
this simple question, "What is stereo?" I am
driven crazy by the answers I continue to receive. In an
attempt to ensure what's left of my sanity, please review the
following terms. We may meet on the street someday.
High Fidelity Audio
High fidelity refers to the accurate reproduction of recorded
sound. High fidelity adheres to accurate standards such
as flat frequency response, high signal-to-noise ratio,
maintained phase, and a low percentage of many types of
High Fidelity can also be framed by two questions. Does
the reproduced sound of a piano sound like a real piano?
Does the audio system faithfully reproduce the artist's
: Select this link Rane
for a comprehensive list of audio measurement.
Monophonic audio is a single channel of reproduced sound that
creates a flat two-dimensional sound field. In the 1950's
audio enthusiasts commonly referred to a single speaker high
fidelity monophonic audio system as a HiFi system.
Stereo audio employs two separate audio channels via two
speakers placed in an equilateral triangle with a
listener. This arrangement creates a three-dimensional
illusion or image of musicians on a stage of height, width,
and depth. For example, drummer center rear, vocalist
center front, bass player front right, guitar front left, and
an array of background singers behind the drummer.
If a stereo audio system meets high fidelity standards, it's
referred to as a high fidelity stereo audio system.
Multi-channel Surround Sound
Surround sound introduces additional channels and speakers onto
the stereo arrangement. Surround sound is a circular
arrangement of four, five, six, seven, or more channels of audio
that surround the listener in an extended illusion of staged
music or a movie soundtrack envelope of sound effects.
Surround sound formats are detailed later in this chapter.
Some joked NTSC was an acronym for never twice the same
color. However, the National Television Standards
Committee established the original now-retired U.S.
television analog broadcast standard. Chapter four
offers a detailed explanation of the NTSC broadcast
The Advanced Television System Committee set the U.S.
digital broadcast standards of 8K UltraHD, UltraHDTV,
HDTV, EDTV and SDTV.
ATSC 3.0 NextGenTV is the new UltraHD and 8K UltraHD U.S.
broadcast standard. NextGenTV also provides bandwidth
for wireless Internet.
Chapter four provides more detail.
High Definition Television, expands video resolution and
the color gamut well beyond NTSC TV. HDTV offers two
versions: 1080 lines by 1920 pixels per line,
and 720 lines by 1280 pixels per line. Chapter four
discusses HDTV, resolution, and color gamut in detail.
UltraHDTV (UHD1) commonly but incorrectly referred to
as 4K, increases video resolution and expands color gamut
beyond HDTV. UltraHD offers 2160 lines by 3840
pixels per line. UltraHD is also discussed in great
detail in chapter four.
UltraHD 8K TV (UHD2) increases video resolution to 4320
lines by 7680 pixels per line. Although UHD 8K TVs
are available, 8K programing sources are scarce at the
time of this writing (June 2021).