If you’re using Video Distribution and Home Audio in tandem, and you want to play the TV through the Audio Speakers in ceiling, you’ll likely need Audio Downmixing.
So What Is Audio Downmixing?
Audio Downmixing is the process of converting a multi channel signal, into a stereo signal, or taking 5.1+ channels, and downmixing them to 2 channels.
With Video Distribution you’re playing a single video source, like an Apple TV, to multiple TVs at the same time.
Say you’re watching Ted Lasso in Dolby Atmos in your Media Room (11.1 Channels), and you want to play it to the Great Room TV at the same time (2 Channels).
The signal has to be downmixed to stereo, otherwise the speakers in your great room will throw their hands in the air and play white noise.
Audio Downmixing helps process that video source so it can play surround to one TV, and Stereo to a second TV in the same moment.
If you think you want downmixing, be sure your Video Distribution equipment supports it.
Surround vs Audio
You might be asking how are Audio Speakers any different than surround speakers?
With Surround Speakers, the ‘Surround Receiver’ (AV Processor) can process the signal, manage either a 5.1+ or 2 channel signal, and play it out to the speakers.
With Home Audio Speakers, the Amplifier doesn’t process the sound. It’s a dumb amp. It’s simply passing the signal through and powering the speakers.
Audio Downmixing helps process the signal before it goes out to the Audio Speakers.
A simpler solution
If you don’t use Video Distribution, you likely won’t need Audio Downmixing. That is the simplest solution, and as a bonus it’s much less expensive too.
I shared my thougths in a recent post on Video Distribution. There are applications where it makese sense, but most the time I’d avoid it.
Named one of Technology Integrator’s Top Talent Under 40, Matt has designed systems for 20 national award-winning projects, including “Home Theater of the Year“, and “Custom Smart Home of the Year” from CTA™ (Consumer Technology Association). His ebook “How To Wire Your Smart Home” is a best seller among professionals and DIY-ers alike. He has taken classes with Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). You can watch Matt share the secrets of his craft on YouTube!
Matt is a Golden State fan.