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When I started to view DVDs I only had a Dolby Prologic system. I soon realized how much of the sound I was missing. I then upgraded to a separate decoder and six channel receiver. Here is the decoder.

Technics SHA500D for Technics SF-DX6 receiver


This is a nice decoder, right off, I recommend it. Simple to set up and use without a lot of clutter. It comes with it's own remote control which cannot be programmed into the receiver's remote. This is the one true draw back. This decoder permits you to set up your system as it is now and expand later. You can choose whether or not you have a center speaker and a sub-woofer. sh-ac500d[1].jpg (11695 bytes)You can also set individual level and delay controls for the center speaker, sub-woofer and rear speakers. It has three optical inputs to handle up to three DVD or laser disc players. All controls except for the speakers available are accessible through the remote. You can also use this on deck selection control to alter what type of speakers you have, large or small for the front, surround and center, absent or present for the center and sub-woofer. There is even a special mode for low level listening perfect for apartments late at night. It preserves the sound field while keeping the volume low. There is also a test mode that can check out all six speakers.


bulletDolby 5.1 Digital & DTS Digital Decoder
bulletTotal of 4 digital inputs, 2 optical and 2 coaxial
bullet6-channel analog input facilities enable external decoder connection for throughput to a receiver.
bulletSpeaker selector lets you match output to your speaker configuration and the presence or absence of a subwoofer.
bulletDynamic range compression on/off switch lets you keep the full range of sound audible when listening at low volume, for natural results during night-time entertainment.
bulletCenter/rear channel delay time control
bulletTest tone, muting, and dimmer functions
bulletMaster volume control knob
bulletWireless remote control
bulletThe decoder provides the six channels of sound but you also need a receiver or amp that can send that information to the speaker array. I bought a package from Technics. The reason for that is I could get a good deal on the price, they would be delivered together and all the cables would be there. I also knew that there would be no compatibility problems.

Technics SF-DX6


This is a nice looking piece of equipment. There is a panel of smoked plastic that opens to reveal the one time setting controls such as radio stations (30 pre-select for AM/FM), tone controls, sub-woofer range and characteristics, and several other options. The draw back is not all features sa-ax6[1].jpg (14443 bytes)can be accessed from the remote. There is a sub-woofer control for low level listening that can only be activated from the front panel. You can use up to three VCR inputs but only one can be selected from the remote. I found it better to hook everything into the AV jacks of the TV and select from there. I also tried to use the A/V selection built into this unit and found it lacking in control and ease of use. I quickly reverted to my normal set up. There are plenty of choices in sound reproduction. 6 channel DVD, 2 channel DVD (front select only), Dolby Prologic decoder, 3-Channel stereo, and five surround emulation modes; Club, Live, Hall, Theater and Simulated. Each provides a noticeably different sound. There are also little handy features like one button will turn on the TV and receiver at the same time. Unfortunately, there is no separate off button for the receiver itself.  There is a test mode that only works with the Prologic mode so the sub-woofer is not checked and the surround speakers are treated as one.


bullet100W x 6 Home Theater Mode
bulletDolby Pro Logic *1 Surround: center channel mode (normal/wideband/phantom), function on/off, delay time (15 - 30 msec.), surround level, center level, and test mode
bullet6-ch discrete inputs ready for Dolby Digital (AC-3) or other discrete multi-channel reproduction with optional decoder
bulletDolby 3 Stereo
bulletPowerful stereo mode: 100W per channel (20Hz - 20kHz, 6 ohms, 0.05% THD)
bulletHome Theater Mode: equal high power output of 100W (1kHz, 6 ohms, 0.9% THD) per Left/Center/Right/Surround Left/Surround Right/Subwoofer channels
bulletAdaptive Subwoofer Control achieves natural bass balance
bulletCutoff frequency control for optimum bass reproduction through matching to low range characteristics of front speakers
bulletSubwoofer level control to compensate for subwoofer efficiency and location



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