Campus cable system upgrades for better sound

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    TCU Connect has upgraded the cable system on campus to the 5.1 Dolby Digital system, an audio system that allows users to experience surround sound.

    Travis Cook, director of business services at TCU, wrote in an e-mail that the upgrade was necessary “to accommodate the ever-growing number of sets that are coming standard with 5.1.”

    Cook wrote that the old cable system had to be upgraded for newer TVs to process audio, and TVs with 5.1 should now be able to receive audio.

    Dolby Digital 5.1 allows TV users to experience channel surround sound and it ensures audio quality for any Dolby Digital soundtrack, according to www.dolby.com.

    “(The upgrade) fixes an existing problem some students were experiencing,” Cook wrote, referring to the audio problem students were having that prevented them from using 5.1 . “It would have grown exponentially with each incoming class.”

    TCU Connect upgraded the CATV encoders to make the changes to the system, Cook wrote. The CATV encoders changed 480i signals – a form of standard-definition television broadcast – into a digital format. After this upgrade, it now changes the 480i signals into 5.1 Dolby Digital to allow all TVs to receive audio.

    To complete the upgrade, “(students) will need to perform an auto scan on their sets to find and lock in the new channel numbers,” Cook wrote.

    He wrote that the scan is a standard operation that is performed anytime a person gets a new TV.

    The upgrade did not cost the university any money because it was paid for by the manufacturer, Cook wrote. He does not anticipate future changes in the cable system, adding that he is hopeful TCU Connect will introduce new technology for students as funding permits, Cook wrote.

    Louis Ducruet, a junior business major, said he noticed the cable channels were different.

    “All the channels were changed,” Ducruet said. “I just had a hard time finding the channels I watch.”

    Bobby Khosravikatoli, a sophomore biology major, said he enjoyed the cable system on campus, adding that he had 5.1 Dolby Digital audio. Khosravikatoli said his roommate ended up getting the TV working again after he could not figure out how to complete the scan.

    Evan Radman, a freshman history major, said he did not know the cable system on campus was being upgraded. Even though he said he did not have any problems with 5.1 last semester, Radman said it is important to him that the university keeps up with the latest technology, even if manufacturers might not pay for future upgrades.

    “They have enough money to renovate the buildings, so why not (keep up with technology as far as) the TV,” Radman said.