What is a DSP?

Dave Mostert
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What is a Digital Signal Processor?

The digital signal processor (DSP) is the most important component of your surround system. It is used to process the signals coming from the other components of the surround system of your home theater system to produce audio or video signals at the desired quality level and with the desired effect.

The DSP is used in surround sound decoders that convert conventional four channel Dolby or DTS surround recordings to the 5.1 channel format.

Also, if you own a home theater system, there is a DSP within that too, along with at least two or three other components: a power amplifier, an audio amplifier and possibly a crossover network which splits the audio signals received from the surround sound decoder into five separate signals.

So what does the DSP perform? It mixes and surrounds the sound from the other components, increases the volume, and makes minor corrections to the bass, treble, and other audio characteristics. It’s the main brain of the home theater system.

The DSP is sometimes referred to as a surround processor, digital processor, or digital amplifier. However, none of them is the exact same. The DSP, unlike a surround processor, is just one part of a complete home theater system.

What is a DSP Composed Of?

DSP stands for Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum.

It Adopts Digital Modulation Technique

The DSP is a wireless multiplexing technique used to transmit data and synchronization information in digital control systems.

DSP is widely used in wireless transmission systems that provide power, measurement and control data. These systems include wireless local loop systems, wireless analog telemetry systems, wireless video links, wirelessly coupled networks as well as wireless TCP/IP networks.

The wireless transmission technology, also known as wireless telemetry, wireless data transmission and wireless data communication enables the remote control of wireless devices and systems.

The components of a DSP communication system include a device that generates the test signal, a device that measures the signal, a DSP receiver or transceiver, and a DSP analyzer or transceiver.

Unlike other communication systems, DSP avoids the use of a master clock or reference clock and allows the use of devices that have different bandwidths, duty cycles and synchronization requirements.

In addition to its wireless applications, DSP is also used in consumer electronics, computers, digital music players and digital video recorders.

Why Are Digital Signal Processors Important for Modern Audio Equipment?

A digital signal processor or DSP is a special kind of microprocessor which can be programmed to perform complex digital signal processing tasks, such as filtering, which are infeasible to perform using analog methods on the processor.

It is incorrect to assume that a digital audio processor is also a digital signal processor. In computers and some consumer electronics, digital signal processors are found in digital audio equipment such as loudspeakers, amplifiers, FM radios , DVD players, set-top boxes and MP3 players.

DSPs are key elements in a wide variety of multimedia applications and as such are gaining significant importance in embedded systems where they are used in computer-vision, speech recognition/synthesis, digital sound processing, video compression (DSPs are used in MPEG encoders) and audio/video playback devices, and in cryptology and telecommunications.

Basically, any system where the output depends on the input and the input depends on the output is an ideal application for DSP.

So what does a DSP actually do? A DSP yields to a very wide application field in audio, video and related fields, including:

Filtering: Filters are widely used in audio equipment and DSPs are the ideal choice for this application: they are analog-compatible and can be programmed very efficiently. The filter response can be hard-limiting, low-pass, high-pass, band-pass, band-stop…