It will almost certainly be broadcast in Dolby Digital on the high-definition feed. That's what I would use if I were watching the game at home...
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If you are watching via a digital high def. channel, typically the audio is dolby digital surround. When I watch high def football, I let my processor detemine the native surround mode and it typically is Dolby Digital 5.1 . I like listening in this mode because it puts the on-field action in the front speakers and the crowd in the surrounds. It's interesting that you can often hear individual fans in the stands. It kinda gives the "you are there" illusion.
Try it in DD5.1. If it isn't working for your party audience you might try the "all channel" mode to increase the volume to everyone in the room regardless of their seating/standing position.
Enjoy the game......
I've tried different surround modes such as stadium, etc. All it did was make the announcers' voices echo which was disconcerting so I just leave it on Dolby Digital. Actually I like the "music" setting better than the cinema for all the surround uses. I would experiment. If there are a lot of people and a big room, 5 speaker stereo might work best. Good luck and enjoy. Dan
FOX Sports is doing this year's SB broadcast. During their broadcast of the NFL Playoffs, I noticed on my Denon receiver that the incoming signal from DirecTV satellite was only in stereo, so I set the receiver to Dolby Digital PL II THX Cinema so that the output to the speakers would be 7.1. It worked great, creating the ambient sound of the stadium, including the individual fans, as mentioned by reubent above. I've wondered whether a network could be fined for the obscenities of an overzealous fan.
Don't know whether the choice of stereo was from Fox or DirecTV, but I hope they will not do that for SB. That would be really lame.
Anyway, here's hoping it's not a total Patriots blowout. We're hoping for double overtime.
None of the above.
IMO, there's no way any kind of processing is going to work for 30-40 people (unless of course, your Sunfire is in a dedicated theather room that's designed to accommodate that many people). People will be standing, getting refills, chatting and blocking sound even for those lucky guests staking out seats in the "sweet spot."
When you've got a party that size in a standard living room, (say 20' - 25' x 30') and a big screen TV, your only fighting shot at making the announcers & commercials audible over the din of conversation & snacking is to go "all channels" or "party" mode where every speaker has the same information output. You're giving nothing up by going this way, as all of the ambiance retrieval & other effects are lost just by having all the people and moving parts that make up a superbowl party.
Added benefit of party mode is setting it, forgetting it, and tending to more pressing hosting responsibilities: Making sure the beer stays cold, shaming the double dippers, etc.