I am confused about Dolby Digital. Is regular television programming through digital cable encoded in dolby digital 5.1? Meaning, if I have the right connections, shouldn't I be able to listen to television programs in Dolby Digital 5.1?
Only if the network and the cable company provide it to you that way. I have every cable movie channel available and find it frustrating that for example HBO will show a movie in dolby digital but HBO2 will show the same movie only in prologic. And of course the cable companies were way behind in transmitting in digital. I have never seen a regular network broadcast in dolby digital, only prologic but I as yet do not have HDTV and those broadcasts should be in digital on a network or movie channel. If you have a "digital cable" box make sure it has a digital output[coax or optical] as the early boxes did not. "Digital Cable" is a misnomer anyway, it's not digital.