Our planetarium has just converted from stereo to 5.1 channel sound. All of our existing shows have stereo soundtracks, which only take advantage of a small portion of our new sound system.
We are looking for some way to convert our existing stereo soundtracks into 5.1 using software.
To test the concept using hardware, we temporarily connected an NAD home theater amp and used it to decode the audio using Dolby Prologic. The Dolby decoder was able to create 5.1 audio that was quite impressive. Unfortunately, this will not work as a permanent solution, because we need all 6 channels stored seperately on our hard drive as wav files. (This is a requirement built into the planetarium)
We have considered purchasing an 8 channel digitizer to capture the audio output of the NAD amp and store it as 6 discrete channels, but this is expensive, awkward, and requires that our audio go from digital to analog to digital several times.
We are hoping there is a software decoder that will take a stereo sound file as input and produce 6 seperate files as output.
We would also consider any other reasonable solutions.
There is (http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=60137) a nice guide on stereo to multichannel conversion at Doom9's forum. It is based on the Ambisonics method. I don't know how it works for other sources but it's worth the try if it could save money.