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DTS demos new immersive surround sound format, DTS:X

By Vijay Anand - on 9 Jan 2015, 2:37pm

DTS demos new immersive surround sound format, DTS:X

At CES 2015, DTS has been busy demoing a successor to DTS-HD Master Audio, their current top-of-the-line surround sound format for the home. While it does a great job in delivering high quality surround audio, it's a tad behind times considering what Dolby Atmos allows.

Enter DTS:X, the company's new object-based codec technology that deals with handling audio elements and where to place them in your listening environment given the number of speakers you've got as opposed to classical surround sound formats that are squarely bound by audio recorded for a specific speaker channel format. This allows for a scalable speaker setup and still enjoying other perks of the latest audio format.

If all this sounds familiar, that's because Dolby Atmos has been doing this for sometime now. From our brief encounter of DTS:X demonstration in a closed door session, we felt that it delivered similar immersive surround audio as did Dolby Atmos.

The closed-room audio setup for the DTS:X demo at the DTS booth in CES 2015 had several ceiling speakers but that didn’t hold it back from being able to reproduce audio from all around.

At this point of time, DTS:X is still in a preview phase and it won't launch officially till later in March 2015. As such, not all details have been unveiled of what else DTS:X brings to the table.

However, we were given a sneak preview of an additional little feature that the new format will support - dialog control. In an example using a soccer match, the new DTS format gives you more interactive control by dialing certain audio elements up (or down), such as perhaps increasing the commentary volume versus the game volume. Since the format handles "audio objects", it's able to provide precise control in your hands. In a further example, it also provided on-screen GUI-based track control from the various commentary options for the games.

Since the new DTS:X format handles audio as objects to manipulate, you actually get more interactive controls to personalize it as it suits your listening needs - or so that's how the pitch goes at the moment. More details to come when the format is finalized officially, but for now, dialog control is one aspect that was demoed to us.

Despite its later launch date, it has rallied a number of industry players to support the new standard and DTS provided this statement to give you an idea of the state of DTS:X:-

Manufacturers representing nearly 90 percent of the home AV receiver and surround processor market, including Anthem, Denon, Integra, Krell, Marantz, McIntosh, Onkyo, Outlaw Audio, Pioneer, Steinway Lyngdorf, Theta Digital, Trinnov Audio, and Yamaha, have agreed to launch products supporting DTS:X in 2015. Additional manufacturer partners will be announced in the coming months. DTS:X solutions are also available for leading 2015 AV receiver silicon platforms representing the majority of the DSP platform market share, including Cirrus Logic, Analog Devices and Texas Instruments.

We'll be following the home theater scene closely and bring you further updates later this quarter when DTS:X is formally announced.

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