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The long awaited DTS:X information reveal has arrived. Yes, DTS missed the codec’s projected March reveal date by a handful of days, but the company has more than compensated by supplying quite a few interesting details. Without wasting further time, let’s dive in and take a look at what DTS has been cooking.



A look at DTS's demo room from its official rollout of DTS:X.


Immersive Sound Refresher
DTS has officially joined Dolby as one of two “object-based audio” solutions. The third immersive sound competitor, Auro-3D, relies on more traditional channel based audio. The benefit of object-based audio is that sounds are not tied to specific speakers, but linked to specified locations within a listening space. This strips away the necessity of set speaker configurations and specific numbers of speakers by allowing the system to “scale” a soundtrack’s presentation to fit varying playback set-ups while staying true to a movie’s original audio intent. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can randomly stick two speakers in a room and enjoy perfect sound. But it does mean that properly equipped systems will have the ability to closely match the original intentions of an object-based audio presentation.

Dangling the Bait: Studios Can Access DTS:X “License Free”
DTS obviously wants studios to reach for their DTS:X platform when coding movie audio, and has decided to allow them to do so license free. Their authoring tool, MDA Creator, will be available completely free of charge in an open sharing environment. Studios can use MDA to simultaneously author movies in both DTS:X and conventional audio codecs. Therefore, studios can create content that can be easily distributed to theaters. DTS plans to collect royalties by taxing theaters with a licensing fee that will allow DTS:X audio to be used in their particular theaters. The company is currently working in conjunction with GDC Technology to ready theaters for the DTS:X experience; Asia should see approximately 350 screens get the DTS:X treatment during May 2015.


DTS:X in Your Home
DTS says that manufacturers representing nearly 90-percent of the AV Receiver market will launch DTS:X products this summer. Initial partners include Denon, Onkyo/Integra, Marantz, Steinway Lyngdorf, Theat Digital, Trinnov Audio, and Yamaha. Some products made by these companies will gain DTS:X functionality through simple firmware updates, while others will be released with DTS:X later this year.

Key DTS:X home features include:

  • Dialog Control: The object-based nature of DTS:X encoding will allow viewers to specifically increase the volume of dialog (when enabled by content creators).

  • Speaker Layout Flexibility: DTS:X has remapping technology that allows the system to adapt to widely varied speaker layouts. DTS says that AVRs made in 2015 will have the ability to support up to 11.2 channel configurations, with the ability to support up to 32 channels down the road.

  • Lossless Encoding: There’s no need to detail the popularity of DTS-HD MA’s lossless quality and DTS:X should deliver the same experience, supporting 96k for object mixes and 192k for stereo and multi-channel mixes.

  • Backwards Compatibility: If you aren’t in the market for a new receiver, don’t panic. DTS says that DTS:X encoded movies will play nicely with receivers that currently decode DTS-HD MA. DTS:X movies will reformat to conventional 5.1 and 7.2 mixes for great surround sound.


DTS:X on Blu-ray
Today, DTS announced forthcoming support for DTS:X in Sony Blu-print 6.6 and Scenarist BD Professional and Pro Plus v6.0 authoring tools, which are used for the creation of Blu-ray discs. This leaves little doubt about DTS’s future arrival in home environments.


Needless to say, both DTS:X and Atmos appear to be codecs of the future. We’ll keep you updated on their continued rollout and integration into home theater products as new information becomes available.

Image Credit: DTS
 

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Thanks Todd! That is great that you will be able to adjust the dialog level. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Definitely interesting features...if dialog control is enabled in every movie, that could be a very enticing draw for folks with smaller center channels OR late night viewing with the overall volume lowered. Backwards compatibility is also noteworthy.

With the possibility of High Dynamic Range and Wide Color Gamut rising on the video side...and object based audio being developed on the audio side...I believe we are in for quite a treat in the coming years!
 

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I have to agree that the dialog control would be an awesome addition for me. I have small kids that need their naps. Also I have trouble hearing dialog clearly at times and a little control would maybe help
 

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If only I could enjoy an actual demo...
 
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