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DTS digital surround sound


Dts – short for “Digital Theater Systems,” the name of the company that patented the technology, is a digital surround sound system similar to Dolby Digital. To use this standard with your surround sound speakers, you’ll need a multichannel sound processor that supports dts as well as Dolby. It's also a good idea to make sure you have a DVD or Blu-ray player that supports dts. While early DVD players often only supported Dolby, most these days support both. 

It should be noted that, unlike Dolby, CDs and laserdiscs don’t require a special output for dts. A normal digital output is sufficient. This is because dts audio streams on CDs and laserdiscs take up the same amount of space as normal digital audio streams. This makes dts compatible with most older devices.

Just like Dobly Digital , dts is a digital sound format that originated in cinemas. Many in the film  industry felt a need for a digital sound format that could deliver higher impact sound than analogue because it was able to store more information in a smaller amount of space. Jointly developed by Panasonic and Universal Pictures, dts was first used in Steve Spielberg’s blockbuster “Jurassic Park” in 1993 – just a little over a year after Dolby debuted its new digital sound for cinemas with the movie “Batman Returns.”

How does dts work?
Like other digital formats, dts uses a type of data compression. In cinemas, Dolby Digital uses a 320 kBit/s data rate  - a rate that allows it to be inserted into every perforation hole in the soundtrack. Dts, on the other hand, works with a much higher data rate of 1.44 MBit/s and this data is saved on one or more CDs independent of the film’s running time. Cinemas then play back the CDs on a CD player that decodes the signals and sends them to their respective channels represented by many speakers arranged throughout the theatre. An optical reader on the movie projector reads special dots and dashes on each picture frame which correspond to a time frame on the CDs’ sound track. This system ensures sound that is synchronous with the picture.

A somewhat other type of compression is used in the home cinema area, the so-called “coherent acoustic codec,“ also known as dts Digital Surround. It works with a 20 bit resolution and variable data rate. Like Dolby Digital, dts is a 5.1 system, meaning that it supports 5 independent sound channels plus a subwoofer, although newer versions support up to 7 channels.

Learn more about dts:

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