Pushing the surround sound market in a new direction, the Calabasas, Calif.-based company DTS announced its latest format: DTS:X.
According to DTS, its latest format is designed to replicate a real-world sound environment that immerses audiences in sound, regardless if they are in a cinema or enjoying a home theater.
“DTS:X is built on the foundation of providing an open, adaptable solution for content creators, cinemas and homes to fulfill our goal of bringing immersive audio to as many people around the world as possible,” says Jon Kirchner, chairman and CEO, DTS, Inc.
“Until recently sound in movie theaters and in our homes has been dictated by a standardized speaker layout. Through the use of object-based audio, DTS:X is able to scale immersive soundtrack presentations across a wide range of playback systems, from efficient to extravagant, while staying true to the content creator’s vision. This approach delivers the most authentic three-dimensional audio experience ever, making the audience feel as if they are in the center of the action.”
Elaborating on Kirchner comments, DTS explains its X format does not mandate a predetermined speaker configuration or specific amount of audio channels. The company says the format adapts to the viewing environment to support flexible speaker configurations that best fit the viewing space. DTS points out the format is engineered to convey the fluid movement of sound to provide listeners with a rich listening environment.
At the heart of DTS:X, the company points out is its license-free MDA platform that gives movie studios control over the specific placement of objects within the soundfield.
“MDA is DTS’ license-free contribution to the professional audio community for mixing and storage of immersive audio content,” says Kirchner. “MDA fits perfectly within today’s production workflow, and a combination of MDA and DTS:X provides a complete end-to-end workflow from creation to exhibition.”
Currently DTS offering cinema owners a licensing program that configures to any room environment with support from DTS-approved equipment and installation procedures, and DTS is working with the companies GDC Technology, QSC and USL for the delivery and playback of DTS:X content.
In the home market, DTS says that by the summer of 2015 almost 90 percent of the receiver and preamplifier/processor market will introduce products that incorporate DTS:X.
The format will be backwards compatible with DTS-HD Master Audio, and it can spatially reformat stereo 5.1 and 7.1 to fully utilize all of the speakers within an audio system. Other features include a dialog control option that allows AVR owners to control the volume of specific audio elements to meet their listening preferences.
The format supports systems up to 11.2 in a variety of layouts and configurations through its remapping technologies that allow for the placement of speakers nearly anywhere in a listening area.
In addition, DTS says X supports lossless encoding, including 96k for object mixes, and up to 192k for stereo and multichannel mixes. The company also offers Headphone:X that delivers a personal, immersive listening experience to headphone users.