Digital Theater Sound

What Does Digital Theater Sound Mean?

Digital Theater Sound (DTS) is a digital audio technology developed by DTS, Inc, which focuses on digital surround sound formats for consumer and commercial applications as well as theatrical purposes. Compared to the Dolby Digital standard, DTS uses four times less compression and digitizes audio sounds at 20 bits instead of 16 bits. This makes DTS-based audio richer in sound and more detailed than Dolby Digital-based ones.


Techopedia Explains Digital Theater Sound

Similar to AC-3, DTS also has stereo surround channels, which are mono, two-channel stereo, three-channel stereo, two-channel stereo with mono surround, three-channel stereo with mono surround, four-channel quadraphonic and five-channel surround. Digital Theater Sound has different variants like DTS 70mm, DTS-ES, DTS Neo 6, DTS Neo X, DTS 96/24, DTS Connect, DTS-HD Master Audio, etc. In the case of DTS soundtrack, the audio is recorded at a high bit rate but is not stored directly on the film strip. Instead, it is stored in a compressed form on CD-ROM. The track also has a modified time code, which helps in synchronizing the image with the sound audio track.

There are some distinct benefits of using DTS-based systems. The soundtracks are richer in sound, which makes DTS a favorite for movies, music and theater applications. It is also an excellent option for surround sound, as DTS-based tracks are more detailed than Dolby Digital-based ones. The technology is also argued to have an improved signal-to-noise ratio and a dynamic range.

Some disadvantages of using this technology include the limited software available that can handle this format and available ones are far expensive than other audio formats and their software. In most cases, it is possible to play DTS-encoded media using a certified DTS decoder.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…