DTS is a series of multichannel audio technologies (formerly known as Digital Theater Systems, Inc.), a company dedicatedly specializing in digital surround sound formats used for both commercial/theatrical and consumer grade applications.
In the home theater market, AC-3 and DTS are close in terms of audio performance. When the DTS audio track is encoded at its highest legal bitrate (1509.75 kbps), technical experts rank DTS as perceptually transparent for most audio program material (i.e., indistinguishable to the un-coded source in a double blind test). Dolby claims its competing AC-3 codec achieves similar transparency at its highest coded bitrate (640 kbps). However, in program material available to home consumer markets (DVD, broadcast, and subscription digital TV), neither AC-3 nor DTS typically run at their highest allowed bitrate. DVD and broadcast (ATSC) HDTV cap AC-3 bitrate at 448 kbps.
However, even at that rate, consumer audio gear already enjoys better audio performance than theatrical (35 mm movie) installations, which are limited to even lower bitrates. When DTS audio was introduced to the DVD specification, studios authored DVD movies at DTS' full bitrate(1509.75 kbps). Later, movie titles were almost always encoded at a reduced bitrate of 754.5 kbps, ostensibly to increase the number of audio tracks on the movie disc. At this reduced rate (754.5 kbps), DTS no longer retains audio transparency.
AC-3 and DTS are judged by their encoded bitrates. DTS proponents claim that the extra bits give higher fidelity and more dynamic range, providing a richer and more lifelike sound. But no conclusion can be drawn from their respective bitrates, as each codec relies on different coding tools and syntax to compress audio.
Like AC-3, DTS surrounding has also stereo surrounds channel:
Mono (Center only)
2-channel stereo (Left + Right), optionally carrying matrixed Dolby Surround
3-channel stereo (Left, Center, Right)
2-channel stereo with mono surround (Left, Right, Surround)
3-channel stereo with mono surround (Left, Center, Right, Surround)
4-channel quadraphonic (Left, Right, Left Surround, Right Surround)
5-channel surrounding (Left, Center, Right, Left Surround, Right Surround)
Generally speaking, DVD's audio is AC-3 or DTS format, which is featured 5.1 surround sound. When you play and watch DVD movie through the home theater system, this multi-dimensional audio effect will make you immersive feel the fantastic of DVD movie. Meanwhile, AC-3 and DTS audio format can also be converted and stored into video files like MPEG and AVI. When playback them on your media player, it can also achieve the 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound.
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Kistent Waung began her career as a multimedia software editor at Digiarty since 26, and has reviewed dozens of software related to video conversion, editing and compression. She's seasoned at troubleshooting video related issues and always passionate about new trend and entertainment technology, from hot HEVC, 4K to the new AV1 codec.