Audio Equipment and Home Theater Audio : DTS Audio - what is it?

DTS Audio - what is it?

I just got a DVD that has regular stereo and DTS sound. The stereo soundtrack plays fine, but the DTS one is completely silent! Why? Is the disc defective?

Re: DTS Audio - what is it?

Your system probably does not support DTS (Digital Theater System).

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Re: DTS Audio - what is it?

If yours does in fact support DTS and if its like my Denon unit you have to choose the DTS option on the amp before it will play. On my unit it will not automatically choose either the regular or DTS options.


Re: DTS Audio - what is it?

Take a look at your receiver or surround processor and its manual. Among the logos on the front panel or manual, which will routinely include Dolby Digital, does it also have a "DTS" logo anywhere or other documetation indicating that a DTS decoder is present? If not, you're out of luck... only the 2-channel PCM stereo track will play.

DTS audio is one of the two major competing surround formats, next to Dolby Digital. Because of several decisions made back in the 1980's regarding digital television broadcasts, Dolby Digital became a standard and was quickly adopted by the motion picture industry as a replacement for Dolby Surround.

It's argued by some that DTS is superior but this is mainly true in the theatrical environment where DTS has a bitrate of 1500 Kbps. In the home, DTS is closer to 768 Kbps, and Dolby Digital has a maximum bitrate of 640 Kbps for DVD.

But more importantly, Dolby Digital bitstreams on DVD contain additional data that help refine its output in the receiver, including Dynamic Range Control and Dialogue Normalization. DTS doesn't contain any such metadata, and consequently, you'll tend to find that DTS soundtracks feel louder (only because they're mastered to a higher baseline level which isn't actually a good thing) but they are consequently not very dynamic, i.e. having both a tremendous effects soundtrack while at the same time maintaining very discernible dialogue and other nuanced background noises all at varying levels that the listener can easily discern.

Nature abhors a moron. -H.L. Mencken