What is DTS?

You may have looked at the front of a home theater receiver or at the back of a DVD or Blu-Ray box and wondered what "DTS" stood for. DTS is the acronynm for Digital Theater Systems. This company develops standards for compressing multi-channel audio information for movies and music into a single digital signal.


After a movie soundtrack is made, there are many different channels of sound that need to be put together into one digital signal. However, when digitizing several audio channels, they can take up a vast amount of space. In fact, all of the sound wouldn't even fit on the DVD without compression.

The DTS format is an encode/decode system designed to compress audio information to a size that can fit into a certain amount of space while maintianing pristine sound quality (similar to how MP3s are compressed from the original CD). This way when you play it back through a DTS decoder, it uncompresses all of the audio information into the original sound channels with near perfect audio quality.

DTS first unveiled its 5.1 digital encoder in 1993, when it was used to encode the soundtrack for that summer's blockbuster hit Jurassic Park. Since then it has been used as a standard in thousands of theatrical releases worldwide. It has even found its way into music studios, allowing them to create special CDs encoded in high quality 5.1 surround sound.

DTS is the competitor to rival corporation Dolby Laboratories and its Dolby Digital format. Today you can find both formats side-by-side in nearly every digital home theater surround receiver, and on many DVD and Blu-Ray discs.

Learn more about DTS at the Official DTS Website


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