OPINION: Dolby vs. DTS is a battle that has been raging for decades – like Autobots vs. Decepticons – although we don’t want to say which company is in which context.

Every company strives to raise audio standards both in the cinema and at home, constantly improving its technology to offer customers a better audio experience.

Of the two Dolby feels more common, while on physical media DTS is very popular. Audiophiles and home theater fans believe that DTS is better, and some directors like Christopher Nolan use DTS religiously.

DTS is encoded at a higher bitrate and uses less compression than its main competitor – although Dolby claims that their format is still more efficient – and efficiency is proving important.

Look at the current state of the soundtrack and streaming market and there was a change in the direction of Dolby that turned off DTS.

The first time I really noticed was when Sonos released the Arc soundtrack, but left DTS decoding out. It seemed strange that a home theater product aimed at home theater enthusiasts would miss one of the more widely supported audio formats on discs. Sonos has since updated its products to support DTS Digital Surround, but that doesn’t cover everything DTS has to offer.

Sonos has mentioned in the past that the lack of DTS support is due to consumer demand, but it’s not like people are sitting at home discussing one audio format in front of another – they will take what is provided. The struggles of DTS are reduced to a minimum presence in streaming services. A more efficient Dolby codec that uses less data is exactly what you want for a streaming service.

All major streaming services support Dolby. Even IMAX Enhanced Disney + content, a format marketed as using DTS sound as a basis, is displayed in Dolby. Sony’s Bravia Core supports DTS, but this is currently only available on Bravia XR TVs and only supports 5.1 soundtracks, not the immersive DTS: X format.

I am in the process of testing the new Panorama 3 soundtrack by Bowers & Wilkins and DTS soundtracks are not officially supported, which shows that if your TV can pass the DTS signal, it will be converted to LPCM (linear pulse) Code modulation) . There are several inconveniences that occur from time to time, including some distracting noise.

Panorama 3 is also not a cheap soundtrack, but Dolby’s prioritization over other formats suggests that home theater enthusiasts are not the main audience, and the change in streaming also marks a change in premium soundbars aimed at the lifestyle market.

DTS is struggling with its DTS Play Fi and DTS TV wireless systems to expand its presence, but streaming services are the area where DTS needs to put Dolby on its chin to gain traction. With soundtracks on the go like the Sonos Ray, this could be a trend where even cheaper bars simply offer DTS formats. I do not think that DTS would want their influence to be reduced at the cheaper end of the market.

What is lost can be found, although DTS seems to have a difficult task ahead of it. But any company that climbs to the top of its respective sector is there to be torn down (just look at Netflix). Can DTS strike a significant blow at its opponent? It will have to be as hard as one of their soundtracks.

Sound and Vision: Is DTS losing the home cinema war?

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