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DTS:X is now available on select A/V receivers from Denon and Marantz

Theo Nicolakis | Feb. 19, 2016
It's unclear when other manufacturers will release DTS:X firmware updates.

DTS delivered on its promise of backwards compatibility with previous bit streams and speaker layouts. It also features a spacial remapping engine called Neural:X, which will give you an immersive audio experience with older 2.0-, 5.1-, or 7.1-channel content. According to Jordan, “Neural:X utilizes highly advanced spatial analysis algorithms to derive an ideal remapping path between the native content format and the end-user’s speaker layout. Simply put, it creates an impactful and tasteful 3D spatial experience by breathing new life into your current library of movies and music.” First impressions about content upmixed through Neural:X have been positive.

DTS:X’s interactive elements include Dialog Control, which treats dialog as a separate audio object. This gives you the ability to adjust the dialog independently of the rest of the mix—regardless of which speaker it’s coming from. As cool as this feature sounds, in practice, you’ll only be able to use Dialog Control if it has been specifically enabled in the content metadata; in other words, it won’t necessarily be available in every soundtrack, even it is encoded with DTS:X content.

While it’s great news that consumers who purchased DTS:X-ready gear are finally getting the firmware updates needed to enable that technology. As promise and real-world practice come together, on the other hand, it’s becoming apparent that not every aspect of DTS:X’s potential will be realized in the real world. Some features will rely on the way audio engineers master content, while others—such as speaker-layout options—will depend on what consumer-electronics manufacturers choose to enable in their products.

 

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