Audio News for January 23, 2015

DTS Competition to Dolby Atmos: DTS:X – DTS is madly working on their new object-based immersive audio codec technology, DTS:X, for a March launch. They want to compete against Dolby Atmos, which is becoming a “de-facto” market standard while object-based audio standards are still being discussed by the SMPTE. It appears that Dolby has had such success in the cinema market that they might be able to establish a de-facto standard for the consumer market as well. The DTS:X uses proprietary technology which was actually developed by SRS Labs, which was acquired by DTS in 2012. An interoperable standard of object-based audio is considered important for broadcast, gaming and consumer electronics sectors. DTS claims that nearly 90% of the home AV receiver and surround processor market have agreed to launch products supporting DTS:X in 2015.

Sony Hi-Res Digital Walkmen – Sony has gone mobile hi-res in a big way with their hi-res digital versions of the familiar Walkman. The NWZA17SLV (which will be reviewed soon herein) does a fine job at $298, but this spring they will have the revamped Walkman, the NWZX2 at $1200, which holds roughly 1700 songs (over 33 hours playback) and has a clarity of sound rivaling that of master studio reordings. Both players have the DSEE HX software which supposedly upscales MP3 files to closer to hi-res audio sonics. The ZX2 also has the S-master HX hi-res audio amp, which cuts distorition and noise across a wide range of freqencies.

Starz Adds DTS-HD Surround – The Starz Play, Encore Play, and Movieplex Play video-streaming services available thru Microsoft’s Xbox One are now available with DTS-HD soundtracks. The services offer over 2000 movies, original shows and TV epsiodes available thru cable-TV and satellite-TV subscriptions.  CinemaNow and the Ultraflix Streaming Network also offer DTS-HD surround soundtracks, as well as the Dolby Digital Plus surround format.

CES – All About the Bling – The only AV item mentioned in a Twice summation the January 2015 CES in Las Vegas was Samsung’s 105-inch flexible “4K” TV. Selling for six figures and in a 21:9 aspect ratio, it is a flexible panel that curves and flattens on command – the world’s largest bendable LCD TV and a winner of the CES Best of Innovations award.

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