The DTS Virtual:X post-processing surround sound technology developed by Xperi’s DTS, is being added to a wide range of television set system on a chip (SoC) processors coming from Tiawan’s MStar, the companies revealed Wednesday.

With the added capability, television manufacturers using applicable MStar SoCs will be able to build televisions for delivery in early 2018 that provide virtualized immersive 3D-like surround sound from any content, regardless of whether the content was produced for object-based audio like DTS:X or not. DTS Virtual:X works best with content mixed for DTS:X or Dolby Atmos, but it’s not limited to those alone.

On the other hand, DTS:X is a system for specially produced surround sound content intended for delivery over multiple-speaker setups. It will produce a height dimension for overhead atmospheric effects and other engulfing sound dynamics designed to simulate sound coming from objects moving around in an accompanying video image.

This is usually accomplished with a home theater receiver, rear surround speakers, and either in-ceiling or upward-firing speakers for the “height” channels.

DTS Virtual:X, on other hand, is a virtual surround sound technology employing special digital signal processing to simulate the full experience with a  setup containing as few as two speakers. The system creates a wider, fuller sound even from internal TV speakers that generally have small, thin drivers.

Read more about MStar’s integration of DTS Virtual:X in television SoCs after the jump:

Xperi said the first televisions with DTS Virtual:X technology are expected to be available in early 2018. Manufacturer brands likely to be the first to implement the technology were not disclosed.

Previously, DTS Virtual:X has been applied to supporting audio equipment like soundbars and A/V receivers from leading brands like Yamaha, Denon and Marantz. The specially-equipped MStar SoCs will enable the first applications directly in the televisions.

Xperi quoted data indicating that some 86 percent of U.S. consumers own a TV with a screen size larger than 40 inches and 18 percent own a TV larger than 60 inches, according to the CTA’s 19th Annual Consumer Technology Ownership and Market Potential Study from April 2017.

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Xperi pointed out that as TV screens get larger and thinner, the on-board speaker drivers tend to be smaller as placement inside the television cabinet becomes more limited resulting in comprised sound dynamics.

The DTS Virtual:X was developed as a way around such limitations to “provide an immersive sound experience without the need for larger drivers or additional speakers added to the television,” Xperi said.

DTS Virtual:X technology supports any input source from stereo to a 7.1.4 layout (11.1 channels), and works with any DTS codec, including the flagship DTS:X.

Xperi said when used for legacy content, an efficient upmixer built into the DTS Virtual:X system is used to produce a natural, immersive experience.

The system was developed to allow TV manufacturers to utilize one or more features concurrently, including Virtual Height and Virtual Surround enhancement.


By Greg Tarr


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