Samsung confirmed that a recent firmware update (version 3113.5) was released last week for its Dolby Atmos soundbars, models HW-K850 and HW-K950, bringing support for DTS 5.1 surround.

Previously, when fed a DTS 5.1 channel signal, the soundbars had to down mix the format to stereo. This was a problem, since many Blu-ray Disc and streaming titles today use the DTS 5.1 surround sound format.

Read more about the Samsung DTS 5.1 update for its Atmos soundbars after the jump:

Unfortunately, that’s where the update stops. While full 5.1 multichannel presentations are now available, the update does not add support for DTS’s DTS:X format, which is that company’s competitive alternative to Dolby Atmos 3D audio with object-based immersive surround sound, including height channels.

A Samsung spokesman told HD Guru the new firmware will not support DTS:X and there have been no plans announced to add that capability. Where DTS 5.1 channel support is pervasive in some Blu-ray, Ultra HD Blu-ray and streaming titles, Dolby Atmos currently offers the lion’s share of titles with object-based audio support. DTS:X produces a similar, though not identical, experience, but was later in arriving to market.

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The Samsung Dolby Atmos soundbars also don’t support the just introduced DTS Virtual:X format, which produces 3D-surround sound-like effects from any content source.

The Samsung HW-K850 and HW-K950 soundbars offer a high-quality Dolby Atmos object-based audio experience from specially encoded soundtracks, and also do a nice job reproducing music. The K950 includes wireless rear surround speakers in addition to the soundbar and wireless subwoofer included with the K850 package.

The packages use up-firing drivers in the soundbar to produce overhead effects in front of the audience, while the K950’s rear channels extend the effect all around the listeners for an immersive experience.

The version 3113.5 firmware update is available via download directly to the soundbar or via a USB download to a USB flash drive from the Samsung web site.

 

By Greg Tarr

 

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