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DTS Outlines Plan To Promote MDA Surround Sound

LAS VEGAS — DTS wants to stimulate adoption of its Multi-Dimensional Audio (MDA) surround-sound format by offering the object-authoring format to the contentcreation community as an open format much like PCM.

The technology places individual sounds inside a movie theater or home-theater room in significantly more places than can be achieved with traditional discrete-multichannel surround-sound formats, delivering a new level of realism, the company said.

“Meaningful consumer deployment could occur in the next two years,” senior VP Geir Skaaden told TWICE.

The technology was demonstrated last year in proof-of-concept form at International CES by SRS, which was purchased in 2012 by DTS.

MDA-enabled soundtracks can be used with digital cinema movies, next-generation movie discs, streaming-video services, and digital-cable and satellite-TV broadcasts. MDA-enabled soundtracks cannot be placed on Blu-ray discs because the Blu-ray spec does not support object-based audio, the company said.

With object-based audio, the author attaches specific X, Y, Z coordinates to every millisecond of a specific sound to describe that sound’s location at any given time, a spokesman explained.

Through multi-speaker home-theater and cinema-sound systems, MDA decoders will capture the metadata and use psychoacoustic processes to place the sounds in the room around and above listeners at various heights and distances, a spokesman said.

MDA can also be used in 2.1-speaker systems and soundbars to deliver “a more immersive rendering” than what can be achieved with today’s virtual-surround technologies, the company added.

MDA is compatible with today’s HDMI inputs and outputs, the company noted.