HD Radio-Neural Combination Gains OEM Traction: DTS

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— Automakers are showing more interest than aftermarket suppliers in integrating DTS Neural Surround with HD Radio to decode Neural-encoded 5.1 broadcasts from more than 700 FM HD Radio stations, DTS told TWICE.

The combination of HD Radio and Neural is offered for the first time in 2011 Lincolns as part of THX II-certified audio systems.

“We are seeing interest and momentum for multichannel surround in the OEM car audio space,” marketing VP Tom Dixon told TWICE, but “currently there are not any aftermarket head units featuring HD Radio and DTS Neural decoding. In general, multichannel surround has never really gotten any traction in the car audio aftermarket space.”

On the home side, Denon, Onkyo and Integra feature a number of models that include HD Radio and DTS-Neural decoding, Dixon noted.

Neural-encoded HD Radio broadcasting “has really taken off over the past few years,” a DTS spokesman added. “The number of national syndicated radio shows that are produced in DTS Neural Surround is continuously growing.” These programs are supported by more than 700 HD radio stations across the country delivering year-round programming in 5.1 DTS Neural Surround, although not 24 hours per day.

Although Neural decoders upmix two-channel music sources to 5.1, the decoders also decode Neural-encoded HD Radio, analog FM and select XM satellite-radio broadcasts while maintaining compatibility with two-channel audio systems. The stations broadcasting Neural-encoded HD Radio are also broadcasting Neural-encoded analog-FM signals.

Neural decoding of Sirius and analog FM stations was available in the 2010 MKX.


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