DTS:X decoder to feature in TVs from late 2019
IMAX Enhanced and DTS:X get into bed together.
DTS and MediaTek have announced that their collaboration will release the first DTS:X System-on-Chip (SoC) solution for TVs in the second half of 2019.This SoC approach to enable decoding of DTS:X audio directly by the TV is a first and will allow backwards compatibility with all DTS-encoded content, including DTS:X and DTS-HD Master Audio Blu-ray Discs.
In addition, the 2020 IMAX Enhanced protocol requires the DTS:X immersive streaming codec for 4K movies as a necessary component in order for a piece of hardware to be included in the IMAX Enhanced program, so any TV with these DTS:X SoC decoders will be a step closer to certification (assuming it ticks all the the other required boxes too). This is interesting as some Sony TVs which lack DTS:X have already gained the certification - perhaps the ‘2020’ IMAX Enhanced program is a second iteration.
Televisions featuring DTS:X are compatible with any DTS content connected to the TV from HDMI, USB and OTT streaming services and DTS:X has also been adopted in the Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) spec for Europe. The solution includes a DTS:X transcoder capable of outputting DTS core over S/PDIF and ARC (audio return channel) and can output a DTS:X lossless bitstream via enhanced audio return channel (eARC) to connected devices such as DTS:X-enabled A/V receivers or sound bars to achieve a DTS home entertainment ecosystem.
DTS:X for TV is compatible with the DTS Virtual:X audio post-processing solution to deliver immersive content played over a TV’s internal speakers.
Given the focus on the 2020 IMAX Enhanced programme and the fact that these chips will not start appearing until much later in 2019, it would seem that this DTS:X for TV is realistically something to look forward to in the 2020 ranges of TV.
As to which TV Manufacturers will use DTS:X For TV, well, Sony and Philips (TP Vision) Android TVs use MediaTek chips and TCL has used MediaTek in the past (though switches to Realtek this year) but whether this is an indicator of future partnerships remains to be seen.
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