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New 3D audio format in Disney +: developers contradict LG

At the start of CES, LG announced that its upcoming TV models will be certified under the “IMAX Enhanced” program for the first time – thus, among other things, they will be able to output a new 3D audio streaming format from DTS, which the video streaming service Disney + wants to use. In the future and Dolby Atmos. It should be clearly superior in terms of sound.

However, LG was surprised by the statement that the sound output to the TV via its HDMI eARC return channel is technically resolved differently than Sony, Philips and Sharp with IMAX-Enhanced TVs. In response to repeated inquiries from c’t, several representatives for the TV manufacturer agreed that the new audio codec, which would be officially called “DTS:X for Streaming,” would be passed unaddressed. This meant that users would need an audio/video receiver with an appropriate decoder for playback. LG itself has stated that it only guarantees the sound output on its speakers, which are also IMAX Enhanced certified.

As that approach seemed unusually radical, he didn’t take the opportunity at CES to bring up DTS parent Xperi, which launched IMAX Enhanced with its IMAX cinema player. Lo and behold: According to Xperi, contrary to LG’s statements, the audio output will ultimately not differ from the solution used by other TV manufacturers.

As a result, this means that upcoming LG TVs will not produce DTS:X for streaming without processing either – and this solution is generally not planned for the foreseeable future. Instead, IMAX Enhanced uses a trick to create backwards compatibility with available A/V receivers or soundbars. In this way, the TV transcodes the streaming codec into a format that matches the capabilities of the connected output device.

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If you connect an IMAX Enhanced-certified AV receiver or matching soundbar, it will receive the DTS:X 3D audio format with additional metadata that allows, for example, special bass management. If you have a playback device that supports DTS:X, HDMI-eARC will also show DTS:X. If your AV receiver is proficient in DTS multichannel or stereo audio, it will receive. According to Xperi, there will also not be a configuration in which the TV will remain silent. Xperi has no explanation as to why LG did not report this.

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This is of course good news for owners of existing DTS-enabled devices. You can also enjoy the fact that IMAX Enhanced certification generally includes a DTS passthrough. For example, if you connect a Blu-ray player to a TV’s HDMI input, you can get DTS audio delivered through it via HDMI-eARC. In the past, this was possible on some models of LG TVs, but not on others.

Finally, in the future, there may be the possibility of getting the new audio stream codec into existing AV receivers and soundbars via external broadcast players. When asked about the current Apple TV 4K as a potential player, we received nothing more than a wide grin, but the Xperi itself has brought up existing gen consoles that have enough computing power to accomplish said transcoding. Microsoft’s Xbox Series and Sony’s PlayStation 5 come to mind here, even if they don’t call them Xperi.


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