DTS Express is very similar to Dolby Digital Plus. It aims to deliver high quality audio with low overhead. That means it’s a low bit-rate audio codec that works really well for secondary audio tracks on Blu-ray discs and also (admittedly rare) BD Live content. DTS Express is a constant bit rate technology that ranges from 48 kbps all the way to 512 kbps. It can also handle up to 5.1 channels at up to 48 kHz/24 bit. Through the use of an integrated DTS transcoder, DTS Express remains compatible with most legacy DTS devices.
DTS Express is also flexible in that it lets you stream more or less data depending on your bandwidth availability. In this way, the audio streaming quality can be throttled or kept consistent. DTS calls this their “Fit-To-Stream” technology, and it’s a very promising way to handle the differences in streaming bandwidth requirements.
While DTS Express will dynamically adjust the stream to compensate for bandwidth fluctuations, it does so without audibly affecting the listening quality. And it does all of this from a single stream—without the use of dual encodes or additional streams. It brings back memories of RealAudio in the early days of the Internet and audio and video streaming.
DTS Express aims to provide a truly scalable solution—and do it without pops, glitches or dropouts that typically accompany new technology and aggressive encoding techniques.
Here’s a chart of the various specs and bit rates for DTS technologies:
As you can see, DTS Express has the flexibility to handle bandwidth from 64 kbps (stereo) all the way up to 512 kbps (5.1 surround). DTS Express is a popular choice for UltraViolet encoded movies which are available for download when you buy compatible Blu-ray Discs. Exposure and market share are all that the format has to overcome—at least that’s what it seems like to us. Currently, DTS Express is available on some CinemaNow movies and, aside from the aforementioned UltraViolet, not too much else. DTS Express aims to take on Dolby Digital Plus, but they’ll have to find a way to better infiltrate that market if they want to do well.
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