Is Dolby Digital Surround

Dolby Digital or DTS?

Even if the Blu-Ray is displacing the DVD from the market bit by bit, the majority of home cinema fans and average consumers own a DVD player. However, these usually offer several sound formats, but most often you will find the 5.1 surround sound method DTS or Dolby Digital on the back of the DVD case.

However, this information is only relevant if you have a DTS or Dolby Digital-compatible DVD player and AV receiver (must have a DTS or Dolby Digital decoder). If this is the case, the first question that arises is what delivers the better sound. I would like to investigate this briefly in this article.

Since the DVD only has a limited storage capacity (single-layer 4.7 GB), the developers of DTS and Dolby had to use mathematical tricks to compress the audio track in terms of the amount of data. The sound tracks on the new Blu-Rays are uncompressed due to the large storage capacity of the disc. In terms of size, the difference between DTS and Dolby Digital is that DTS allows the sound to handle larger amounts of data and is therefore at least theoretically somewhat better than Dolby Digital. This can also be proven in many hearing tests (provided that the system is good).

But how do the larger amounts of data for the sound at DTS make themselves felt in the sound?

DTS sounds cleaner in the highs, whereas Dolby Digital plays pretty rough. Many claim, however, that you don't hear a difference, but if you look at the exact specifications of the two formats, you can already see that DTS has a higher bit rate and technically sounds better. But if you can't hear the difference between a 128 kbit / s and 192 kbit / s encoded MP3 file on your system, you don't have to worry about deciding between Dolby Digital or DTS!

The decision between stereo and 5.1 is more important: if you have the option of choosing between Dolby Digital and DTS, often only one soundtrack is recorded in 5.1 surround, the other in stereo or in the old Dolby surround method. In this case, you should definitely choose the 5.1 variant. Whether it comes from Dolby or from DTS is less important here. You can make these settings in the audio setup of the inserted DVD.

What do you have to consider when wiring?

Connect the DVD player to the AV receiver using a digital cable. This can be done either via the audio-out connection or the Toslink connection (optical fiber).

In any case, AV receivers always have the option of using one of the two variants. However, there are a few small differences in sound.

If you have wired everything, you must set the digital output to Dolby Digital or DTS in the setup of the DVD player (often called up using the “Setup” button on the remote control) before starting the DVD player for the first time. “PCM” must never be activated there!