With two new, feature-packed gaming consoles being unveiled this month, we’re still trying to suss out the details of everything they can do. And while you might not consider the Playstation 4 a high-caliber audio device, an announcement that the console will be the first available device to decode DTS’s new HD streaming format says differently.
Detailed in a report by Twice, the new decoder, called DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, allows decoding of streaming content with 7.1 channel soundtracks at a massive 512 Kbps. According to sources from DTS cited in the report, that means that streaming over a capable network from services that offer the high bit rate content will allow audio quality that is “nearly indistinguishable” from lossless codecs. And while most people spend a lot more time worrying about the video quality of their HD movies than the sound quality, those with a good home theater system know how important good audio decoding can be to creating a visceral experience.
In addition to providing high quality decoding from streaming content, the new protocol also allows for HD DTS decoding from hardcopy digital sources like Blu-Ray, including DTS HD Master Audio. That makes your Playstation 4 an even more versatile hub from which to manage your home theater system, even for the audiophile set.
Don’t expect the new format to do you much good over Netflix or Hulu, however. In order to get the full HD audio experience from the device, you’ll have to stream content from services that offer high quality DTS-HD streams, such as CinemaNow.
Still, as streaming content continues to advance, we expect more services to offer higher quality DTS-HD formats in the future, giving those who care about elite audio good reason to jump on the PS4 bandwagon.