Question

4K/UHD bluray players that decode DTS to Dolby? (Update)

  • 10 May 2020
  • 8 replies
  • 221 views

Hi all,

I’ve seen the recommendations in the Home Theater and Television Recommendation Megathread, however, Samsung seems to have stopped producing bluray players altogether and the older models can be hard to come by.

Does anyone know of other (newer) 4k bluray players that can decode DTS to DD?

Thanks!


8 replies

Userlevel 4
Badge +6

Since Samsung have stopped producing players the only option left is a Xbox one I believe. Neither Sony or Panasonic players convert to DD on the fly. 

Wow, I can’t believe you actually have to buy an Xbox to fix this problem. Sonos please just buy a DTS licence to save us the aggregation. 

And perhaps update the processor in all previously sold devices in order to appropriately decode the data? 

Userlevel 3
Badge +2

Wow, I can’t believe you actually have to buy an Xbox to fix this problem. Sonos please just buy a DTS licence to save us the aggregation. 

Welcome to the world of Sonos! People seem to fall into two camps over DTS - please add it or get over it. Some claim it’s impossible due to hardware limitations others think it’s perfectly possible with software. I think Sonos were unbelievably cheap not buying the licence for DTS and have now dug themselves into a hole leaving its customers to make other arrangements if they want DTS soundtracks played back over their expensive Sonos kit. I throughly enjoy Sonos In my home but they are not above criticism.

Userlevel 6
Badge +13

Even the newest all singing all dancing soundbar will not support DTS, I wonder how much the license really is per unit?.

We mainly use Netflix and luckily most of there content is DD5.1.

I think I read the DTS licensing agreement years ago, and as I recall, it required a separate fee for each speaker in use. Not sure how Sonos could retroactively pay for all speakers they have currently in use, and stay in business.

Userlevel 3
Badge +2

I think I read the DTS licensing agreement years ago, and as I recall, it required a separate fee for each speaker in use. Not sure how Sonos could retroactively pay for all speakers they have currently in use, and stay in business.

But would they have to pay for each speaker ever made? Sonos are transitioning to S2 effectively stopping older products from new audio formats. DTS could have been part of that process. I suspect the DTS Licensing people would have been delighted to cut a deal with Sonos to spread DTS use.

Now here’s the flip side of that position. As far as I know all streaming services, all DVDS and at least half of Blu-Rays use a Dolby format of some description. All Sonos products can reproduce at least DD 5.1 if configured for surround sound and do it very well at least to my ears. When I bought into the Sonos system disc formats for watching movies were much more common, particularly before the collapse of high street retailers selling them. That was the time when not offering DTS was cheap particularly when Sonos wanted to have home cinema credentials with the launch of the Playbar. 
 

For my own setup I purchased a Blu-ray player to transcode DTS to DD. Less than thrilled about the extra outlay but the benefits of Sonos for our house made it worthwhile. In hindsight I’d have bought an Xbox which could then have been used for streaming apps too. And all those apps use Dolby audio formats and a number of LG 2020 TVs don’t support DTS pass through whereas their 2019 counterparts did as the industry increasingly moves away from DTS. It seems if there was a format war Dolby has won, DTS being more of a niche for high end 4K discs and even than far from exclusively.

Aside from the odd rare classic movie not available to stream my disc buying days are over and most of those are 2.0 anyway. If my Blu-ray player broke (hardly used these days) I’d probably spend the money on buying streaming versions of any DTS films and just use my PS4 for everything else.

Again, I’m hazy about what I read at the time, but my impression is that yes, Sonos would have to pay a licensing fee for each and every speaker that was part of a DTS enabled system. I don’t recall a ‘license the manufacturer for all devices’ fee, but I suspect something like that could be done as a one-off license, although my experience in the music licensing domain suggests that would be substantially larger, as the licensor would be wanting to recover the ‘equivalent’ amount as they would have for the normal license process. 

I would not expect, at this point, to see Sonos change their position on this, despite your persuasive position regarding the current media out there that uses DTS. This is, I concur, unfortunate. But my perception is that the market is now moving away from DTS and more towards Dolby Atmos, which may be behind Sonos’ decision to include that, rather than DTS. I’ve not ever looked at an Atmos licensing agreement, I’m sure, I wonder if it is also structured in a different way than a DTS license.

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