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DTS-HD Layered Audio Technology

by April 16, 2013
DTS-HD Layered Audio

DTS-HD Layered Audio

DTS announced something recently that didn't get much play. The company launched its new DTS-HD Layered Audio technology. What this is, is a way to allow online media services to stream (on-demand) adaptive bit-rate files from a single encode. DTS-HD Layered Audio takes the best stuff from the DTS-HD codec and uses it to create and store adaptive bit-rate audio streams—all from a single encode. So if you're streaming to a mobile product that isn't running at blazing 4G speeds yet, you can have them pull from a lower bitrate encoded stream. At the same time broadcast quality streaming is possible for those on higher bandwidth connections. DTS demoed the technology at NAB this year and it works as advertised.

Manzanita Systems was the first to integrate DTS-HD Layered Audio into their Manzanita MP4 Multiplexer (MP4Mux v2.0) which will be released in May. They chose it because DTS-HD Layered Audio can  allows their service to stream using adaptive bit-rate audio, but do so without incurring additional storage or additional time to produce the various encodes. Given today's advanced broadcast rooms and the inevitable flux they are in, this new technology is a real light at the end of the tunnel for more challenging network environments.

The Unified Streaming Platform (USP), is using the technology to provide real-time transmuxing (changing the container format) so that a single source can send output to a wide range of different streaming formats. The USP was just released last month and the goal was to reduce overhead in the process.

“We designed our Layered Audio technology with bandwidth limitations, server resource efficiency and consumer enjoyment in mind. Our goal at DTS is to deliver the best quality, immersive audio experience possible. DTS-HD Layered Audio helps enable this under some of the most challenging broadband conditions in a manner that is both efficient and cost effective, and it fully works with our suite of existing DTS-HD encoders and decoders."

- Mark Johnson, vice president of streaming and media solutions, DTS Inc.


At NAB this year, DTS' Layered Audio Demonstration included content prepared by Manzanita Systems' MP4 Multiplexer (MP4Mux) including DTS-HD Layered Audio streams. Unified Streaming had their USP performing dynamic transformation of DTS-HD Layered Audio content, and then delivered it in the MPEG-DASH streaming format. Lastly, there was a castLabs MPEG-DASH player with DTS-HD Layered Audio support playing the content in real-time. It also providing user-selectable switching between the adaptive bit-rate audio streams so users can experience, first-hand, the capability of DTS-HD Layered Audi.

Benefits of DTS-HD Layered Audio include:

  • Enables adaptive bit-rate audio streaming at almost no additional cost from a single encode
  • Ideal for live streaming, eliminating the need to time align multiple encodes of the same track at various bit-rates
  • Smaller storage footprint compared to traditional adaptive bit-rate audio solutions

To learn more about DTS-HD Layered Audio for today’s advanced streaming formats, please visit http://www.dts.com/professionals/resources/resource-center.aspx.

About the author:
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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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