DTS interview: 11.1 setups, Blu-ray and speaking to Spielberg

AW: From our point of view, we want everyone to understand DTS. Demystifying the technology is something we need to do in the industry as a whole.

TR: DTS recently branched out into the gaming sector, can you explain what this is about?

AW: Up until recently we haven't really taken the gaming business as our core. It hadn't been a high priority, but now we are looking to strengthen our business and we saw gaming as an opportunity to do this. So we have made a financial and personal investment to try and build and get involved with the gaming side, with Neural Surround.

We also over the last year or so invested into the virtual side of things, so for the PC market we have products like Surround Sensation.

While we are still primarily focused on our core, which is home cinema, we have reached DTS-HD Master Audio. We have reached lossless audio which is comparable to PCM, so you could argue that this is a pinnacle. You can't improve on PCM.

TR: Dolby demoed 9.1 audio at CES. Are you looking into adding more channels?

AW: I don't want to play the numbers game, but we demoed something much bigger this year: 11.1.

When you use 5.1, there's little differentiation in the layout you can use. When it comes to 7.1 there are a multitude of layouts that one could legitimately describe as 7.1.

When we showed 11.1, we came up with a concept called 'Neo X' – where 'X' could be any number within reason. 'X' for CES was 11.

What we did was take 7.1 source material and through post-processing we up-mixed it to 11.1. The layout we used was a standard 7.1 layout with 90-degree sides and 135-degree rear surrounds.

So we added another pair of rears between the surrounds and the back surrounds and we took an additional pair of front left-right highs.

That was what we showed. It could be 11, it could be 9, it could be 13, it could be 366. The Master Audio algorithm is very expandable.

One of the advantages that we had when we developed our original algorithm was the it was extensible, so the core algorithm gets an extension wrapped round it. It's essentially future-proof – as much as that sort of thing can be.

TR: Finally, what's your favourite DTS Blu-ray track?

AW: It's got to be Hellboy II. From an audio point of view, with the 7.1 Master Audio. It's just fantastic.

To read more about the Home Cinema Choice Awards, point your browser to HomeCinemaChoice.com.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.