Completely without any degradation of the signal, DVD-Audio meets and exceeds the expectations of even the most audiophile listeners. The only thing DTS can add to this mix is an increase in playing time by using a different compression algorithm that yield's a better compression ratio than Meridian's MLP (Meridian Lossless Packing) scheme, which has been included in the DVD-Audio specification. But only if this compression scheme is also based on a lossless algorithm will DTS be able to maintain its current position as a format for audio enthusiasts.
DTS' position in the market is a tough one, and although the format has many fans, its true market penetration and acceptance is rather low. The fact that most DTS-enabled DVDs come at a significant premium doesn't help, and to make things worse, the
number of titles are very limited with no serious broadening of the palette in sight. One of the biggest hurdles in the race for consumer acceptance in the DVD arena is also the fact that at a premium price, most DTS titles come with a reduced set of
extras as opposed to their Dolby Digital counterparts. Universal is taking an interesting approach to the format as of late, by adding Dolby Digital and DTS audio tracks to some of their day and date releases, which by nature usually come with very
While the differences between Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks can be obvious in a direct comparison, it is hard to determine-or diminish--the quality of a track without such reference. As long as DTS is an option that has to be afforded by hard cash,
most consumers will be happy with Dolby Digital soundtracks--and rightfully so. At the same time, it has always been expensive to be a truly demanding audiophile listener, and that will never change. As such, it is once again one of DVD's great strengths that it manages to bring these two worlds together with ease, giving consumers and content providers a choice without necessarily ruling each other out.