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DTS Highlights Radio’s Surround Uptake

Says technology is used by 750+ HD Radio stations

When you hear about the phrase “surround sound,” you probably don’t immediately think about “radio.” Despite explorations of the possibilities of surround over radio, many of which have been reported in Radio World, the idea has had a low profile, at least among consumers. Could that change?

Some 750 U.S. radio stations transmitting digital signals are using DTS Neural Surround Sound.

That’s according to parent company DTS. It said its HD Radio technology surround sound content initiative involves partners American Public Media, Minnesota Public Radio, “JazzSet” with Dee Dee Bridgewater from NPR Music, the Cleveland Institute of Music and others.

“We have seen the number of U.S. radio stations broadcasting in surround sound double in size each year for the past three years,” stated DTS EVP/COO Brian Towne.

Programs such as “JazzSet” and “Performance Today” use DTS Neural Surround Sound equipment by DaySequerra to encode live and recorded 5.1 original surround sound mixes for stereo HD Radio broadcasts over existing stereo transmission infrastructures, the company said in an announcement.

Stations in the U.S. have been using DTS Neural Surround Sound since 2004, with the company partnering with licensees such as Ford Motor Co., the first OEM to use DTS Neural Surround Sound decoding in its line of Lincoln vehicles.

The 2011 Lincoln MKT, and 2011 Lincoln MKX, with THX-II certified audio system featuring DTS Neural, are the only vehicles on the market that can decode 5.1 surround sound broadcasts through HD Radio technology, according to DTS.

Towne said DTS high definition surround sound is “a great value-add for HD Radio technology as consumers’ expectation for an enveloping entertainment experience moves from the home to the car.”