Windows Audio Is Getting DTS:X and Dolby Atmos Upgrades

cageymaru

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Principal Program Manager Lead at Microsoft for Audio, Steven Wilssens has announced that DTS is coming to PC and XBOX in the coming weeks. In a tweet he said, "We also have DTS coming to PC and Xbox in the coming weeks. It will be available to the PC Insider audience first and then move to Xbox. Once any issues have been ironed out, they will move to the PC and Xbox audiences that are on retail builds." The DTS:X Ultra app is available on the Microsoft Store but the download is currently disabled. Windows Latest found more information on the audio upgrades in this Windows support document that lists known spatial audio formats such as DolbyAtmosForHeadphones, DolbyAtmosForHomeTheater, DolbyAtmosForSpeakers, DTSHeadphoneX, DTSXUltra, and WindowsSonic.

DTS:X Ultra app was recently published in the Microsoft Store, but users cannot download it at the moment. DTS:X Ultra app is actually designed to work with games, VR and AR programs, but DTS:X Ultra is apparently not functional at the moment as the primary base behind it is missing.
 

clockdogg

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DoblyAllTheGoodProductNamesAreTaken.

"...Once any issues have been ironed out, they will move to the PC and Xbox audiences that are on retail builds."

So... something for the Spring 2020 update?
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I can't help but wonder what value this adds?

- It's easier and more efficient for game engines to just output multichannel PCM.

- All the good media players already decode Dolby and DTS encoded content to multi channel PCM for playback.

Even if you are using a home theater receiver with your computer they all already support multi-GPU else PCM.

Why is this necessary? What value does it add?

Is it just to be able to use the coolest buzzwords of the week?
 

BSmith

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DoblyAllTheGoodProductNamesAreTaken.

"...Once any issues have been ironed out, they will move to the PC and Xbox audiences that are on retail builds."

So... something for the Spring 2020 update?
Optimistic bugger, aren't you? :)

I can't help but wonder what value this adds?

- It's easier and more efficient for game engines to just output multichannel PCM.

- All the good media players already decode Dolby and DTS encoded content to multi channel PCM for playback.

Even if you are using a home theater receiver with your computer they all already support multi-GPU else PCM.

Why is this necessary? What value does it add?

Is it just to be able to use the coolest buzzwords of the week?

Yes, it is easier and is far more efficient for games to output true 3D audio tracks.

Like you, I do not see the value in this at all.
 

coynatha

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I just looked into Atmos support for my PC/Headphones. Was disappointed the only modern game(blops4) I own didn't support it.

More disappointed in the short list of games that do.
 

NickJames

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I don't understand all this fancy terminology for Dolby. Why can't it just be one standard? There's like 5 different Dolby settings on my receiver and I swear they all sound the same on my 7.1 setup.
 

Deimos

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Oh great, M$ is working on implementing a new Audio standard...

"...Once any issues have been ironed out, they will move to the PC and Xbox audiences that are on retail builds."

How about they fix their broken Atmos implementation FFS.
 

Darunion

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And you know myself I have moved my pc audio to a 2.1 setup. Headphones if I need more immersion. Just couldn't keep up with it anymore and found I started liking a stereo sound setup much more than surround. Just a pair of infinity r162s, also takes up less space haha.

Also is it really necessary to get us onto the windows store for this? seriously? lol
 

dgz

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It's been 20 years without a noticeable improvement in gaming audio. Games still sound the same. No position, no volume, no reverb. At best, we get a few canned effects here and there. It never sounds properly. You're not there. This won't help. Maybe ray tracing will?
 

Galvin

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I like DTS, I just hate that I have to use a soundcard to do it. I tried using HDMI for just audio. Problem is when ever you hook up HDMI anything, windows sees it as another screen. I currently use display port. So the best solution is to use optical out and use DTS over it.
Also the other problem with having your audio over HDMI, is if you use screen blanking option in windows. Your sound gets turned off when the screen goes dark
 

tordogs

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DTS built into onboard audio and works quite nicely. Thanks MS, but won't be downloading, buying, installing anything from the MS Store--which stays deactivated on this system. Keep your stinking apps off this system.
 
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JargonGR

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I don't understand all this fancy terminology for Dolby. Why can't it just be one standard? There's like 5 different Dolby settings on my receiver and I swear they all sound the same on my 7.1 setup.
Errr......if Dolby Pro Logic sounds the same as Dolby True HD and Atmos then either something wrong with your setup or if not I would never worry about sound quality in my life again (because ::: EARS!)...LOL

Seriously in a properly setup system there SHOULD be a difference between the two extremes (Prologic is not even offering separate channels at the back)...not to mention highly compressed vs lossless audio at the two ends..
 

DNMock

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It's been 20 years without a noticeable improvement in gaming audio. Games still sound the same. No position, no volume, no reverb. At best, we get a few canned effects here and there. It never sounds properly. You're not there. This won't help. Maybe ray tracing will?
The most advanced audio only cable available is a 20+ year old S/PDIF cable with so little bandwidth it can't even transmit uncompresed 5.1 audio. That's not even mentioning the 3.5mm jacks that are even older. Think about it next time you get a new motherboard and they are advertising the BOOM MURDER KILL FRAG GLORYZORZ!!1! audio... zero improvements in 20+ years in regards to audio output
 

JargonGR

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The most advanced audio only cable available is a 20+ year old S/PDIF cable with so little bandwidth it can't even transmit uncompresed 5.1 audio. That's not even mentioning the 3.5mm jacks that are even older. Think about it next time you get a new motherboard and they are advertising the BOOM MURDER KILL FRAG GLORYZORZ!!1! audio... zero improvements in 20+ years in regards to audio output
Audio output can be just fine and unlimited in bandwidth using the appropriate pro equipment - it's just not happening with games and to be honest the general population does not give a rat's ass for high quality audio. Most people nowadays do not even have a proper speaker system in their lounge anymore - just plastic crap from LG and the likes or phone headphones...(Crap for me since for others it might be great)....
 

DNMock

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Audio output can be just fine and unlimited in bandwidth using the appropriate pro equipment - it's just not happening with games and to be honest the general population does not give a rat's ass for high quality audio. Most people nowadays do not even have a proper speaker system in their lounge anymore - just plastic crap from LG and the likes or phone headphones...(Crap for me since for others it might be great)....
Shouldn't have to buy pro audio equipment to get the most out of an average 5.1 surround sound system on my PC without having make other sacrifices like added input lag or running the set up as if it were multiple monitors.
 

BSmith

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It's been 20 years without a noticeable improvement in gaming audio. Games still sound the same. No position, no volume, no reverb. At best, we get a few canned effects here and there. It never sounds properly. You're not there. This won't help. Maybe ray tracing will?
That is not true of all games. Hell, even old Aces High has true 3D positional sounds.

You do not need any encoding/decoding scheme for games. The old DirectSound API has supported true 3D positioning for as long as I can remember. You configure your speakers in Windows, then the rest is handled in the API. It has worked for many years.

No special hardware or encoding needed. The game just has to have support for it. It is easy to use as it works off the same transformation matrix as the object positioning uses.

Games using the FMOD sound API all support it.
 

umeng2002

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The issue is that most games just render to a typical speaker config, then your sound card or other audio software spacializes that for headphones. So, it really depends on the underlying HRTF technology as far as making "fake" surround sound. The issue with speaker spacialization is that it doesn't work as easily as headphone spacialization. I haven't heard Dolby Atmos though...

Games have had true 3-D for a long time... it's just been dumbed down recently to render to typical 5.1 or 7.1 speaker configs.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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It's been 20 years without a noticeable improvement in gaming audio. Games still sound the same. No position, no volume, no reverb. At best, we get a few canned effects here and there. It never sounds properly. You're not there. This won't help. Maybe ray tracing will?
I'd argue we've actually gone backwards with the loss of EAX due to Microsoft discontinuing the directsound 3d HAL.

This won't change that though. These are just encoding standards for audio. For a game to utilize DTS or Dolby, first the game engine will have to process all the sound, then encode it as Dolby or DTS stream. Then the receiving equipment (or windows) will have to decode it again... This won't help audio quality. In fact, it will make things worse, as having to real time first encode, and then decode the audio again... That ought to add some latency...

It would be much better if the game would just output native multichannel PCM to the available channels on the PC. So much more efficient..


UnfortunateEmbarrassedAmericansaddlebred-size_restricted.gif



Something just struck me.

This will probably have great value as we move to game streaming services. Being able to encode in DTS or Atmos for transferring the audio stream over the internet to your system will likely be a huge benefit.

That's probably why they are doing it now.
 

dgz

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That is not true of all games. Hell, even old Aces High has true 3D positional sounds.

You do not need any encoding/decoding scheme for games. The old DirectSound API has supported true 3D positioning for as long as I can remember. You configure your speakers in Windows, then the rest is handled in the API. It has worked for many years.

No special hardware or encoding needed. The game just has to have support for it. It is easy to use as it works off the same transformation matrix as the object positioning uses.

Games using the FMOD sound API all support it.
5.1/7.1 sort of positional audio is not what I had in mind. Even 10000.1 sound would not do it because they don't generate the sound based on the environment it originated in. All we hear is prerecorded sounds with some minor effects here and there. Not sure about Aces High. Cockpit sound is surely in the real of possibility to do. I am sure farming simulator would be possible to recreate properly, too. But what a shooter? What about something like Doom or Anthem. We're not there yet.
 

dgz

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I'd argue we've actually gone backwards with the loss of EAX due to Microsoft discontinuing the directsound 3d HAL.

This won't change that though. These are just encoding standards for audio. For a game to utilize DTS or Dolby, first the game engine will have to process all the sound, then encode it as Dolby or DTS stream. Then the receiving equipment (or windows) will have to decode it again... This won't help audio quality. In fact, it will make things worse, as having to real time first encode, and then decode the audio again... That ought to add some latency...

It would be much better if the game would just output native multichannel PCM to the available channels on the PC. So much more efficient..


View attachment 138329


Something just struck me.

This will probably have great value as we move to game streaming services. Being able to encode in DTS or Atmos for transferring the audio stream over the internet to your system will likely be a huge benefit.

That's probably why they are doing it now.
True, true. But we are entering the multi core era. Surely a single free Ryzen 3 core should be able to read the proper audio files and do whatever is necessary to them encoding wise, then send them to the audio device in less than a lower single digit milliseconds.
 

IdiotInCharge

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True, true. But we are entering the multi core era. Surely a single free Ryzen 3 core should be able to read the proper audio files and do whatever is necessary to them encoding wise, then send them to the audio device in less than a lower single digit milliseconds.
The game engine has to render audio to something, might as well be a standard audio interface, right?

Then Windows + driver stack take that and send it to the outputs.

Done efficiently, i.e. the game handling it well and the OS/driver handling it well, I don't see it being an issue.
 

NickJames

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Errr......if Dolby Pro Logic sounds the same as Dolby True HD and Atmos then either something wrong with your setup or if not I would never worry about sound quality in my life again (because ::: EARS!)...LOL

Seriously in a properly setup system there SHOULD be a difference between the two extremes (Prologic is not even offering separate channels at the back)...not to mention highly compressed vs lossless audio at the two ends..
I can't even tell the difference between FLAC and MP3 LOL and I own a $300 pair of Beyerdynamic's.
 

lcpiper

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That is not true of all games. Hell, even old Aces High has true 3D positional sounds.

You do not need any encoding/decoding scheme for games. The old DirectSound API has supported true 3D positioning for as long as I can remember. You configure your speakers in Windows, then the rest is handled in the API. It has worked for many years.

No special hardware or encoding needed. The game just has to have support for it. It is easy to use as it works off the same transformation matrix as the object positioning uses.

Games using the FMOD sound API all support it.

DirectSound went bye bye with Windows Vista, hasn't been in a Windows build since then. That is where it went, and why no one can do it right any more.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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DirectSound went bye bye with Windows Vista, hasn't been in a Windows build since then. That is where it went, and why no one can do it right any more.

Well, Alchemy wasn't bad, but without it built into Windows, none of the engines want to do it anymore. Too small of an install base I guess.

Besides, many of the annoying "competitive" kids would probably hate it because not hearing foot steps straight through a wall would put them at a disadvantage...

Damn, I miss the time when PC gaming was all about creating as much realism as possible.
 

DNMock

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5.1/7.1 sort of positional audio is not what I had in mind. Even 10000.1 sound would not do it because they don't generate the sound based on the environment it originated in. All we hear is prerecorded sounds with some minor effects here and there. Not sure about Aces High. Cockpit sound is surely in the real of possibility to do. I am sure farming simulator would be possible to recreate properly, too. But what a shooter? What about something like Doom or Anthem. We're not there yet.
That just struck me with something, why not? Every receiver, even the cheap ones, has a set up system to make adjustments based on every home's acoustics and speaker position already, why could't an open mic during gameplay be used to make adjustments to the audio to mirror the acoustics of the setting in real time? I can't imagine that would be super difficult to apply and the amount of immersion it could add would be fantastic.
 

Evil

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They must have Licensing issues, I swear I saw the Dolby App listed the day Windows 10 launched, and they are just now announcing they will release it soon.
 

nightanole

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That just struck me with something, why not? Every receiver, even the cheap ones, has a set up system to make adjustments based on every home's acoustics and speaker position already, why could't an open mic during gameplay be used to make adjustments to the audio to mirror the acoustics of the setting in real time? I can't imagine that would be super difficult to apply and the amount of immersion it could add would be fantastic.
This is what atmos does. dts-x and atmos tracks dont have "channels". When you mix an atmos/dts-x track, you basically have a sphere, and you can put point sources for sound anywhere in the sphere. It could be near, far, up down, you couldnt mix like that with DD/dts, and the hd versions are just that, the same 5.1 or 7.2 hd versions, that still use channels.

Then when you play back this track, your atmos/dts-x receiver converts this sphere of sound back into "channels". And if you have the additional speakers, the sound will again move up down, etc.
 

IdiotInCharge

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It should be noted, that if you are using speakers, largely adhering to the Dolby Atmos placement is a good idea for movies.
 

dgz

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That just struck me with something, why not? Every receiver, even the cheap ones, has a set up system to make adjustments based on every home's acoustics and speaker position already, why could't an open mic during gameplay be used to make adjustments to the audio to mirror the acoustics of the setting in real time? I can't imagine that would be super difficult to apply and the amount of immersion it could add would be fantastic.
I am talking about game world environment. Real world environment is a solved problem. Get a pair of good headphones. Done. All you're missing is a proper audio source you're in a room? Every object in that room should contribute to acoustics. I mean, ultimately. I don't expect any of this happen this decade. Even the simple things such as basic room/factory/delta complex/hell acoustics would be a good start though. Wouldn't it.
 

deaedius

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I am going to assume this would need to be software controlled rather than hardware? Unless audio chip companies update driver to support via hardware, which I am going to say there would be some limitation.
 

Deimos

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The most advanced audio only cable available is a 20+ year old S/PDIF cable with so little bandwidth it can't even transmit uncompresed 5.1 audio. That's not even mentioning the 3.5mm jacks that are even older. Think about it next time you get a new motherboard and they are advertising the BOOM MURDER KILL FRAG GLORYZORZ!!1! audio... zero improvements in 20+ years in regards to audio output
That isn't true at all. SPDIF, both optical and COAX have improved over time and support 24bit 192khz stereo (optical) and 32bit 384khz stereo (COAX), both would be more than enough bandwidth for "uncompressed 5.1 audio", but it has been pushed in the niche audiophile space where only 2 channel is used and it really depends on what yard stick you are using, CD quality?. Also, pretty much every DTS and Dolby 'standard' is compressed audio.
 

SixFootDuo

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You can already add Dolby Atmos to Windows 10. I've been using it for a while now ... it sounds incredible with headphones.


Easy to follow directions. Give it a try and tell the thread what you think.
 

DNMock

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That isn't true at all. SPDIF, both optical and COAX have improved over time and support 24bit 192khz stereo (optical) and 32bit 384khz stereo (COAX), both would be more than enough bandwidth for "uncompressed 5.1 audio", but it has been pushed in the niche audiophile space where only 2 channel is used and it really depends on what yard stick you are using, CD quality?. Also, pretty much every DTS and Dolby 'standard' is compressed audio.
It absolutely got updated... from the 80's when it first came out... Most recent iteration debuted in 1998 and currently has a smoking data transfer rate of 125 Mbits/s (Source: Wikipedia)

For comparison, HDMI 1.0 which debuted in 2002 had 3.9 Gbits/s.

My point remains that every external cable t hat connects to a PC over the last 20ish years all standard consumer cables have increased at least an order of magnitude in bandwidth capabilities with the exception of audio cables. It's not like there they just have more bandwidth than they know what to do with or anything. It's not like 5.1 audio is a new creation either, the need for improving the bandwidth of audio only has always been there, just no one cares. Well, except for salty me stuck running mirrored multi-monitor set up in order to run audio thru an hdmi cable to the receiver....
 

lostin3d

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You can already add Dolby Atmos to Windows 10. I've been using it for a while now ... it sounds incredible with headphones.


Easy to follow directions. Give it a try and tell the thread what you think.
I'm glad I wasn't the only one who noticed. Someone should tell Steven that Dolby Atmos for theater and headphones and spatial sound was added to Windows last winter. I've been using Atmos for theater in 'the cave' with the 4k rig and 7.1 Onkyo HT setup(https://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod...ignorebbr=1&IsFeedbackTab=true#scrollFullInfo). Both SOTTR and RE2 support it. RE2 is downright amazing with it. Really nice hearing those critters sneak up from different directions.

I'm a fan of Dolby Atmos.

Way better than THX, DTS, and earlier Dobly implementations, imo.
It's fun watching that pendulum swing. In VHS days Dolby was awesome, DVD>Blu-Ray and I was all about DTS, now with 4k Atmos is king, imo.
 
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