In Game DTS on PS3

I would be curious to know how many know that there are games that support DTS encoding for the sound, it is available on the PS3 (not the XBOX360), sounds better than the normal sound (Dolby Digital) but is not the default or it is even set if you have a decoder that supports DTS,

There are games like Uncharted that provide an ability to select your desired output format from the game options.  The options displayed are those that are selected from the PS3 Audio Settings output formats but if you have DTS enable there, then you will see DTS within Uncharted.


As you can see I can select various types.  Since if you look at the way my Audio options are set in the PS3;


So I can select DTS 5.1 for my sound in Uncharted and I would be getting better sound.  I could also select Linear PCM 7.1 (yes 7.1 from a PS3 game), but there is a downside that I noticed, when I was using Linear PCM 7.1 it is either the fact that there is an additional 2 channels to encode and send (and it is also uncompressed) or the fact that it is just uncompressed and that increases the bandwidth needed from the internal busses to read the data and send it.  I did notice that there would be moments where there was jerkiness with the gameplay.  Selecting DTS 5.1 this never happened.  The quality difference isn’t that big to cause a detriment with my gameplay.

But, notice that I do not have Dolby Digital selected in my list and Dolby Digital is not an option in the game.


I select Dolby Digital in the Audio Options of the PS3.  Then in the game;


It becomes an option for me to select.

DTS V Dolby Digital

I will not go into an audio format war or start something that I could spend a number of posts going into.  Suffice to say DTS is a better audio codec for, in my opinion one main reason;

Bandwidth – The typical bandwidth for Dolby Digital is 384kbps to 448kbps (typically 448 is the common one).  It needs to store 5 channels into this bitrate (an average of 89.6kbps per channel), but Dolby Digital is dynamic in its bitrate allocation.  If you are just watching a talk fest, then it could put more of the bandwidth into the front 3 channels, leaving the 2 at minimum for ambient and small surround effects.  But action films where there is sound coming from all around you, then it would be closer to the average but it can still shuffle things around as it needs.

DTS has two types Half and Full.  Most movies are Half which is  768kbps (you can already see a difference in the numbers).  This is an average of (153.6 per channel).  So based on this level of compression there is more ability to encode more data into each channel off the bat.  The more compression the more data is lost, it doesn’t matter how good Dolby’s decompression algorithms might be, there is still a lot of missing data and the dynamic channel allocation (bitrate to channel) helps make up for this (as it compresses the data based on the more prevalent channels).  If all channels are being used equally and there would be many arguments to state they aren’t then DTS has it over Dolby.

That is as far as I will go with this matter since I am tell you how to get DTS audio into your games not start an Audio War.

So, I have see the DTS logo on my disc and I am still only getting Dolby Digital through my amplifier, what gives?  Dolby Digital offers a better ability to work with more systems, DTS doesn’t.  So, if your amplifier supports DTS (and if it does chances are it will also support Dolby Digital) how can we get a game that DOESN’T have the ability to set the output format in the game to use DTS over Dolby Digital.

As you might have seen above, but I will included down here as well.  If you go into your PS3 | Settings | Audio Settings | Output Formats.  Select the audio cable used, HDMI, Optical or RCA and then you need to select Manual (auto will ask the amplifier to tell it what it supports).


Uncheck the Dolby Digital options.  You will need to uncheck them from the one lower on the list to the highest.  So from mine, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus then you can uncheck Dolby Digital 5.1 Ch.  Keep the DTS ones selected (only DTS 5.1 Ch. needs to be selected since the others aren’t supported in games, yet.)

Save this setting then start the game.  Once the game is running the engine will select DTS as it is the one available to it, since it asks if Dolby Digital is available and the PS3 will say no.

So, IF DTS is a better compression codec and the game has Dolby Digital and DTS why doesn’t DTS become the default?  There are more decoders out there that support Dolby Digital than DTS, so it is a numbers thing.  The engine will also stop looking once it gets a success on the multi-channel support.  So it looks at Dolby Digital and gets a success from that and sets the output codec to encode in Dolby Digital. It won’t ask about DTS or any other codec, it doesn’t need to.

But for games that support only Dolby Digital this will cause some strange things to happen in that it will select stereo or Linear PCM options if Dolby Digital is unchecked in these options.  So remember to turn it back on when you are finished playing the game with DTS.

I hope this makes it clearer. 


Posted on December 22, 2013, in Article, Tips and Tricks and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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