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Paramount Partners with DTS to Offer UltraViolet Surround Sound

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When studios that distribute UltraViolet content begin using the upcoming UltraViolet common file format (CFF) later this year, Paramount Pictures will use DTS's DTS-HD codec for surround sound. DTS, a member of the DECE (Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, the UltraViolet member group) made the announcement today.

"We think it's a huge milestone for us," notes Brian Towne, executive vice president and chief operating officer at DTS, adding that CFF is a sign UltraViolet is starting to grow up.

With surround sound audio a part of UltraViolet, Towne says that customers can expect Blu-ray-like quality from UltraViolet downloads. That's an important step for movie fans who don't want to sacrifice quality for convenience. DTS has over 85 percent of the Blu-ray Disc audio market, Towne says, noting that Paramount is a long-term partner. This announcement applies only to downloaded titles, not streamed titles.

"We've done a lot of demonstrations of what this can do, and I think the experience is extremely compelling," Towne says. "People are blown away by what they can get with DTS and high-definition video."

Despite having launched in October, 2011, UltraViolet is still in its infancy, with consumers only gradually becoming aware of what it is and what it offers. For now, shoppers mostly see it as a value-add to a physical disc, one that allows them to download an electronic copy.

"It's still very early days," Towne says. He believes that the transition to cloud-based entertainment will take years. Not an either/or situation, he says that Blu-ray Discs will be around for a long time.

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