Vudu And Dolby Team Up To Bring 7.1 Audio To Streaming Video

Brad Chacos

Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video may have gotten all the attention in our recent head-to-head , but one of their competitors now has something that neither of those two streaming video services offers: discrete 7.1-channel surround sound.  Dolby has announced that it has entered into an agreement to bring Dolby Digital Plus’s 7.1-channel audio to some of Vudu’s cinematic offerings, starting today with Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”

The technology isn’t anything new – you can find it on plenty of Blu-ray players, for example – but this is the first time it is being offered by a streaming video service.  Dolby claims that more than 30 films have already been mixed specifically for 7.1 channel audio. Obviously, Dolby wants to bring the technology into more homes – but don’t expect the company to keep it a Vudu exclusive.

"Today is just the first step,” John Couling, Dolby’s VP of Products and Platforms, said in the company’s press release . “We look forward to having the opportunity to work with additional content providers to deliver premium-quality 7.1 surround sound to more consumers."

For now, though, it's only on Vudu. Other services, like Netflix, already offer 5.1 audio. Will the addition of two additional audio channels entice any Maximum PC readers into giving Walmart's Vudu service a shot?

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