Blu-ray of Ex Machina Features DTS:X-Encoded Soundtrack

Ex Machina Blu-ray Box Art
Ex Machina Blu-ray Box Art. Blu-ray Box Art Provided by Lionsgate - DTS:X Logo Provided by DTS

Earlier in 2015, DTS announced its latest surround sound format: DTS:X, which, like Dolby Atmos, frees the surround sound experience from the limitations of the number speakers and precise speaker placement into three-dimensional space creating a more more immersive surround sound experience with sounds not only coming from the left, right, center and horizontal surround space but from above in all directions as well. Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are both referred to as "Object Based", rather than strictly channel or speaker based.

Of course, in order to experience either Dolby Atmos or DTS:X, you need both the hardware and the content. Most Blu-ray Disc players are already compatible with both formats, so no need to necessarily upgrade there (unless you want to upgrade to the forthcoming Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc format), but you will need a new home theater receiver.

So far there are several manufacturers that have introduced Dolby Atmos-capable home theater receivers, but Onkyo is the first to announce home theater receivers with DTS:X decoding capability (which will be available via firmware update), with other manufacturers to be announced during 2015. However, as I mentioned above, you still need content that takes advantage of the new surround sound format that will also provide ​an incentive for consumers to buy-in, 

So far, on the Dolby Atmos front, there are about a dozen films on Blu-ray Disc available, including four from Lionsgate: John Wick, Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Expendables 3, and Step Up All In.

Now, to get the ball rolling with DTS:X, Lionsgate has partnered with DTS to announce that the recent Sci-Fi Thriller, Ex Machina, will be the first Blu-ray Disc release to contain a DTS:X soundtrack. According to Lionsgate, the Blu-ray will be available on July 14th 2015 (hopefully Onkyo's DTS:X firmware update will have already been available by then).

Also, in addition to the DTS:X encoded soundtrack, an added bonus is that the Blu-ray will also include a DTS Headphone:X listening option, which allows consumers to hear a DTS:X-like experience over any set of headphones, using a compatible portable device via the Z+ Music App.

Now, for those that can't take advantage of the DTS:X or DTS Headphone:X options provided on the Ex Machina Blu-ray, the disc also includes 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and DTS Digital Surround. On the other hand, there are no Dolby surround sound format options.

Object-Based Surround Formats, such DTS:X and Dolby Atmos, definitely provide a more realistic audio listening experience, but with all the current home theater audio technologies and products in use already, both Dolby and DTS definitely have to step of their game in providing content for their new formats.

With Lionsgate and DTS:X have taken the first step in implementing DTS:X as a listening option on Blu-ray Discs, with the forthcoming release of Ex Machina, it will be interesting to see if other studios jump in with releases on a steady basis.

On the Dolby Atmos side, so far, Blu-ray Disc releases are coming about once-a-month. Also, another initial observation, if the Ex Machina release is any indication, it looks like forthcoming Blu-ray Disc releases that do include an object-based surround soundtrack, will either offer a Dolby Atmos or DTS:X option, but not both.

The final question with regards to the future of either Dolby atmos or DTS:X is that even if more Dolby Atmos and DTS:X-enabled home theater receivers and Blu-ray movies are released, will the consumer actually take the bait - Definitely stay tuned...

For more on the film: Ex Machina, check out an Official Trailer.

The Ex Machina Blu-ray will have a suggested price of $24.99, and is currently available for Pre-Order: Check Prices.