PS3 firmware update exposes DTS-HD audio abilities

Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) on Thursday announced the forthcoming release of PlayStation 3 firmware version 2.30, slated for release next week. The new update will be free for PlayStation 3 users, who will be able to download it over the Internet. What’s more, the update will also let PS3 owners access Sony’s revamped PlayStation Store.

The update enables PlayStation 3 consoles to access DTS-HD master Audio and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio on Blu-ray Discs equipped with that capability. DTS-HD master Audio can deliver audio at a variable rate 24.5 megabits per second (Mbps), higher than what standard DVDs can provide, and can offer 7.1 audio channels at 96k sampling frequency with 24 bit depth. Already, more than 100 Blu-ray Disc movies and concert videos are available with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks.

DTS-HD High Resolution Audio streams audio at a high constant bit rate of 6.0 Mbps and also provide up to 7.1 channels at 96/24. The net result is better-sounding audio that takes up less space on a Blu-ray Disc than a Master Audio soundtrack does.

Sony’s been working on a new PlayStation Store for the PlayStation 3 that enables users to buy software, download demos and access add-ons for games they already own. Up until now, the PlayStation Store has been an integrated online storefront, but this 2.30 firmware update will change that to an application that resides natively on the PS3. Sony hopes that it will enable users to access and buy content more easily.

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