One of the advantages that DVDs and Blu-Ray discs had over the online streaming of movies was that internet bandwidth considerations restricted the quality of the sound and picture of what was being streamed. However, the twin advances in content encoding and availability of higher broadband speeds has helped to even the playing field somewhat.
Vudu is now upping the ante in the audio arena when the debut of Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides on their service today marks the first time a film is available for streaming in 7.1 Surround Sound.
The new sound format is from Dolby and has only been in use theatrically for less than a year. It debuted on Toy Story 3 and has been used on approximately 30 films including Kung Fu Panda 2, Thor and Transformers: Dark Of The Moon.
The 7.1 audio is enabled using Dolby Digital Plus, an audio compression scheme that can accommodate Dolby’s 7.1 system that is currently only available on select Blu-ray Disc players. I would imagine though, as the format goes into wider use that the availability of devices that can play it will increase as well.
Via Hollywood Reporter.