Dolby Digital Surround Systems are slowly being adapted for online streaming. Check the Services that have features enabling the use of the central channel speakers alongside your stereo home theater system.
A powerful surround stereo system is still worth the investment, even when people are increasingly ditching Blu-Ray technology. The latter is what really makes use of all the potency of sets with 5.1 or 7.1 speakers these days, but what nobody could guess is that the online streaming market would become such a force that virtually is killing most physical media types, including the Bluray. However, while the online streaming image quality is pair to Bluray, adaptations to sound are still on the go, but not really forgot and neglected.
In the last two years, services like Netflix started to include features that offer the Dolby Digital Plus sound option, a key to enable your precious multi speaker home theater system to work in full capacity and with all its glory. On the other hand, this is a work in progress as not all titles these days are promptly available with this output technology for online streaming. Mostly, high budget movies show an interest in offering this kind of experience to their target audiences as they are often interested in the high-tech aspects of this kind of production.
The central channel speakers are an ultimate addiction to watch movies enhancing the realism, as they focus dialogues and music at the center of the room alongside the TV screen, so out of Bluray this speaker often feels obsolete and useless. For 2017, there are some online streaming services where you can watch movies enabling your home theater, including the central channel speaker:
The biggest and most popular streaming service these days was not much devoted to high quality audio since the beginning. Just last year Netflix announced they would be implementing the Dolby Digital Plus technology. Currently there are around 100 different features listed on Netflix with this feature, note that when the movie enables this option, you will see the DD+ logo alongside other features like 3D image and such. The list here is not as wide since Netflix never focused either specially on high-budget sci-fi movies, as well as they keep titles for as long as the contract of broadcasting last – which is not permanent.
This streaming service, which is quite focused on HD streaming, has a partnership with DTS, the Dolby’s counterpart that, actually, often makes a better job than the former company in terms of sound compression, even though what CinemaNow offers here is the DTSExpress technology, equivalent to the Dolby Digital Plus. Different from Netflix, this streaming service is really oriented to high-tech features, so you will find several movies available for renting or purchasing with this audio quality to enjoy your home theater, central channel speaker all-inclusive.
Among the movie streaming services, surely VUDU is the high-end, top notch service with most titles boosted to the highest quality as possible. The Dolby Digital Plus is a common feature for the movies available in the site, so you can count with technologies even better than that do enjoy your home theater system and the central channel speaker. VUDU offers Dolby Atmos technology, which enables 5.1.2 / 5.1.4 speaker systems, and the same goes for the the 7.1 family. The extra “.2” and “.4” refers to the additional ceiling speakers of this kind of home theater surround stereo sound system. This is the ultimate kind of sound feature you could expect from a streaming service, even though the Atmos is available for 2016 only for around 20 titles, while the Dolby Digital Plus is a basic feature for most of their movies.
Keep an Eye On
To finish our list, watch out for services like M-GO and Amazon Prime. The former announced in 2015 it would make a deal with DTS just like CinemaNow, but they are still about to announce when they are going to include features with the DD+ technology or superior. Amazon Prime is following Netflix when it comes to DD+, but they still offer it for very few titles and mostly with the Instant Video feature. In the following years is expected they will include that feature to compete with Netflix.