Article ID : S500030399 / Last Modified : 11/04/2018

What are the differences between AC3, 5.1, Dolby Digital, and DTS sound types?

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Differences between AC3, 5.1, Dolby Digital, and DTS sound types.


AC 5.1 is a generic description of a multi-channel sound system. All of these surround sound types use 5.1 channel decoding to provide surround sound. The 5.1 channels are as follows:
1. Left Front
2. Right Front
3. Center Channel
4. Left Rear
5. Right Rear
6. LFE (Subwoofer)

AC3 is a compression technology term, which is used in place of Dolby Digital. It is essentially Dolby Digital.

Dolby Digital surround sound is compressed which allows more audio information to fit on a DVD disc.

DTS surround sound is an alternate AC 5.1 surround sound which DTS states is not as compressed as Dolby Digital.