First DSP Solution with THX Surround EX Technology

Last week, Motorola and Momentum Data Systems announced that the THX Surround EX (see previous story) audio technology, co-developed by Lucasfilm THX and Dolby Laboratories, will now be available to THX licensees with their Symphony digital signal-processing (DSP) technology.

The addition of a new surround channel and rear surround speakers is intended to allow a sound designer to create true "flyover" and "fly-around" effects that are smoother and more accurately placed. Motorola says that THX Surround EX delivers "a precise translation of this movie-theater experience using THX Ultra components in a home environment." The technology was first introduced to the public with the theatrical release of Star Wars: Episode 1—The Phantom Menace earlier this year.

According to Motorola, its DSP56362 with EX technology is the first chip to be approved for use in Home THX Ultra products. The company claims that the new process will allow for the decoding of specially encoded films which provide surround back channels in addition to the existing five main channels. Motorola demonstrated the technology at the Audio Engineering Society conference in New York last week.

The company says that the DSP56362 provides the capability to handle all the major multichannel audio decoding standards, as well as other audio processing requirements such as subwoofer management, soundfield effects, 3D virtual surrounds, equalization, Lucasfilm THX Cinema processing, and Pacific Microsonics HDCD.