Netflix subscribers who stream video will soon get a major audio enhancement. On October 18, Netflix will bring Dolby Digital Plus 5.1-channel surround sound to its “Watch Instantly” Internet streaming service. The feature will be available first to PlayStation 3 owners, with additional platforms, like the Xbox 360, receiving it over time.
This is a major leap for Netflix. Dolby Digital Plus is a high definition audio format that supports up to 7.1 channels of surround sound, so there is some room to upgrade. It had previously enabled high definition video on a portion of its media, but the addition of premium sound will make it an even more viable competitor to physical media like DVDs.
The fact that the service is launching first on PlayStation 3 will come as a disappointment to many, but it could just be a case of Netflix trying not to play favorites. Microsoft‘s Xbox 360 was the first console to get Netflix streaming back in November 2008.
No word yet on when Netflix Dolby Digital Plus will be hitting other platforms, but we’ll keep you posted as we learn more.
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