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Surround sound grows

DTS has released results of a private study, conducted in conjunction with Nielsen Entertainment Research, examining growth in the home theater and surround sound marketplaces.

The study's results reveal that surround sound is growing in importance to consumers in the DVD and home theater markets.

The study's proprietary results are also supported by a separate report released by the CEA estimating that by the end of 2004, 33 percent of U.S. households owned a home theater system, up from 21 percent at the end of 1999. Additionally, a companion online Nielsen survey of 2000 adults in the U.S., aged 18 to 65, determined that 75 percent of current home theater households have 5.1-channel or greater surround sound installed. The information infers that an additional growth factor is the falling prices of DVD production software, DVDs, and home theater systems.

The Nielsen study also revealed that audio is playing a more important part of both the purchasing decision and the entertainment experience itself. Enhanced surround sound features are the most important special addition on DVDs according to 73 percent of home theater owners and 76 percent of surround sound owners. More than 80 percent of end users chose the enhanced audio option at the start of a DVD, which is up from only 27 percent last year according to the study. Additionally, surround sound equipment owners purchased 20 percent more DVDs than non-home theater owners. The study concluded that surround owners represent a broad segment of the DVD population.

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