Despite 4K HDR, No Dolby Vision, Atmos, Direct Bitsreaming and DTS:X for Xbox One S yet

by on July 24, 2016

Stephan Jukic – July 24, 2016

4K ultra HD, the devices, content and standards around it can sometimes definitely get frustratingly complicated, even for the very consumer who are supposed to be spared all the meaty details behind these technologies so they can simply focus on a great, smooth viewing experience.

This is apparently going to be the case for the upcoming Xbox One S as well, at least to some extent for now. According to the most recent details on this new 4K video-capable update to the Xbox One gaming platform, some key standards for the optimal ultra HD video and cutting edge audio experience are going to stay absent at least for the time being.

This won’t a affect a large percentage of potential early buyers of the new 4K-capable Xbox console but at least some more serious users definitely won’t be happy with what’s just about to arrive.

The Xbox One S will of course support 4K ultra HD Blu-ray video playback and will also offer the more broadly accepted (and used in 4K Blu-ray) HDR10 content high dynamic range format, but what it will not support is a list of its own.

For starters, representatives of Microsoft have made it clear that the Xbox One S will not support chief HDR10 rival Dolby Vision at least for the time being and this is only one major standard which will or might be absent in the new console upgrade.

Other absent specs support characteristics of the One S will include a lack of functionality for direct bit-streaming for audio formats, thus denying user enjoyment of object-based audio formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. This audio limitation is a blow of its own and will apparently apply even to the One S console’s 4K ultra HD playback ability as well, at least for the time being. Requests with Microsoft representatives for clarification on Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support in the Xbox One S seem came back with the reply that the company is “exploring” but that there are no concrete plans for either format at this moment.


Once again, we need to stress that all of these formats don’t at all mean the Xbox One S won’t be capable of piping through superb HDR video and particularly streamed HDR video from its built-in 4K media apps like Amazon and Netflix, at least to owners of 4K HDR TVs with the right HDR10 chops (nearly all 2016 4K HDR TV models). Furthermore, both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are not exactly widespread or essential audio formats for a high quality sound experience in modern disc or streaming media. The DTS:X format in particular is only available in a small number of discs and AVR devices, while Dolby has only been attached to Blu-ray discs (HD and 4K UHD) for just a couple years or less. Thus, for a majority of users, these Xbox One S deficiencies will be of very little importance for the essentials of high end HDR gaming or 4K UHD HDR content viewing.

HDR from 4K UHD discs will still be supported on the Xbox One S, since the discs support HDR10 anyhow.

HDR from 4K UHD discs will still be supported on the Xbox One S, since the discs support HDR10 anyhow.

However in the case of both formats, their use is certainly expanding and a potentially growing number of fans who are dedicated to the richest possible 4K home entertainment media experience will start demanding the inclusion of a wider range of video, high dynamic range and audio standards.

We’ll have to see how Microsoft responds in future updates to their new 4K media playback-capable console or its successors.

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  • Tom Bucknall
    July 25, 2016 at 7:39 am

    Will be getting the Panasonic Ultra HD Blu-Ray player instead 🙂


    • Andre Frederick
      July 26, 2016 at 8:03 am

      I already have the Samsung K8500 and a Onkyo receiver with Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, DTS HD MA, Dolby TrueHD and 4K passthrough. Just waiting on my 2TB Gears of War 4 Bundle. It should look great on my new 65″ LG OLED B6. Not to concern with the audio support of the Xbox One S at this point. Those people without 4K receivers don’t have to worry about missing out on Dolby Atmos or Direct:X because all Xbox One S users will be in the same boat.


  • Brock
    July 26, 2016 at 8:33 am

    I know some don’t care about DTS:X and Atmos, but the lack of support of these formats, if true, is a major disappointment for me. I was just about to pull the trigger on pre-ordering the Xbox One S to replace my existing Xbox One and to use with my recently installed Atmos/DTS:X setup. Now, I will not buy one unless I know it will support Atmos/DTS;X. Is this about not paying some kind of licensing fee?


  • Eddie
    July 26, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    So much for the hopes of a $300 4K Blu-ray player. I’ll have to look into the Samsung or Panasonic now.


  • Sean
    July 27, 2016 at 3:37 am

    Seriously, how hard is it to have bitstream on the Xbox One S? Sony was able to do this years ago. Why can’t Microsoft?


    • jira
      July 27, 2016 at 6:12 pm

      Because of Money. So they can add it to next console and make entertainment focused users to upgrade.


    • jonam
      September 18, 2016 at 5:56 am

      That’s what makes Sony different from Microsoft. Technically it is better to have none than offering a gimped version for just some sales advantage.


  • Sean
    August 1, 2016 at 11:12 am

    So I have a vizio 55 inch 4k uhd smart tv 2015 are the new 4k consoles not going to work in 4k on that tv?? I just paid 1000 dollars 4 months ago


  • RT
    August 2, 2016 at 5:27 am

    No Atmos support from the Xbox One S currently? My Xbox One S is arriving today. I will be returning it immediately. When they add Atmos I’ll reconsider it.


  • Greg Campbell
    September 8, 2016 at 8:10 am

    Damn. I knew it was too good to be true. I was so pumped when I found out I could get a console at the same price of a 4k bluray player. Who knew they had a hdr capable 4k bluray player that wouldn’t support the new audio formats. I could live without “dolby vision”, but not this. Happy I read this before going out and buying one first. Looks like I’ll be spending my money elsewhere.


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