Netflix Adding Dolby Digital Sound To Online Movies

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US-based Netflix has announced it is adding Dolby Digital Plus surround sound to movies on its instant streaming service. The improved sound quality will be available first on Sony's PlayStation 3 and will roll out to other devices "over time". The retailer's online streaming service is available to subscribers who pay USD8.99 a month or more and is available on videogame consoles, computers and mobile devices including Apple's iPad.

"Netflix required an audio solution that could efficiently deliver an outstanding surround sound experience for a wide range of consumer devices," Greg Peters, Netflix's Vice President of Product Development, said. "Dolby Digital Plus proved to be the best solution to meet our needs and the needs of our device partners."

PS3 owners also will be able to watch "some movies and TV shows" in 1080-pixel high definition without inserting a Netflix disc into the device, Peters said in a post on Sony's PlayStation blog.

Netflix recently announced that the company reached a deal to rent Sony movies 28 days after they go on sale, while NCR, which rents DVDs at nearly 7,000 Blockbuster kiosks, reached a similar deal with Universal Studios. NCR said it reached a studio distribution deal with General Electric Co's Universal, also agreeing to wait 28 days after the Universal movies go on sale.

A spokesman for NCR said it was working with many studios for further such deals as it ramps up the Blockbuster kiosks to compete with Coinstar's Redbox kiosks and Netflix. Studios are seeking deals requiring Redbox and Netflix to wait 28 days after a DVD or Blu-ray disc is released because they fear these low cost outlets will threaten sales. Sources familiar with the matter said that News Corp's Twentieth Century Fox and Sony were among the studios talking with NCR.

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