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Extended Surround

Star Wars: Episode I was the first of a number of films using an additional rear channel routed to the array of speakers along the back wall of a cinema. In the cinemas, this back channel is not a discrete channel, but is matrixed into the left and right surround channels, much as the center front channel was matrixed into the left and right front channels in earlier matrix optical surround formats. This matrixed back channel is embedded in the soundtrack printmaster, so finds its way into all cinema digital sound formats. DTS uses the name “ES” on its cinema decoder while Dolby calls the same process “Surround EX”. Either set of letters stands for Extended Surround.

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