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Definition: Bitstream mode

A mode on DVD/Blu-ray players that outputs Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound "bitstreams" from the disc without decoding them. The decoding is performed in the A/V receiver or audio processor. Also called "Bitstream Bypass" or "Bitstream Audiophile."

In contrast, "PCM" mode refers to uncompressed audio that comes straight from the disc or that has been decoded to PCM in the player (see PCM).

Bitstream Re-Encode
Bitstream Re-encode is another mode that decodes these formats to PCM in the player and re-encodes them to earlier DTS or Dolby Digital formats for older A/V receivers that do not support newer encoding such as DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD. See Dolby Digital and DTS.