One goal of the DTS-HD Master Audio format was to allow a bit-to-bit representation of the original movie's studio master soundtrack. To accomplish this, DTS-HD MA supports variable bit rates up to 24.5 Mbit/s on a Blu-ray Disc and up to 18.0 Mbit/s for HD DVD. The format supports a maximum of 192 kHz sampling frequency and 24-bit depth samples in 2 channels stereo mode, and 24bit/96 kHz resolution in multichannel mode with up to 8 channels.
According to DTS-HD White Paper, the DTS-HD Master Audio contains 2 data streams, the original DTS core stream and the additional "residual" stream, which contains the "difference" between the original signal and the lossy compression DTS core stream. The audio signal is split into two paths at the input to the encoder. One path goes to the core encoder for backwards compatibility and is then decoded. The other path compares the original audio to the decoded core signal and generates residuals, which are data over and above what the core contains that is needed to restore the original audio as bit-for-bit identical to the original. The residual data is then encoded by a lossless encoder and packed together with the core. The decoding process is simply the reverse. Notice that Lossless audio coding is always variable bit rate.