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page updated: 9/30/98

DVD News -
Digital Theater Systems

DTS To Launch First DTS-Encoded DVDs This Christmas

The following statement was issued today by Dan Slusser, the CEO of Digital Theater Systems (DTS), to clarify the current situation regarding the availability of DTS-encoded DVD software. Further updates will be posted on the DTS website at:

"We sincerely apologize to our customers and supporters who have become frustrated because of the delayed arrival of DTS-encoded DVD software. In retrospect, we should not have announced delivery timetables given to us in good faith, until the product was actually produced and ready to be shipped. Unfortunately, we simply had no way to foresee the number of issues that would arise along the way, causing each content provider to adjust their release schedules.

Now, for the good news. All obstacles have finally been overcome, and several DTS DVD titles will soon enter the market, as outlined below:

Pioneer LDC Japan has already begun shipping their first DTS DVD title into the Japanese market, the popular animated film Tenchi Muyo* confirming that authoring systems incorporating DTS are definitely working properly.

Image Entertainment will soon announce their first series of DTS DVDs for the North American market, which are on schedule to arrive in retail stores prior to the end of the year.

Digital Versatile Disc Inc., a new content provider who is specializing in DVD software, will also announce November ship dates for their first four DTS-encoded DVD titles, including full-length children's animation titles.

Universal Home Video is now preparing an official press release revealing the details of their DTS DVD launch, including titles and ship dates.

In addition, there are other content providers who are targeting November, December, and first-quarter 1999 ship dates for their first DTS DVDs. However, we will not reveal these distributors or the titles, until the actual shipping dates have been confirmed.

We thank you for your patience and your continued support for DTS Digital Surround. We look forward to rewarding your investment in 5.1 surround components by assisting all content providers in the development of a wide variety of superb DTS-encoded software titles over the next few years* and we stand confident that you will find the performance quality of DTS DVDs to be the finest available on the market, and well worth the wait."


Dan Slusser, CEO
Digital Theater Systems (DTS),


DTS announced their upcoming DVD titles this morning at a press conference held by Technics. An official press release is forthcoming, but here is the list of initial titles to expect, starting in May and June:

12 Monkeys, Dragonheart, Apollo 13, The Getaway, Backdraft, The Jackal, Blues Brothers 2000, Liar Liar, Born on the 4th of July, The Boxer, The Nutty Professor, Dante's Peak, The Shadow, Daylight and Waterworld.

No real surprises in this list, but at least we'll finally get to do some real A/B comparisons of Dolby Digital vs. DTS sound on DVD, to see if DTS really is the improvement it's cracked up to be. Stay tuned...


I have been able to confirm that DTS will announce its first batch of DVD titles this week, as early as Wednesday 4/8. A press release will be issued running down the initial titles and release dates. Details will be available on their web site by the weekend. Don't expect any surprises (like Amblin titles) in the first batch. Nearly all of them have already been released to DVD, or are on the way. Stay tuned tomorrow for the full list...


DTS's announcement has been delayed due to technical and other issues, but is expected to be made soon. In the meantime, here is a revised DTS Q&A, direct from DTS's David Delgrasso...

Q & A: DTS-encoded DVDs

The following series of questions and answers address the introduction of DTS-encoded DVDs. After reviewing this information you are certainly welcome to submit any remaining questions to our direct e-mail address:

1) When will DTS-encoded DVD titles begin to enter the market?

The first release of DTS-encoded DVD titles is targeted for the 2nd quarter of 1998, to coincide with the arrival of the first 'DTS Digital Out' DVD players. A detailed explanation of the initial titles and street dates is currently being finalyzed.

2) Which companies will offer 'DTS-ready' DVD players, and when?

Announcements have already been made by Panasonic and Yamaha (for 2nd quarter 1998 delivery), and several other manufacturers will soon announce new DVD models targeted for summer and fall shipments.

3) Are current DVD players capable of playing the upcoming DTS-encoded DVD titles?

No players presently on the market are able to play the DTS soundtrack, including the Sony 7000. At the same time, you will still be able to play these discs on current DVD players, but only with the alternate PCM or Dolby Digital soundtrack.

4) Why does a DTS-encoded music CD play on current DVD players, but not the DTS soundtrack of a DVD?

For compact discs and laserdiscs, there is only one digital audio data stream. The player does not need to know whether the data is DTS or not; it simply plays whatever is there and sends it to the digital output. DVD, on the other hand, allows for several different digital audio formats, more than one of which can be found on the disc simultaneously. The player must now recognize the various bit streams as being DTS, Dolby, PCM etc.; choose the one the user wants; and present it properly at the output. This is the capability missing in present players.

5) But I have seen the Sony and other current players play the DTS demonstration DVDs.

As a way to demonstrate the picture and sound quality you can expect on DTS DVDs, a limited quantity of demo discs were specially produced to play on current players. However, as previously explained, the DTS soundtracks on the DVD titles offered for sale, have technical requirements that will necessitate a compatible player.

6) Can I get a copy of the DTS demonstration DVD?

Unfortunately, no. The demonstrations DVDs were produced in very small quantities, for dealer and trade show use only. However, you can see and hear them at stores where DTS Digital Surround is being demonstrated.

7) Will it be possible to upgrade existing DVD players to recognize the new DTS 5.1 data stream?

Currently, there are no upgrade announcements for DVD players that are already on the market. This is a question that can only be answered decisively by the player manufacturers or companies that offer aftermarket modifications.

8) Is it true that the high data rate used for DTS 5.1 soundtracks will reduce the available space for video data, resulting in reduced picture quality?

No. There is plenty of storage capacity on a DVD for DTS high-resolution audio along with superior video reproduction. In fact, the picture and sound quality of many upcoming DTS-encoded DVDs will effectively demonstrate, for the first time, the true performance potential of this excellent new format. The rumor that the high data rate of a DTS soundtrack may reduce the picture quality started because, on DVD, the video and audio share the total available data space, so one can effect the other. A typical non-DTS DVD might have two hours of low data rate picture plus three low data rate audio tracks for three languages, all on one layer of one side. However, each DVD provides one or two layers, and can utilize one or two sides for each title. By using the additional layer if needed, and choosing one language instead of three, it is now possible to deliver both the DTS high-resolution soundtrack and the high data rate picture that the demonstration disc clearly illustrates.

9) Will DTS-encoded DVDs also include Dolby Digital and/or alternate language soundtracks?

The DVD standard for NTSC markets requires either PCM or Dolby Digital, but does not require these formats to be multi-channel. The decision as to which combination of audio formats and/or alternate languages will be included on each DVD will be made by the company that is licensing, producing, and distributing the product.

10) Will DTS-encoded titles be available for all worldwide DVD Regions?

The worldwide standard includes DTS as an authorized option for all DVD Regions. The production schedules for NTSC DVDs are currently being solidified for North America, with retail distribution targeted to begin in the 2nd quarter of 1998. All other DVD Regions will be addressed as soon as possible.

11) Will DVD players include a DTS 5.1 decoder built into the player?

Some manufacturers will offer players with built-in DTS decoders, but most will not, since the decoder is typically found in the multi-channel pre-amp or receiver.

12) Where will I be able to purchase DTS DVDs?

Many of the audio/video hardware retailers who support 5.1 Digital Surround will stock these state-of-the-art DVDs. By the fall of 1998, many traditional software-only stores will also carry DTS-encoded CDs, LDs, and DVDs. Image Entertainment, in Chatsworth, CA, is the exclusive distributor for DTS software. To find a retail outlet in your area, please visit Image's website at: and access their 'Where to Buy' section.


I'll be adding a great deal of additional DTS information in the next few weeks, but until then, here's DTS's latest press release, regarding its upcoming software announcement:


Westlake Village, CA - DTS, the creator of the leading surround sound technology for music and motion pictures, today announced a multi-faceted plan to introduce DVD software to the home theater market. The first phase of this new product introduction involves several DVD titles encoded with fully "transparent" DTS soundtracks, which are scheduled to reach the North American market in April of 1998. Each title incorporates a full-bandwidth DTS 5.1 channel soundtrack, with the most accurate multi-channel sound ever encoded onto a DVD.

During 1998, several studios, including Universal Home Video, will license titles to DTS Entertainment, for distribution by Image Entertainment. A detailed list of titles and shipping dates will be revealed later this month. Future announcements will come from content providers who will license the DTS multi-channel coding technology to market their titles direct. In addition, several new co-ventures will be created to produce new software programs that will further enhance the value of the DVD format for home entertainment.

Also targeted for Summer 1998, is an aggressive, co-funded marketing campaign that will feature the world's first DTS-encoded DVD movies, along with the state-of-the-art DTS-encoded laserdiscs, and incredible music recordings on compact disc. During this period, DTS will work closely with several hardware suppliers including Kenwood, Panasonic, Sherwood, Technics, and Yamaha, to create a whole new level of consumer participation in 5.1 Digital Surround entertainment.

All DTS-encoded DVD movies will play on any existing DVD player, via the stereo soundtracks. However, in order to feed the DTS 5.1 soundtrack to a DTS decoder, a new DTS-compatible player will be required, and will be easily identifiable by the "DTS Digital Out" logo that will appear on the front face panel. While Panasonic is scheduled to be the first manufacturer to introduce DTS-compatible DVD players to the North American market, several other hardware manufacturers will soon announce their delivery schedule.

"DTS is committed to the development of a deep catalog of DVD software that offers exceptional new entertainment, with both a no-compromise picture and a full-fidelity DTS 5.1-channel soundtrack," explained Bill Neighbors, President of Digital Theater Systems (DTS). "DTS is the only true full-fidelity multichannel sound available for laserdiscs, compact discs and DVD. Our primary goal is to provide millions of potential consumers with an exciting new motivation to transform their current televisions into an exceptional home theater environment".

DTS is the world's leading supplier of digital sound for motion pictures, and is a registered trademark of Digital Theater Systems, Inc. of Westlake Village, California.

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