Digital Theater Systems
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
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
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
The Jackal, Blues
Brothers 2000, Liar Liar,
Born on the 4th of July, The
Boxer, The Nutty Professor,
Dante's Peak, The
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
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
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: email@example.com
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
6) Can I get a copy of the DTS demonstration
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
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
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
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:
DTS ANNOUNCES DVD SOFTWARE ROLL-OUT
DTS-ENCODED MOVIES TARGETED FOR APRIL INTRO
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
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
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
"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.