Spruce Technologies, Inc., DTS (Digital Theatre Systems, Inc.) and Minnetonka Audio Software today announced the first integrated solution for encoding, previewing and authoring DTS digital surround audio within DVD productions.

The announcement pairs Spruce’s DVDMaestro DVD-authoring system with Minnetonka’s new Surcode DVD Professional software, which recently met the rigorous requirements of DTS certification. Surcode DVD Professional allows users to encode uncompressed audio into the DTS algorithm for use in a DVD, eliminating cost and time for sending material out of house for encoding.

Spruce will offer Surcode DVD Professional as an option to DVDMaestro, its professional DVD authoring solution for Windows NT. In addition, the most recent software release of DVDMaestro, Version 2.8, supports preview of DTS-format audio content during authoring, using the Netstream 2000 board from Sigma Designs. DVDMaestro 2.8 with the Netstream 2000 card and Surcode DVD Professional option provide DVD authors a complete, easy, end-to-end solution for DTS audio on Windows NT-based systems.

“Until recently, it’s been costly and time consuming for authors to incorporate the preferred sound of DTS in their DVD productions, because all the encoding was done by DTS or third party encoding houses,” said Gary Hall, Spruce senior product manager. “The Spruce, DTS and Minnetonka agreement expands the market potential for DTS by offering convenience, control and significantly lower costs.”

Hall added that a key benefit for users of the new encoding option is the ability to monitor the production from within the system and make changes before formatting a final DVD. “In DVD production there are three key elements: quality control, quality control, and quality control. Without monitoring capability built into the system, authoring with DTS has been a shot in the dark, with no chance to check video/audio sync, etc. until the discs come off the burner.”

As a primary alternative to Dolby audio AC-3 for 5.1 surround on DVD, DTS digital surround audio is growing rapidly in adoption, with support from leading Hollywood directors and music lovers worldwide. With the affordability and unhindered access to DTS offered by the Spruce- Minnetonka-DTS option, DVD authors can now easily leverage DTS 5.1 audio to meet customer demand for advanced audio fidelity in DVD production.

“We recently put together a 10-minute promotional piece on Alpine’s high-end surround systems for cars, and we wanted to leverage the fidelity of DTS,” said John Torcello, president of SpeeDVD, a southern California DVD authoring service facility which was assigned the project by producer Fletcher Murray of The Association, www.theassociation.tv, in Burbank, Calif. “We used DVDMaestro with the Minnetonka Surcode DVD Professional, and turned the production around in record time. Being able to monitor the project without burning discs saved us days and helped meet our deadline with Alpine.”

“With the introduction of the Minnetonka DTS encoder board and Surcode DVD Professional, Minnetonka is providing the real missing piece in DVD authoring-user driven, affordable surround encoding,” said John Schur, Minnetonka president and CEO. “Our partnership with Spruce and DTS allows us to provide DTS quality audio to a broad DVD authoring market.”

“We’re very excited that Spruce customers now have an easy, seamless, end-to-end solution that makes DTS encoding very simple,” said Brian Caldwell, marketing director, Pro Audio and Broadcast, DTS.

Along with all Spruce authoring systems, DVDMaestro incorporates Spruce’s advanced data abstraction, which not only makes authoring simpler but provides major improvements in productivity. Rather than dropping back into code writing, as users of competing systems frequently do, Spruce users spend their time on creative decisions or making more titles

About Minnetonka Audio

Minnetonka Audio Software has been making software for professional sound recording and editing since 1990. Minnetonka’s specialty is Surround Sound, being the first company to offer an integrated application for Surround Sound recording and editing, and the first company to offer both Dolby(r) and DTS(r) licensed software encoders for Surround Sound.

About DTS

DTS is an international digital technology company specializing in multi-channel audio. DTS is featured on more than 20,000 motion picture screens worldwide, in a variety of products from all major consumer electronics manufacturers, in automobiles, in computers, on games for DVD-ROM, and on films and music for DVD and CD. DTS is a registered trademark of Digital Theater Systems, Inc. of Agoura Hills, California. International offices for the company are located in the United Kingdom and in Japan. For further information, visit www.dtsonline.com.

About Spruce Technologies, Inc.

Spruce Technologies, Inc. is a global market leader in DVD authoring applications for the creation of interactive broadband content. At the core of every Spruce application is a modular authoring architecture known as the SpruceCore, supporting the most complex commercial DVD projects without requiring extensive programming expertise. Spruce’s award-winning solutions include: DVDMaestro(tm), the market leading professional DVD authoring solution; DVDTransfer(tm), the world’s first automated system for unattended conversion of videotape to DVD; DVD Performer(tm), the first professional yet affordable integrated DVD encoding and authoring solution; and SpruceUp(tm), the first full-featured personal DVD authoring solution for Windows PCs. These applications support SpruceLink(tm), a breakthrough WebDVD technology for installation-free playback of Web-enabled DVD titles on CD-ROM and DVD-ROM equipped PCs. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., Spruce Technologies is a privately-he! ld company with a track record of profitable growth since its founding in 1996. For more information, contact Spruce at 408-861-2200, or visit our Website: http://www.spruce-tech.com.

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