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29/01/2002

Leading digital audio company sets up Bangor R&D centre

BANGOR, Northern Ireland, is set to benefit from a £263,000 investment which will create 18 new jobs following the relocation of a Los Angeles-based digital technology company's R&D centre to the town.
Digital Theater Systems Inc (DTS) have been offered Selective Financial Assistance of £72,000 by the IDB towards the costs of the investment and will develop their new site over the next three years.
Announcing the investment IDB chief executive, Leslie Ross, said: "This company has chosen to locate in Northern Ireland because of the expertise of our universities and the availability of talented people with the hi-tech skills required to enable it to grow its existing movie business and develop new opportunities in the consumer electronics market.
"As part of our strategic focus on broadening Northern Ireland's existing knowledge base, the DTS investment is especially important because it will build on the pioneering work at Queen's University which has helped to establish Northern Ireland as a European centre in digital technology."
Heading the DTS venture, Paul Smith, vice president of research and development at DTS, said: "While we considered a number of locations, Northern Ireland emerged as the perfect fit because Queen's University's department of electrical and electronic engineering is an internationally respected centre of excellence in digital signal processing technology."
The new Northern Ireland R&D operation will carry forward the development of a number of innovative products such as a new electronic cinema sub-titling system, which is already being used in a number of cinemas including Yorkgate in Belfast.
DTS have developed close links with Queen's University in the past and a number of its employees in California were graduates of the university, and formerly employed with local companies such as APT.
Smith added: "This initiative will ensure a supply of graduates and postgraduates with the knowledge we need and access to what has become a world-class audio technology research resource.
"I am confident that the expertise available at Queen's will bring substantial benefits to DTS as we seek to develop a new generation of audio products for the movie and consumer electronics industry."
DTS's work is featured in home cinema, car audio, PC and game console products, as well as 5.1 Music, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio and DVD-ROM software. DTS decoders are in every major brand of 5.1-channel surround processors, and in more than 16 million consumer electronics products.
(GMcG)
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