DTS Inc., which with Dolby Labs has dominated the movie sound system landscape for the past decade, is putting its cinema business on the block.

The Agoura Hills-based company will focus exclusively on licensing its branded entertainment sound technology to the large and evolving audio, videogame, portable media and broadcast markets.

DTS said it has already begun shopping its DTS Digital Cinema and expects a sale this year.

One of the company's initial investors was film director Steven Spielberg, who in 1990 felt that theatrical sound formats were no longer state of the art. He debuted the format in his 1993 film "Jurassic Park."

Also last week, DTS reported a fourth-quarter loss of $5 million (-28 cents per share), a huge departure from its profit of $1.3 million (7 cents per share) for the same period a year earlier. Revenue was also down to $17.5 million, from $17.9 the year before.

For the year, DTS reported a 62 percent dip in net income to $3 million (16 cents per share) but a 3 percent gain in revenue to $78.3 million. Included in the filings was a $3.8 million (20 cents) charge for restructuring costs.

Shares in DTS climbed 18 cents to $23.97 but quickly lost 1.5 percent (47 cents) to $23.60 on the day the company released its earnings report.

Vivendi Orders Chile

Los Angeles-based Vivendi Games has acquired Santiago, Chile-based Wanako Games for an undisclosed amount of money.

Wanako is a game development studio handling Xbox Live titles. The company developed the Xbox Live Arcade title Assault Heroes and is working on 3-D Ultra Minigolf Adventures.

Esteban Sosnik, founder and chief executive of Wanako Games, will become head of Sierra Online's Latin American division.

MRV Support

MRV Communications Inc., the Chatsworth-based provider of out-of-band networking communication and fiber optic components, wants to provide better support for its providers.

The firm's "5 Star" program targets specifically partners in healthcare, finance, government and networking technology manufacturing.

A key element of the plan is the expansion of training and certification programs to include sales training and an online sales opportunity registry. MRV also will use its marketing clout to provide tradeshow support, email blasts and joint sales calls.

"We recognize that our partners add a substantial amount of expertise to our technology and the 5 Star Program is designed to reward that value-add," said MRV President and Chief Executive Noam Lotan.

Family Tech

IBM's Los Angeles will sponsor a special Black Family Technology Awareness Day event on Wednesday at the California Science Center.

"Think it. Design it. Make it happen with technology" is the theme.

Dozens of students are expected to participate in hands-on activities designed to encourage interest in math, science, future technology and engineering careers.

Fourth graders from Dominguez Elementary School, 59th Street Elementary School and the Urban League's Milken Family Literacy Youth and Training Center will also demonstrate Reading Companion, IMB's Web-based literacy technology that uses speech-recognition software.

"IBM is committed to helping Los Angeles area African-Americans and other underserved communities acquire the skills they need to live and compete in today's multicultural world," said Gail Halcromb, co-chair for IBM Mentor Place and the Black Diversity Network Group in Southern California.

Staff reporter Dan Cox can be reached at dcox@labusinessjournal.com or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 230.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.