REDMOND, Wash. Aug. 20, 2009 Widescreen technology is everywhere these days, built into virtually every new notebook, desktop monitor and flat-panel TV,1 and today Microsoft Hardware sets a new standard for webcams with the launch of LifeCam Cinema, the first consumer webcam on the PC to offer widescreen video with a native 720p sensor.2 The timing couldn’t be better, with more and more people going online to share videos with friends and family; in fact, more than 10 million videos are uploaded each month to Facebook alone.3 LifeCam Cinema webcam’s 720p widescreen sensor will deliver clear, quality videos — without leaving anyone out of the shot.
“When we started working on LifeCam Cinema almost a year ago, we were motivated by the fact that new computer displays were predominantly widescreen and top social networking sites were allowing widescreen video,” said Stuart Milton, systems engineer for Microsoft Hardware. “LifeCam Cinema sets the stage for the next generation of webcam use: uploading widescreen videos with amazing quality to social networking sites and soon chatting live with friends and family in widescreen format.”
Feel Like a Movie Star in Virtually Any Light
LifeCam Cinema was created to deliver an experience like the movies, with great high-definition (HD) video and clear sound. However, life doesn’t happen on a movie set, and most people don’t have a lighting team in their house to make them look camera-ready. In common indoor settings (low-light situations4) Microsoft Corp. is delivering an easy way to show amazing video quality in these scenarios. Maintaining a high frame rate even in the lowest lighting, LifeCam Cinema helps ensure that users look well lit and that video remains smooth.
Webcam Goes Wide
As the only PC consumer webcam on the market today with a native 720p sensor that delivers widescreen video capture at 16:9,2 LifeCam Cinema provides 720p high-definition video and features Auto Focus to keep video sharp from across the room all the way up to 4 inches from the webcam. Also launching with LifeCam Cinema is Microsoft’s ClearFrame Technology, which offers faster image processing technology to help deliver smooth video at any resolution and improved noise reduction technology to reduce image graininess and keep video sharp. Finally, the LifeCam Cinema webcam’s widescreen technology allows the widest angle of capture ever for a Microsoft webcam, at 74 degrees — no need to worry about leaving anything out of the shot again.
LifeCam Cinema Video Chat
Easily Edit and Share Videos
After people create high-end videos and take crystal-clear still photos with LifeCam Cinema, they will now have access to two new integrations with Windows Live that make editing and uploading videos and photos a breeze:
Windows Live Movie Maker is new and now available with HD support. Users can now easily turn photos and video memories into extraordinary movies and upload them to popular sharing sites such as YouTube with one click.
Windows Live Photo Gallery enables users to easily upload a photo to edit, tag and share with friends and family.
New LifeChat Headset
Microsoft also today announced the LifeChat LX-1000, a headset with high-quality audio and a noise-canceling microphone. The Microsoft LifeCam and LifeChat family now offers a full range of products meeting consumers’ needs at multiple price points and for desktop, notebook and netbook communication needs.
Pricing and Availability
LifeCam Cinema and LifeChat LX-1000 will be available in September for the estimated retail prices of $79.95 and $24.95 (U.S),5 respectively. They will be available for pre-sale on Amazon.com starting on Aug. 24, 2009. Microsoft backs the LifeCam Cinema with a worldwide three-year limited hardware warranty, and the LifeChat LX-1000 with a two-year limited hardware warranty. More information about these and other Microsoft Hardware products can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/hardware.
About Microsoft Hardware
For more than 26 years, the Hardware Group has employed innovative engineering, cutting-edge industrial design and extensive usability testing to create products of exceptional quality and durability that enhance the software experience and strengthen the connection between consumers and their PC. Microsoft Hardware leads the industry in ergonomic engineering, industrial design and hardware/software compatibility, offering consumers an easier, more convenient and more enjoyable computing experience. In 2008, the Hardware Group debuted the world’s most advanced tracking technology — Microsoft BlueTrack Technology — allowing consumers to track on more surfaces than optical and laser mice. More information about the Hardware Group is available at http://www.microsoft.com/hardware.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
1 Widescreen in more than 95 percent of notebooks, desktop monitors and flat-panel TVs — NPD Group Inc., Retail Tracking Service (January–June 2009)
2 There are enterprise webcams on the market that feature native 720p sensors.
3 Facebook Statistics, http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics, 2009
4 Internal Microsoft research
5 Actual retail prices may vary.
Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.mspx.