Cable Leaders Team With Microsoft To Bring Broadband Streaming to Cable

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 15, 1999 — Today at the Western Show, Microsoft Corp. announced that two cable industry leaders are working to bring streaming media to mainstream consumers by supporting Microsoft® Windows Media TM for cable customers. The two companies announcing their support today follow:

  • Philips Electronics, among the world’s leading set-top box manufacturers, will support streaming video and audio in a new set-top cable device that features built-in support of Windows Media Technologies running on TriMedia-based hardware using the Microsoft TV platform. This support will make it easier for consumers to access broadband services and dramatically expand the audience for streamed broadband content.

  • Cisco Systems Inc., the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, announced it will offer quality-of-service improvements to cable operators for streamed Windows Media-streamed content.

Philips Electronics Set-Top Box Integrates Windows Media Support

Philips today announced support of Windows Media as part of its integration of the Microsoft TV platform for cable set-top boxes. Philips’ pioneering efforts to bring digital media to the cable industry create dramatic new opportunities for cable operators and content providers to provide more services to their subscribers. Philips now enables the deployment of Microsoft TV client software in its interactive set-top terminals, which include built-in support for Windows Media and broadband Internet access via the standard integrated data over cable system service interface specification (DOCSIS) cable modem. Philips’ technology, combined with the high-quality audio/video and unique digital rights management technology of Windows Media, will enable pay-per-download, pay-per-view and rich media advertising opportunities for the cable industry. Philips’ first next-generation set-top terminal, the UPC box, will be deployed in Europe beginning in mid-2000.

“By integrating and supporting Windows Media, Philips is demonstrating the potential of a complete digital media access solution for cable operators and subscribers,”
said Rob van Oostenbrugge, president of Philips Digital Networks.
“Our support for Windows Media reflects our commitment to delivering high-quality digital audio and video.”

The Philips Electronics Microsoft TV-based platform is based on Philips’ fully programmable TriMedia processor. The Philips’ TriMedia platform is truly versatile. Together, Philips and Microsoft are ushering in a new world of enhanced television-based services.

Bringing Digital Media to Television

Today’s announcement by Philips adds to the momentum for streaming media in the cable industry that began last week at the Streaming Media West ’99 conference. At the conference Microsoft Chairman and CEO Bill Gates demonstrated General Instrument Corp.’s new set-top terminal, the first such device ever enabled for streaming media from the Internet. In just one week, consumers have been introduced to two next-generation set-top terminals, both from leading manufacturers, that offer an integrated digital media solution that brings broadband Internet video and audio to cable television.

“The combination of Windows Media with broadband cable technology from leading companies like Philips will speed mainstream availability for streaming media to cable television customers, and herald a wealth of new opportunities for cable operators, content providers and their subscribers,”
said Dave Fester, director of marketing for the Streaming Media Division at Microsoft.
“This collaborative effort is making broadband a reality by delivering a whole new level of quality, accessibility and choice to consumers.”

Cable operators can now tap into a broad selection of digital media content from more than 80 industry partners in the Microsoft Windows Media Broadband Jumpstart initiative. Content providers and subscribers will soon begin to reap the benefits of the higher bandwidth and new distribution channels that the initiative is helping move forward.

Cisco Optimizing for Windows Media

Cisco will provide cable operators with networking solutions that offer quality-of-service improvements for Windows Media-streamed content. Cisco’s digital cable solutions improve the streaming media transmission quality of Windows Media throughout the cable network infrastructure, allowing cable operators to provide their subscribers with a consistent, high-quality experience. The Cisco uBR7200 Universal Broadband Router product family with Cisco IOS software and DOCSIS support enables quality of service from the core of the network to the set-top box. Cisco’s networking solutions also provide improved manageability, scalability and reliability for broadband streaming transmissions. In addition, Cisco’s advanced networks help operators manage bandwidth consumption, enabling the deployment of true multiservice networks.

“Streaming media is a key enabler for expanding consumer broadband adoption,”
said Paul Bosco, vice president and general manager of Cisco Cable Business Unit.
“High-quality Windows Media-formatted broadband video combined with Cisco’s sophisticated network solutions provide cable operators with great new revenue-generating broadband services. Delivering streaming media over IP provides the ability to reach multiple devices in the home, including cable set-top boxes and PCs.”

The Windows Media Broadband Jumpstart initiative, announced in September, is a collaborative effort of more than 80 industry leaders that builds on the Windows Media Technologies platform to provide the first open, end-to-end solution for promoting mainstream adoption by removing technological and market deployment obstacles. The initiative has two fundamental objectives: to provide consumers with a greater selection of high-quality content by improving broadband business models, and to accelerate the adoption of household use of broadband services. Last week, Microsoft announced that the number of companies participating in the Jumpstart initiative had more than doubled in less than two months.

About (, part of the MSN TM network of Internet services, is among the fastest-growing major audio and video guides on the Internet. provides access to localized audio and video content worldwide, including major music and video events and entertainment from more than 1,000 content providers.

About Windows Media Technologies

Windows Media Technologies is the leading digital media platform, providing consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations with unmatched audio and video quality. Windows Media Technologies 4, which includes Windows Media Player, Windows Media Services, Windows Media Tools and the Windows Media SDK, is available for free* download at . The Windows Media Player is the fastest-growing media player. More than 50 million copies have been downloaded to date — growing by more than one every second.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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