Rapid Expansion of ATVEF Membership and Continued Success Helps Speed Industry Momentum

Rapid Expansion of ATVEF Membership and Continued Success Helps Speed Industry Momentum ATVEF Extends Reach to Make Interactive Television Programming a Global Reality

SAN MATEO, Calif., and REDMOND, Wash. — Dec. 15, 1999 – Today at the Western Show, the Advanced Television Enhancement Forum (ATVEF) announced that, with strong industry response to the ATVEF Enhanced Content Specification, it will establish a corporation to continue licensing the specification indefinitely. The license will continue to be offered royalty free to anyone wishing to license the specification, providing the same reciprocal licensing agreement that has been offered to industry to date.
“Industry acceptance of the ATVEF specification as an industry-driven initiative is unprecedented, and compliant programs and products are already being deployed in the marketplace,”
said C. J. Fredricksen, director of the ATVEF.
“Industry momentum is strong, and we anticipate the ATVEF’s success in gaining further momentum among global leaders in broadcast, production and interactive tools development.”

Industry Momentum

Co-founded by 14 industry leaders in technology and media, the ATVEF has rapidly increased its consortium participation to more than 100 members in less than two years and has demonstrated the efficiency of its approach to interactive television, which eliminates the need for content creators and providers to develop multiple versions of their programming. The current list of members includes such industry leaders as Avid, Bertelsmann Broadband, BillP Studios, CTV.Net Ltd., CableLabs, CNN, Deutsche Telekom, DIRECTV Inc., Discovery Communications Inc. (DCI), DiviCom, FAST Multimedia AG, iXL, Intel Corp., Maginet Corp., Microsoft Corp. and WebTV Networks Inc., MONKEYmedia Inc., NBC Multimedia Inc., Liberate Technologies, NDTC Technology, Nokia, Pace Micro Technology PLC, Peach Networks, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), R/GA Broadband, Scripps Network, Sonic Solutions, Sony Corp., Spyglass Inc., Telecruz Technology Inc., Telewest Communications, Tribune Co., Two Way TV Ltd., Unique Vacations, Walt Disney Co. and Warner Bros. A complete listing is available at http://www.atvef.com/ .


Members committing to deliver ATVEF content include NBC, Disney, CNN, Children’s Television Workshop Online, E! Entertainment Television, USA Networks and The Weather Channel. Among the toolmakers already developing or providing interactive solutions are Digital Renaissance Inc., Mixed Signals Technologies Inc. and VITAC .

ATVEF content will be available to consumers from a wide spectrum of providers. The goal is to enhance the television-viewing experience by allowing users to selectively engage in a variety of interactive programming. Interactive TV lets consumers view television content and simultaneously access interactive enhancements to a program or advertisement via a wide array of receivers and displays. Examples of ATVEF applications include e-commerce, games, polling, personalized news, sports, stock quotes and other forms of information.

Successful First Run

The ATVEF Specification for Interactive Television 1.1 allows content creators to deliver interactive television programming over all forms of transport (analog, digital, cable and satellite) to compliant receivers. A barrier-free licensing of the initial specification was instrumental in gaining industry adoption worldwide. Proposals were made to appropriate standards bodies such as the ATSC, DVB and W3C to help establish a worldwide standard.

“After successfully completing the ATVEF Enhanced Content Specification and releasing specific licensing, there has been a swell of industry interest in licensing the specification and developing products and services based on it,”
said Fredricksen.

About the ATVEF

The Forum has 14 founding members, with more than 100 licensees globally, representing broadcast and cable networks; television stations; cable and satellite service providers; and consumer electronics, PC and software vendors. The specification and more information about the forum are available at http://www.atvef.com/ . Additional information on recent ATVEF founder and adopter announcements is available at http://www.atvef.com/press/news.html/ .

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