Microsoft and Unveil First End-to-End Digital Video System for Live Broadcast Streaming

LAS VEGAS, April 10, 2000 — Today at the National Association of Broadcasters Conference 2000 (NAB2000), Microsoft Corp. and Inc., a leading provider of Internet and networked video solutions, announced the new Osprey-500WM/DVPro, the first professional-grade video capture card designed specifically for the capture of broadcast-quality digital video for streaming media. The Osprey-500WM/DVPro was developed by’s Osprey Technologies Division and was optimized exclusively to support the Microsoft® Windows Media TM Format with cooperation from Microsoft’s Digital Media Division. It is the first capture card to tightly integrate with the new Windows Media Technologies 7 Encoder and Format for audio and video, also unveiled today at NAB2000.’s Osprey-500WM/DVPro, with integrated Windows Media support, delivers the industry’s first capture card designed specifically to overcome the direct capture problems and file size barriers broadcasters face when converting their professional-quality digital video to a high-quality Internet digital video stream. This collaboration between and Microsoft represents a major milestone for professional broadcasters, because it enables them to target Internet-based audiences with the same high-quality digital content they have created for the broadcast domain. It also allows anyone with a digital video (DV) camera to plug into the world of streaming media without any loss in quality.

“The Windows Media Format is fast emerging as the industry-leading format for high-quality streaming of digital media content,”
said Neal Page, vice president and general manager of’s Osprey Technologies Division.
“The new Osprey-500WM/DVPro design innovations, integrated with direct capture in Windows Media Format, make it the first product specifically designed to bring broadcast-quality and professionally produced video to the Internet and corporate intranets.”

“Our customers’ No. 1 request was to create ‘pure’ end-to-end digital video for streaming and remove the video-quality degradation caused by the multistep video conversion process of existing capture cards and software,”
said Dave Fester, general manager of marketing in the Digital Media Division at Microsoft.
“The industry-leading card design of the new Osprey-500WM/DVPro, combined with breakthroughs in the new Windows Media Technologies 7, solves this critical quality issue for broadcasters and content creators with a state-of-the-art software and hardware streaming media solution.”

The Osprey-500WM/DVPro, together with the new Windows Media Encoder 7, offers several key benefits to professional and
video content creators:

  • Higher-quality streamed video from professional video source content. For the broadcast industry, the Osprey-500WM/DVPro is the first capture board of its kind to offer direct real-time streaming of popular digital sources without conversion to analog stage. Higher-quality, direct digital video capture means higher-quality streamed video for all types of Internet- and intranet-based video broadcasts.

    • The Serial Digital Interface (SDI) support allows easy and reliable integration into any broadcast setting while preserving the full quality of professional sources.

    • For users of DV cameras and tape decks, the board also includes hardware decoding and scaling of DV/IEEE 1394 signals, enabling easy and lossless integration with cost-effective consumer and prosumer digital sources. For compatibility with full-range video sources, the Osprey-500WM/DVPro also includes high-quality analog video capture in the form of composite video and Y/C (S-Video) inputs.

    • For audio capture, Osprey-500WM/DVPro provides support for the majority of common analog and digital formats. It sports direct capture of digital audio in both AES/EBU and S/P-DIF, eliminating any contamination of the audio signal by the PC hardware. Analog audio is also supported with professional balanced input with reliable XLR connections and RCA jacks for input from unbalanced consumer sources.

  • Eliminates file size barriers with Windows Media Format support. Direct capture to the Windows Media Format removes the file size barriers traditionally associated with legacy solutions. Because the new Osprey card captures video directly into the Windows Media Format, broadcasters can now overcome the 2GB file size (or 10-minute length) barrier of older video technology. With its huge, 17-TB maximum file size, the state-of-the-art Windows Media Format eliminates the need to create intermediate AVI files, saving a considerable amount of disk space and editing time. The efficient compression of Windows Media allows the capture of DV sources of almost unlimited length and reduces the need for a high-performance disk subsystem.

  • Higher-quality live content. Built-in
    at the card level, rather than on the PC, generates higher-quality live content, even in demanding high-motion sequences. The Osprey-500WM/DVPro card can deinterlace video from any of the video sources because it captures in real time, which improves the quality of every video – particularly motion-intensive scenes such as sports or action sequences – at any bit rate. In addition, on-card hardware scaling delivers the exact image size specified by a user of Windows Media.

About the Osprey-500WM/DVPro

The Osprey-500WM/DVPro is a 32-bit PCI card that provides capture and optional deinterlacing, scaling and color-converting of video from SDI (SMPTE 259M), DV (IEEE 1394 Firewire) and analog source inputs (composite video and S-Video). Audio capture includes balanced and unbalanced analog source inputs, a professional digital input (AES/EBU via XLR connector), two consumer digital inputs (S/P-DIF), and audio from the DV source. General availability for the Osprey-500WM/DVPro is scheduled for June, with limited quantities scheduled to be available in May. Estimated retail price for the Osprey-500WM/DVPro is $2,495. Estimated retail price for the Osprey-500WM/Pro, which is SDI only (no DV), is $1,995. A configuration targeting the high-end consumer market with DV and consumer inputs is planned for the second half of 2000.

About Windows Media

Windows Media 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, which includes Windows Media Player, Windows Media Services, Windows Media Tools and the Windows Media SDK, is available for download at . The Windows Media Player is the fastest-growing digital media player and is available in 24 languages. To date, there are over 100 million licensed copies of the Windows Media Player, growing by more than one every second.

About (Nasdaq
“VCST” ) enables video communication over the Internet and corporate networks through its components, systems and turnkey solution products. The company is known as a leading global provider of enterprisewide, digital video communications solutions for both real-time and on-demand applications. Osprey® video capture cards and codecs, ViewCast® Streaming Video Solutions and Viewpoint VBX System TM products deliver a wide array of video solutions for both analog and digital video communication systems.’s

Your Video on the Web TM ”
was the first consumer product and hosting service to bring streaming media capabilities to home users and allow small businesses to easily add video to their Web sites. has the ability to deliver cutting-edge networked video solutions while delivering systems to transition legacy video communication equipment. products are available either directly from the company, or from leading OEMs, system integrators, leading resellers and application developers worldwide. Visit the company’s Web site, , for more information.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies 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.

This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which reflect the company’s current judgment on certain issues. Because such statements apply to future events, they are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are described in the company’s reports on Form 10-KSB and 10-QSB on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Microsoft and Windows Media are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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