CINCINNATI, LOS ANGELES, and REDMOND, Oct. 26, 2000 — Fulfilling the long-awaited promise of broadband entertainment direct to the television, ZoomTown.com, the wholly-owned Internet broadband subsidiary of next-generation communications provider Broadwing Inc., together with Intertainer, uniView Technologies Corp. and Microsoft Corp. today announced that ZoomTown.com will market-test a service to provide asymmetrical digital subscriber line (ADSL) broadband entertainment directly to consumers’ televisions. ZoomTown.com expects to deploy the service to its more than 35,000 subscribers next year following successful completion of the trial.
This joint effort will use the first DSL set-top box featuring streaming video, manufactured by uniView, to connect standard televisions to the Internet via ADSL technology. During the market trial, a select number of ZoomTown.com subscribers will have access to Intertainer’s entertainment-on-demand broadband service, featuring premier Hollywood content, directly on their televisions. The service uses Microsoft Windows Media Technologies including Windows Media Player, video format and digital rights management (DRM) technology.
“What we’re doing here – converging state-of-the-art technologies to move an application from the PC to the consumer’s TV – gives the user a more robust, meaningful experience. We feel that this technology convergence is key to allowing users to fully realize the power of the Intertainer video-on-demand application,” said Mike O’Brien, president of ZoomTown.com. “We have had great subscriber response with the PC-based Intertainer service, and we believe delivering the content with the uniView box to the TV will provide a great new venue for entertainment options.”
Intertainer’s broadband entertainment-on-demand service offers instant access to a wide variety of entertainment options through the television remote control, including music, television programs, current movies and favorite films – all within seconds. Customers can view their choices in full?screen, high?quality resolution with complete VCR functionality, allowing them to stop, rewind and fast?forward selections.
“It is our strong contention that IP technology directly to the television will revolutionize home entertainment, and now ZoomTown.com is stepping forward to be the first provider to make it a reality for DSL subscribers,” said Jonathan Taplin, president and CEO of Intertainer. “Bringing Intertainer’s entertainment-on-demand service directly to the TV gives ZoomTown.com customers the freedom, choice and control to watch what they want, whenever they want.”
Microsoft Windows Media Technologies will provide the core end-to-end digital media platform to enable ZoomTown.com, Intertainer and uniView to develop a viable film and video distribution business model across the Internet. Windows Media offers industry-leading quality video and digital rights management for the film and video industry to ensure secure streamed or downloaded delivery of feature films and other video content across the Internet. All of Intertainer’s video content will be delivered in the Windows Media Format and DRM.
“Consumers are adopting DSL at a rapid rate and want the convenience and selection of high-quality video entertainment on demand, in their living rooms,” said Will Poole, vice president of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. “ZoomTown.com, Intertainer and uniView are delivering innovative services that meet these needs using Windows Media, the best end-to-end solution for secure Internet distribution of film and video content.”
The uniView set-top box will play back this content using the secure Windows Media Player 7.
“We see the uniView set-top box as a bridge linking the Internet world and television,” said Patrick Custer, CEO at uniView. “Combining our efforts with the great technology and services from Microsoft, Intertainer, and ZoomTown.com will pave the way for a rich new way for consumers to enjoy entertainment and information.”
Intertainer ( http://www.intertainer.com/ ) delivers the largest selection of movies, music videos, television and shopping on demand to the PC or TV. The service features content from unprecedented partner relationships, including Columbia TriStar Television, The Disney Channel, Dreamworks SKG, ESPN, Sony Music, Twentieth Century Fox, and Warner Bros., among many others. Enhanced TV functionality, interactive advertising, e-commerce opportunities and personalization features round out the Intertainer experience. Strategic partners include Comcast, Intel, Microsoft, NBC, Sony and Qwest.
About Windows Media
Windows Media is the leading digital media platform, providing unmatched audio and video quality to consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations. Windows Media offers the industry’s only integrated rights-management solution and the most scalable and reliable streaming technology tested by independent labs. Windows Media Technologies includes Windows Media Player for consumers, Windows Media Services for servers, Windows Media Tools for content creation, and the Windows Media Software Development Kit (SDK) for software and hardware developers. Windows Media Player, available in 26 languages, is the fastest-growing media player. More information about Windows Media can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmedia/ .
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.
Dallas-based uniView Technologies Corp. (Nasdaq “UVEW”) ( http://www.uniview.com/ ) offers competencies and expertise to create solutions for video on demand, set-top box products, interactive broadband connectivity, computer telephony integration software and overall broadband solutions. The company markets its products and services both domestically and internationally, focusing on multilevel marketing, hospitality, utilities, banking, telecommunications and Fortune 1,000 companies.
About Broadwing and ZoomTown.com
Broadwing Inc. (NYSE: BRW) combines unparalleled customer service with the industry’s most advanced and flexible 18,000-mile next-generation fiber optic network and award-winning IP backbone, to create data and Internet solutions that are innovative, reliable, and provide businesses a competitive advantage. Broadwing will be the first provider with a fully deployed optical network that sets the standard for customer accountability with the industry’s only Installation Guarantee. ZoomTown.com is a wholly owned subsidiary of Broadwing Inc. With its award-winning ADSL network and the highest geographic penetration of broadband subscribers in the nation, ZoomTown.com provides Internet start-ups an unmatched real-world environment to successfully develop, run trials of and launch their services in a representative U.S. city. ZoomTown.com was recently awarded the SUPERQuest award for Best Built Public Network at SUPERCOMM 2000. ZoomTown.com can be found on the Web at http://www.zoomtown.com/ . Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio and Austin, Texas, with 6,000 employees in 56 sales and service offices across the country, Broadwing can be found on the Web at http://www.broadwing.com/ .
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