LAS VEGAS, Jan. 22, 2001 — Today at the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) 2001 Conference, Microsoft Corp. announced it is teaming with Motorola Inc.’s Broadband Communications Sector to offer Motorola’s DCT-5000+ advanced set-top boxes to qualified developers through the new Microsoft® TV Content Builder Initiative (CBI). The Microsoft TV CBI is designed to help speed the delivery of enhanced television by enabling direct applications development and testing on the same set-top boxes that consumers will use for interactive TV entertainment.
The CBI provides a framework for members of the Microsoft TV Content Developer Program that are working on advanced interactive TV programming to create solutions for the Microsoft TV platform, as delivered in a broadband, advanced set-top box environment. Members of the Content Developer Program can tap into the tools, templates and training materials developed by Microsoft to create compelling, enhanced TV programming that not only provides a rich viewing experience for consumers, but also opens new advertising and
revenue opportunities for programmers, broadcasters and operators of next-generation television services. The Motorola DCT-5000+ advanced set-top box will enable CBI participants to view and assess their programming in the same way that consumers will experience it when Microsoft TV-powered broadband services are deployed by cable, terrestrial and satellite TV system operators.
“Through our Content Developer Program, Microsoft TV is leading the way for making interactive TV a reality,”
said Alan Yates, vice president of sales and marketing at Microsoft TV.
“It is critical that developers and companies joining the program have access to the resources and materials they need to deploy enhanced TV programming and services. The CBI and the Motorola system show developers how their enhanced TV content performs on a real broadband system before it’s deployed.”
“Motorola is pleased to be working with Microsoft to show enhanced TV content builders how our advanced interactive DCT-5000+ platform offers all the functionality needed to develop engaging interactive television,”
said Carl McGrath, vice president and general manager of DigiCable, Motorola’s North American digital cable technology business.
“Microsoft’s CBI program nicely ties into Motorola’s mission of linking people’s dreams with technology’s promise. Our advanced interactive digital set-tops are at the center of convergence, and television is becoming a major distribution vehicle for interactive video and Internet content. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with Microsoft and provide leading content companies with the tools they need to more quickly deliver on the promise of this new TV experience.”
The CBI has attracted some of the top companies in the world of television programming and interactive TV content development:
Discovery Science Channel is including the CBI in its production plans for
an authoritative guide to what’s hot and what’s not in the explosive world of electronic gaming. An inside look at the game creators and their latest creations,
is an interactive viewing experience created by and for interactive gamers.
MacNeil/Lehrer Productions and PushyBroad are producing an interactive version of
“Debating Our Destiny,”
a two-hour PBS documentary on the history of presidential debates. Hosted by Jim Lehrer, the documentary will feature exclusive interviews of former presidential and vice presidential candidates discussing their debate triumphs and failures, interspersed with dramatic video footage of presidential debates held since 1960.
Scripps and Beyond Z Interactive Media created interactive TV enhancements for the 112th Tournament of Roses Parade, which was broadcast on Home & Garden Television on New Year’s Day.
DTN Weather Services, a leading provider of weather data and services to local broadcasters worldwide, is developing a CBI project that will offer viewers a personalized, interactive and multimedia weather service best experienced through broadband-enhanced television.
Other leading companies participating in the CBI, to evaluate the experience of broadband interactive television made possible by the Microsoft TV platform, include AGENCY.COM, Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc., ARTiFACT, Cinema Entertainment Group, Cylo, E!Networks, FolksNetwork Inc., InfoSpace, Intellocity, MerlinTV.com, MetaTV Inc., Mixed Signals Technologies, Razorfish, RespondTV, Roundpeg.com, Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment, Tractor, Traffic 411, Screamingly Different Entertainment, SpinTV, Steeplechase Media Inc. and The Weather Channel.
“Mixed Signals is excited to be involved with Microsoft TV and its creative new CBI. We have worked with Microsoft on several interactive TV projects and initiatives and are thrilled to now be part of the next generation of true interactive television,”
said Alex Thompson, president and CEO of Mixed Signals Technologies.
“Working with industry-leading customers such as Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment, Pearson Television, HBO, Game Show Network and E! allows Mixed Signals to be at the forefront of the ITV industry, and being able to show the potential of a platform as robust as Microsoft TV is wonderful for us.”
“Collaborating with Microsoft and taking part as a primary participant in the Content Builder Initiative are exciting ventures for the development and distribution of InfoSpace’s best-of-breed broadband infrastructure technologies,”
said Michael Riccio, executive vice president for broadband at InfoSpace.
“The customized financial iTV application, powered by InfoSpace, is a great example of our private-labeled broadband capabilities being deployed on the Microsoft TV platform.”
“In the short life of enhanced television, it has already been proven that the best interactive programming is achieved when the content and interactivity are devised in sync,”
said Tim Larcombe, regional president iTV, North America, AGENCY.COM Ltd.
“Microsoft TV’s Content Builder Initiative plays directly to that objective, and should play a key part in encouraging content producers to think interactive from the start. We are happy to become part of this valuable initiative.”
About the Microsoft TV Content Developer Program
The Content Builder Initiative is part of the Microsoft TV Content Developer Program. Program members receive a wide range of technical and marketing resources to help them create enhanced TV content for the Microsoft TV platform. A key feature of the program is the Microsoft TV Content Development Kit (CDK) 1.0, to be released in February 2001. The CDK, which expands on the beta version released last fall, provides the technical foundation needed to create content ready to run on the Microsoft TV platform. It includes detailed documentation and reference materials for creating enhanced TV programming, using HTML, the ATVEF specification and other supported features of the Microsoft TV platform. More information on joining the Content Developer Program can be found on the
page of the Microsoft TV Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/tv/content/cdp.asp .
About Motorola’s DCT-5000+
Motorola’s DCT-5000+ advanced interactive digital set-top terminal provides new levels of broadband networking services. Through a 347 MIPS processor, 32-bit true color/3-D graphics, integrated DOCSIS cable modem, large memory cache and optional hard drive, the DCT-5000+ delivers PC-like functionality to the home video environment. All of this is delivered using Motorola’s unique Triple-Tuner™
set-top architecture, which allows consumers to simultaneously watch video, surf the Internet and hold an IP telephony call using Motorola’s interactive digital cable network. Its rich application environment provides unparalleled flexibility in selecting and delivering advanced software solutions for deployment in an interactive network.
) is a global leader in providing integrated communications solutions and embedded electronic solutions. Sales in 2000 were $37.6 billion. More information can be found at http://www.motorola.com/ .
About the Microsoft TV platform
The Microsoft TV platform is a comprehensive, standards-based, client and server software solution that enables network operators to enhance the TV experience for their viewers and subscribers. The software platform creates significant new economic opportunities for network operators and the suppliers of programming, hardware and software in the TV industry worldwide. Microsoft TV is backed by the technical expertise, support and broad third-party developer community that Microsoft is known for. The platform makes it cost-effective for network operators to deploy new enhanced TV services on first-generation digital set-top boxes as well as the new generation of advanced set-top boxes and entertainment appliances now emerging.
Microsoft TV products include Microsoft TV Basic Digital and Microsoft TV Advanced software for set-top boxes and TV-based devices, and Microsoft TV Server and Microsoft TV Access Channel Server for providing enhanced TV services through the network operators’ head end. As an extension of the Microsoft TV platform, Microsoft TV Technologies will provide broadcast-rich services and functions within future generations of the Microsoft Windows operating system, paving the way for enhanced TV services on personal computers and other computing devices. Windows Media™
Technologies are an integral component of Microsoft TV Advanced.
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.
Microsoft, Windows and Windows Media are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Triple-Tuner is a trademark of Motorola Inc.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
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.
Microsoft will show
“what TV can be”
with some of the CBI participants during NATPE at the Microsoft TV suite on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2001, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please R.S.V.P. if interested in attending.