CANNES, France, Feb. 10, 2001 — Today, at Milia 2001 in Cannes, European enhanced television content developers will get their first chance to see demonstrations of
“what TV can be” with the Microsoft® TV platform. Content providers, cable, satellite and terrestrial network operators and others attending the show will be able to see the platform in action with industry partners, including TV Cabo of Portugal showing examples of enhanced TV features and services in Microsoft Booth R31.24. Microsoft also will be showcasing the Microsoft TV Content Developer Program, featuring a new Content Developer Kit (CDK), which provides tools and training to help developers of Enhanced TV content, and Microsoft TV Access Channel Server.
Microsoft TV is a complete software solution that enables the television industry to create and deliver Enhanced TV services to consumers. TV Cabo, a subsidiary of PT Multimedia and Portugal’s leading cable operator, announced in December 2000 the start of its trial deployment of Enhanced TV services based on an end-to-end Microsoft TV platform software solution. Thomson Multimedia S.A., a global leader in consumer electronics, also announced in December 2000 the launch of a new TV service that utilises Microsoft TV software to deliver subscription-free interactive television, available to European consumers through a special line of Thomson-brand televisions that include an interactive service called TAK. Microsoft TV is also the software platform for the new Ultimate TV® service, available only in the United States, the first and only digital satellite service that integrates DIRECTV programming, digital video recording, live TV controls, interactive television and Internet access in one package.
At Milia, Microsoft will be demonstrating Microsoft TV Advanced client software, designed to enable Enhanced TV services on next-generation set-top boxes, as deployed by TV Cabo in Portugal. There will also be demonstrations of Microsoft TV Access Channel Server, based on Microsoft Windows® 2000 Terminal Server technology, employing patented video compression software. Microsoft TV Access Channel Server is a server-based application for delivering interactive services and diverse Windows-based content to current-generation and advanced digital cable set-top boxes. It extends the useful life of digital cable set-top boxes by delivering compelling new services and content, such as Windows-based applications, Internet surfing and e-mail functionality, and multimedia programs using a software solution that runs on a network operator’s head end – therefore offering software developers exciting new interactive TV opportunities.
Microsoft TV Content Developer Program
Microsoft Corp. also is showcasing the Microsoft TV Content Developer Program. The program, which includes a newly designed Content Developer Kit, enables European developers, broadcasters and operators of next-generation television services to create content and applications for the Microsoft TV platform. The Content Developer Program also supports the delivery of Microsoft Windows-based CD-ROMs and applications as well as new TV-ready content via the Microsoft TV Access Channel Server to the television audience. Participants at Milia can apply to join the Microsoft TV Content Developer Program.
Members of the Content Developer Program can tap into the documentation, tools, sample code, support and training materials developed by Microsoft to create compelling, Enhanced TV programming that not only provides a rich viewing experience for consumers, but that also opens new advertising and
revenue opportunities for the creators of next-generation television services. Andrew Adamyk, director of Content Developer Marketing with Microsoft’s recently formed Microsoft TV EMEA group, said,
“Through this program, Microsoft TV is leading the way in making Enhanced TV a reality. Content developers can now access all the resources they need to create great Enhanced TV.”
New Content Developer Kit
A key feature of the Microsoft TV Content Developer Program is the Microsoft TV Content Developer Kit 1.0, scheduled to be released this month. The CDK, which expands on the beta version released last autumn, 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, Flash, the ATVEF specification and other supported features of the Microsoft TV platform. Forthcoming CDK releases will also contain resources for developers to deliver Windows-based applications, including Macromedia Shockwave Director-based content, to the interactive TV audience. More information on joining the Content Developer Program can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/tv/content/cdp.asp .
About the Microsoft TV Platform
The Microsoft TV platform is a standards-based, client and server software family that enables network operators and their partners to deliver the most compelling Enhanced TV services to consumers. The platform supports a range of TV devices – from current and next-generation set-top boxes and digital video recorders to integrated television sets, entertainment appliances and other computing devices. Through the platform, network operators and hardware providers can team up to offer consumers an unparalleled range of services, from e-mail and Internet on TV, to interactive programming, electronic program guides and digital video recording.
Microsoft TV also creates significant new economic opportunities for network operators and the more than 1,000 companies worldwide who have chosen to work with the platform to deliver or supply the services, programming, hardware and software for the interactive TV industry. Microsoft TV supports open standards and is backed by the technical expertise, support and broad third-party developer community Microsoft is known for. It is an integral part of Microsoft’s .NET vision of empowering people through great software – any time, any place and on any device. More information about the Microsoft TV platform can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/tv/ .
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, UltimateTV and Windows 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.
If you would like to interview a Microsoft TV spokesperson at Milia, please contact:
Sam Booker, The RED Consultancy, +44 7768 890460
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.