Leading Broadcast Tools Providers Deliver Easy-to-Use Interactive TV Tools Supporting the Microsoft TV Platform

LAS VEGAS, April 23, 2001 — Today at the National Association of Broadcasters convention, NAB2001, Microsoft Corp. announced the availability of new broadcast tools supporting the Microsoft® TV platform from five industry leaders: Avid Technology Inc., Chyron Corp., Norpak Corp., VertigoXmedia and vi[z]rt Ltd. Many of these tools are being shown for the first time at NAB2001, and all are designed to help accelerate the creation and delivery of interactive TV programming using recognized tools, equipment and editing resources. The availability of these tools will speed the creation of mainstream interactive television by making it easy to integrate interactive content during the writing and editing process of a TV program.

Microsoft’s pioneering work with leading tools providers is an outcropping of its industry-leading interactive TV developer program. By supporting Microsoft TV, these companies are helping make it easy and possible for content creators everywhere to create compelling interactive TV programming and applications.

“The Microsoft TV Developer Program is helping companies such as Avid, Chyron, Norpak, VertigoXmedia and vi[z]rt create the tools that broadcasters use to make interactive TV a reality today,”
said David Witus, director of content programs for the Microsoft TV Group at Microsoft.

Through their involvement in the developer program, these companies are demonstrating strong support for the Microsoft TV platform while making it easy for the broadcast industry to integrate high-quality
video and graphics with interactive elements, resulting in some amazing new TV programming.”

The five tools partners will be demonstrating new products that support the Microsoft TV platform in their booths on the show floor at NAB2001.

Chyron (Booth I6631)

Chyron ( http://www.chyron.com/ ) will be demonstrating a complete range of interactive TV production and automation tools, including Lyric iTV for professional television graphic-oriented iTV content creation and triggering; CG Interactive, which enables the large installed base of existing and new Chyron graphics systems to automatically produce synchronous enhanced television, even in a live environment; and DCC Interactive, providing seamless broadcast automation support for ATVEF content.

“We have been excited by the enthusiastic support we have received from Microsoft and the iTV community and are proud to provide solutions optimized for the Microsoft TV platform,”
said Bill Hendler, vice president of the Interactive Division at Chyron.

The release is part of a joint agreement made between Microsoft and Chyron to integrate Chyron’s playback graphics package for interactive TV in the Microsoft TV platform. Chyron is an industry leader in the development and delivery of products and services for standard TV broadcasting, high-definition TV, interactive TV and broadband delivery.

vi[z]rt (Booth S4147)

vi[z]rt ( http://www.vizrt.com/ ) announced the release of its content pilot I-Extensions developed exclusively for the Microsoft TV platform. content pilot I-Extensions take advantage of the Microsoft TV platform by using templates that generate broadcast-quality graphics for television and the Web as a script is being written, enabling broadcast producers to prepare content for broadcast and the Web in one simple application. This reduces the time and expense associated with the production of interactive TV programming.

“We are excited by our relationship with Microsoft TV and adding new content delivery capabilities for our customers,”
said Greg Petroff, vice president of marketing at vi[z]rt.
“vi[z] content pilot I-Extensions is remarkably simple to use for Microsoft TV and the Internet. It is part of our strategy to provide tools that efficiently and productively allow broadcasters to create, manage and deliver high-quality content across broadcast, interactive, Internet and wireless media.”

Avid (Booth M8318)

Avid ( http://www.avid.com/ ), the company that delivers the solutions that Make, Manage and Move Media™ , has added an interactive design tool to its editing products that allows producers to work in tandem with interactive TV teams. The design tool adds HTML triggers in the Avid® timeline along with audio and video tracks for seamless, complete editing of an entire interactive TV program at one time. The new interactive features were designed to support the Microsoft TV platform and ATVEF standards, the most widely used standards for creating interactive TV content.

“Avid is pleased to work with Microsoft to offer another powerful solution to the nonlinear production process,” said Robert Stacy, director of product marketing for Media Composer® at Avid.
“Content creators and video producers will now have the ability to offer additional services to their clients through tools that enable them to create interactive elements, streamline production and work collaboratively in a familiar environment – the Avid timeline.”

Norpak (Booth I6760)

Norpak ( http://www.norpak.ca/ ) will be showing new solutions for interactive TV, HDTV and data broadcast with its latest solutions that support the Microsoft TV platform. The Norpak WHAZ-it Interactive TV Monitor is the first professional data-monitoring solution available for systems running on the Microsoft TV platform. Norpak and Microsoft TV have been working to develop encoder systems that allow broadcasters and network operators to filter and/or replace, in real time, embedded interactive TV data based on predetermined rules established by the broadcaster. WHAK-it provides real-time localization of national content.

VertigoXmedia (Booth E3147)

VertigoXmedia ( http://www.vertigoxmedia.com/ ) has released the latest version of its flagship product, Producer On Air 2.0. Producer On Air allows broadcasters to collect content from the Web, wire feeds, newsroom systems and other outlets and convert the data for delivery to the Web and interactive TV programs through satellite, cable or mobile devices. By establishing a reactive link between multiple media-delivery channels, VertigoXmedia enables broadcasters to produce dynamic content that is updated automatically in response to viewer feedback. This reduces the time and costs associated with producing interactive TV content. The content is easily distributed through the Microsoft TV platform, using open standards technology, and is delivered seamlessly to the viewer.

“The combination of Microsoft TV and our Producer On Air content automation platform allows broadcasters to easily integrate interactive TV functionality into their existing broadcast environment,”
said David Wilkins, president and CEO of VertigoXmedia.
“By allowing broadcasters to use production tools they are already familiar with, Microsoft TV becomes an extension to their existing workflow, rather than a whole new process that needs to be managed separately.”

SpinTV Joins Microsoft TV Developer Program

Microsoft also announced that SpinTV ( http://www.spin.tv/ ) has joined the developer program. Spin TV’s Studio Suite supports ATVEF standards, allowing content developers to easily create and deploy interactive TV content, speeding the development and delivery of interactive TV programming. Future versions of the product will be designed to support the Microsoft TV platform.

In addition to being demonstrated in the five tools provider exhibits, the Microsoft TV platform will be shown in the Microsoft Internet Theater. UltimateTV® service, the exciting interactive TV service from Microsoft and available by subscription on DIRECTV units, will also be running in the Interactive Living section of the E-Topia exhibit. UltimateTV incorporates the best of personal video recording, interactivity and Internet on TV in one service and in one box and is powered by the Microsoft TV platform.

About the Microsoft TV Developer Program

The Microsoft TV Developer Program offers members exclusive and up-to-date information about the Microsoft TV platform, including software updates, access to a wide range of Microsoft TV solution providers, discounts on training events for tool developers, co-marketing opportunities with Microsoft and a Tools Developer Kit.

The tools providers support the Microsoft TV platform by offering content creators the ability to easily generate interactive programming that is compliant with interactive programming standards.

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 interactive 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 the Microsoft .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/ .

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.

Microsoft and UltimateTV 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.

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.

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