Leading Professional Video Production Vendors Announce Windows Media Video Support at NAB 2001

LAS VEGAS, April 23, 2001 — Today at the National Association of Broadcasters Convention (NAB 2001), Microsoft Corp. announced that leading professional video production hardware and software developers, including Accom Inc., Avid Technology, Chyron, The Grass Valley Group and Optibase have embraced the Microsoft® Windows Media™
Video codec as a key format for streamed and downloaded digital video distribution over the Internet. These companies have integrated Windows Media Video support into a wide range of hardware and software solutions to assist the video professional as the need for Web-based video distribution grows. In addition, these companies plan to include support for the new Windows Media Video 8 codec technology, released by Microsoft last month, in their next-generation products.

Professional video production solutions that support Windows Media and are being highlighted at NAB 2001 include the following:

  • Accom’s WSD/HD offers a turnkey solution supporting universal Windows Media-based encoding of standard and high-definition video formats. This allows production companies and studios to do reference-quality encoding from high-definition masters to Windows Media with resolutions up to 1,920×1,080 pixels, yielding the best results possible. Demonstrations will be given throughout the day at Booth S4806 in the Sands Expo Center.

  • Avid Technology will be showing the Trilligent Cluster, a powerful, scalable and easy-to-manage streaming media platform that delivers Windows Media-formatted content at rates of up to 5 Gbps from a cluster of Windows 2000 Servers running Windows Media Services. Avid is in Booth M8318 in the Sands Expo Center.

  • Chyron’s new CoreStream media delivery system employs Windows Media Technology to provide professional-level quality of service for Internet delivery of video and audio content. Chyron’s DualStreamer is an Internet encoder that integrates Windows Media Video technology. The robust technology of Windows Media Video presents the best possible resolution and picture quality available at any encoding rate.

  • The Grass Valley Group offers the industry’s most flexible video streaming and storage platform support. Its Profile XP Media Platform, which is based on the Emmy Award-winning Profile line, supports Windows Media Audio and Video, as well as MPEG, DVCPRO and MPEG Transport Streams (MTS) formats. The company’s Aqua Streaming Encoder supports all major streaming formats, including the Windows Media Audio and Video 8. Both of these products will be shown at Booth L10409.

  • Optibase’s MGW 4000 encoding and streaming server for streaming real-time digital video includes support for Windows Media Video. This new server provides a powerful solution for streaming the highest-quality video in real time. Built on the Microsoft Windows NT Embedded operating system, the prebeta version of this product will be featured in the Microsoft Internet Theatre at NAB 2001 in Booth i5921 at the Sands Expo Center.

Windows Media Video 8 — a Breakthrough in Compression Efficiency

Released in April 2001, the Windows Media Video 8 codec sets a new standard for achieving the highest-quality video in the smallest bandwidth or file size. Windows Media Video 8, is the first digital media technology to make possible the real-time delivery of full-screen, near-DVD-quality video content over today’s broadband connections.

Microsoft Windows Media Video 8 delivers a 30 percent improvement in quality compared with the previous version, delivering unmatched quality for narrowband and broadband users and the best technology for both streamed and downloadable movies or other video content. Key features of Windows Media Video 8 include the following:

  • Near-VHS quality at rates as low as 250 Kbps with 320×240 pixel resolution at 24 frames per second

  • Near-DVD quality at rates as low as 500 Kbps with 640×480 pixel resolution at 24 frames per second

  • The most widely deployed digital rights management (DRM) technology for protecting streamed and downloaded content on the Internet

For download and play uses, Windows Media Video 8 provides true variable bit rate (VBR) and two-pass encoding. True VBR encoding eliminates the 25-second barrier of other technologies, instead averaging encoding resources over an entire feature-length film and guaranteeing the best video quality, even through extended high-action sequences.

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/ .

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 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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