REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 7, 2001 — The hottest stars of U.S. television will don their designer duds and head for the red carpet on Sunday, September 16 at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ 53 rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards.
For this year’s awards, UltimateTV from Microsoft will be part of a unique pilot project with the Academy in which judges will use UltimateTVs to view their category’s nominated content.
Ultimate TV is the only service that integrates digital video recording, live TV controls, interactive television and Internet access with DIRECTV programming.
“It’s an incredible honor to be selected by the Academy,” says Bill Morgan, vice president of marketing, UltimateTV from Microsoft. “We’re thrilled to be able to demonstrate the features of our service to such an important audience.”
UltimateTV will also be the official media sponsor of the press tent at this year’s primetime awards at the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium, to be televised by CBS-TV.
Backstage, media and celebrities will be able to take advantage of the features of UltimateTV throughout the broadcast. While journalists interview Emmy winners after they accept their awards, they won’t miss a moment of the broadcast. By hitting the “pause live television” button, reporters will automatically record the telecast onto their hard drives. When they are free, the journalists can come back to UltimateTV and catch up to the live program. Award winners can go backstage immediately after their acceptance speeches and, by rewinding the broadcast on Ultimate TV, can watch their own acceptance speeches.
In the pilot program, UltimateTV will enable the judges to use its technology to help them choose Emmy Award winners in three major categories.
The nominated programming was digitally recorded to the hard drives of the DIRECTV receivers with UltimateTV service. The boxes were then installed at the Academy’s North Hollywood headquarters, where judges can view the programs at their convenience. In addition, as part of the pilot program, boxes were installed in the homes of three judges who are also Emmy nominees this year: Sean Hayes, James Cromwell, and Jane Kaczmarek.
Using the same feature that allows UltimateTV subscribers to create and watch their own personal TV lineup whenever they want, the Emmy judges can watch the nominated programs at their convenience by clicking on the shows’ titles.
“One of the benefits of this job is that I got to install an UltimateTV unit in Sean Hayes’ home — he kept me laughing the whole time,” says Rick Schick, manager of broadband services for UltimateTV.