UltimateTV From Microsoft Delivers Service Upgrade

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Aug. 27, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that the first software service upgrade to UltimateTV® service is now available, delivering new features and enhancements to subscribers at no additional charge. Launched in March 2001, the DIRECTV® receiver with Ultimate TV service is the only product that offers DIRECTV programming, digital video recording (DVR), live TV controls, dual satellite tuners that enable subscribers to watch or record two live shows at once, Internet access and enhanced television programming in one integrated package.

This free software upgrade is being downloaded automatically to subscribers via DIRECTVs digital satellite infrastructure. The UltimateTV service upgrade includes the following features:

  • Keep Until. This feature provides improved management of recorded shows. Subscribers can now choose to
    any recorded television program until they choose to delete it.

  • Custom Recordings. This feature allows subscribers to manually record from a specific starting time to a specific ending time on a specified channel.

“Today subscribers who own a DIRECTV receiver with UltimateTV service turned on their TV and were greeted with new features they didnt have yesterday,”
said Tim Bucher, vice president of Consumer Products for the UltimateTV group at Microsoft.
“These are enhancements that our users asked for, and this upgrade demonstrates how the UltimateTV service will keep developing and improving. UltimateTV subscribers can continue to look forward to major innovations as Microsoft continues to lead the way in digital television technology.”

The DIRECTV satellite receiver with UltimateTV service was the first direct broadcast satellite (DBS) television receiver with two working tuners. UltimateTV is the only product that allows viewers to watch two shows on DIRECTV at the same time (picture-in-picture), watch one live show while recording another, and record up to 35 hours* of digital-quality programming for later viewing on their own personal lineup.

The UltimateTV receiver can even record two live programs that are on at the same time. Viewers can choose from more than 1,000 hours per week of enhanced television, respond to promotions with the click of a button, and stay in touch with family and friends via

e-mail. The DIRECTV satellite receiver with UltimateTV service is manufactured and distributed by RCA Electronics and Sony Electronics Inc. and is available wherever DIRECTV satellite receivers are sold.

A subscription to DIRECTV programming and UltimateTV service is required for full functionality of the DIRECTV receiver. Equipment and DIRECTV programming are sold separately. Service requires a monthly subscription to the UltimateTV service and is subject to acceptance of the terms of service upon registration. UltimateTV services are available as a local call in most areas. In some areas, long-distance charges may apply. To check local access, users can call (877) ULTIMATE (858-4628).

About the UltimateTV Group at Microsoft

The UltimateTV group at Microsoft is a leading provider of advanced interactive television services to consumers. The group licenses enabling software and hardware reference designs to consumer electronic manufacturers for integrated satellite receivers that provide digital video recording, live TV controls, Internet access and enhanced television programming in one complete package. The UltimateTV group is based at the Silicon Valley campus in Mountain View, Calif. The UltimateTV service is powered by the Microsoft® TV software platform, which is

licensed to television network operators worldwide. Additional information about the UltimateTV service is available at http://www.ultimatetv.com/ .

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.

* Actual recording capacity depends on type of programming being recorded.

Microsoft and UltimateTV are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

DIRECTV Inc. and DIRECTV are trademarks of DIRECTV Inc., a unit of Hughes Electronics Corp.

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 Microsofts corporate information pages.

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