AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS SEPT. 11, 2001 — Interactive TV developers from across Europe will showcase interactive TV projects as a result of work done within the Microsoft®
TV Developer Program Sept. 14 — 18 at the Microsoft TV booth at IBC (International Broadcaster Convention 2001), Hall 4, No. 121.
Along with new content not yet available to consumers, visitors to the booth will be able to see content and services currently deployed by TV Cabo in Portugal and TAK in France.
With active members in 21 countries, the Microsoft TV Developer Program brings together television and technology companies from around the world to create interactive TV programming, services and applications that run on the Microsoft TV platform. The program provides all the technical information, resources, training and networking opportunities companies need to create interactive TV content, tools, applications and services.
The technical resources within the Microsoft TV Content Development Kit are available in five localized versions — French, German, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese — as well as English.
Developers enrolled in the program represent a variety of companies in the interactive TV industry, including broadcasters such as the BBC, interactive service developers such as UPC Media, application developers such as NDS Group PLC (NASDAQ/NASDAQ Europe: NNDS), CD-ROM developers such as Montparnasse Multimedia and Galilea Multimedia in France, business solutions integrators such as KPMG Consulting, and interactive TV tools producers such as Chyron Corp.
Two Way TV, RespondTV and the Chyron Corp. are three companies that have taken advantage of the program and will be demonstrating their projects on the Microsoft TV stand at IBC 2001.
Two Way TV
Two Way TV is the first interactive TV games channel in the world to be deployed on the Microsoft TV platform as part of the recently launched TV Cabo service in Portugal. In the United Kingdom, the Two Way TV games channel is currently the second most popular interactive service on digital cable after the electronic program guide (EPG). A typical Two Way TV schedule includes strategy and arcade games and general knowledge and trivia quizzes. Two Way TV is also planning to launch interactive TV game shows and sports shows that enable viewers to take part in the action by the end of the year. At IBC 2001, Two Way TV will demonstrate Deal With It!, an interactive poker game, and Picnic Antics, a game of skill and dexterity.
“Challenging interactive games that are easy to play have proved to be a runaway success in every market that we have deployed, and TV Cabo is no exception,” said Mathew Tims, managing director of Two Way TV. “We have worked closely with the Microsoft TV team to ensure the initial games we offer will fulfill the viewers’ expectations. Teaming with the Microsoft TV Developer Program has enabled us to work with network operators from across the globe, including UltimateTV®
service, TV Cabo and UPC.”
RespondTV, a leading iTV infrastructure company for enhanced TV advertising and programming, will demonstrate some of its groundbreaking iTV projects at IBC. Among the leading companies RespondTV has worked with to develop enhanced advertising on the Microsoft TV platform are Fox Kids, Lloyds TSB Bank plc, Ford Motor Co., The Gillette Co. and The Coca-Cola Co. Particularly successful was its development of Coca-Cola’s first enhanced TV advertising campaign. The ads, aired in the United States through Ultimate TV and WebTV®
services late last year, offered viewers the chance to receive a free gift. The incredible near-50 percent response rate clearly showed the potential of targeted interactive TV advertising.
“We firmly believe that enhanced TV advertising is one of the most powerful interactive opportunities, with the potential to increase brand equity, capture data and generate revenue for our clients,” said Kevin Morrison, managing director of RespondTV Europe. “It harnesses both the key benefits of broadcast media with personalized communication, and the response rate we saw with enhanced advertising such as the Coca-Cola campaign showed how effective this medium is over methods such as direct mailing or Internet banner advertising. Microsoft TV has enabled us to bring concepts to life well ahead of market.”
At IBC 2001, Chyron will demonstrate Chyron Metaplayer, a new software-based tool that helps broadcasters automatically manage and deliver interactive TV triggers to multiple channels. Metaplayer allows broadcasters to manage and maintain millions of hyperlinks instantaneously. Using Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), Metaplayer enables broadcasters to more efficiently manage ATVEF-based triggers for interactive shows running on multiple channels. By supporting ATVEF-based triggers, network operators can seamlessly create and deliver interactive TV content through the Microsoft TV platform.
“Metaplayer is the first in a family of Chyron products designed to provide local and wide-area management of data assets within the broadcast, cable and satellite plant,” said Bill Hendler, vice president of the Interactive Division at Chyron. “Because it uses SOAP, it’s scalable and standards-based. Network operators will be able to manage as many interactive triggers as they can activate, across multiple channels.”
Another Chyron tool, Lyric iTV, also will be shown at the Microsoft TV booth at IBC. This tool allows broadcasters and networks to easily maintain a consistent look between television and iTV graphics. Building on the strengths of Chyron’s three decades of experience with mission-critical graphics systems, Lyric is the next step forward for media content creators.
Andrew Adamyk, European director for the Microsoft TV Developer Program, summed up: “It’s really encouraging to see so many types of interactive TV developers benefiting from our developer program. It’s clear that producing our Content Development Kit in localized languages, combined with the fact that Microsoft TV has been deployed worldwide, makes it a very compelling package and, we believe, the most useful and profitable program of this type available to any interactive TV developer today.”
In addition to creators of interactive TV programming, services and applications, the Microsoft TV Developer Program includes member companies that develop tools for interactive TV content creation and delivery and companies that develop Microsoft Windows®
operating system-based games and edutainment software that can be adapted for television using Microsoft TV server products. The developer program has launched a series of interactive, live online training webcasts on various topics featuring expert instructors from within Microsoft and from leading program members. Authoritative technical documentation for Microsoft TV and other resources in the program are updated continually to provide members with the training and materials they need to gain hands-on expertise in developing offerings for the Microsoft TV platform offerings. Microsoft is also working with companies across the spectrum of television and related technologies to help make interactive TV a reality. In addition to the developer program, the Microsoft TV Solution Provider program provides tools and training for hardware vendors, systems integrators and more.
Content developers can find more information about the Microsoft TV Developer Program at the Microsoft TV booth at IBC 2001 (Hall 4, No. 121) or by visiting http://www.microsoft.com/tv/working/ .
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 industry leaders worldwide who have chosen to work with the platform to deliver or supply the services, programming, hardware and software for interactive TV. 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 Two Way TV
Two Way TV is the world leader in digital interactive television games and programs, adding extra value to viewers and bringing potential new revenue streams to broadcasters, operators and rights-holders. It is currently working with major program makers, games creators and broadcasters to bring interactivity to shows, sports events and entire channels.
Since its formation in 1992, Two Way TV has developed exclusive interactive technologies, software and content, and has over 80 patents and patent applications filed in all major territories. The Two Way TV games channel is running in more than 8 million cable and satellite homes in Australia, Europe and Israel. Two Way TV can be found online at http://www.twowaytv.com/ .
RespondTV is a leading infrastructure and service provider for interactive TV content delivery and response management. With partnerships across all major ITV middleware platforms, RespondTV is in a unique position to deliver an end-to-end delivery system for interactive TV content simultaneously across multiple platforms. The company offers television programmers, network operators and advertisers the most comprehensive enhanced TV services available. Services range from serving, hosting, reporting and transaction processing capabilities to t-commerce and direct response applications. RespondTV has built a robust state-of-the-art server network that can handle ETV traffic generated by television-sized audiences. RespondTV is compatible with most major standards-based enhanced TV systems and set-top boxes including Microsoft TV, AOL TV, Liberate, Open TV, Phillips, Power TV, Sony Web TV WorldGate and Ultimate TV.
RespondTV is backed by equity investments from AT & T Corp., Comcast, GE Capital, Integrity Partners, Liberty Digital Inc., Sequoia partners, Showtime Networks, Tribune Ventures and United Television Additional information on RespondTV Inc. can be found online at http://www.respondtv.com/ .
Chyron (OTC “CYRO”) is a world leader in the development and delivery of products and services in the media casting market — an area that delivers media to consumers that includes high-definition TV, standard-definition TV, interactive TV or any form of broadband. The company provides broadcast graphics, high-bandwidth and multimedia signals, streaming media technology and content management. Chyron is the only global company with 30 years of expertise and technology to provide the services and solutions for streaming media and interactive television, enabling the highest-quality experience to be delivered to consumers.
Chyron’s existing customer base is composed of nearly all television stations and TV networks throughout Europe and North America. With offices in the United Kingdom, France, Hong Kong and the United States, and a client list that includes the world’s leading broadcasters, Chyron has been providing the owners of content with value-added products and services for more than 30 years. Chyron can be found online at http://www.chyron.com/ .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) 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, the Microsoft TV logo, UltimateTV, WebTV 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.
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