NEW YORK, Dec. 11, 2001 — Today at Streaming Media East 2001, Microsoft Corp. announced that the leading manufacturers of chips for DVD players, representing 90 percent of the DVD processors manufactured and shipped last year,* will add support over the next year for Microsoft® Windows Media™
Audio and Video, including the new Windows Media Technologies platform announced today, code-named
Manufacturers announcing support for Windows Media Audio and Video today include Cirrus Logic Inc., ESS Technology Inc., LSI Logic Corp., STMicroelectronics and Zoran Corp. Many of these DVD chip manufacturers have already begun to support Windows Media Audio, and will in turn provide it to major consumer electronics manufacturers, enabling consumers to play back 22 hours of music from a single CD on their DVD players in the next year.
“The availability of chips supporting top-quality Windows Media Audio and Video will enable us to offer enticing new home-entertainment experiences to consumers,”
said Tom McLoughlin, president of Harman Kardon Inc. “Were confident that adding Windows Media support to the next generation of DVD players will generate even greater sales opportunities for this fast-growing category.”
The breakthrough support for Windows Media in DVD chips will enable a broad new range of digital audio and video home-entertainment experiences in the living room. Todays announcement lays the groundwork for the next generation of DVD players to appear next year, which merge the world of digital media on the PC with home entertainment systems in the living room. This will enable not just playback of CD-burned collections of digital music but also the eventual playback of video entertainment using Windows Media Video from CDs. DVD players eclipsed VCRs in sales for the first time this year and outsold VCRs for the second straight month in October, according to the Consumer Electronics Association.
“DVD players are being bought in record numbers and have supplanted VCRs as one of the most popular mainstream consumer electronic devices in the home,”
said Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft.
“Adding Windows Media support to the next generation of DVD players will give people a seamless way to transfer the digital entertainment they already enjoy on PCs to home entertainment systems right in their living room.”
Windows Media Audio and Video Benefits
Windows Media Audio (WMA) offers double the audio compression of the MP3 format, making it possible to store twice as much CD-quality music on hard drives, portable music players and other consumer electronics devices. WMA lets consumers transfer more than 22 hours of music onto a single CD, and listen to music on more than 80 consumer devices that support WMA. Windows Media Video the best technology for both streamed and downloadable movies enables a full-length feature film to be stored in as little as 350 MB on a single CD or DVD-R.
DVD players using the new chips will extend the current standard 74-minute audio CD playback time to nearly a full day of CD-quality music in the WMA format. Chips supporting Windows Media Video will arrive by next year, giving consumers the ability for the first time to view home movies burned on DVD, and eventually major motion pictures on DVD players using Windows Media Video. The breakthrough compression of Windows Media Video will offer the film industry the new ability to fit entire collections of films from a single director or artist on a single DVD-R.
The first consumer DVD players capable of playing Windows Media Audio CDs are scheduled to arrive in stores early in 2002.
About Windows Media
Windows Media is the leading digital media platform, providing unmatched audio and video quality to consumers, content providers, solution providers and software developers as well as business, education and government users. Windows Media offers the industrys 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 for software 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/ .
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.
* Based on Cahners In-Stat December 2000 report on DVD IC market share.
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