Windows Media “Corona” Embraced by Leading Developers Of Professional Audio and Video Production Solutions at NAB2002

LAS VEGAS, April 8, 2002 — Today at NAB2002, the National Association of Broadcasters convention, Microsoft Corp. announced that leading developers of professional video and audio production hardware and software have announced their intent to support the next version of the Microsoft®
Windows Media (TM) technology, code-named “Corona,” in upcoming products. This rapid and early support from some of the leading developers of video acquisition, video production and high-resolution multichannel audio authoring solutions demonstrates that Windows Media has come of age. It is no longer just a format for efficient media distribution over the Internet: The quality advances of Windows Media “Corona” are rapidly taking it upstream in the production process to make it a format embraced by the professional media-authoring community.

“The commitment shown by these key developers underscores how ‘Corona’ has really crossed an important threshold for the professional broadcast community in terms of quality,” said Will Poole, corporate vice president of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. “Their customers will receive a new breed of high-quality digital media software and hardware for more efficient, prerecorded media and broadcast content.”

These developers are already working to integrate Windows Media “Corona” audio and video technology, including the new Windows Media Audio Professional and Windows Media Video codecs, into a wide range of hardware and software solutions, which will assist video and audio professionals with high-end media authoring, video production and Web-based distribution.

Professional video acquisition and production solutions supporting Windows Media “Corona” that are being highlighted at NAB2002 include the following:

  • Accom Inc.’s WSD/HDX DDR will feature its UI-based tool that enables one-button encode to Windows Media “Corona” software developers or hardware developers.

  • Adobe Systems Inc. will preview Adobe Premiere and After Effects with new Plug-ins offering support for both standard and high-definition Windows Media “Corona” audio and video encoding support.

  • Avid Technology Inc. is demonstrating Avid DS | HD with export of “Corona’s” high-definition Windows Media Video as part of its commitment to offer the best format choices to its customers.

  • Discreet, a division of Autodesk Inc., will feature a preview of its award-winning desktop encoding software Discreet cleaner with high-definition encoding and playback of Windows Media “Corona.”

  • Drastic Technologies will feature its next-generation digital disk recorder (DDR) that captures both SD and HD source content to native uncompressed Windows Media. The DDR then functions as a VTR and a server, going beyond what VTR and DDRs can do today, seamlessly integrating existing studio VTRs into the underlying studio network infrastructure.

  • Thomson Broadcast Solutions , a Thomson multimedia business (Paris Euronext: 18453) (NYSE:TMS), will preview how its Grass Valley (TM) Aqua (TM) Internet encoder will offer real-time capture and digitization of video from camera, file, tape or physical media to Windows Media “Corona” Video.

  • Winnov will preview real-time capture and digitization of video from camera, file, tape or physical media using XStreamEngine Broadcaster to Windows Media “Corona” Video.

Professional audio production software and hardware solutions are including built-in support for the upcoming Windows Media Audio Professional technology in “Corona.” This is the first codec to enable Web-based delivery of 6-channel surround sound with full-spectrum, full-resolution audio (24-bit/96kHz sampling). These companies intend to support this breakthrough technology and are demonstrating their early versions of this support at NAB this week:

  • Creative Labs Inc. is demonstrating a preview of updated support in its Sound Blaster Audigy 5.1 product to support the new Windows Media Audio Professional codecs with 24 bit/96 KHz multichannel audio playback. It will also be adding support for the new Sound Blaster Extigy external soundcard, bringing the full 5.1 Windows Media experience to notebooks as well as desktop PCs.

  • Echo Audio will preview its Echo 5.1, a professional-level capture and playback PCI-based system supporting multichannel WMA Professional.

  • M-Audio/Midiman will preview how its The Delta 1010 PCI digital recording system will support playback of WMA Professional Audio.

  • Steinberg Media Technologies AG , developers of software products for professional musicians and producers in the music, video and film industry, will preview its Steinberg Nuendo Windows Media Audio Professional Export plug-in and demonstrate multichannel playback using Windows Media.

  • Syntrillium Software Corp.’s popular Cool Edit Pro 2.0 audio recording, editing and mixing application will for the first time offer an easy and affordable way to encode 5.1 audio channels to a single Windows Media Audio stream at a variety of bit resolutions and sampling rates.

Windows Media “Corona” Audio and Video Advances

Building on the industry-leading Windows Media Audio and Video codecs, Windows Media “Corona,” which was previewed in December 2001, introduces two new professional-level audio and video codecs. The new Windows Media Audio Professional is the first codec to enable Web-based delivery of 6-channel surround sound with full-spectrum, full-resolution audio (24 bit/96 kHz sampling). A new version of the Windows Media Video codec provides a 20 percent efficiency boost compared with the previous version and introduces the ability to provide high-definition 720p video resolutions at file sizes half that of today’s DVDs, for local playback on the PC. Windows Media “Corona” technology will be available in beta later this summer.

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 digital 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 developers. Windows Media Player, available in 26 languages, is the fastest-growing and now leading media player. More information about Windows Media can be found at

About Microsoft

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

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