Leading Vendors of Professional Broadcast Solutions Embrace Windows Media 9 Series at NAB2003

LAS VEGAS, April 7, 2003 — Today at NAB2003, the National Association of Broadcasters convention, Microsoft Corp. unveiled new solutions for professional broadcast scenarios that are now supporting Windows Media®
9 Series. Leading vendors are replacing many of the functions of specialized hardware and tape with innovations in software and lower-cost yet powerful PC hardware. These solutions address core broadcasting needs that include the following:

  • Moving from the expensive editing suites for a news organization to the desktop with a PC

  • Delivering time-sensitive news reports via satellite phone from journalists in remote locations around the world

  • Automating systems for programming archiving, scheduling and backup of programming

  • Enabling news producers to use a PC to analyze TV news competition simultaneously, and do more efficient tapeless logging for ad verification and FCC compliance auditing

  • Providing real-time video analysis of a sporting event from multiple angles

“A new world of broadcast solutions is emerging, fueled by faster, cheaper PC processing power, the advent of lower cost IP-based networks, and breakthroughs in audio and video compression,”
said Amir Majidimehr, general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft.
“In this new world, Windows Media 9 Series is a cornerstone for leading vendors in the industry to offer broadcast-quality video in a fraction of the bit rate of other technologies, and deliver new levels of speed, cost-effective storage, broadcast production flexibility, and new content delivery opportunities.”

At the Microsoft booth (No. SL136) at NAB2003, these next-generation solutions for core broadcast scenarios using Windows Media 9 Series are being demonstrated for electronic news gathering, broadcast production and playout, and real-time hardware-based encoding. Windows Media 9 Series also offers potential standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD) broadcast delivery scenarios using IP datacasting of broadcast digital television (DTV) content across digital video broadcasting (DVB), Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) and other ATSC-like systems.

Electronic News Gathering and Production

  • The Associated Press is unveiling a new solution called SNAPfeed, a software application that allows journalists in the field to transmit news video via satellite phone or the Internet in a fraction of the usual time through use of Windows Media Video 9 and a laptop-based application that simplifies and automates encoding based on the journalists’ deadline. The solution integrates with AP’s ENPS application, which is used to create news content in more than 400 newsrooms in 40 countries. SNAPfeed is now deployed in beta by an AP division with more than 30 reporters on the ground in the Middle East.

Broadcast Production and Playout

  • BBC Technology today announced a collaboration with Microsoft to integrate Windows Media 9 Series with its upcoming flagship media platform, Colledia (TM) Workflow. The goal of this collaboration is to make it easier for news producers, editors and journalists to access, use and deliver high-quality media and metadata to the desktop, freeing content creators from the confines and expense associated with editing rooms and dedicated hardware systems.

  • Front Porch Digital and Harris Automation are demonstrating a new PC-based digital playout server using the compression and quality advantages of Windows Media Video 9 Series to replace tape-based systems. The server interfaces with the Harris Automation system and can be integrated into broadcast installations for video archiving, backup and scheduling of programming.

  • Inscriber’s Inca Station Playout Video server offers a master control server designed as a hub for video graphics and playout for local, regional and cable broadcast and video distribution. It also provides local or remote scheduling of video and graphics, channel branding and automated ingest and multiple video channel playout.

  • Panasonic Corporate Systems Company (PS) is introducing at NAB2003 new Digital Content Management (DCM) systems supporting Windows Media 9 Series for media archiving, management, analysis and delivery. These new systems, while ideal for sports applications, will be marketed to a range of industries including broadcast, entertainment, news, medical, security, sports and government agencies. The new systems can be viewed in the Panasonic booth, No. C904.

  • Telestream announced and is demonstrating a major new broadcast workflow automation product, MAPreview (TM) , a single solution for the capture, organization, search and review of multiple live video feeds using Windows Media 9 Series and built on the Microsoft®
    .NET Framework. The solution provides an alternative to cumbersome handling of tape and expensive video servers. Broadcasters can capture and simultaneously review live newscasts alongside those of their competitors, tuning in to the specific audio track they wish to hear. This multipurpose tool also simplifies conversions for the Web, ad-run verification and FCC compliance logging.

Real-Time Encoding

  • TANDBERG Television is demonstrating its new EN5920, a 1RU (rack-unit) hardware-based real time encoder that packs a massive range of advanced broadcast features to take Windows Media 9 Series beyond the PC. These include video preprocessing, noise reduction, very low latency (low buffering),
    bit-rate operation (up to 3 Mbits/s) providing full D1 resolution, PAL and NTSC support, no frame dropping, key frames alignment technology, accurate rate control, and broadcast-industry quality and reliability.

  • Thomson’s Grass Valley(TM) Aqua (TM) Internet encoder, the gold standard for high-quality video streaming of broadcast content, offers real-time capture and digitization of video from camera, file, tape or physical media to Windows Media 9 Series. This will be featured in Booth No. SU7059.

  • ViewCast Corp.’s Osprey Division and Texas Instruments Inc. are demonstrating a technology preview of new hardware-based encoding PCI — based capture card in Windows Media Video 9 at D1 resolutions.

DTV IP Datacasting for DVB, ATSC, and New Mobile Scenarios

  • NTL Broadcast and TANDBERG Television demonstrate the world’s first delivery of real-time streamed video over DAB and DVB using Windows Media 9, proving that Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) can be used to deliver real-time content at very low bit rates — in this case, breaking TV news from Europe and live U.K. radio broadcasts — to fixed and portable devices such as PCs, PDAs and mobile phones. They will also be showcasing an end-to-end DVB-S broadcast system, via satellite capacity from PanAmSat, using Windows Media 9 Series to deliver high-quality, streamed video to Windows®
    XP-based PCs.

  • LINX Electronics Corp. and Microsoft, in collaboration with SpectraRep Inc. and Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., are conducting the first technical demonstration of mobile delivery of HD and SD DTV on an ATSC-like transmission system from LINX. Using an over-the-air broadcast to a van driving the streets of Las Vegas, the demonstration shows how the latest transmission technology together with the state-of-the-art audio and video compression of Windows Media 9 Series can offer new opportunities for broadcasters, enabling them to reach mobile viewers through digital television.

About Windows Media

Windows Media is the leading digital media platform, used by consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations throughout the world. The new Windows Media 9 Series will power the next wave of digital media, delivering the best playback experience, unmatched audio and video quality, and integrated optional digital rights management technology, and is the most comprehensive platform for developing digital media products and services. The Windows Media platform includes Windows Media Player; Windows Media Services, the powerful streaming server for distributing content; Windows Media Encoder for content creation; Windows Media Audio and Video for the best-quality audio and video; Windows Media DRM to help protect content; and the Windows Media Software Development Kit 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 http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmedia/ .

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.

Microsoft, Windows Media 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.

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 Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at h http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.asp .

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