Leading Broadcast and Content Production Companies Announce Products And Services Based on Windows Media 9 Series at IBC2003

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Sept. 12, 2003 — Today at IBC2003, Microsoft Corp. announced continuing strong momentum for Microsoft® Windows Media®
9 Series, with leading European broadcast and content production companies announcing new tools and services that take advantage of Windows Media 9 Series. Broadcasters also continue to expand their support for Windows Media 9 Series, employing the platform’s compression efficiencies to deliver innovative new services over their networks. In addition, to increase the industry’s access to high-quality video compression technology, Microsoft has decided to open its specification for the Windows Media Video 9 codec.

Windows Media Video 9 provides compression efficiency approximately three times that of MPEG-2. With the goal of enabling other companies to easily and independently develop their own interoperable products, Microsoft is submitting the compression technology used in the Windows Media Video (WMV) 9 codec to the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) C24 Technical Committee for consideration as an openly available international standard.

“I am delighted that Microsoft has chosen to bring WMV 9’s compression technology to SMPTE. Microsoft employees have played a significant role in SMPTE technology committees over the last few years, helping us address the convergence of computer and video technologies,”
said Peter Symes, vice president of engineering at SMPTE.
“The creation of an international standard based on this compression technology means there will be new choices for organizations that are strongly committed to the use of open standards and to those looking for the maximum level of interoperability in their products.”

“This broad adoption throughout the industry, including the new support from leading companies we’re announcing today, illustrates how the compression efficiencies of Windows Media 9 Series bring benefits across the industry ecosystem for the creation, delivery, storage and playback of broadcast-quality content,”
said Amir Majidimehr, general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft.
“We’re very excited to be working with SMPTE on the creation of an open international standard based on the WMV 9 compression technology. Such a standard will create new opportunities for the industry and accelerate new content and services for consumers, by enabling other companies to easily and independently develop their own interoperable products.”

The draft specification has been submitted by Microsoft for the next SMPTE Engineering Committee meeting, Sept. 17–20 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Windows Media 9 Series Powers New Tools for Content Creation, Broadcast Production and Content Management

The compression efficiencies of Windows Media 9 Series, coupled with its ability to scale beyond SD to HD video and support multichannel audio, make Windows Media 9 Series a compelling choice for the authoring and production of broadcast content. Companies announcing support for Windows Media 9 Series in content creation, production and management tools include these:

  • ARKEMEDIA is announcing the use of Windows Media 9 Series in its latest digital asset management projects that deliver the best-quality images, quality playback experience and extensibility combined with ingest, tag, cataloging and shared retrieving of vast information, all contained within a single system both with Granada Visual and the British Film Institute.

  • BBC Technology will demonstrate Colledia ( for production and the prototype Advanced Authoring Format (AAF) plug-in for Windows Media Player 9 Series.

  • Digital Rapids is announcing Windows Media 9 Series support in its new CarbonHD Technology Platform for SD and HD video capture and playback. Windows Media 9 Series helps Digital Rapids open new markets for high-definition video by further reducing storage and bandwidth requirements, making it possible to work with high-definition video over existing networks.

  • OmniBus Systems is announcing that its HeadLine Media Editor series now includes full support for Windows Media 9 Series (SD and HD). With the power of Windows Media 9 Series, HeadLine’s scalable functionality delivers high-speed, SD and HD mixed format editing to the broadcast industry.

  • Quantel is announcing that Windows Media Audio and Video 9 Series will be supported throughout Quantel generationQ post and graphics product lines, Quantel iQ, eQ and gQ, to streamline production processes and enable the highest-quality content delivery.

  • TWI Interactive is announcing the Interactive Content Factory (ICF) Workgroup Edition. This system is designed to streamline the content-production process using Windows Media 9 Series to provide high-quality video proxy logging and editing for delivery to televisions, PCs and mobile devices.

Leading Professional Encoding Hardware Built on Windows Media 9 Series

The video compression technology of Windows Media 9 Series has the quality and efficiency to meet the ever-increasing requirements of real-time professional encoding for broadcasters. At IBC2003, leading broadcast systems hardware companies Duma Video Inc., Harmonic and TANDBERG Television are announcing support for Windows Media 9 Series in their professional encoding products.

  • Duma Video is announcing the availability of a prototype of the broadcast industry’s first single-chip, real-time HD encoder using Windows Media 9 Series and PCI card reference design. This design allows low-power encoding on stand-alone boxes as well as real-time encoding and editing of HD content on a PC.

  • Harmonic will be adding support for Windows Media 9 Series on its versatile new DiviCom®
    MV100 standard definition encoding platform. In addition, Harmonic is working toward the introduction of a Windows Media 9 Series implementation for its high-definition encoding platform.

  • TANDBERG Television is launching the TANDBERG EN5920, a professional broadcast-quality encoding platform for Windows Media 9 Series, a result of an engineering collaboration between TANDBERG Television and Microsoft. In addition, TANDBERG Television is now actively developing a high-definition encoding platform for Windows Media 9 Series.

Windows Media 9 Series Opens New Avenues for Content Delivery

Leading broadcast companies are using the compression efficiencies of Windows Media 9 Series to distribute content over low-cost Internet Protocol (IP) and standards-based Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) and Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) networks. The new deployments and showcases announced today at IBC2003 are as follows:

  • NTL Broadcast, Capital Radio, RadioScape Ltd. and Microsoft are announcing a trial period that will bring 5.1-channel surround sound to Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) in the United Kingdom. The trial period will involve live IP datacasting of Windows Media Audio 9 Professional (WMA Pro) 5.1-channel content over L-Band in the central London area starting October 2003.

  • SES Astra will demonstrate high-definition 720p television transmission via Digital Video Broadcast — Satellite (DVB-S) using Windows Media 9 Series at bit rates as low as 6 to 8 Mbps, at IBC2003.

  • SmartJog is offering a global electronic delivery service for the international content distribution market. SmartJog allows a rights acquirer to receive and review the program in full-screen resolution using Windows Media 9 Series. This platform is being used by more than 150 leading content buyers in 10 major European countries as well as the majority of U.S. and European studios.

  • TF1 Group, the most popular channel with the French public, is announcing a satellite news-gathering system based on Windows Media 9 Series to transmit news stories quickly and cost-effectively from the field to the studio.

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 Windows Media 9 Series platform includes Windows Media Player 9 Series; Windows Media Services 9 Series, the powerful streaming server feature in Windows Server (TM) 2003 for distributing content; Windows Media Encoder 9 Series for content creation; Windows Media Audio and Video 9 Series for the best-quality audio and video; Windows Media Digital Rights Management to help protect content; and the Windows Media Software Development Kit for software developers to develop digital media products and services. Windows Media Player, available in 26 languages, is now the 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 Server 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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