Leading IPTV and VOD Providers Deploy Services Powered by Windows Media 9 Series and Windows CE .NET

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Sept. 12, 2003 — Today at IBC2003, Microsoft Corp. announced that solutions to enable network operators to deploy end-to-end Internet Protocol television (IPTV) and video-on-demand (VOD) solutions services are now available from leading manufacturers, based on Microsoft® Windows Media® 9 Series and Windows®
CE .NET. Microsoft also announced that European network operator Monaco Telecom has deployed VOD and IPTV services to consumers with advanced set-top boxes based on Windows Media 9 Series, and that Internet service provider T-Online International AG has deployed VOD services to the ACTIVY Media Center from Fujitsu Siemens Computers, also based on Windows Media 9 Series.

Solutions announced today enable network operators to deliver live broadcasts and interactive services such as VOD and IPTV over broadband networks to the television via advanced, low-cost set-top boxes running Windows CE .NET. By using Windows Media 9 Series in their deployments, operators can deliver standard-definition (SD) video at a fraction of the bandwidth required using traditional MPEG-2, while also ensuring secure delivery of content using Windows Media Digital Rights Management (DRM). Trials and deployments of IPTV services based on these new products are expected to begin being rolled out later this year.

“The compression efficiencies of Windows Media 9 Series enable vendors and network operators to deliver IP-based video with the highest quality possible using the available network bandwidth, whether delivery is over broadband or standards-based broadcast networks,”
said Amir Majidimehr, general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft.
“With products now available ranging from real-time hardware-based encoding to content servers, middleware applications and advanced set-top boxes, network operators are now able to deliver more content in less bandwidth, reach new audiences and grow their businesses.”

Video-on-Demand Network Operators

The platforms and tools required to deploy an end-to-end IPTV or VOD infrastructure supporting Windows Media 9 Series are now available, enabling network operators to deliver services over broadband networks.

  • Monaco Telecom , working with Moviesystem of France, offers more than 400 movies in its VOD service using Windows Media Video (WMV) 9 Series streamed from Windows Server (TM) 2003.

Real-Time Hardware-Based Encoding

Hardware encoders can now deliver live broadcast content in Windows Media 9 Series, meeting customer demand for high-quality video using a fraction of the bandwidth required for MPEG-2.

  • TANDBERG Television is announcing the TANDBERG EN5920, a professional broadcast-quality encoding platform for Windows Media 9 Series, as a result of an engineering collaboration between TANDBERG Television and Microsoft.

Advanced Set-Top Boxes

Leading manufacturers of set-top boxes, including the following, now support cost-effective delivery of Windows Media 9 Series content through Windows CE .NET-powered set-top boxes, building on various hardware platforms:

  • Biostar is announcing that its latest set-top box, ARKplus II, supports Windows Media 9 Series. Windows Media 9 Series enables developers to easily incorporate digital media into their applications and solutions.

  • Costron Company Ltd.’s latest set-top box, the CS300, the most advanced IP-based set-top box in its class, runs Windows CE .NET and provides the widest range of features and functionality, including Windows Media 9 Series hardware decoder support for the delivery of high-quality, compression-efficient VOD services.

  • Pace Micro Technology , a leader in digital television technology, has recently ported Windows CE .NET to its IPTV digital set-top boxes. At IBC2003, Pace is unveiling the results of this work with its first prototype demonstration using Windows CE and is also demonstrating advanced broadband services using Windows Media 9 Series on its IPTV set-top boxes, including broadcast-quality streaming audio and video clips and Web-based services such as Web browsing, e-mail and instant messaging.

  • Samsung’s latest set-top box, SMT-7000E, now supports Windows Media 9 Series and provides a variety of broadband services. SMT-7000E supports broadband services, entertainment-on-demand (video/games/music-on-demand), value-added Web-based services, home surveillance, telephony and mobile commerce (banking, securities, transaction).

  • Tcom & dtvro Co Ltd. is announcing that the TD800 set-top box supports Windows Media 9 Series. The TD800 runs Windows CE .NET and provides wireline and wireless home gateway and home surveillance functionality.

  • Wyse Technology Inc. is announcing a high-performance advanced digital broadband set-top box platform, which is the first Intel Celeron-based set-top box platform offering the combination of low cost and high performance in addition to support for Microsoft Windows Media 9 Series for the delivery of high-quality audio and video.

Middleware Independent Software Vendors

Middleware solution vendors, including the following, enable delivery of living-room user interface components, such as interactive programming guides; back-end content management and provisioning integration also are available for IPTV and VOD solutions:

  • Alcatel has enhanced its carrier-class 5950 Media Manager software platform to support Windows Media 9 Series and Microsoft Windows CE .NET on a number of leading set-top hardware platforms. The Alcatel 5950 Media Manager is an open and flexible deployment-proven middleware platform with an architecture that constantly improves return on investment by rapidly integrating advanced technologies. The Alcatel 5950 Media Manager drives long-term IPTV and revenue from broadband entertainment services for service providers executing multimedia service strategies.

  • Orca Interactive Ltd.’s RiGHTv for Windows enables live TV, near-video-on-demand (NVOD) and VOD services powered by the Windows .NET Framework and Windows CE. This end-to-end broadband-television middleware solution, which supports WMV 9, is available now, helping generate new revenue streams for network operators that want to stream over different digital subscriber lines (xDSL) and other IP broadband networks.

  • Stellar One Corp. is announcing that it has released support for Windows Media 9 Series in the StellarTV Product Suite for the delivery of media-on-demand services over IP broadband networks, now enabling consumers to play back content created using Windows Media 9 Series, and will enable network operators to offer new video-on-demand services to end users over existing broadband networks.

  • Infogate Online’s On Dema (TM) for IPTV utilizes the capabilities of Windows Media 9 Series to enable telephone companies (via their ADSL networks), ISPs, satellite operators and broadcasters to deliver high-quality television services and minimized bandwidth requirements. On Dema for IPTV with Windows Media 9 Series helps ensure that subscribers will receive a new breed of high-quality television-viewing experiences, including VOD, electronic program guides and personal video recording.

Video-on-Demand Hardware Server Vendors

Building on the flexible plug-in architecture offered by Windows Media Services 9 Series in Windows Server 2003, VOD server systems offer highly scalable and available streaming, enabling service providers to deliver a full on-demand entertainment experience.

  • SeaChange International Inc. is announcing that its industry-leading VOD system now supports streaming of Windows Media 9 Series. With Windows Media 9 Series, the SeaChange VOD system delivers high-quality video streams in SD and HD to PC and television viewers at significantly lower bandwidths than commensurate MPEG-2 files.

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 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 the Microsoft Windows Embedded Family

Microsoft is the worldwide leader in providing adaptable and scalable platforms for building the next generation of 32-bit, connected devices that enable rich applications and services. Microsoft Windows Embedded is a family of operating system software for use in embedded devices such as automated teller machines (ATMs), consumer electronics, gateways, industrial controllers, kiosks, mobile handheld devices, point-of-sale terminals, set-top boxes, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) phones and Windows-based thin clients. The Windows Embedded family of operating systems consists of Windows XP Embedded, which delivers the power of Windows XP Professional in componentized form for flexible development of reliable and advanced devices, and Windows CE .NET, an advanced, real-time operating system for small-footprint devices. Each of these operating system platforms includes powerful development tools for rapid development of customized devices. A core license with an estimated retail price of $3 (U.S.) provides the rich capabilities of Windows CE .NET 4.2 for creating low-cost commercial and consumer devices. A free, noncommercial distribution license for Windows CE .NET 4.2 enables developers to share device images at no cost to foster innovation and collaboration. More information about the Windows Embedded family of operating systems can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/embedded/default.asp .

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, Windows 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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