Leading Consumer Electronics Companies Support Windows Media 9 Series

TOKYO, Oct. 8, 2003 — Today at the 2003 Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies (CEATEC) show, Microsoft Corp. announced that leading audio and video chip makers and consumer electronics manufacturers are adding support for Windows Media®
9 Series to provide new digital media experiences to consumers. This brings the total number of devices that support Windows Media to more than 400, double what was announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January. These devices span the consumer electronics industry, including DVD players, CD players, car stereos, portable audio devices and set-top boxes.

“Windows Media is emerging as one of the critical links between devices and a Windows®
-based PC,” said Amir Majidimehr, general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. “By offering superior quality and the best compression rates, Windows Media enables delivery of digital media over practically any network, to many types of devices, and at a variety of bit rates.”

New Chipsets and Devices Supporting Windows Media 9 Series

The compression benefits and quality advantages of Windows Media 9 Series have garnered additional support from chipset and device manufacturers across the industry. At CEATEC, Analog Devices Inc. will demonstrate the first Windows Media Audio 9 Professional decoder chip, SHARC Melody Ultra, in conjunction with Pioneer Electronic Inc.’s new VSA-AX10N-i AV amplifier. Hitachi is announcing that its BroadGear Digital Media Processor now supports Windows Media Video 9 encoding and decoding for implementation in digital television solutions, set-top boxes, video-editing equipment and more. The following device manufacturers also are announcing support for Windows Media 9 Series at CEATEC:

  • NEC Corp. will demonstrate the Express 5800/Internet Streaming Server DS, the applicant server for Windows Media Services 9 Series, and NEC Technica is unveiling an Internet Protocol television (IPTV) set-top box built on Windows CE .NET 4.2 with Windows Media Video 9 playback at D1 quality at 1.5 Mbps.

  • Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (Panasonic) is unveiling a new portable CD player with Windows Media Audio 9 playback that is the first portable device with support for HighMAT (TM) technology and a reference build of the Broadnow Mini, a broadband television tuner with support for Windows Media Video 9.

  • SANYO will demonstrate the new HDD Voice Recorder/AV Player, a portable media player and digital recorder built on Windows CE .NET 4.2 with a 20GB hard disk drive. The device will support Windows Media Audio and Windows Media Video 9 playback as well as the transfer of media from a PC. Even more, a built-in USB hosting function enables the ability to save photos from a USB Mass Storage Class digital camera and the ability to record pictures taken by a cellular phone via an SD card.

Bridging the Gap From the PC to Consumer Electronic Devices

Of the top five applications consumers want from a home network, three require sharing digital media between a PC and a dedicated device,* according to Jupiter Research. By providing flexible and affordable licensing and through cooperation with the consumer electronics industry and standards bodies, Microsoft is working to ensure harmony between the PC and consumer electronic devices that allows for the seamless flow of media.

As the consumer’s appetite for recording and accessing digital media increases, so does the necessity for transparent interoperability between the media created or edited on the PC and devices. Co-developed and supported by Panasonic and Microsoft, HighMAT enables a convenient, standardized approach for arranging digital media on CDs and soon DVDs that delivers an easy-to-navigate and consistent playback experience — whether on a DVD player, CD player or car stereo. To date, 15 companies spanning content creation software publishers, consumer device manufacturers and integrated circuit vendors have already announced their intent to support HighMAT in their products. And today, HighMAT is supported in Windows XP and in 16 models of home entertainment devices from Panasonic including DVD/CD players, DVD/CD changers, DVD home theater systems and portable DVD players. More information about the benefits of HighMAT for the consumer electronics industry can be found at http://www.highmat.com/.

Recently, Microsoft built on this progress with the consumer electronics industry by proposing to IEC-TC100 that Windows Media Audio 9 Professional be considered as a format for inclusion in the IEC61937 (S/PDIF) Standard. The S/PDIF is an audio transfer file format that enables the delivery of digital audio from one device to another without the need to convert to analog, therefore maintaining maximum quality.

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 “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.

* Jupiter Research, Home Network Update, August 2003

Microsoft, Windows Media, Windows, HighMAT 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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