Leading Consumer Electronics Manufacturers, Chip Vendors and Software Providers Announce Support for HighMAT at CES 2004

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 7, 2004 — Microsoft Corp. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (Panasonic) today announced that leading consumer electronics manufacturers, integrated circuit vendors and software providers will ship new products with support for HighMAT (TM) technology. Specifically, Apex Digital Inc., Malata North America and Panasonic announced support for HighMAT on new DVD players, DVD recorders, home theater systems and portable CD players. Also, ALi Corp., Analog Devices Inc., Equator Technologies Inc., MediaTek Inc., Sigma Designs Inc. and Zoran Corp. announced support for HighMAT on integrated circuits that will power next-generation DVD players and home theater appliances. In addition, software providers BHA Corp., CyberLink Corp. and Ulead Systems Inc. today announced support for HighMAT in their products.

HighMAT stands for High-performance Media Access Technology, which Microsoft and Panasonic jointly developed and introduced to the market last year to significantly improve interoperability for photos, music and video between PCs and popular electronic devices using storage media such as CDs and DVDs. To date, more than 20 companies spanning content creation software publishers, consumer device manufacturers and integrated circuit vendors have announced their plans to support HighMAT in their products.

“HighMAT lets Panasonic’s consumers enjoy a consistent experience and easily navigate their digital music and digital photos,” said Reid Sullivan, vice president of the Entertainment Group at Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. “Today, more innovative companies are seeing the value of HighMAT and are building support for it into their products.”

“HighMAT makes enjoying your custom CDs of photos, music and even video dramatically easier between Windows®
XP PCs and consumer electronic devices,” said Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. “Today’s announcement demonstrates that HighMAT is gaining important momentum across the CE and PC industry, and that consumers in 2004 will get an even broader range of HighMAT-enabled devices from portable CD players and DVD players, to fully integrated home theater systems and DVD recorders.”

Panasonic HighMAT Players Available in Stores This Month

Building on its support for HighMAT in its 2003 product lines of DVD players, Panasonic introduced 14 models of digital audiovisual products at CES 2004 including CD players, DVD players and home theater systems that support HighMAT (audio and images). These include the Panasonic DVD-S27, DVD-S47 and DVD-S97 DVD players; DVD-F86 and DVD-F87 five-disc DVD changers; and SC-HT670, SC-HT720, SC-HT820, SC-HT920, SC-PM29 and SC-PM39 DVD/CD home theater systems.

Apex Digital Brings HighMAT Support to Its Full Line of DVD Players

Apex Digital also announced support for HighMAT (audio and images) in its 2004 DVD Series. Apex will add support for HighMAT in its full line of DVD players as new models are introduced. This means consumers will benefit from the easy-to-use navigation provided by HighMAT when enjoying their custom collections of digital music and photos. New Apex DVD players with HighMAT support introduced at CES include Models AD 1230, AD 1240 and AD 700.

New Malata Universal DVD Player/Recorders With HighMAT Audio, Image and Video

Malata North America unveiled two new DVD player/recorders at CES 2004 that will support HighMAT (audio, images and video). Malata’s new devices will support both playback of Windows Media®
Video 9 and recording of video into Windows Media Video 9. This enables consumers to record and play back hours of their favorite television content on CDs and DVDs using Windows Media Video 9, as well as play back home movies made with Windows Movie Maker 2. The DIVA-1 and DIVA-2 (co-developed with Equator and Aeon Digital) are the first devices to offer HighMAT support for video as well as photos and music.

Chips Powering Next-Generation Devices to Support HighMAT

Leading integrated circuit vendors announced that they will support HighMAT on new and/or existing chips that will power next-generation DVD players and home theater systems.

  • ALi announced support for HighMAT (audio) on chip model M3355, a single chip solution for DVD players.

  • Analog Devices has committed to support HighMAT (audio, images and video) in its new Blackfin processors.

  • Equator Technologies is delivering HighMAT support (audio, video and image) with its chip that is powering the Malata DIVA DVD players/recorders.

  • MediaTek will support HighMAT (audio) on its MT1389 chip for DVD players.

  • Sigma Designs announced HighMAT support (audio, images and video) on integrated circuit models EM8500, EM8550, EM8620L and EM8625L.

  • Zoran will be offering its OEM customers the Vaddis DVD Reference Design implementing HighMAT (audio and images) on upcoming products that will power next-generation DVD players, combo players and home theater systems.

Software Providers BHA, CyberLink and Ulead to Support HighMAT

Software providers BHA, CyberLink and Ulead also announced support for HighMAT creation tools at CES 2004. BHA announced that its B’s Recorder GOLD7 Basic software with HighMAT support is now available in 12 languages worldwide. CyberLink is committing to support HighMAT in its CyberLink PowerProducer, Power2Go, PowerDVD and PowerCinema software. Ulead plans to equip DVD MovieFactory, its consumer-level DVD creation software, to support HighMAT technology before the end of 2004.

Why HighMAT?

Inspired by growth in consumer use of digital still and video cameras and compressed digital music, HighMAT was developed to improve interoperability for digital media content between PCs and popular electronic devices such as CD players, car stereos and DVD devices. HighMAT provides a dramatically improved method of storing, arranging and playing back personal digital photo, music and video collections on recordable discs such as CD-RW media and writeable DVD media.

HighMAT improves startup times for data CDs and other physical formats, and makes navigation consistent and easy across a broad range of consumer electronics devices. CDs or DVDs created using the HighMAT technology will remain compatible with existing devices that play back recordable disc media, and HighMAT is compliant with the standard ISO 9660 Joliet file system. The following companies have previously announced their intent to support HighMAT in their product lines: Apex Digital; Aplix Corp.; Creative Technology Ltd.; Enterprise Corporation International (ECI); ESS Technology Inc.; Fuji Photo Film Inc.; Panasonic; Matsushita Kotobuki Electronics Industries Ltd.; Microsoft; Pinnacle Systems Inc.; Roxio Inc.; Sonic Solutions and Victor Company of Japan Ltd. (JVC).

Software developers and other consumer electronics device manufacturers can learn more about HighMAT technology and how to incorporate it into their products by visiting http://www.highmat.com/ .

About Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd.

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., best known for its Panasonic brand name, is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronics products for a wide range of consumer, business and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated sales of U.S. $61.7 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2003. In addition to the Tokyo and other Japanese stock exchanges (6752), Matsushita’s shares are also listed on the Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, New York, Pacific (NYSE “MC”) and Euronext Paris stock exchanges. More information is available on the Matsushita Web site at http://www.panasonic.co.jp/global/top.html .

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, HighMAT, Windows and Windows Media 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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