SEATTLE and REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 8, 2004 — Comcast Cable and Microsoft Corp. today announced that the country’s leading cable operator plans to begin deployment of Microsoft
TV Foundation Edition software in Washington state on Nov. 15. The launch of Microsoft TV Foundation Edition in Washington will support the advanced digital cable services that Comcast offers to more than 1 million cable customers. Today marks the first major U.S. deployment of Foundation Edition and Comcast’s launch of dual-tuner digital video recording (DVR) services in Washington.
With the launch of dual-tuner DVRs supported by Foundation Edition, Comcast customers can enjoy the ultimate control of their home entertainment experience by recording their favorite programs digitally. They also can pause and rewind live television broadcasts, build a customized list of recordings by using the DVR’s repeat-recording capability to record multiple episodes of favorite shows, and record high-definition television programming.
Comcast’s deployment of Microsoft TV Foundation Edition software, which includes an interactive program guide (IPG), offers customers increased value, because the platform is capable of supporting DVRs and further enhancements for video-on-demand (VOD) usage. For example, the software enables integrated VOD titles in the IPG listings so viewers can access on-demand programming without navigating through VOD menus.
Microsoft TV Foundation Edition software will be available immediately on new advanced digital set-top boxes with dual-tuner DVR technology. The software will be automatically downloaded in phases to all other set-top boxes in Washington state over Comcast’s digital network in the next few months.
“Comcast is a leader in providing new products on our unparalleled two-way digital platform, and we are always looking at new ways to bring our customers more value, choice and control,” said Len Rozek, senior vice president of Comcast’s Washington market. “The Microsoft software will help our customers get an amazing cable television experience. As Comcast continues to roll out advanced video products — such as VOD, HDTV and DVRs — it’s crucial to deliver a user experience that allows customers to easily navigate the many choices they have to find what they want, when they want it.”
“This deployment represents a key milestone in our long-term relationship with Comcast,” said Moshe Lichtman, corporate vice president of the Microsoft TV Division. “Nov. 15 marks the date when Comcast customers in Washington state will begin receiving some of the best digital cable services available, powered by Microsoft TV software. Being a Puget Sound-based company, we’re particularly honored that Washington was chosen as the launch market for these exciting new services and look forward to enjoying them in our own communities.”
Foundation Edition 1.7 helps cable companies maximize revenues by providing a better, more integrated customer experience and better merchandizing opportunities for premium TV offerings including HDTV, VOD, DVR and managed content services. It gives multiple service operators the opportunity to upsell new and existing services, while improving consumer satisfaction and retention. It also provides consumers with easy access to interactive games and information portals such as local weather, sports and news.
Headquartered in Philadelphia, Comcast Cable is a division of Comcast Corporation, a developer, manager and operator of broadband cable networks and provider of programming content. With a presence in 22 of the top 25 United States markets, Comcast is one of the leading communications, media and entertainment companies in the world. Providing basic cable, Digital Cable, high-speed Internet and telephone services, Comcast is the company to look to first for the communications products and services that connect people to what’s important in their lives. The company’s 59,000 employees serve more than 21 million customers.
About Microsoft TV
Microsoft TV provides software solutions that help digital TV operators create new services that delight consumers. Designed to help cable providers and telecommunications companies derive more value from digital video and network infrastructure investments, the Microsoft TV product family supports a range of digital video services including interactive programming guides, digital video recording, high-definition TV and on-demand programming. The Microsoft TV platform works across a full range of set-top boxes and TV devices. More information about Microsoft TV can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/tv .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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