THX and Microsoft Announce THX Best Practices Laboratory for Windows Media

SAN RAFAEL, Calif., and LAS VEGAS — April 17, 2005 — Today at the National Association of Broadcasters convention, NAB2005, in Las Vegas, THX Ltd., the leading provider of technologies, certification programs and quality assurance standards for the entertainment industry, and Microsoft Corp. announced the establishment of the THX Best Practices Laboratory for Windows Media, a unique facility that will offer the Hollywood community an environment to objectively evaluate Windows Media® technologies for professional post-production and consumer applications.

The THX Best Practices Laboratory for Windows Media will be an independent venue through which companies and individuals can learn about advanced digital content workflow and solutions available for the creation and distribution of content in the Windows Media Format as well as VC-1, the proposed Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) standard based on Microsoft® Windows Media Video 9. Free in-depth, hands-on demonstrations and workshops will be offered on topics including encoding, authoring, digital asset management, digital rights management and related areas. Participating companies also may hold customer meetings and events at the Lab. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has joined as a founding sponsor of the THX Best Practices Laboratory, providing necessary IT infrastructure based on its industry-leading AMD64 processor technology with Direct Connect Architecture.

This unique facility will be housed at the historic Raleigh Studios Hollywood. Established in 1915, Raleigh Studios is the largest independent studio facility in Hollywood, and is a hub of television, feature film and music video production.

“The THX Best Practices Laboratory promises to be Hollywood’s go-to place for filmmakers and media professionals who want to learn about and understand Windows Media,” said Joseph Lias, president of THX. “This Lab will provide media professionals a means to evaluate Microsoft, AMD and other partners’ technology in a THX-managed production environment, and identify how Windows Media can be used to improve standard and high-definition video and digital film projects.”

“The THX Best Practices Laboratory for Windows Media will help provide broadcast and filmmaking professionals deliver the highest-quality experiences with Windows Media technology,” said Amir Majidimehr, corporate vice president of Windows Digital Media at Microsoft. “We’re thrilled to establish this facility with THX, one of the most respected names in the industry, as a key part of our ongoing collaboration to establish quality standards for Windows Media content and playback devices.”

The Lab will be a not-for-profit organization funded principally by corporate memberships. THX, Microsoft and AMD will serve as founding members, with THX overseeing the technical aspects of the facility and providing guidance on post-production work, including audio and video compression using the Windows Media platform. Microsoft, AMD and other prospective partners will outfit the Lab with their products and applications. As part of its outreach efforts, the Lab also will work with leading industry-related educational institutions and organizations to coordinate affordable access to lab equipment and training programs for students and emerging independent artists.

The Lab’s educational sessions will cover the use of Windows Media across the digital production chain, from video compression using Windows Media Video to decoding content on PCs and consumer electronics products. The Lab’s facilities will include editorial, authoring and compression suites, meeting rooms, and a digital living room showcase that will feature a wide variety of Windows Media-enabled devices demonstrating future consumer media use. In addition, the Chaplin Theater at Raleigh Studios will be available for screenings projected digitally in Windows Media using THX Certified systems.

Companies interested in participating are encouraged to contact the THX Best Practices Laboratory for Windows Media at BPLPartner@thx.com.

About THX Ltd.

As consumers seek entertainment experiences with greater sensation and sensory immersion, using precision science to invent new technologies has become paramount. THX Ltd. is continually enhancing these consumer experiences by enabling the creation, delivery and presentation of digital content through more efficient, more powerful, and more enjoyable methods. With structured certification programs and innovative technology development, THX is embedding the science of sensation in diverse entertainment venues and influential products. Today, the world’s premier commercial cinemas, post-production studios and home entertainment products incorporate THX technologies and have achieved the coveted THX Certification. The company is headquartered in San Rafael, Calif. Its Digital Works office, offering movie and DVD mastering and post-production services, is based in Burbank, Calif. For more information, visit www.thx.com.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft and Windows Media are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

THX is a trademark of THX Ltd., which may be registered in some jurisdictions. All rights reserved.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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