TANDBERG Television and Microsoft Sign Agreement for IPTV Collaboration

CHICAGO — June 7, 2005 — TANDBERG Television and Microsoft Corp. today announced that they have entered into a development and cooperation agreement to integrate TANDBERG Television’s encoding technologies with Microsoft® TV’s award-winning Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) Edition software platform. As a further demonstration of the collaboration between the two companies, TANDBERG Television will enhance its EN5900 range of advanced video encoders that has been integrated with the Microsoft TV IPTV Edition software platform by incorporating picture-in-picture (PIP) generation functionality into the encoder itself. The enhanced solution represents the next step in TANDBERG Television and Microsoft’s long-term relationship and demonstrates the companies’ commitment to collaborate on ways to propel the IPTV industry forward.

Enabling PIP functionality without requiring additional hardware-based tuners in the set-top box is one of the unique features of Microsoft TV IPTV Edition. By incorporating PIP capabilities into the encoding solution, TANDBERG Television and Microsoft TV further maximize system efficiencies, because PIP encoding is handled at the encoder. This eliminates processing demands on the acquisition server, which otherwise would need to decode and re-encode the PIP stream, thus reducing the overall cost of the solution and improving the user experience.

The PIP stream will be generated from the same video source and will consist of a lower-resolution version encoded at a much lower bit-rate than the main stream. Resolution reduction is achieved within the encoder and no additional external components are needed. This solution provides the ability to offer very efficient system design including reliable and effective fail-over to ensure high availability of the TV channel.

At SUPERCOMM in Chicago, TANDBERG Television will have a live, fully integrated IPTV demonstration combining the TANDBERG EN5290 standard definition encoder for Windows Media® 9 Series (proposed SMPTE VC-1) with Microsoft TV IPTV Edition. This demonstration will showcase the outstanding video quality produced by TANDBERG Television’s superior advanced encoding combined with the next-generation user experiences enabled by the Microsoft software platform.

“To deliver on the promise of IPTV, network operators need to not only give their subscribers the most compelling and competitive digital TV offerings, but also maintain high service quality and low operational costs,” said Tim Sheppard, director of strategic development at TANDBERG Television. “By adding PIP capabilities to our encoding solutions, TANDBERG Television continues to innovate and offer more advanced digital TV technology while keeping the needs and priorities of service providers in mind.”

“Our long-term collaboration with TANDBERG Television is the result of our shared passion for IPTV,” said Phil Corman, director of worldwide partner development for the Microsoft TV Division at Microsoft. “By adding PIP functionality to TANDBERG’s real-time encoders, TANDBERG Television and Microsoft TV take another step toward advancing the next-generation television capabilities of IPTV.”

Microsoft TV IPTV Edition is a comprehensive software platform that allows broadband service providers to deliver compelling digital TV services using their existing IP networks. Leading service providers worldwide — including Bell Canada, BellSouth Corp., Reliance Infocomm Limited, SBC Communications Inc., Swisscom/Bluewin and Telecom Italia — are conducting trials or planning to deploy IPTV services based on the Microsoft TV IPTV Edition platform.

About TANDBERG Television

TANDBERG Television (Oslo:TAT.OL) designs and develops professional systems that enable new business models in the media and entertainment market through the delivery of high quality live digital video and on-demand content. The company provides open standards-based technology solutions, systems integration, support and monitoring through its sales and 24-hour support operations in the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe. TANDBERG Television’s customers include many of the major broadcasters, network operators, telephone companies, cable operators and content owners around the world. For more information visit: http://www.tandbergtv.com.

About the Microsoft TV Platform

The Microsoft TV platform is a family of software solutions that help network operators create and deliver new digital TV services that delight consumers. Designed to help cable providers and telecommunications companies derive more value from their digital video and network infrastructure investments, the Microsoft TV family supports a full range of services including interactive program guides, digital video recording, high-definition TV, on-demand programming and Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) services. 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.

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.

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

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.mspx.

Related Posts