Microsoft Announces Windows Media Encoder Studio Edition Beta

LAS VEGAS — April 24, 2006 — Today at the National Association of Broadcasters convention, NAB2006, Microsoft Corp. announced availability this week of a new addition to the Windows Media® tools family, Windows Media Encoder Studio Edition. The beta encoder is a powerful tool for video professionals, optimized for the creation of high-quality offline encoding using Microsoft’s implementation of the VC-1 video standard (Windows Media Video). Windows Media Encoder Studio Edition beta provides the key features necessary to create next-generation video content and capitalize on the growing importance of optical media and video-on-demand scenarios.

“With the final standardization of VC-1, Windows Media Encoder Studio Edition will prove to be an invaluable tool for the offline encoding community,” said Amir Majidimehr, corporate vice president of the Windows® Digital Media Division at Microsoft. “This is another example of how Microsoft is providing the end-to-end solutions for content creation and meeting the evolving demands of the professional video community.”

Windows Media Encoder Studio Edition beta includes the following capabilities, each crucial to the creation of high-quality content:

  • Segment-based re-encoding. This allows the content editor to adjust settings for specific segments of an encoded file, then re-encode only the desired segment. For clips with dramatically different attributes from one segment to the next, this ability is critical when a content editor attempts one or more passes at a given piece of content to achieve an optimal picture.

  • Full-bit-depth support. Windows Media Encoder Studio Edition can seamlessly make the transition from 10-bit to 8-bit without introducing artifacts or contouring, and it enables content creators to capture at full-bit depth without resorting to truncating or rounding any of the bits. This makes it possible to encode to 8-bit without sacrificing quality.

  • Hardware acceleration. Windows Media Encoder Studio Edition can be used with hardware optimized for VC-1 video acceleration. This improves workflow and reduces encoding time.

  • ISAN and Ad-ID support. Windows Media Encoder Studio Edition includes support for ISAN and Ad-ID metadata. These metadata systems help the audio/video industry create an identifier for any given piece of content, similar to the ISBN standard for book publishing. ISAN relates to works with moving pictures, or parts directly related to works with moving pictures (such as a full audio track of a feature film). Ad-ID relates to all forms of advertising regardless of medium and is an extension of the ISCI system. By supporting these standards, Microsoft is able to improve current workflow scenarios to make it easier for users to find and learn more about any given piece of audiovisual content.

  • Additional features. Windows Media Encoder Studio Edition also offers support for multiple audio tracks, encoding from multiple audio and video sources, and a graphical bitstream analyzer that can verify the quality of any selected clip.

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