SMPTE VC-1 Receiving Industrywide Support

LAS VEGAS — April 24, 2006 — Today at the National Association of Broadcasters convention, NAB2006, Microsoft Corp. showcased how Windows Media® Video (WMV), Microsoft’s implementation of SMPTE VC-1, is being adopted across the industry to power a range of next-generation content creation and playback scenarios, from mobile content for wireless devices to high-definition video delivered by next-generation DVD or to IP set-top boxes. Earlier this month Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) released the VC-1 standard, and Windows Media Video, the first implementation of VC-1, is licensable from Microsoft today.

“VC-1’s efficiency, ability to scale up to premium high-definition quality and interoperability with Windows Media DRM make it an easy choice as the cornerstone of a variety of new digital entertainment delivery models,” said Amir Majidimehr, corporate vice president of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft Corp. “Unlike other formats that take years to build up support in content creation tools and consumer electronics devices, VC-1 already has a broad ecosystem of support that enables content creators to make next-generation experiences happen today.”

Real-Time Software and Hardware-Based VC-1 Encoding

A broad range of real-time, standard and high-definition encoding tools will soon be available for a variety of content delivery scenarios. Leading manufacturers of encoding tools that are supporting WMV/VC-1 at NAB2006 include the following:

  • Inlet. New releases of Inlet’s popular Fathom and Semaphore tools will demonstrate continued advances in the efficiency and functionality of WMV/VC-1 as a superior encoding format for offline content creation. Together these products encompass one of the industry’s most efficient workflow platforms for advanced encoding. Inlet has developed a new rack-mounted system with transmission control software, which will integrate with Microsoft’s latest encoder to produce SD VC-1 video for live transmission over an IP network. Inlet is also showcasing a technology demonstration of live transmission of standard or high-definition WMV/VC-1 over existing MPEG-2 infrastructures, for applications such as broadcast backhaul.

  • Tarari. The new Grand Prix 6000 series of the Tarari Encoder Accelerator is a PCI-X bus card that installs in any Microsoft® Windows® XP- or Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003-powered server or workstation that can provide real-time, high-definition encoding of WMV/VC-1.

  • Winnov. The new XstreamEngine2 platform with WMV/VC-1 encoding will first ship with Winnov PowerCaster. With support for WMV/VC-1, content providers and broadcasters can expand business and profit from delivering more channels of high-quality rich media content to an increasingly mobile consumer audience over cell phones and handheld devices, any time, anywhere.

VC-1 to Be Supported on Range of Devices

With support from leading integrated circuit and system-on-chip (SOC) manufacturers, WMV/VC-1 will be supported across the consumer electronics industry on a broad variety of handheld and home theater devices. Leading vendors supporting WMV/VC-1 at NAB2006 include the following:

  • Broadcom. Broadcom has integrated support for high-definition SMPTE advanced profile WMV/VC-1 throughout its broadband product lines, including the BCM7401 and BCM7400 for satellite, cable and IP set-top boxes, and the BCM7411D for DVD players.

  • Conexant. Conexant’s next-generation, standard and high-definition video coprocessors and set-top box SOCs feature full decoding capabilities for SMPTE WMV/VC-1 at the following levels and profiles: Simple, Main and Advanced Profile.

  • C2 Microsystems. C2 Microsystems developed a high-quality standard-definition WMV/VC-1 encoder/decoder/transcoder on a programmable SOC chip for personal video recorders, portable media players and IPTV.

  • Freescale. WMV/VC-1 enhances Freescale’s broad portfolio of high-resolution video codecs targeting multimedia devices. The WMV/VC-1 decoder has been highly optimized for Freescale’s i.MX and MXC multimedia processors. It is ideal for mobile phones, portable media players and digital video recorders where the Freescale Smart Speed technology attribute of high performance at very low power is important.

  • Texas Instruments. TI supports WMV/VC-1 decoding on its TMS320DM64x-generation and DaVinci technology used in system solutions for applications including IP set-top boxes, digital media adapters and portable media players.

Editing and Workflow Solutions

Windows Media Video is used broadly throughout the content production industry for reviews, approval and final distribution. By taking advantage of the Windows Media DirectX® Media Object (DMO), the leading software partners are providing integrated Windows Media Video export solutions for standard and high-definition content:

  • Avid. In addition to current export support for Windows Media Video in its digital nonlinear video-editing product offerings, Avid plans to provide native support for VC-1 in upcoming versions of its digital nonlinear video-editing products, as well as its Digidesign and M-Audio digital audio production solutions.

  • Sony Media Software. Utilized in Vegas, Sound Forge and ACID line of media creation products, Sony Media Software enables simplified importing and exporting of Windows Media Video content. Features such as Batch conversion provide a flexible way to export various profiles of Windows Media Video content in an automated fashion.

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