LAS VEGAS — April 14, 2008 — This week at the NAB Show 2008, Microsoft Corp. is showcasing its offerings that support the entire content life cycle — from content creation and management to delivering end-user experiences — highlighting the technologies and solutions that media and entertainment companies need to align business and content creation processes.
Microsoft made several announcements at the show, including solution updates to Microsoft Interactive Media Manager (IMM) and Virtual Earth, updates to and new customer deployments of Microsoft Silverlight, a new collaboration between Microsoft Mediaroom and Sigma Designs Inc., new customers implementing Microsoft Dynamics to manage customer relationships as well as their supply chains, and a strategic alliance with Ascent Media Group.
“It’s great to see the debate in the industry shift from whether media companies can create profitable businesses in the digital age to how technology can be used and deployed to manage business processes and fully monetize content across multiple distribution channels,” said Gabriele Di Piazza, managing director for the Media and Entertainment Business in the Communications Sector at Microsoft. “The media industry can expect Microsoft to continually develop and deliver the solutions that tackle the unique challenges unfolding as digital media and the Internet take on greater importance in nearly all facets of life.”
Digital Content Creation
Microsoft provides the foundational technologies that help media companies create rich media content quickly and efficiently. At the NAB Show 2008, Microsoft is expanding its efforts with new solutions and alliances that further reduce the barriers to creating and distributing content across a variety of mediums.
Last week, Microsoft released the latest updates to the Virtual Earth platform, which leverages the latest in bird’s-eye views and 3-D modeling to create immersive viewing experiences and also enhances production values by converting high-quality 3-D tours to video. The latest updates include new map detail and precision imagery, feature enhancements, and robust platform capabilities. More information about Virtual Earth can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/virtualearth.
Digital media has spawned an almost unimaginable amount of data. Not only are the volumes immense, but the multitude of data types and formats adds even more complexity. Microsoft and its partner ecosystem give media businesses the tools to efficiently collaborate and access digital media assets from “work-in-progress” through to the preparation and delivery of the content.
Today, Microsoft announced new components for Microsoft Interactive Media Manager (IMM), a collaboration digital asset management (DAM) solution built on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. The solution promotes production-oriented workflows and enables integration across a multitude of media-focused applications via a highly accessible front-end environment. Microsoft introduced three primary new features that further enhance collaboration and integration in the workflow process:
A Microsoft Silverlight 2-based rough cut editor enables a team to create a rough edit from within the browser, as a precursor to a professional nonlinear editing system. It provides collaborative editing capabilities using proxy files to generate a true edit decision list with direct association to master, high-resolution assets.
The ontology editor offers greater flexibility to the metadata infrastructure and design of various forms of ontology files through a SharePoint-compliant wizard.
Advanced search functionality utilizes the business data catalog (BDC) component within Microsoft Office SharePoint Server to expose both rich and nonrich media in the same user interface.
Microsoft will demonstrate the connected DAM experience based on IMM through broad partner integration: automated asset and sequence export to Avid Technology Inc., browser-based tape ingest via Telestream Inc.’s Pipeline, point-to-point managed file transfer via Aspera, direct Microsoft Silverlight generation via the server-side control of Microsoft Expression Encoder version 2 (currently in beta), and integration with Rhozet’s Carbon Coder for transcoding.
Integrating Business Systems, Customer Relationship Management and Content Workflows
As content workflows become increasingly complex, media companies are beginning to more tightly integrate business workflows into the content creation process. Using the Microsoft Dynamics customer relationship, financial and supply chain management solutions, Microsoft and its partners are helping media companies remove barriers and automate many previously manual processes, helping to reduce costs, improving time to market, and increasing sales and marketing efficiencies.
Microsoft and Ascent Media Group today announced a strategic alliance that will result in new solutions that will automate and streamline the supply chain for the media and entertainment industry and help them transition to the digital age. Composed of new media and entertainment functionality built on the Microsoft Dynamics AX platform, the new solution will integrate and streamline media production processes. Ascent will offer a hosted version of this solution along with integrated managed services to film studios, broadcasters, global media enterprises and advertising agencies, all of which are demanding capabilities that allow the immediate distribution of digital content to outlets around the world.
This new solution is one of several Microsoft Dynamics solutions for the media and entertainment industry. In addition to Ascent, Microsoft today announced several new customers using Microsoft Dynamics, including Paramount Pictures, German sports broadcaster Deutsches SportFernsehen GmbH (DSF), Dutch music rights custodian Buma/Stemra and Microsoft Studios. The entire release is available at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2008/apr08/04-14NABEntertainmentPR.mspx.
Delivering and Monetizing New Digital Content Experiences
Consumers are increasingly demanding in how they experience content. They want personalized content, tailored to their specific interests and lifestyles, and they want to receive that content on their preferred devices — televisions, computers, mobile phones and portable digital players — anytime, anywhere.
Microsoft announced significant momentum for Microsoft Silverlight, with new customers adopting Silverlight to deliver richer, more interactive media experiences on the Web. Building on recent support from major content providers such as AOL LLC and NBC Olympics.com on MSN, and a strategic alliance with Move Networks Inc., a leading provider of advanced video delivery services to premium content providers and aggregators, Microsoft announced new adoption of Silverlight by media companies worldwide including MSG Interactive, Tencent Inc., Abertis Telecom SA, Terra Networks SA and Yahoo! Japan Corp. Microsoft also announced an investment in Move Networks, and unveiled details of Silverlight DRM, Powered by PlayReady, the content protection support coming later this year in Silverlight.
Also, Microsoft and Sigma Designs, a leader in digital media processing system-on-a-chip (SoC) for consumer electronics, announced a collaboration to enable the Microsoft Mediaroom Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) and multimedia platform to operate on next-generation set-top boxes using the new Sigma SMP8654 SoC. The solution will provide a high-performance, cost-effective design that will give IPTV service providers the ability to offer innovative connected TV services, such as PC to TV photo and music sharing and DVR Anywhere, which gives consumers the flexibility to watch their recorded programs on any TV in the home.
Microsoft at the NAB Show 2008
Microsoft and select partners will showcase a full spectrum of solutions at the Microsoft booth (SL5520) spanning content creation, manage and experience. In addition to those products and solutions mentioned above, additional demonstrations include Microsoft High-Performance Computing, Windows Media Center and Microsoft Atlas division publishing solutions, as well as offerings from partners Digital Dimension, Origin Digital, SB3 Inc., S4M, Avanade Inc. and RSG Systems Inc.
More information about Microsoft’s presence at the NAB Show 2008 can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/media/nab2008.
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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