AMSTERDAM, Netherlands — Sept. 12, 2008 — This week at the IBC2008 conference held at the Amsterdam RAI conference center, Microsoft Corp. will showcase the advanced media platform technologies and partner ecosystem that enable organizations to create, manage, deliver and monetize an endless variety of engaging digital entertainment experiences. Microsoft and its partners provide solutions to support the full content life cycle, including content creation and management, media business management and monetization, and digital content delivery.
Microsoft is making several announcements at the show, including new customer adoption for the Microsoft Interactive Media Manager (IMM) solution with Abertis Telecom; adoption of Microsoft Silverlight by European broadcasters and the upcoming inclusion of additional codecs such as H.264 and Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) in the Silverlight plug-in; and developments for the Microsoft Mediaroom Internet Protocol television (IPTV) and multimedia software platform including the Microsoft Mediaroom Advertising Platform (MAP), Mediaroom Migration Program and an interactive TV application developed by emuse technologies using British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) content, which will be demonstrated for the first time at the show.
“The industry is in a race to see who can deliver the most exciting experience and monetize multiple digital distribution channels, while still managing their content and business as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible,” said Gabriele Di Piazza, managing director for the Media and Entertainment Business in the Communications Sector at Microsoft. “As well as facing the unique challenges created by the ever-expanding worlds of digital media and the Internet, media and entertainment companies need to ensure that the basic but critical operations are efficiently supporting and providing useful insights into their core business, rather than draining time and resources away from it. That’s why companies in this industry are focusing on content and business management just as much as on content creation and delivery.”
Digital media delivery requires media and entertainment companies to manage a variety of complex customer and partner engagements. Microsoft provides the tools to help them manage their assets across the many different facets of their business, including broadcast resources, licenses, program schedules and libraries; traditional and digital advertising; supply chain management; and customer relationship tracking.
Digital Content Creation and Management
Microsoft solutions enable media companies to create rich media content and, in doing so, to better manage production workflows across multiple systems and departments. Abertis Telecom S.A. and Microsoft are working together on the development of a new service for management and distribution of TV content over the Internet on Silverlight and Windows Presentation Foundation. This platform, created as an Abertis Telecom initiative, is specially created for management of distribution of digital terrestrial television channels and content over the Internet, with an innovative presentation environment. The Abertis Telecom service is utilizing Microsoft IMM as the backend workflow solution to acquire and manage digital content.
Digital Content Delivery and Monetization
Microsoft announced that Microsoft Silverlight, a cross-browser multiplatform plug-in for delivering media experiences and rich interactive applications on the Web, continues to gain momentum. Silverlight adoption by major media, broadcasting and content companies has continued to grow, including innovative new VOD offerings from TF1, RTL, France Television, iTV and MSN UK, and live and on-demand sports channels from L’EquipeTV and Setanta. Microsoft also will preview H.264 and AAC playback support in Silverlight, together with Microsoft Expression Encoder H.264 authoring and Windows Server 2008 for delivery.
“Using Silverlight, we are very excited to be able to offer the same advanced features and high-quality video to customers both on Windows and Mac browsers,” said Pierre Brossard, CEO of TF1. “Through visual and tactile navigation of content and playback in a Silverlight rich media environment, the TF1 Vision service will provide a true online interactive VOD experience available to the vast majority of broadband users. In addition, through Microsoft’s announced support for mp4 standard formats in Silverlight, we’ll be able to easily repurpose existing libraries of H.264 and AAC content and extend the future reach of our service to an ever-growing market of mp4-capable devices.”
Microsoft is also announcing developments for its Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV and multimedia platform including the following:
Mediaroom Advertising Platform. This new adjunct offering lets service providers deploying Microsoft Mediaroom offer targeted, measurable and interactive advertising spots all from one comprehensive platform.
Microsoft Mediaroom Migration Program. This new program helps IPTV operators migrate to Mediaroom from first-generation platforms.
An interactive application developed by emuse technologies uses content from the BBC. IBC2008 is the platform for first public viewing of a new application that shows how the BBC’s original journalistic content, including news, sports and weather could look using the Mediaroom platform.
FAST, a Microsoft subsidiary, is demonstrating the flexible and scalable FAST Enterprise Search Platform (ESP), which allows organizations to create unique user experiences and change the way people interact with information by uncovering new revenue streams, improving business decisions and increasing productivity. FAST is working with the U.K. national news organization Times Online to index, search and ultimately monetize 200 years’ worth of The Times content online, from 1785 to 1985, including 20 million articles, photographs, advertisements and letters to the editor from such figures as Queen Victoria, Charles Darwin and Karl Marx. The system has a high-quality response time, aiming for two seconds per search, as well as the ability to completely re-index the archive within 24 hours to accommodate new content or topic structures.
Finally, following the release of the Windows Media Center TV Pack this summer, Microsoft is now announcing the delivery of a new worldwide platform for broadcast TV on the PC, Protected Broadcast Driver Architecture (PBDA), which enables the PC-TV hardware ecosystem to integrate virtually any free or premium TV service into Windows Media Center while satisfying the TV industry’s requirements for strong content protection for pay TV. Leading companies rallying behind PBDA at the show include AVerMedia Inc., Buffalo, Hauppauge Computer Works Inc., I-O Data Device Inc., NEC Electronics Corp., NXP Semiconductors and ViXS Systems Inc. Continuing to underscore Microsoft’s commitment to broadcast TV on the PC, Windows Media Center and Hauppauge also will demonstrate the U.K.’s first Freeview-certified PC tuner solution, which utilizes the new PBDA platform.
Microsoft at IBC2008
The Microsoft exhibit at IBC2008 will feature a full range of solutions from Microsoft and its partners, spanning content creation and management, media business management and monetization, and digital content delivery. Siemens IT Solutions and Services will demonstrate an industry-specific approach based on the Microsoft business intelligence (BI) platform, to provide a full view of the core creative and business control activities within a broadcast organization. S4M (Solutions for Media) will showcase its all-in-one broadcast management system based on Microsoft’s latest business management software, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009. In addition to those products and solutions, there will be demonstrations of Microsoft Expression Studio and Microsoft Atlas Publisher Suite, as well as offerings from partners including Avanade, focusing on a media supply chain management solution based on Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Performance Point, and Conchango, (an EMC Corp. company) demonstrating an end-to-end video publishing platform combining different Microsoft technologies such as Silverlight and Internet Information Services (IIS). On the TXT Polymedia media stand, TXT will also demonstrate its Media in a Box solution, a new online video publishing solution based on the Microsoft technology platform.
More information about Microsoft’s presence at IBC2008 can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/media.
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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