Leading European Broadcast Technology Companies Announce SupportFor Microsoft Windows Media 9 Series

9/16/2002 - Microsoft announced that leading companies from the European broadcast ecosystem for content encoding, distribution and playback are embracing Windows MediaTM 9 Series' innovations in audio and video quality to enable new content delivery opportunities for the European broadcast industry. Windows Media 9 Series includes video-compression technology that delivers broadcast-quality D1 resolution at half the bit rate of MPEG-4 and one-third the bit rate of MPEG-2. The same technology also provides broadcasters and content owners with unmatched video compression flexibility to scale from high-definition 720p content delivery to the PC, a set-top box and beyond, all the way to high-quality audio and video delivered to a wireless device.

"One of our most important goals in the development of Windows Media 9 Series was to offer a new threshold of audio and video quality, and by doing so create a platform of new opportunity for the broadcast industry," said Will Poole, vice president of the New Media Platforms Group at Microsoft. "Today at IBC 2002 we see how companies across Europe are embracing these new opportunities for digital content distribution across both IP and standards-based broadcast networks."

New Opportunities for Content Encoding
Leading broadcast systems hardware companies TANDBERG Television and Optibase Ltd. have announced and will be demonstrating their support for Windows Media 9 Series in their professional encoding products at IBC2002. This shows how the video-compression technology in Windows Media 9 Series scales up to meet the requirements of real-time professional encoding hardware for broadcasters and at the same time operates within standards-based broadcast infrastructures.

New Opportunities for Content Distribution
NTL Broadcast, a digital pioneer in the European broadcast industry, together with TANDBERG Television, is presenting the first demonstration of high-quality video, encoded into Windows Media Video 9 format, delivered in real time over a DVB-T mobile network to moving vehicles in Amsterdam. ITN news stories and British Eurosport video will be received in the IBC shuttle vehicles traveling through Amsterdam, delivered via the standard DVB-T infrastructure. To do this, NTL Broadcast, TANDBERG Television and Microsoft will create an end-to-end DVB broadcast system that will combine file transfer and live streaming of real-time broadcast-quality Windows Media Video 9 over satellite and terrestrial networks.

New Opportunities for Content Playback on the PC and the TV
The breakthrough audio and video quality of Windows Media 9 Series is now being rapidly embraced to create new services and new forms for digital entertainment. Companies such as Pace Micro Technologies Plc, Moviesystem, major chip makers for set-top boxes and Yes Television are using Windows Media to power new kinds of content delivery system opportunities throughout Europe.

Advanced Content Security
Windows Media pioneered the first DRM technology for audio and video in 1999 and has since become the leading technology for Internet subscription services around the world. DMDsecure, based in the Netherlands, is a leading software vendor in DRM components. It has integrated these innovations into its own server-side products, DMDfusion and DMDaccess, which manage the access, use, protection and licensing of digital content. These products easily integrate into an existing broadband and broadcast infrastructure and enable a wide range of content delivery services such as video on demand, e-learning, content subscriptions, document delivery, pay-per-view, corporate communication and live events. DMDsecure will be demonstrating its support for the latest advancements in Windows Media 9 Series DRM, including Live DRM at IBC2002. DRMsecure's clients include Akamai Technologies Inc., Arcor (a Vodafone Group plc subsidiary), Bertelsmann AG, T-Systems Media Broadcast (a Deutsche Telekom subsidiary), Fastweb and Tiscali SpA.

About Windows Media
Windows Media is the leading digital media platform, used by consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations throughout the world. The new Windows Media 9 Series will power the next wave of digital media, delivering the best playback experience, unmatched audio and video quality, and integrated optional digital rights management technology, and is the most comprehensive platform for developing digital media products and services. The Windows Media platform includes Windows Media Player; Windows Media Services, the powerful streaming server for distributing content; Windows Media Encoder for content creation; Windows Media Audio and Video for the best-quality audio and video; Windows Media DRM for protecting content; and the Windows Media Software Development Kit for software developers. Windows Media Player, available in 26 languages, is the fastest-growing and now leading media player.

About Microsoft (www.microsoft.com)
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft and Windows Media are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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