Microsoft and Partners Help Media Companies Innovate in a Digital World

Thursday, September 10th, 2009
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Expanded offerings enable content producers and broadcasters to deliver fresh content and new experiences across three screens — PC, TV and mobile

AMSTERDAM — IBC 2009 — At the International Broadcasting Conference (IBC), Sept. 11-15 in Amsterdam, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) will reveal new partner solutions built on Microsoft technology for the media and entertainment industry. In tandem with today’s announcements of U.S. and European customers deploying solutions for the broadcast industry based on the Microsoft platform, delivering consumer experiences across PC, TV and mobile, Microsoft will showcase the latest developments at the Microsoft exhibit in the Topaz Lounge, at the Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre.

Microsoft will showcase four solution areas on the company booth and across 14 different partner demonstrations: digital content management, search and monetization, media business management, and digital content experiences.

Digital Content Experiences: Growing Number of Customers Adopting Microsoft Platform

Several demonstrations highlight the growing number of customers including Tesco, Canal+, France 24, ESPN, NBC Sports, ProSieben, Sat.1 and TV2 that are using the Microsoft platform including Silverlight and Internet Information Services (IIS) Media Services 3.0 to enable rich and compelling consumer experiences globally.

Microsoft will also preview the latest media feature developments planned for Microsoft Silverlight 4, including native multicast support and support for offline digital rights management (DRM) powered by Microsoft PlayReady technology.

In three years, Microsoft Mediaroom has become the most deployed Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) software platform, according to data from Screen Digest, and with nearly 4 million of the total estimated 24 million IPTV subscriber households worldwide, that means approximately one in six IPTV subscribers is now connected via a Mediaroom-powered service. At the current growth rate, Microsoft expects Mediaroom households to pass the 4 million mark in October 2009.

Microsoft will also be showing a number of live Mediaroom services, giving visitors the opportunity to see how global operators are delivering compelling TV experiences on the Mediaroom IPTV and multimedia platform. In the 12 months since IBC in September 2008, Microsoft has seen the number of Mediaroom subscriber households more than double from 1.5 million to almost 4 million, of which nearly 2 million are in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

Delivering Global Digital Content Experiences

To enhance digital content experiences for customers, Microsoft has also developed a blueprint for online video services using Microsoft Silverlight, Microsoft PlayReady and Windows Server as key technologies. is using this blueprint for its online broadcast of “Sunday Night Football.”

Furthermore, since May 2009, key broadcasters around the world have used beta versions of Live Smooth Streaming, a new feature of IIS Media Services 3.0, to successfully broadcast some of the world’s premier live events. These include the Tour de France and the Roland Garros 2009 International French Open Tennis Tournament on France Television; the IAAF Athletics World Championships and FINA Swimming World Championships on both France Television and RAI; and Champions League Soccer on BSkyB. In a combined effort with Microsoft, NBC Sports and other media partners, Wimbledon Live delivered over 6,500 minutes of live and on-demand Smooth Streaming video via a high-definition, interactive online video experience with personal video recorder (PVR) support.

Bringing TV to the Personal Computer

Microsoft is making Windows Media Center the best place to experience TV on a PC, regardless of broadcast network. Enhancements to Windows Media Center in Windows 7 include a new electronic program guide (EPG) that brings consumers Internet and broadcast TV all in one place. There is also additional broadcast network support enabling more consumers to turn their PC into a digital video recorder (DVR) and record broadcast TV, delivered securely through the Protected Broadcast Driver Architecture (PBDA). Windows 7 natively supports ATSC, DRI (US Cable), DVB-T, DVB-T2, DVB-S, DVB-S2, ISDB-S, ISDB-T and QAM. At IBC 2009 Microsoft’s hardware partners, including AVerMedia, Hauppauge, NXP Semiconductors and ViXS Systems, will announce Windows 7-ready product lines for additional digital formats, including DMB-TH in China, Premium DVB-C TV in China and Europe, and improved support for US Cable and Switched Digital Video (SDV).

Bringing Multichannel Content to Consumers

On Sept. 9, Microsoft and Tesco, one of the world’s leading retailers, announced a collaboration to launch the next generation of home video viewing. The new service, built on Microsoft Silverlight technology, will deliver a similar level of quality as consumers have come to expect from DVD and Blu-ray, but with advanced Web-based interactivity and a viewing experience that goes beyond other digital playback products in the marketplace.