AMSTERDAM, Netherlands — Sept. 10, 2009 — At the International Broadcasting Conference (IBC), Sept. 11–15 in Amsterdam, Microsoft Corp. 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.
“Working with the leading organizations in the broadcast and entertainment world, we aim to deliver insights and innovations through technology, making content immersive and experiential for the consumer while also more easily managed and produced behind the scenes. Consumers can now access this new world of entertainment via the PC, through the TV or on a mobile device, a choice that allows them to enjoy content in a way they never have before,” said Gabriele Di Piazza, senior director of the Media & Entertainment Business in the Communications Sector at Microsoft. “The evolution of Silverlight, Smooth Streaming and new partner solutions integrated with our new editorial collaboration framework ensure that we continue to work closely with customers like Blueprint Digital, which works with companies such as Tesco, to address their changing business needs.”
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. NBC.com 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 Télévision; the IAAF Athletics World Championships and FINA Swimming World Championships on both France Télévision 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.
Media Business Management: Editorial Collaboration Solution Framework Based on 2007 Microsoft Office System
Demonstrated at IBC for the first time, the Microsoft solution framework for editorial collaboration supports journalists and editors in topic planning, event calendaring and coverage planning, resource allocation, content gathering and sharing, and output planning in news production for broadcasting, publishing, and media and entertainment industry partners. Similar solutions based on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 have been recently deployed by customers including The Associated Press, and Stuttgarter Zeitung.
The solution framework for editorial collaboration is designed to improve the efficiency of editorial work and enable effective multichannel publishing. It is based on the 2007 Microsoft Office system and integrates with Microsoft unified communications and Microsoft Office Mobile to make editorial communication and team collaboration more effective and enable mobile users such as reporters and journalists to stay in touch with their editorial team while on the road. The solution framework is designed to integrate with vertical industry solutions including those from Avid Technology Inc., ANNOVA Systems GmbH, Solutions for Media (S4M) GmbH and DAVID Systems GmbH.
Additional partner solutions in this area announced at IBC include a new version of S4M Dynamics Media, an end-to-end broadcast business management solution, and S4M S4 AdSales, a media sales solution recently deployed at RTL Nederland; Ness Content Office (NCO), integrated with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007; a content sales solution based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM developed by CRM Resultants and deployed at Endemol; and a Web analytics solution developed by pmONE for Der Standard, a leading newspaper in Austria, based on Microsoft Business Intelligence.
Digital Content Management
At the Microsoft stand, TechPath will be showcasing its expertise in integrating complex media workflow solutions leveraging core Microsoft technologies based on the Microsoft Blueprint for Digital Content Management solutions. The blueprint allows companies to leverage their existing IT investments as well as giving controllable access to customers and partners along the media value chain.
S4M will present its Video Production Management System (VPMS), integrated with S4M’s Dynamics Media broadcast business management solution, and also integrated with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server.
Also demonstrating integration of its DAM solution with Microsoft Office SharePoint to allow Web-based content sharing and a wide range of collaboration functionality will be DAVID Systems, which recently deployed a solution at P4 in Norway.
With S4M’s VPMS and DAVID Systems’ DigaSystem now being integrated with SharePoint, this ensures that wherever journalists work on their story, they can access audio and video content directly through SharePoint Web parts, facilitating collaboration and bridging the formerly separate worlds of digital asset management and business productivity solutions.
A number of leading media companies have recently deployed the above digital content management solutions based on the Microsoft platform: ESPN Brazil, VMMA Belgium and TVN Poland with partner Blue Order, NDR Germany with partner S4M, P4 in Norway with partner DAVID Systems, and Discovery in the U.S. with partner TransMedia Dynamics.
Notes to Editors
The Smooth Streaming player development kit can be downloaded at http://www.iis.net/media. More information about Microsoft Expression Encoder 3, including availability and pricing, can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/expression/products/Encoder_Overview.aspx.
More information about Silverlight can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight or at the Microsoft Silverlight and Expression Virtual Pressroom at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/silverlight/default.mspx.
More information about Microsoft Mediaroom can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/mediaroom, and more information about Windows Media Center can be found at http://windowsmediacenter.com.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.mspx.