The Latest from Microsoft


·         First, Microsoft is announcing major new support for “WMVHD” which stands for “Windows Media Hi-Definition Video” and is based on the award-winning Windows Media  Series.  And are announcing 16 new high definition movies being released including 10 IMAX titles from MacGillivray Freeman, titles from Artisan Home Entertainment, National Geographic, and more. 

·         These will ship as “companion” DVD discs inside of the DVD package, which play back on a Windows XP PC.  This gives users the ability to watch the entire movie as it was meant to be seen – in glorious high-definition – up to 6 times the quality of standard DVD and with full 5.1-channel surround sound (using WMA).

·         They will be available in retail starting with the IMAX film “Coral Reef” available right now and others coming to market over the next 30-60 days


Windows Media Center :

·  Windows® Media Connect (or Media Connect for short), which will power the next generation of networked devices, enabling the devices to seamlessly access and playback digital media from a Windows XP PC, including content from popular music and movie services.  Major vendors are fully supporting WMC including Arcadyan Technology, Creative Labs, Dell, Mediabolic, PRISMIQ, Rockford, Roku, Simple Devices, and Toshiba.

    • Media Connect will overcome two critical hurdles faced by networked media devices today: first – today’s connected devices will not play secure content from the popular music/video services and second – there is no standard/consistent way to access media on a Windows XP PC using networked devices.



·         Third, we’re announcing broad new support for HighMAT technology by leading consumer electronics manufacturers, chip vendors and software providers.  HighMAT is designed to enhance the interoperability of digital media between Windows PCs and consumer devices using physical formats such as CD and DVD discs.  New support from HighMAT comes from Ali Corp, Analog Devices, Apex Digital, BHA, Cyberlink, Equator, Malata North America, MediaTek, Panasonic, Sigma Designs, Ulead Systems, and Zoran,


WM Momentum

·   Windows Media is now supported on over 500 devices which is 150% growth in just 1 year.  

    • WMA is now supported on over 60 devices that work with the new music services (BestBuy, Musicmatch, Napster, Walmart, etc).   These 60 devices combined are the largest installed base of devices that support secure digital music– over 2 times that of Apple’s iPod installed base and certainly offer more choice!
    • 80 chips from the premier integrated circuit manufacturers that support WMA and in some cases WMV right on their chips – even high definition WMV!
    • There are a host of new devices being announced at the show:
      • The first DVD players to support WMV playback - from Apex Digital, KiSS Technology, and Malata;
      • The first Windows Media-based PVR - from Malata;
      • Taking media to a whole new level with Portable Media Center which supports ALL your media including music, music videos, photos, photo stories, home movies, movies from music services as well as TV shows from Windows XP Media Center Edition.





WMS News in Press Releases Outside DMD:  www.Microsoft.com



·         Beyond DMD’s announcements, Windows Media Series is powering the new MSN Video on Demand service as well as the new Portable Media Center, and supported by the new MCE Extender technology.  WMS is part of all three of these announcements.


·         Windows Media  Series is also part of many other announcements at CES including Sonic Solutions (joint), Sigma Designs (3rd party), Equator (3rd party), Malata Diva (3rd party), Sand Video (3rd party), MacGillivray Freeman (3rd party), KiSS Technology (3rd party), PortalPlayer (3rd party), Rockford and Simple Devices (3rd party) and Centrality (3rd party).


DRill down on WMV HD


  • Windows Media Series scales to deliver the best viewing experience on any screen – from handheld displays to the big screen.  With WMV HD, Windows Media Series even supports high definition video (up to 1080p) and true 5.1 or 7.1 channel surround sound.


  • WMV HD enables a great HD experience today on Windows XP PCs.  Thanks to the quality and compression of WMV HD, content owners can deliver an entire feature length film in high definition, with up to 6 times the resolution of DVD video, on a single DVD disc.  This disc can then be sold in a DVD set that contains both the standard DVD video disc and a WMV HD “companion” DVD disc.  The standard DVD video disc plays in a DVD player and the WMV HD disc plays on a Windows XP PC or it can be played back on a TV using MCE.


  • At CES we’re announcing 16 new WMV HD movies including 10 IMAX movies from MacGillivray Freeman, movies from Artisan Home Entertainment Inc., National Geographic, Taxi 3 produced by Luc Besson, and more.
    • The first of these titles is immediately available at retail in the US – the spectacular film Coral Reef Adventure.  With a SRP of $19.99, this DVD set includes two discs— one disc has the standard definition film, and the other DVD is a WMV HD “companion” disc of the movie that plays on a Windows XP PC in up to 1080p resolution.
    • Coral Reef Adventure will also be promoted at all Gateway Country stores nationwide and Gateway.com and will be given free to all consumers who purchase a qualifying Gateway Windows XP Media Center Edition PC.


  • We’re also announcing today products and services from a variety of companies in the digital distribution chain, for content owners looking to create their own WMV HD content. This includes:
    • Sonic Solutions, who will develop and deliver new DVD production tools that allow film studios and production facilities to easily create high-definition titles in Windows Media High-Definition Video (WMV HD) on DVD.
    • Authoring facilities from Playground Media Group, Canned Interactive and Mastery International Pictures 
    • Digital Rights Management from SyncCast
    • Encoding by Sample Digital, Technicolor and Mastery Picture International
    • Production services from Ascent Media Group, Artisan Home Entertainment, Big Picture Digital Productions, Europa Corp. and MPO Online


  • WMV HD is here today for playback on Windows XP systems – and it’s also ready for future high definition applications in next generation consumer devices. WMV HD uniquely has the scalability to bridge both today’s and tomorrow’s world of in-home entertainment.  At CES, we’re seeing some exciting additional steps for WMV HD, including:
    • Leading vendors Sigma Designs and Sand Video are announcing chips for DVD players that provide native support for high definition WMV playback.  These chips will start to be included in DVD players in the next year.
    • An exciting example of potential future use for WMV HD is being demonstrated in Toshiba’s booth at CES.  There, Toshiba is working with NEC and Microsoft to demonstrate WMV HD content playing on a next generation DVD player that uses the DVD Forum's recently approved "HD-DVD" optical disc.  Windows Media Video is one of the candidate compression technologies in consideration by the Forum and we're excited about how NEC and Toshiba have chosen to use WMVHD in this demonstration at CES to show off the promise of the HD-DVD optical disc.