Windows Media 9 Series at NAB2003

Microsoft unveiled new solutions for professional broadcast scenarios using the company’s Windows Media 9 Series coding.
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Microsoft showed partnerships with the Associated Press, BBC Technology, Front Porch Digital, Harris Automation, Inscriber, LINX Electronics, NTL Broadcast, Panasonic, Thomson Grass Valley, TANDBERG and Telestream.

Microsoft unveiled new solutions for professional broadcast scenarios using the company’s Windows Media 9 Series coding. Windows Media Video 9 (WMV9) offers SD and HD broadcast delivery scenarios using IP datacasting of broadcast digital television (DTV) content across digital video broadcasting (DVB), Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) and other transmission systems.

The Associated Press showed SNAPfeed, a software application that allows journalists in the field to transmit news video via satellite phone or the Internet in a fraction of the usual time through use of WMV 9 and a laptop-based application that simplifies and automates encoding based on the journalists' deadline. The solution integrates with AP's ENPS application, which is used to create news content in more than 400 newsrooms in 40 countries. SNAPfeed is now deployed in beta by an AP division with more than 30 reporters in the Middle East.

BBC Technology announced a collaboration with Microsoft to integrate WMV9 with its upcoming flagship media platform, Colledia Workflow. The goal of this collaboration is to make it easier for news producers, editors and journalists to access, use and deliver high-quality media and metadata to the desktop, freeing content creators from the confines and expense associated with editing rooms and dedicated hardware systems.

Front Porch Digital and Harris Automation demonstrated PC-based digital playout using WMV9-based servers to replace tape-based systems. The server interfaces with the Harris Automation system and can be integrated into broadcast installations for video archiving, backup and scheduling of programming.

Inscriber's Inca Station Playout Video server offers a master control server designed as a hub for video graphics and playout for local, regional and cable broadcast and video distribution. It also provides local or remote scheduling of video and graphics, channel branding and automated ingest and multiple video channel playout. Panasonic introduced Digital Content Management (DCM) systems supporting WMV9 for media archiving, management, analysis and delivery.

Telestream demonstrated its new broadcast workflow automation product, MAPreview, a single solution for the capture, organization, search and review of multiple live video feeds using WMV9, built on the Microsoft .NET Framework. Using MAPreview, broadcasters can capture and simultaneously review live newscasts alongside those of their competitors, tuning in to the specific audio track they wish to hear.

TANDBERG Television demonstrated its new EN5920 hardware-based real-time WMV9 encoder featuring video preprocessing, noise reduction, very low latency (low buffering), "high" bit-rate operation (up to 3 Mbits/s) providing D1 resolution, PAL and NTSC support, key frames alignment technology and accurate rate control. Thomson's Grass Valley’s Aqua Internet encoder was shown doing real-time capture and digitization of video from camera, file, tape or physical media to WMV9.


Using an over-the-air broadcast to a van driving the streets of Las Vegas, Nev., LINX Electronics, Microsoft, SpectraRep and the Sinclair Broadcast Group showed mobile delivery of HD and SD DTV on a 2-VSB ATSC-like transmission system from LINX.

ViewCast's Osprey Division and Texas Instruments demonstrated a new PCI capture card for WMV9 at D1 resolutions.

NTL Broadcast and TANDBERG Television demonstrated the world's first delivery of real-time streamed video over DAB and DVB using WMV9 including breaking TV news from Europe and live U.K. radio broadcasts to fixed and portable devices such as PCs, PDAs and mobile phones. The companies also showed off an end-to-end DVB-S broadcast system, via satellite capacity from PanAmSat, using WMV9 to deliver high-quality, streamed video to Windows XP-equipped PCs.

LINX Electronics, Microsoft, SpectraRep and the Sinclair Broadcast Group showed mobile delivery of HD and SD DTV on a 2-VSB ATSC-like transmission system from LINX. Using an over-the-air broadcast to a van driving the streets of Las Vegas, the demonstration finally gave the ATSC-friendly answer to the memorable DVB-T mobile demos that caused fur to fly at NAB from 1999 to 2001.

For more information visit www.microsoft.com.

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