NAB: USDTV Chooses Windows Media 9 for Pay-TV

We covered USDTV a few weeks ago when they launched the first digital over-the-air digital TV service in the USA. Since then, they’ve been making further progress, and have just joined up with Microsoft for another first: delivering HD programming to subscribers using Window Media 9.

They plan to implement WM9 by Q4 this year when they launch a second generation set-top box, which is expected to feature that increasingly common component: a big hard drive.

“Maximizing available bandwidth with Windows Media 9 Series will allow more broadcasters, especially network affiliates, to participate with USDTV,” said Steve Lindsley, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Digital Television, Inc. “This will enable us to bring more content variety to viewers and create additional revenue-sharing opportunities for broadcasters.”

“Windows Media 9 Series enables USDTV to expand their programming and reach new audiences,” said Amir Majidimehr, General Manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. “Windows Media has approximately three times the compression efficiency of MPEG-2 and easily scales up to high definition (HD), delivering HD at what would normally be considered SD data rates.”


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?