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European VOD Provider Embraces WMP 9

12 Sep, 2002 By: Hive News

European video-on-demand (VOD) operator Moviesystem and Microsoft Corp. announced today at IBC2002 that the next generation of the NetCine service, which will be available Sept. 18, will employ Windows Media 9 Series technology.

NetCine provides premium content from major film producers such as Pathe and Luc Besson's Europa Corp. NetCine's new version will offer a fully redesigned, user-friendly interface available in all major European languages. The service will be one of the first in Europe to provide high- quality streamed video over the Internet using Windows Media 9 Series technology.

"Windows Media 9 Series provides us with high quality delivery and innovative features for our video content, so we are assured of providing the best possible experience for our customers," said Emmanuel Montamat, managing director of Moviesystem. "Windows Media 9 Series enables us to deliver on the promise of video on demand, with the instant-on, always-on experience people are used to having while watching television."

The new version of NetCine will offer broadband users more than 500 feature films streamed on demand with enhanced audio and video quality, including hits such as Asterix et Obelix: Mission Cleopatre, Kiss of the Dragon (Le Baiser Mortel du Dragon), Chicken Run and many more works from directors such as Pedro Almodovar, Spike Lee and Jean-Jacques Annaud.

Because the new service is built on the Windows Media 9 Series platform, NetCine users with a broadband connection will be able to enjoy the new Fast Streaming feature, offering an instant-on, always-on television-like streaming experience. The advanced audio and video technology in Windows Media 9 Series also enables broadband users to experience full-screen movies complete with 5.1-channel surround sound.

"Moviesystem's NetCine service is one of the best examples in the world of a company pioneering new forms of movie distribution by working with established film studios," said Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. "As one of the first services to deploy Windows Media 9 Series, NetCine is a great example of how our audio and video innovations can enable companies to create new, breakthrough experiences for their customers and how Windows Media DRM is powering a broad array of digital media subscription services around the world."

NetCine's new version will be showcased Sept. 13-17 at IBC2002 in Amsterdam, where Moviesystem also will showcase the set-top box version of the NetCine service, which enables customers to access on-demand entertainment from their TV screens. The set-top box version will initially run Windows Media Video 8 and will be made available over the next six months in France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and in Spain and Italy shortly thereafter. Moviesystem will begin using Windows Media 9 Series in its set-top box version early next year.

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