Hardware and Software Vendors Rally Behind HD DVD at WinHEC 2006


Today at the Microsoft Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) 2006, Microsoft Corp. announced various PC manufacturers, independent hardware vendors (IHVs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) that are committed to supporting HD DVD in their respective products. Industry leaders showcased plans to ramp up support for HD DVD playback in PCs and on PC hardware and software in 2006 and early 2007. With a growing list of top movies available and favorable reviews of the latest HD DVD consumer electronics player already at retail, the community of hardware and software supporters for HD DVD continues to grow.

Innovative PC original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) including HP, Niveus Media and Toshiba Corp. are supporting the HD DVD format through a variety of activities in connection with the HD DVD Promotion Group. Specifically, Niveus and Toshiba have announced HD DVD support in desktop, notebook and Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition-based PCs, allowing for stunning high-definition playback. A full line of IHV components from leading manufacturers such as Broadcom Corp. and Intel Corporation will also support HD DVD on PCs, and a new line of software players from CyberLink Corp., InterVideo Inc. and both software playback and professional authoring and encoding solutions from Sonic Solutions and Roxio will ensure seamless playback on Windows Vista-based PCs and provide the professional production community with the tools they need to create HD DVD titles.

At the conference, Microsoft reiterated that Windows Vista will be shipped with the drivers, file system and other components necessary to support HD DVD playback. The company also gave a positive progress report on the state of third-party software players, and announced a new initiative designed to help ISVs implement VC-1 and iHD and create the best HD DVD playback solutions possible. This program will also provide iHD test vectors, sample code and more — all of which will enhance third-party iHD implementations for Windows Vista.

“Windows Vista is an exciting platform with the right infrastructure for our cinematic-quality HD DVD authoring and playback solutions,” said Rolf Hartley, senior vice president and general manager of the Professional Products Group at Sonic Solutions. “At the same time, Microsoft’s support for our efforts with VC-1 and iHD implementations will ensure that the HD DVD authoring and playback experience on Windows Vista-based PCs is the best available for the complete range of Sonic’s customers, from Hollywood to home.”

“Eight months ago, Microsoft announced support for HD DVD with Intel, with the shared belief that the format met important criteria and would deliver unique advantages to the PC ecosystem and to consumers,” said Amir Majidimehr, corporate vice president of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. “Today, we’re seeing those benefits come together: affordable hardware and excellent replication yields, along with amazing levels of interactivity, more capacity and incredible quality. At WinHEC we’re committing to help our hardware and software partners achieve a great playback experience for consumers.”



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