Microsoft and Hauppauge First to Bring Freeview-Certified PC Solution to U.K. Viewers

Windows Media Center meets requirements for Freeview
certification to deliver enhanced TV content to the PC.

READING, U.K. — Sept. 10, 2008 — Microsoft Corp., working
with tuner manufacturer Hauppauge Computer Works Inc., today announced the
launch of the first Freeview-certified, PC-based TV solution. With Windows
Media Center, found on all PCs running Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows
Vista Ultimate, and Windows Media Center TV Pack, Microsoft will now be able to
offer U.K. consumers best-in-class interactive and enhanced TV paired with some
of the best personal video recorder (PVR) features available on the market
today.

Freeview support is one of the major Digital Video
Broadcasting (DVB) enhancements of the Windows Media Center TV Pack, an update
released to OEMs worldwide on July 16, 2008, with targeted optimizations for TV
standards in Europe. Other enhancements of this update include support for
Digital Video Broadcasting-Satellite (DVB-S), improved guide and playback
experience, great PVR auto-extend support, and the flexibility of support for
multiple TV standards.

“The launch of our Freeview-enabled solution is a great
addition to Windows Media Center, allowing us to reach more users and add real
value to TV consumers and broadcasters,” said John Curran, director, Windows
Client Group, Microsoft UK. “We are dedicated to improving Windows Media Center
for customers worldwide, and this addition of Freeview as a platform and brand
will offer a real benefit to our partners and consumers. We see this as a
critical step to building awareness and setting a standard for great TV
experiences on the PC.”

Windows Media Center with Windows Media Center TV Pack was
certified as Freeview-compliant by the Digital TV Group Ltd., the industry
association for digital TV in the U.K. The certification was made in
coordination with Hauppauge, which certified its HVR 2200 tuner as part of the
same program. Together, the components offer a complete Freeview TV solution
for the PC, joining existing manufacturers of Freeview equipment such as Humax
Company Ltd., Philips, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co., Sony Corp. and many
more.

The Windows Media Center TV Pack enhancements for the
European market, and ultimately Freeview certification, were driven out of
Microsoft’s European Development Center, established in 2005 to specifically
develop software tailored to the European market. This dedicated European team
will continue to focus on interoperability with free-to-air European digital
television as part of its commitment to European customers and DVB, the
European standards organization.

“The expansion in service of Freeview digital terrestrial TV
has created consumer demand for more advanced PC-TV solutions,” said Ken
Plotkin, CEO, Hauppauge. “Our Freeview-certified dual tuner, WinTV-HVR-2200,
provides Windows Media Center with the ability to record one Freeview digital TV
program while it displays another TV program on the PC screen.”

The Freeview logo is also a statement of the quality of
Microsoft and Hauppauge solutions. The Freeview certification effectively kicks
off a program that will enable PC OEMs and additional tuner manufacturers to
launch Freeview-branded PCs with Windows Media Center in the U.K.

Freeview is managed by DTV Services Ltd., a company owned
and run by its five shareholders — British Broadcasting Corp., BSkyB Ltd., ITV
plc and National Grid Wireless. DTV Services launched in October 2002 and
provides up to 48 free-to-air digital TV channels, up to 24 radio stations and
interactive services through an aerial. There is no subscription for the
service.

“The addition of a Freeview-enabled PC further increases and
enriches the number of ways viewers can access Freeview’s subscription-free TV
channels,” said Cheryl Sloan, Freeview’s director of strategy and new product
development. “Microsoft and Hauppauge have made a great step toward connecting
PCs in the home to the Freeview experience, allowing PC users to enjoy the
U.K.’s most popular TV platform. We look forward to collaborating with them
both to ensure its successful entry to the U.K. market.”

Windows Media Center TV Pack will be demonstrated at IBC2008,
Sept. 12–16, at the Microsoft booth in the Topaz Lounge. Visitors to the booth
will have the opportunity to experience the latest solution as well as other
elements of the product such as broadcast broadband integration.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide
leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses
realize their full potential.

7 thoughts on “Microsoft and Hauppauge First to Bring Freeview-Certified PC Solution to U.K. Viewers

  1. “Windows Media Center TV Pack will be demonstrated at IBC2008, Sept. 12–16, at the Microsoft booth in the Topaz Lounge. Visitors to the booth will have the opportunity to experience the latest solution as well as other elements of the product such as broadcast broadband integration.”

    Wonder if we will finally get some official details from MS…

  2. Odd, my Media Center has been working just fine with FreeView for over three years!

    I guess the Red Button stuff allows them to use the logo.

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