Dear Windows-Help.NET Subscriber,
This week at Streaming Media West 2000, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft Corp. president and CEO, unveiled the new Windows Media Audio and Video 8 beta technology for the delivery of audio and video over the Internet. Achieving new benchmarks for the delivery of the highest-quality audio and video in the smallest bandwidth, Microsoft's new compression technology enables the delivery of film content at near-DVD quality across Internet broadband connection speeds as low as 500 Kbps, and near-CD-quality audio streams on a 48Kbps connection. The Windows Media Audio and Video 8 beta is compatible with Microsoft® Windows Media Player 7 and 6.4, and offers content owners the benefits of improved quality and lower bandwidth costs while reaching more than 220 million Windows Media Players worldwide.
"We're focusing on digital media at Microsoft in a big way because it brings excitement to consumers and real economic benefits to businesses," Ballmer said. "The new technologies we're unveiling today create opportunities for everyone in the industry to deliver more efficient, effective and exciting solutions for digital media."
Windows Media Video 8
- Dramatically improved compression and resolution offers near-DVD resolution at only 500 Kbps.
- Improvements also include these:
- Near-VHS quality at 250 Kbps with 320x240 at 24 fps resolution
- Near-DVD quality at 500 Kbps with 640x480 at 24 fps resolution
Windows Media Audio 8
- Delivering the first-ever near-CD-quality sound at about one-third the file size of MP3 (48 Kbps), with download times that are more than 60 percent faster.
- Windows Media Audio 8 offers CD quality at 64 Kbps and the highest fidelity at 96 Kbps and above.
Unlike other new codec technologies introduced this year, Windows Media Audio and Video 8 is fully backwards-compatible with existing Windows Media Players including version 6.4 and 7.
Windows Media Audio and Video 8 beta technology is available today for consumers and content providers. This new quality can be experienced firsthand on the Windows Media Web site. Windows Media Player 7 users will be able to automatically download updates that enable the new video technology the first time they play any content that uses Windows Media Video 8. No update is needed to enjoy the improvements with the new Windows Media Audio 8 codec. Starting Friday, Dec. 15, 2000, content providers can download the new Windows Media Encoding Utility Beta to create their own audio and video content using Windows Media Audio and Video 8. Windows Media Audio and Video 8 and the updated encoder also will be included in next version of the Windows® operating systems (currently code-named "Whistler").
According to Steve Ballmer, Windows "Whistler" will include Windows Media Player 8, which will have integrated support for DVD playback.
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