Fulfilling the long-awaited promise of broadband entertainment
direct to the television, ZoomTown.com, the wholly-owned Internet broadband
subsidiary of next-generation communications provider Broadwing Inc.,
together with Intertainer, uniView Technologies Corp. and Microsoft
Corp. today announced that ZoomTown.com will market-test a service to
provide asymmetrical digital subscriber line (ADSL) broadband entertainment
directly to consumers' televisions. ZoomTown.com expects to deploy the
service to its more than 35,000 subscribers next year following successful
completion of the trial.
This joint effort will use the first DSL set-top box featuring
streaming video, manufactured by uniView, to connect standard televisions
to the Internet via ADSL technology. During the market trial, a select
number of ZoomTown.com subscribers will have access to Intertainer's
entertainment-on-demand broadband service, featuring premier Hollywood
content, directly on their televisions. The service uses Microsoft®
Windows Media™ Technologies including Windows Media Player, video format
and digital rights management (DRM) technology.
"What we're doing here - converging state-of-the-art technologies
to move an application from the PC to the consumer's TV - gives the
user a more robust, meaningful experience. We feel that this technology
convergence is key to allowing users to fully realize the power of the
Intertainer video-on-demand application," said Mike O'Brien, president
of ZoomTown.com. "We have had great subscriber response with the PC-based
Intertainer service, and we believe delivering the content with the
uniView box to the TV will provide a great new venue for entertainment
Intertainer's broadband entertainment-on-demand service
offers instant access to a wide variety of entertainment options through
the television remote control, including music, television programs,
current movies and favorite films - all within seconds. Customers can
view their choices in full?screen, high?quality resolution with complete
VCR functionality, allowing them to stop, rewind and fast?forward selections.
"It is our strong contention that IP technology directly
to the television will revolutionize home entertainment, and now ZoomTown.com
is stepping forward to be the first provider to make it a reality for
DSL subscribers," said Jonathan Taplin, president and CEO of Intertainer.
"Bringing Intertainer's entertainment-on-demand service directly to
the TV gives ZoomTown.com customers the freedom, choice and control
to watch what they want, whenever they want."
Microsoft Windows Media Technologies will provide the
core end-to-end digital media platform to enable ZoomTown.com, Intertainer
and uniView to develop a viable film and video distribution business
model across the Internet. Windows Media offers industry-leading quality
video and digital rights management for the film and video industry
to ensure secure streamed or downloaded delivery of feature films and
other video content across the Internet. All of Intertainer's video
content will be delivered in the Windows Media Format and DRM.
"Consumers are adopting DSL at a rapid rate and want the
convenience and selection of high-quality video entertainment on demand,
in their living rooms," said Will Poole, vice president of the Windows
Digital Media Division at Microsoft. "ZoomTown.com, Intertainer and
uniView are delivering innovative services that meet these needs using
Windows Media, the best end-to-end solution for secure Internet distribution
of film and video content."
The uniView set-top box will play back this content using
the secure Windows Media Player 7. "We see the uniView set-top box as
a bridge linking the Internet world and television," said Patrick Custer,
CEO at uniView. "Combining our efforts with the great technology and
services from Microsoft, Intertainer, and ZoomTown.com will pave the
way for a rich new way for consumers to enjoy entertainment and information."
delivers the largest selection of movies, music videos, television and
shopping on demand to the PC or TV. The service features content from
unprecedented partner relationships, including Columbia TriStar Television,
The Disney Channel, Dreamworks SKG, ESPN, Sony Music, Twentieth Century
Fox, and Warner Bros., among many others. Enhanced TV functionality,
interactive advertising, e-commerce opportunities and personalization
features round out the Intertainer experience. Strategic partners include
Comcast, Intel, Microsoft, NBC, Sony and Qwest.
About Windows Media
Windows Media is the leading digital media platform, providing
unmatched audio and video quality to consumers, content providers, solution
providers, software developers and corporations. Windows Media offers
the industry's only integrated rights-management solution and the most
scalable and reliable streaming technology tested by independent labs.
Windows Media Technologies includes Windows Media Player for consumers,
Windows Media Services for servers, Windows Media Tools for content
creation, and the Windows Media Software Development Kit (SDK) for software
and hardware developers. Windows Media Player, available in 26 languages,
is the fastest-growing media player. More information about Windows
Media can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmedia/.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide
leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal
and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products
and services designed to empower people through great software - any
time, any place and on any device.
Dallas-based uniView Technologies Corp. (Nasdaq "UVEW")
offers competencies and expertise to create solutions for video on demand,
set-top box products, interactive broadband connectivity, computer telephony
integration software and overall broadband solutions. The company markets
its products and services both domestically and internationally, focusing
on multilevel marketing, hospitality, utilities, banking, telecommunications
and Fortune 1,000 companies.
About Broadwing and ZoomTown.com
Broadwing Inc. (NYSE: BRW) combines unparalleled customer
service with the industry's most advanced and flexible 18,000-mile next-generation
fiber optic network and award-winning IP backbone, to create data and
Internet solutions that are innovative, reliable, and provide businesses
a competitive advantage. Broadwing will be the first provider with a
fully deployed optical network that sets the standard for customer accountability
with the industry's only Installation Guarantee. ZoomTown.com is a wholly
owned subsidiary of Broadwing Inc. With its award-winning ADSL network
and the highest geographic penetration of broadband subscribers in the
nation, ZoomTown.com provides Internet start-ups an unmatched real-world
environment to successfully develop, run trials of and launch their
services in a representative U.S. city. ZoomTown.com was recently awarded
the SUPERQuest award for Best Built Public Network at SUPERCOMM 2000.
ZoomTown.com can be found on the Web at http://www.zoomtown.com/.
Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio and Austin, Texas, with 6,000 employees
in 56 sales and service offices across the country, Broadwing can be
found on the Web at http://www.broadwing.com/.
Microsoft and Windows Media are either
registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United
States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products
mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
For more information, press only:
Louise Rasho, Intertainer, (310) 895-2112, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lindsay Shannon, Shandwick for Microsoft, (425) 452-5400, email@example.com
Tressie Long, Broadwing, (513) 397-5890, firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Fudickar, uniView Technologies, (972) 233-0900, email@example.com
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