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Toshiba and Microsoft Announce Plans to Form Advanced Interactivity Consortium


Toshiba Corp. and Microsoft Corp. today announced plans to form the Advanced Interactivity Consortium (AIC), an open forum aimed at the promotion of superior interactivity for a wide range of next-generation consumer devices, digital content and distribution scenarios. The newly formed organization’s mission is to maximize consumer satisfaction worldwide by accelerating industrywide adoption of advanced interactivity and interoperability across a broad array of HD DVD products.

In addition to its crystal-clear picture quality and sound, HD DVD, the next generation of DVD, approved by the DVD Forum, is the first platform to include advanced interactivity as a basic feature in high-definition movies and players, substantially expanding the possibilities of high-definition home entertainment.

The new organization will also focus attention on ways to bring these advanced scenarios to other services and platforms, including digital downloads to DVD players, PCs, TVs, cell phones, portable media players and game consoles.

“Creating attractive consumer experiences with advanced interactivity is critical to bringing digital home entertainment to the next level,” said Hisatsugu Nonaka, corporate executive vice president at Toshiba. “In order to create these ecosystems, we wanted to bring together a group of companies committed to extending these scenarios across a wide variety of platforms. The Advanced Interactivity Consortium will advocate for these platforms as well as help ensure interoperability of HD DVD players and services.”

“The Advanced Interactivity Consortium has its roots in the work we’ve done with HDi™ and HD DVD, but is open to all companies interested in bringing a broader set of experiences to consumers on different platforms,” said Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. “We look forward to contributing to this effort with HDi, our implementation of HD DVD’s interactive layer, and to collaborate with AIC members on how to extend interactive compatibilities to the consumer electronics market. The goal is to ensure a high-quality experience not only through optical discs but also through new digital download services.”

Based on easy-to-program Web standards, HDi technology naturally lends itself to cross-platform implementations and integration in online content services. For content owners, HDi provides a simple development environment, resulting in a seamless and visually consistent experience from device menus to Web-based applications.

The Advanced Interactivity Consortium will also include major Hollywood studios DreamWorks Animation SKG, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios and Warner Bros., which have given their commitment to these advanced scenarios and experience bringing new features to consumers. Each studio currently distributes or will distribute HD DVD titles with HDi-enabled features, from advanced in-movie navigation, bookmarking and picture-in-picture, to Web-enabled communities, content downloads and e-commerce stores.

“We are pleased to support the formation of the Advanced Interactivity Consortium and look forward to further developing interactive scenarios on HD DVD that will extend the consumer experience to new platforms,” said Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Universal Pictures Digital Platforms. “By following a standards-based approach, this collaboration will uniformly benefit consumers as well as the industry.”

The AIC founding member companies plan to formalize the organization shortly and to extend additional partner invitations.


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