Scientific-Atlanta and Microsoft to Offer WebTV Service On Scientific-Atlanta's Explorer 2000 Set-Top Terminal And Digital Broadband Delivery System
Scientific-Atlanta and Microsoft Collaborate On Delivery of WebTV Service to Multiple System Operators
ANAHEIM, Calif. - Dec. 2, 1998 - - At the 1998 Western Cable Show today, Scientific-Atlanta Inc. and Microsoft Corp. announced the two companies have signed a letter of intent to provide cable system operators and their subscribers with the Microsoft® WebTV Network™ service for customization and use on the Scientific-Atlanta Explorer® 2000 advanced digital set-top box and digital broadband delivery system.
Demonstrations of the WebTV service running on the Explorer 2000 set-top box will be shown at Microsoft's booth, 4667, Hall D, and in Scientific-Atlanta's booth, 2345, Hall B, throughout the conference.
"Scientific-Atlanta has had long-standing success in the cable industry, as Microsoft has had with software technology," said Michael Harney, corporate vice president and general manager, Digital Subscriber Networks, Scientific-Atlanta. "Together we have the necessary services, features and tools to support a long-term broadband service that will help multiple system operators serve their customers in a complete and customized way."
Under the agreement, Scientific-Atlanta will provide support to WebTV Networks, Inc. to integrate the WebTV service with Scientific-Atlanta's conditional access, head-end network systems and other technologies. This will enable cable operators to offer the service seamlessly integrated with cable video programming through standard set-top boxes.
In addition, cable operators will be able to cobrand the service and add specific content according to each MSO's needs, for a unique, customized offering. The WebTV service allows users to customize television viewing with features ranging from searchable TV listings to e-mail and Web browsing on the television. The Explorer 2000 set-top box allows consumers to interact with a broad range of new and existing services over their cable system. The Explorer 2000 set-top is capable of delivering TV-based applications such as Internet access, video on demand, electronic commerce and in-home networking.
The two companies also announced they will collaborate on the design of a next-generation set-top box that will run the Windows® CE operating system and be based on the Microsoft WebTV television software platform. Microsoft and Scientific-Atlanta will jointly define the features and services to be supported on the next-generation set-top boxes. The system will be based on the Microsoft WebTV television software platform, which includes Windows CE, the Microsoft Commercial Internet System and WebTV technologies. The combined Scientific-Atlanta and Microsoft technologies will enable the delivery of existing cable system operator services - made possible via Scientific-Atlanta technologies - and the existing WebTV service in addition to any features supported by the Microsoft WebTV television software platform, including Web browsing, video on demand, e-mail, games and electronic programming guides. This and future set-top designs based on the Microsoft WebTV television platform will be OpenCable-compliant, which will allow them to be interoperable. OpenCable is an initiative of the cable television industry being managed through Cable Television Laboratories Inc. (CableLabs) with a goal of attaining interoperable digital set-top boxes manufactured by multiple vendors.
"Microsoft is committed to working with the cable industry to provide new technologies to cable customers," said Steve Perlman, president, WebTV Networks, Inc. "Our relationship with Scientific-Atlanta is helping us to further our goals, while ultimately benefiting our customers and consumers."
Scientific-Atlanta Inc. (NYSE "SFA") (http://www.sciatl.com/) is a leading supplier of broadband communications systems, satellite-based video, voice and data communications networks and worldwide customer service and support.
WebTV Networks, Inc. operates the WebTV Network service and designs WebTV-based Internet terminals and receivers available from companies like Sony, Philips and Mitsubishi at consumer electronics stores nationwide. Costs start at $99 for the Internet terminals and $199 for the Internet receivers, and $19.95 or $24.95 per month respectively for the WebTV Network service. The WebTV Network service is available in the United States, Canada and Japan and has over 500,000 subscribers. WebTV Networks, Inc., based in Mountain View, Calif., is a subsidiary of Microsoft Corp.
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