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Microsoft Announces Use of HDi Logo by Toshiba and Major Hollywood Studios

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Microsoft’s implementation of HD DVD’s interactivity layer to be promoted on HD DVD hardware and packaging for software.

Microsoft Corp. today announced that its trademarked HDi™ logo will soon appear on all Toshiba HD DVD players. In addition, Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment will include the HDi logo on packaging for HD DVD movie titles beginning in the fourth quarter of this year. HDi technology is Microsoft’s high-performance implementation of the interactivity layer for the HD DVD format, which has taken the movie-viewing experience to an entirely new level with such advanced features as network connectivity and community scenarios. HDi is also a trademark of Microsoft, as recognized by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in its July 2007 notice of allowance for trademark.

As Microsoft’s implementation of the mandatory interactive layer in HD DVD, defined as Advanced Navigation by the DVD Forum, HDi immediately began delivering unprecedented and unique experiences for consumers when it was launched in April 2006. Early movie titles such as “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,” “Miami Vice” and “Mission: Impossible III” received immediate acclaim for their interactive HD DVD experiences — from picture-in-picture director’s commentary to graphical interfaces with tailored movie specifications — all available without stopping the movie playback experience.

“With Microsoft’s HDi technology, Toshiba is able to offer consumers a consistent movie- watching experience in a way that simply isn’t possible with today’s DVDs or available with any other format right now,” said Jodi Sally, vice president of marketing for Toshiba America Consumer Products. “Advanced navigation using Microsoft’s HDi technology has been offered on all of Toshiba’s HD DVD players — from the models introduced last spring to our third generation of models that are shipping today.”

Based on easy-to-program Web standards, HDi provides studios with a familiar and simple development environment, resulting in a digital canvas of unlimited possibilities. With support for interactivity mandatory on all HD DVD players, HDi allows for advanced features that can be played back on any HD DVD player or drive.

“For studios to truly enhance and change the way people watch movies, HD DVD provides the features and the flexibility we need to offer a personalized experience,” said Ken Graffeo, executive vice president of Universal Studios Home Entertainment and co-president of the North American HD DVD Promotional Group. “Web-enabled network features made possible through HDi are particularly compelling because they bridge the gap between physical media and the Web-based world of the MySpace generation.”Studios supporting HD DVD are already delivering on promises of expanding their offerings with Web-enabled network (interactive) features on shipping titles such as “300” and “Blood Diamond” from Warner Bros., “Heroes: Season 1” from Universal and the upcoming “Transformers” from Paramount. The ability to download new trailers, buy ring tones and other merchandise, and share favorite bookmarked scenes with other HD DVD owners are just a few of the features now available on discs from studios supporting HD DVD. Universal recently announced that all day-and-date titles moving forward will include Web-enabled network features powered by HDi.

“As the market for high definition evolves, consumers will want more out of the next generation of DVD than just superior picture and sound — they’ll also want to personalize their experience and tap into fan communities for their favorite movies and TV shows,” said Amir Majidimehr, corporate vice president of the Consumer Media Technology Group at Microsoft. “Using Microsoft HDi, studios can bring these interactive experiences to life in a way never seen before. We’re helping our studio supporters push the envelope with new features that are not only redefining how people experience movies at home, but also changing the way studios approach the filmmaking process.”

Microsoft HDi technology powers the interactive capabilities in every stand-alone HD DVD player on the market as well the HD DVD drive for Xbox 360.

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