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To: DELT1970 who wrote (827)12/3/2002 4:18:54 PM
From: DELT1970  Read Replies (1) of 849
e-BOX Unveils End-to-End MPEG-4 Architecture for Cable Networks atBroadband Plus; MPEG-4 Delivers a New Standard for Advanced Digital VideoServices

ANAHEIM, Calif., Dec 3, 2002 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The e-BOX Corporation, formed in March 2002 to develop the next generation system for advanced cable services based on MPEG-4, will unveil the core components of the system at The Western Show/Broadband Plus, today in Anaheim, California. e-BOX demonstrated the advantages of MPEG-4 for cable systems at the NCTA show in New Orleans in April 2002, and in cooperation with Comcast Cable Communications, Inc., is on schedule to start field trials of the new system early next year.

MPEG-4 is rapidly emerging as the worldwide standard for the delivery of interactive video services at significantly reduced bandwidths, making delivery of next generation services more cost-effective for operators. The e-BOX solution supports High Definition TV, Video-On Demand (VOD) with the look-and-feel of DVD and Personal Video Recording (PVR) all in one low cost set-top box. It also satisfies the requirements of studios to permit the distribution of newly released movie content over cable by using advanced Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies provided by Nagravision and National Semiconductor.

The e-BOX architecture allows for 24 independent high quality programs, encoded in MPEG-4 format, to be streamed over a single 256 QAM carrier. e-BOX has demonstrated to cable service operators that the delivery of MPEG-4 based VOD services with enhanced DVD-like capabilities is the ideal solution to create new revenue opportunities. The superior compression of MPEG-4 versus MPEG-2 reduces costs by expanding the number of programs delivered and by making bandwidth available for high definition television (HDTV) programs. The demonstration combines iVAST's MPEG-4 Media Server with set-top boxes incorporating a Sigma Designs MPEG-4 decoder chip and a National Semiconductor Geode(TM) processor. The conditional access solution supporting the entire system is being provided by Nagravision, with SkyStream Networks providing the head-end equipment for the delivery of video content over the cable system for the demonstration. Imagine Broadband is providing the platform definition and integration support.

"Our member companies and partners make up a compelling team who are all committed to deliver a highly advanced, yet low cost solution to the digital video service industry," said Dr. Masao Sugimoto, president of e-BOX Corporation. "We believe that by taking advantage of the benefits of MPEG-4 technology, e-BOX will fundamentally change the market of the digital video broadcast industry as it's known today."

The founding companies of the e-BOX Corporation, which includes National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE:NSM), Sigma Designs (NASDAQ:SIGM), and CMC Magnetics (2323.TW); and two privately held companies, iVAST, Inc. and Modern VideoFilm Inc. are developing the system solution, with support from Nagravision and Imagine Broadband, for service providers in North America and Japan. e-BOX will start field trials with Comcast early in 2003.

Members of the e-BOX consortium will provide additional information about these and other initiatives at The Western Show, December 3rd - 6th, 2002, in Anaheim, California.

About e-BOX:

The e-BOX Corporation was founded by several leading consumer electronics and technology companies in March 2002 to deliver a complete MPEG-4 solution for network operators to deploy enhanced video on demand and interactive TV services to subscribers. Targeted at North America and Japan, the solution includes head-end equipment, system software, content-protection systems and digital set-top boxes to provide scheduled and on-demand MPEG-4-encoded content and interactive services. The consortium is composed of several companies including: National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE:NSM), Sigma Designs (NASDAQ:SIGM), and CMC Magnetics (2323.TW); and two privately held companies, iVAST, Inc. and Modern VideoFilm Inc. Together these companies are working with Comcast Cable Communications, Inc., an advisor on the technical requirements of the system. e-BOX is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan and has demonstration centers in California.
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