AfterDawn: Tech news

Microsoft and Panasonic unveil new HighM.A.T. technology

Written by Jari Ketola @ 22 Oct 2002 6:33

Microsoft and Panasonic unveil new HighM.A.T. technology Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (Panasonic) and Microsoft Corp. today unveiled a new technology they have co-developed that enables a dramatically improved method of storing, arranging and playing back personal digital photo, music and video collections on recordable discs such as CD-RW media. Called HighM.A.T. (TM) , which stands for High-performance Media Access Technology, this new technology is designed to significantly improve interoperability for digital media content between PCs and popular electronic devices such as CD players, car stereos and living room DVD devices. CDs created using the HighM.A.T. technology will be fully compatible with existing devices that play back recordable disc media. Panasonic, Microsoft and Fuji Photo Film Co. Ltd. (Fujifilm) will adopt this new technology for use in their future products. The HighM.A.T. specification will also be available for easy licensing by other consumer electronics companies and software developers at http://www.HighMAT.com/.
"It's clear to us at Panasonic that PCs and consumer electronics products will continue to work more and more closely in the future. HighM.A.T. technology will set a new standard for exchanging digital media between such devices and will make it easier to play back personal music, photo and video collections in consumer AV products," said Fumio Ohtsubo, managing director of Matsushita Electric. "We are very pleased that Panasonic can contribute to realizing the dream of seamless digital convergence."

HighM.A.T. creates an optimized way for PCs to identify digital files on recordable disks and standard ways for consumer devices to read these disks. This new technology will speed up startup times for data CDs and other physical formats and make navigation across a broad range of consumer electronics devices, including car stereos, DVD players and CD players, consistent and easy. CDs created using the HighM.A.T. technology will still be compatible with existing devices that play back recordable disc media, and HighM.A.T. is compliant with the standard ISO 9660 Joliet file system.

Surely an interesting technology, but it remains to be seen if it will gain in popularity. Clearly there is a great demand for a higher level of compatibility between PCs and home entertainment systems. Currently the solutions are quite limited (VCD, SVCD, DVD, PhotoCD, and AudioCD).

Read the full press release

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