AfterDawn: Tech news

Real and Microsoft step into your living room

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 08 Jan 2002 15:55

In their never-ending battle for market share, both RealNetworks and Microsoft have made significant steps towards your livingroom. Both companies have made technological partnership announcements during this week.
Microsoft announced yesterday that few DVD manufacturers, including Matsushita (who manufactures brands such as Panasonic), Apex Digital and Toshiba, will support Microsoft's WMA audio format in their upcoming players alongside with MP3 -- yet another small victory for Microsoft on its mission to try to kill MP3 as the most popular audio format.

RealNetworks also announced slightly similiar deals today. Upcoming TiVo models will include Real's RealOne player capabilities and consumers can subscribe to RealOne's $9.95 a month service and use their TiVo to stream music and webcasts from the service. Real also followed Microsoft's path when it announced deals with chipmakers, including Hitachi and Philips, to include support for Real's audio and video formats in their DVD decoding chipsets. Microsoft announced similiar deal for Windows Media Audio and Video formats in last month with chipmakers such as STMicroelectronics, Zoran and Cirrus Logic.

It is interesting to see how "open" MPEG-4 video format will fit into DVD manufacturers' plans in future when Microsoft and Real are already dividing the markets with their partnerships. And which manufacturer will be the first one to support all of the formats; MP3, DVD, VCD, SVCD, RealVideo, RealAudio, WMA, WMV and CDDA. And what about DVD-Audio and SACD...? And how does the new upcoming copy-protection for DVDs fit into picture? We're definately going to see some radical changes in home entertainment markets in next year or so...

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