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PHILIPS UNVEILS TELETEXT SUPPORT IN WINDOWS MILLENNIUM EDITION.

Philips Semiconductors, an affiliate of Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG), has unveiled the first Windows Driver Model-based implementations of TV teletext functionality in the Windows Millennium Edition. The ability for PCs with TV receiver cards to use this technology will be included in Microsoft's next generation operating system for home PC users, Windows Millennium Edition, further globalizing and deepening the PC platform's consumer capabilities.

"This represents yet another advancement in the video capabilities of the Windows platform," said Harish Naidu, general manager for digital audio and video at Microsoft Corp. "We're excited to work with Philips Semiconductors to bring teletext capability to millions of our mutual customers worldwide."

"By further enabling the Windows platform's video capabilities, Philips Semiconductors expects to see a surge in demand for its PC video digitizer chipsets, a market which we pioneered in the early 1990s," said Martin Maloney, international product marketing manager, Infotainment Systems, Philips Semiconductors. "We are also the only supplier to provide all key components to the PC video market, including TV tuners, PC video decoders, multimedia PCI bridges, stereo decoders, and PC video encoders. Add-on cards for home PC users are the prime target market for this technology."

Teletext is the free, well-established, and broadly supported TV-based data service regularly used by over 30 million households worldwide. Steadily growing in usage since the 1970s, teletext has successfully foreshadowed the massive e-commerce potential of the Internet. Teletext has also provided, and continues to provide, a very useful forerunner in the development of the ATVEF standard for interactive enhanced television. The Advanced Television Enhancement Forum (ATVEF) is a cross-industry alliance of companies representing the content creators, the broadcasters, the consumer electronics industry, and the PC industry. This alliance of companies has defined protocols for HTML-based enhanced television, which allow content creators, such as major television broadcast networks, to deliver enhanced programming over all forms of TV transport (analog, digital, cable, terrestrial, and satellite) to any intelligent receiver.

The Windows Driver Model implementation is Microsoft's core driver model for future operating systems and, using this approach, the data capabilities of teletext will actually be embedded within the operating system, rather than installed through multiple vendor specific driver and hardware implementations. This provides software developers with a common platform on which to develop a new generation of powerful, low-cost, feature rich video-based multimedia applications using megabytes of broadcast data, including IP over VBI (Vertical Blanking Interval). It is thus a major step forward to seamlessly merge multiple analog and digital broadcast streams with the Internet.

The implementation uses Philips Semiconductors' in-house-developed drivers for robust data slicing and WST (World Standard Teletext) decoding, running on Philips Semiconductors' 9-bit video decoder/scaler SAA7114 and multimedia streams controller SAA7146A. Slicing of the teletext data (extracting the binary stream of data from the multi-level complex analog TV signal) is key to system performance.

Besides supporting teletext, Philips Semiconductors' SAA7114 also provides best-in-class video performance, using a 4-line PAL/NTSC adaptive comb filter. Significantly, this chip also digitizes the video stream using a line-locked 27MHz clock, exactly the frequency used by real-time MPEG encoders and decoders, to enable PC-based time-shift TV viewing. Exploiting such capabilities will be essential as Philips Semiconductors and Microsoft move forward to continue to revolutionize the PC platform with such things as the Broadcast Driver Architecture.

About Philips Semiconductors

Philips Semiconductors, which has annual revenues of approximately $5 billion, designs and manufactures semiconductors and silicon systems platforms. Philips Semiconductors is spearheading the emerging field of systems on silicon solutions with the innovative Nexperia platform and VLSI Velocity tool set. The company's Sea-of-IP design methodology allows plug and play intellectual property blocks for easily customizable products. The company is a provider of communications, consumer, PC peripherals and automotive semiconductors, which are key applications for convergence in end-user products. Philips Semiconductors is headquartered in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, and has operations throughout the world.

Philips Semiconductors can be found on the World Wide Web at www.philips.semiconductors.com.

For more information, call 408/474-5605.
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Publication:GUI Program News
Date:Jul 1, 2000
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