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Acorn and Optivision Enable a New Generation of Intranet Applications Using High Quality Video

Partnership Delivers Cost-Effective Video Enabled Intranets for a Range of
 Applications


LAS VEGAS, April 7 /PRNewswire/ -- At the NAB show here today, the Acorn Computer Group plc (London Stock Exchange: GB0000061167) and Optivision, Inc. demonstrated a revolutionary solution for cost-effective delivery of high quality, interactive MPEG video for Intranet applications. The combination of Acorn's new set-top box, the STB22, and Optivision's LiveStation(TM) MPEG video networking system enables a new generation of time and cost-saving Intranet applications, such as the delivery of live interactive training over a corporate network. Demonstrated at NAB using Oracle(R) Video Server, the solution takes advantage of Optivision's low-cost, high-quality products for encoding and transmitting a live video source, and Acorn's ability to decode a live MPEG stream and deliver that high quality digital video to a television monitor. Viewers have unlimited potential for interaction with the content using a familiar, web browser interface.

"We see video as potentially the most valuable tool for Intranets," said Reed Majors, Optivision product line manager. "Our partnership with Acorn opens the door to a whole new range of Intranet applications that have important ramifications for the way we communicate. Businesses for example will see tremendous cost savings as a result of being able to standardize and automate the delivery of training or organizational news in the form of video over Intranets."

"Acorn and Optivision are both highly committed to the advancement of interactive television," said Simon Wyatt, Director of Acorn Online Media, a division of Acorn. "The pairing of our revolutionary new STB22 with Optivision's cutting-edge image and compression technology will result in delivery of high-quality video for Intranets. This is a unique solution that will be imperative for the advancement of communications in everything from home entertainment to mission critical functions in the corporate market."

The system introduced by Acorn and Optivision provides all of the tools necessary to build and deliver live and stored video over IP (Internet Protocol) and ATM networks, as well as the ability to develop Web-based interactive applications. The process works by using Optivision's LiveStation to encode the content, such as a live broadcast, and feed the MPEG compressed video either onto a server where it can be accessed, on request, by the user through Acorn's STB22, or directly to the set-top box. Adding Oracle Video Server to the solution allows customers to have full VCR control of the video content. For example, in the broadcast of a sporting event, the action is encoded live off air, stored in real-time on the Oracle Video Server and simultaneously pumped across the network to the STB22 and on to the TV. At any time, a viewer can pause, rewind or fast forward to a particular action, and then join the live broadcast again.

"Oracle is excited to offer this innovative solution to bridge the gap between a broadcast feed and viewers," said Mark Porter, Vice President of Oracle's Media Server group. "Oracle Video Server stores MPEG-encoded video feeds from Optivision's real-time encoder, and simultaneously streams this content to end-users on the corporate Intranet via the Acorn set-top box. Users now have the flexibility to interact with a broadcast feed."

In situations where the server is bypassed, Acorn's STB22 acts as a straight decoder delivering a constant stream of video for a TV, making it particularly well suited to corporate, healthcare and educational markets where it may be used for the delivery of such applications as distance learning, or private TV networks designed by a hospital or hotel.

Building Media Rich Networks

The solution from Optivision and Acorn allows users to build a number of broadcast quality video functions into their networks, including:

-- Live Television - Live video content such as news, movies, speeches and classes can be distributed onto most IP networks and viewed via the set-top box anywhere on the network.

-- Video-on-Demand - Stored video content can be played back from anywhere on the network, with the ability to pause, rewind, and fast-forward.

-- Stored Live Television - By clicking a single button, the user can, at any time, pause for a short break or save live television to a disk for viewing at a later date.

-- Interactive Applications - The web-based architecture allows customers to build very robust interactive applications for such uses as training, advertising and promotions.

-- Web Browser Based Control - All video functionality such as view, save, rewind, fast-forward, and pause can be accessed and controlled from a web browser anywhere on the network.

-- Demographic Statistics - The system includes the ability to monitor an individual's viewing habits for purposes such as highly targeted advertising.

About the Acorn STB22

The Acorn STB22 is one of the most advanced interactive set-top boxes in the world, offering a combination of features not found in any other set-top box. These include an ATM25 interface, MPEG2 decode capability, a built in web browser and support for JAVA applications. Additionally the STB22 is available with an Ethernet Interface making it one of the most versatile products of its type. It specifically addresses the increasingly demanding requirements of today's interactive services, including interactive video and audio, online banking and shopping services, web-browsing, gaming, education services and multi-casting.

About the Optivision(R) LiveStation(TM)

MPEG video compression systems and components enabling video Intranet applications are available from Optivision today. These include MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 systems, Intranet software applications and tools, JAVA class or SNMP MIB based API, 10/100 Mbps Ethernet or 25/155 Mbps OC-3 network interfaces, multi or single channel systems, support for IP broadcast, IP multicast and IP unicast, and complete plug-and-play support with Oracle's Video Server products.

About Oracle(R) Video Server

Oracle Video Server, a component of Oracle Universal Server, is an end-to- end software solution that enables customers to store, manage and deliver full-motion, full-screen video and high-fidelity audio to clients over broadband, Intranet or Internet networks. Oracle(r) Video Server is available for a wide variety of general-purpose computing platforms.

About Acorn

Acorn Computer Group plc, head-quartered in Cambridge, UK, is one of the world's leading developers and suppliers of innovative technology designs and consultancy. Acorn is at the core of some of the world's best digital technology products.

Acorn's home page can be accessed at http://www.acorn.co.uk/

About Optivision

Founded in 1983, Optivision, Inc. is a leading developer of high performance MPEG-2 and MPEG-1 compression and decompression products supporting applications in three distinct areas: MPEG storage encoding systems, video transmission/broadcast systems and video-on-demand/video server systems. The company also custom-develops still image and video compression solutions, as well as photonics-related products, for the government and military markets. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, Optivision has an engineering facility in Davis, California, and sales offices in Virginia, Massachusetts, Illinois and the United Kingdom, with distribution throughout Europe, Asia and the Pacific Rim.

The products are available through Optivision's direct sales force, as well as national and regional VARs and system integrators and internationally through distributors. For more information, call 1-800-562-8934 or fax in requests to 415-855-0222. Optivision can also be contacted through its World Wide Web site: http://www.optivision.com.

About Oracle

Oracle Corporation (Nasdaq: ORCL) is the world's leading supplier of software for information management, and the world's second largest software company. With annual revenues exceeding $5.2 billion, the company offers its database, tools and application products, along with related consulting, education and support services, in more than 90 countries around the world. For more information about Oracle, please call 415.506.7000. Oracle's World Wide Web address is (URL) http://www.oracle.com/.

Acorn is a trademark of Acorn Computer Group plc. All other brand names mentioned are trademarks of their respective holders, and are hereby acknowledged.

SOURCE Acorn Computer Group
 -0- 04/07/97


/CONTACT: Europe -- Holly James, +44-0-181-242-4181, hollyj@text100.co.uk, or Michelle Carney, +44-0-181-242-4104, both of Text 100 Ltd. for Acorn Computer Group plc; or USA -- Julie Plimpton of Text 100 Corp. for Acorn Computer Group plc, 206-443-8004, juliep@text100.com; or Bronwyn Johnston of Optivision, Inc., 415-855-0200, bronwyn@optivision.com; or Ann O'Leary of Oracle Corporation, 415-506-3574, aoleary@us.oracle.com/

(ORCL)

CO: Acorn Computer Group plc; Optivision, Inc.; Oracle Corporation ST: Nevada IN: CPR SU: PDT

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