Microsoft Corp. 's hopes that Windows Media 9 (WM9) will become a well-entrenched advanced codec for the future took a few steps forward Monday, as several providers pledged support for the technology.
Joining that list are Rainbow DBS, which operates the VOOM satellite TV service, Akimbo Systems, Shanghai Broadcasting Lab, and U.S. Digital Television (USDTV).
The HD-heavy VOOM service will use Windows Media 9 as the provider doubles its high-definition television offerings to 60 channels. VOOM expects to support advanced codecs for standard-definition later this year, and expand support to HD in 2005.
Akimbo will use WM9 and Microsoft's Windows Media DRM to support its Internet-based video-on-demand service, which will launch in June.
USDTV will tap WM9 to support standard-def programming offered via its $19.95 per month digital terrestrial service. USDTV said it plans to incorporate WM9 by Q4 in its second-generation set-top, which will feature digital video recording capabilities.
Microsoft also provided an update on its submission of WM9 to the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) for consideration as an openly available international codec standard. The SMPTE C24 Technical Committee recently elevated the submission to "committee draft" status, Microsoft said.