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Dr. Masao Sugimoto, president and founder of MPEG-4 joint venture e-Box Corp., passed away on Sunday, Dec. 22 in Tokyo, Japan. He was 68.

Sugimoto spearheaded the development of digital television for Japan's public television network during his time at NHK. Later, at Pioneer Corp., he led the company's DVD developments.

As the founder and president of e-Box, Sugimoto was able to convince a spate of companies to develop a cable platform based on MPEG-4 technology.

e-Box, founded in March 2002, has tapped Comcast Corp. as a key advisor. The technical end of the joint venture is comprised of partners such as Pioneer, Sharp Corp., National Semiconductor Corp., Sigma Designs, iVast Inc., CMC Magnetics and Modern VideoFilm Inc.

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