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Monday, April 18, 2005
HP Delivers Digital Foundation to Entertainment Industry


HP's strategy to drive the digital transformation of the entertainment industry took a major step forward today with the announcement that Sony Pictures Entertainment, Ascent Media Group, Warner Bros.

Studios and Infinity Broadcasting are leveraging HP innovation to revolutionize the way they create and distribute content.

The announcements -- which span the film, television and radio industries -- were made at the National Association of Broadcasters 2005 event being held here.

"It's undeniable that technology is playing an increasingly important role in the business of media and entertainment. It enables every step of the process from the creation and production of stories, how they are distributed and how they are enjoyed," said Shane Robison, chief strategy and technology officer, HP. "HP has harnessed its technology innovation, its research prowess and its experience working alongside this industry's leaders to architect the most comprehensive technology foundation for digital entertainment."

At the core of HP's digital entertainment strategy is the HP Digital Media Platform (DMP). Leveraging technology developed by HP Labs, the company's central research facility, the HP DMP enables media companies to create content once to distribute many times, in any format -- thereby reducing the time to market for new assets and providing new content streams for old assets.

An industry standards-based framework of enterprise software, hardware and services, the HP DMP allows media companies to digitize, store, process, manage, distribute and archive complex media assets securely and efficiently.

Studios announce adoption of the HP DMP

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) today unveiled its plan to streamline the distribution of its film and television content by leveraging a series of new digital entertainment technology and services created by Ascent Media Group (AMG) and HP. SPE, AMG and HP have formed a first-of-its-kind alliance to digitize SPE's library of film and television assets.

SPE and AMG chose the HP DMP to digitize its entire library of film and TV content, enabling SPE to create content once and deliver it more securely, quickly and cost-effectively than ever before. Since deploying the solution in November 2004, SPE and AMG have digitized more than 500 of SPE's film and television titles. (A separate news release on this topic is available at www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press/2005/050418b.html.)

In addition, Warner Bros. Studios and HP today announced the expansion of their existing alliance to develop the industry's first digital, end-to-end process (DETE). HP, Warner Bros. Studios and Accenture are designing and implementing an architecture that will enable Warner Bros. Studios to be the first studio to create an environment that will allow a transition of its entire film production and distribution process -- from creation through post production -- to an all digital, file-based process.

The HP DMP is being adapted to meet the specific needs of the studio and will serve as the foundation of this architecture. The DETE will enable Warner Bros. Studios to transfer digital files between its production, post-production and distribution businesses easily and securely.

"We have a vision, and now, with HP and Accenture as partners, the opportunity to create a seamless infrastructure that will allow technology to integrate and streamline many of the time-consuming steps and procedures inherent in film production, post-production and distribution," said Chris Cookson, president, Warner Bros. Technical Operations. "This will allow our people to focus on the most important creative components in the process and will also minimize the number of times material has to be re-processed, maintaining the highest possible quality from the initial creation all the way through to the very last user."

Warner Bros. Studios and HP breathe new life into classic motion pictures

Warner Bros. Studios and HP also announced that they have teamed to restore the 1933 classic motion picture "King Kong." One of the American Film Institute's 100 most beloved films and named to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress, the original camera negative of "King Kong" has long been destroyed, leaving only elements and prints that have been deteriorating over the years.

Warner Bros. Studios has brought the best elements and prints from all over the world and has scanned them into a 4K digital file. Using HP's "dirt and scratch" technology, which was developed by HP Labs, the 72-year-old classic will be digitally restored to its 1933 brilliance. A new camera negative as well as new archival elements will be created so that the film will be saved for generations to come. This new, restored version of "King Kong," as it was originally released, will be screened theatrically and broadcast on television, as well as released on Warner Home Video.

HP has also invented a new film restoration process for Cinerama films that eliminates the "seams" visible from the old three panel Cinerama process as well as corrects the distortions in perspective that were inherent in the change from Cinerama's curved screen to a flat one. Tests have already begun on the classic MGM 1962 film "How The West Was Won," now part of the vast Warner Bros. Studios library.

FM radio enhanced with Visual Radio

In addition to its work with the film and television industry, HP is helping the radio industry reach its listeners in new ways with Visual Radio. Developed by Nokia and offered by HP, Visual Radio adds a new dimension to FM radio by letting consumers listen to local FM radio via their mobile phones while simultaneously receiving interactive information and graphics that are synchronized with the broadcast.

HP and Infinity Broadcasting have announced that they will work together to deliver Visual Radio to U.S. listeners for the first time. (Further information is available in a news release at www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press/2005/050418c.html.)

HP Labs drives innovation in digital entertainment

HP Labs continues to play a crucial role in the evolution of HP's digital entertainment strategy. The early components of the HP DMP were developed in Labs, and Labs researchers continually collaborate with HP's media and entertainment industry customers and partners to customize solutions and develop new technologies to enable business models that capitalize on the digital revolution.

HP has announced that its Labs' Utility Rendering Service (URS) was the driving force behind an animated film showcase called SE3D ("Seed"), taking place in Bristol, England, April 21-24. URS is giving small animation companies the power of major Hollywood studios to create dazzling visual effects without an expensive investment in IT infrastructure. About 240 servers in Palo Alto, Calif. -- managed remotely from Bristol more than 5,000 miles away -- are used to "render" animated films for a dozen UK filmmakers, whose work will be showcased publicly at the film festival.

More information about HP's technology for the broadcast industry and presence at the National Association of Broadcasters 2005 event is available in an online press kit at www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press_kits/2005/nab/index.html.


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