Reprinted from a Microsoft press release:

Today at NAB2004, Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Sonic Solutions (NASDAQ:SNIC) unveiled DVD Producer – WMV HD Edition, a special version of Sonic’s award-winning professional authoring application that supports the production of DVD titles using Microsoft Windows Media Video High-Definition (WMV HD). WMV HD delivers dramatically superior image quality with high-definition video at data rates comparable to standard-definition DVD video.

Sonic is launching a beta program for DVD Producer – WMV HD Edition to provide high-end professional facilities with early access to this groundbreaking technology so they can build exciting high-definition experiences using WMV HD for playback on Windows XP PCs. Production companies interested in joining the beta program may contact Sonic via e-mail at hdbeta@sonic.com.

“Millions of consumers are using Windows Media Player 9 Series and Windows XP for video and DVD playback; WMV HD is a great way to deliver high-definition video content to a large audience today,” said Rolf Hartley, senior vice president and general manager of the Professional Products Group at Sonic. “DVD Producer – WMV HD Edition and our new beta program will allow high-end post facilities and the Hollywood film community to get involved with WMV HD in order to create stand-alone titles and exciting HD bonus content for standard-definition feature film DVDs.”

“We’ve been providing our clients like MGM and Lion’s Gate with high-definition services for some time, and Microsoft’s WMV HD provides us with a solid way to deliver content in HD,” said Morgan Holly, managing director at Ascent Media DVD in Santa Monica, Calif. “Sonic DVD Producer – WMV HD Edition will allow us to build on the power of this exciting technology for our most demanding customers.”

“Sonic’s DVD Producer – WMV HD Edition leverages Sonic’s many years of industry-leading DVD-authoring expertise to provide video production facilities and content providers with a powerful solution for creating high-definition DVD content for playback on Windows-based PCs,” said Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. “Sonic’s beta program will serve to jump-start WMV HD title creation in the professional authoring industry.”

Sonic is showcasing DVD Producer – WMV HD Edition in the Sonic booth (Booth No. SL4736) and Microsoft booth (Booth No. SL5445) at NAB. The demonstration highlights tight integration with Avid Technology Inc.’s nonlinear video workstations and focuses on the preparation of high-definition video and authoring using Sonic’s new application. DVD Producer — WMV HD Edition is targeted for release in September of this year.

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