HighM.A.T. - High-Performance Media Access Technology!
Microsoft and Panasonic Unveil New
HighM.A.T. Technology to Enable Smoother Digital Media Exchange Between
PCs and Consumer Electronics Devices
New Specification, Also Supported by
Fujifilm, Makes It Faster and Easier to Navigate and Play Back Personal
Photo, Music and Video Collections on CDs for Consumer Devices Including
CD and DVD Players
TOKYO and REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 18,
2002 — Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. (Panasonic) and Microsoft
Corp. today unveiled a new technology they have co-developed that enables
a dramatically improved method of storing, arranging and playing back
personal digital photo, music and video collections on recordable discs
such as CD-RW media. Called HighM.A.T.™, which stands for
High-Performance Media Access Technology, this new technology is designed
to significantly improve interoperability for digital media content
between PCs and popular electronic devices such as CD players, car stereos
and living room DVD devices. CDs created using the HighM.A.T. technology
will be fully compatible with existing devices that play back recordable
disc media. Panasonic, Microsoft and Fuji Photo Film Co. Ltd. (Fujifilm)
will adopt this new technology for use in their future products. The
HighM.A.T. Specification will also be available for easy licensing by
other consumer electronics companies and software developers at www.HighMAT.com.
"It’s clear to us at Panasonic that PCs and consumer electronics
products will continue to work more and more closely in the future.
HighM.A.T. technology will set a new standard for exchanging digital media
between such devices and will make it easier to play back personal music,
photo and video collections in consumer AV products," said Fumio
Ohtsubo, managing director of Matsushita Electric. "We are very
pleased that Panasonic can contribute to realizing the dream of seamless
"As digital entertainment continues to evolve in the home, we see
many opportunities for PCs and electronics devices to enhance one another
through faster and easier interoperation," said Will Poole, corporate
vice president of the Windows New Media Platforms Division at Microsoft.
"HighM.A.T. is our most recent step in realizing this vision and
collaborating on consumer needs at a much deeper level, in close
partnership with electronics industry leaders such as Panasonic."
Inspired by growth in consumer use of digital still and video cameras and
compressed digital music, HighM.A.T. was developed to create an easier and
faster way to move digital media from the PC to consumer electronics
devices. Today when consumers want to create their own digital media
collections (photos, audio and/or video) on CDs, there is no consistent
way for CD and DVD players to read this data. Each interface for finding
media is different, and the viewable information, such as playlists, music
metadata and folders with photos or videos, varies depending on what each
device supports. The contents of these discs are displayed very
differently on televisions with a DVD player than the way they are
experienced on car stereos.
This lack of consistency confuses users when they try to find the music,
photos or videos they want. In addition, with large collections of digital
music and photos, it can take several minutes for the DVD or CD player to
"read" and find the music, photos or video that are available
after the content has been burned on the compact disc or other physical
HighM.A.T. solves these issues by creating an optimized way for PCs to
identify digital files on recordable discs and standard ways for consumer
devices to read these disks. This new technology will speed up startup
times for data CDs and other physical formats and make navigation across a
broad range of consumer electronics devices, including car stereos, DVD
players and CD players, consistent and easy. CDs created using the
HighM.A.T. technology will still be compatible with existing devices that
play back recordable disc media, and HighM.A.T. is compliant with the
standard ISO9660 Joliet file system.
Microsoft will begin adding HighM.A.T. disc creation support in its
upcoming final release of Windows Media® Player 9 Series and in a future
version of Windows® Movie Maker, the digital video editing and publishing
feature of Windows XP. Panasonic will support HighM.A.T. in future
versions of its CD and DVD players in 2003. Microsoft and Panasonic are
also announcing that Fujifilm is supporting HighM.A.T. in future versions
of its products and that it is the first of many companies supporting the
"Fujifilm recognizes the importance of HighM.A.T. and is pleased to
join with Microsoft and Panasonic to create a better consumer experience
using digital media both on the PC and with consumer electronics
devices," said Yukihiro Shibakawa, general manager of the DI Software
Development Division of Fuji Photo Film Co. Ltd.
HighM.A.T. Technology will be made available for easy licensing by both
software developers and other consumer electronics device manufacturers.
Companies interested in learning more about licensing HighM.A.T. may visit
Today’s announcement by Microsoft and Panasonic builds and extends the
cooperation in digital media the companies first announced at the Consumer
Electronics Show (CES) 2002 with Panasonic’s broad adoption of Windows
Media Audio (WMA) in its line of DVD players.
About Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd.
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., best known for its Panasonic,
National, Technics and Quasar brand names, is a worldwide leader in the
development and manufacture of electronics products for a wide range of
consumer, business and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the
company recorded consolidated sales of U.S. $51.70 billion for the fiscal
year ended March 31, 2002. In addition to the Tokyo and other Japanese
stock exchanges (6752), Matsushita’s shares are also listed on the
Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, New York, Pacific (NYSE/PCX: MC) and
Paris stock exchanges. More information is available on the Matsushita Web
site at http://www.panasonic.co.jp/global/top.html.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide
leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and
business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and
services designed to empower people through great software - anytime,
anyplace and on any device.
Microsoft, Windows Media and Windows
are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the
United States and/or other countries.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the
trademarks of their respective owners.
Additional Coverage of HighM.A.T.