SOURCE: ZOOtech

April 18, 2005 10:00 ET

ZOOtech Promises Paradigm Shift in DVD Development With Launch of DVD-EXTRA STUDIO Version 1.6

New Version Fuses Linear and Interactive DVD Development Into a Single Tool

SAN FRANCISCO, CA and SHEFFIELD, UK -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 18, 2005 -- Interactive DVD technology pioneer, ZOOtech, today announces a brand new version of DVD-EXTRA STUDIO™ to be released on April 25, 2005, worldwide. The release of Version 1.6 will represent the biggest technological advance since the original software was launched almost a year ago. For the first time, DVD-EXTRA™ developers will be able to create both linear and interactive DVD content: in effect, products can now be created with just a single tool, reducing cost and improving efficiency.

Conventional (or linear) DVD content is created manually. Using the same process to create complex interactive content often presents insurmountable difficulties, thereby necessitating the use of DVD-EXTRA STUDIO. Version 1.6 adds functionality to the core software that allows developers to use the same tool to create both conventional and interactive content.

Developers stand to benefit significantly from this new release. DVD-EXTRA STUDIO 1.6 allows linear titles to be developed more easily and efficiently than by using conventional authoring tools. Empowered with a tool that gives them far more flexibility and creativity, developers can design and provide far more engaging experiences for consumers.

"The difference between 1.5 and 1.6 shouldn't be underestimated. We have created content using 1.6 that simply wouldn't have been possible six months ago. The response to the demos we have put together has been nothing short of phenomenal. We are confidently predicting DVD-EXTRA STUDIO will very soon become an industry standard," said Stuart Green, Chief Technical Officer, ZOOtech.

"To date, the discussion has been about creating interactive content, and we have certainly seen some interesting products come to market using puzzle, game or quiz mechanics. The difference with Version 1.6 is that we are now talking about how to make traditional content interactive: our customers are now able to provide deeper interactive experiences that will appeal to the mainstream. The implications for many market segments (not least corporate and music DVD) are significant," said Cees Zwaard, Chief Executive Officer, ZOOtech.

ZOOtech is already working with a select group of production companies and developers in Hollywood and other major digital media centres where DVD-EXTRA technology is being used to create sophisticated content in unique and exciting ways.

About DVD-EXTRA™

Using conventional DVD authoring systems to create interactive DVD-Video content is enormously complex, laborious and costly. DVD-EXTRA STUDIO offers a solution to this. It reduces development costs by automating the most complex, labour intensive and error-prone elements of the design and production phases thus enabling rich interactive content to be delivered comparatively cheaply and efficiently.

DVD-EXTRA™ is not a new format for DVDs, it does not require any new disc pressing technology and it does not require any amendment of existing standards and specifications. It complies entirely with the DVD-Video specification and DVD-EXTRA content will play on any normal consumer DVD player conforming to that standard.

About ZOOtech

ZOOtech Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sheffield-based ZOO Digital Group plc. (LSE: ZOO.L). ZOOtech pioneered DVD-EXTRA technology to enable CD-ROM style interactivity in the DVD-Video format.

Today, DVD-EXTRA developers worldwide are shaping the future of interactivity by pushing the boundaries of DVD functionality. Non-traditional DVD-Video markets such as advertising, gaming, music, education, and corporate training have begun harnessing the power of DVD-EXTRA to exploit DVD as an interactive communication medium. Universal Pictures, Ascent Media, Comchoice, OUAT Entertainment, and Freestyle New Media Group are among the companies who have already delivered engaging DVD-EXTRA products.

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