SOURCE: ZOOtech

April 07, 2006 07:28 ET

ZOOtech to Provide DVD-EXTRA STUDIO Interactive Technology for Scholastic Media's New IDVDs

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 7, 2006 -- ZOOtech, Inc., the interactive DVD technology pioneer, announced an agreement with Scholastic Media (SM) to use ZOOtech's DVD-EXTRA STUDIO system for SM's new interactive DVD titles, including Clifford® Phonics and two games based on the popular I SPY™ series. Under this agreement, SM will utilize DVD-EXTRA STUDIO's proprietary technology that uses specific algorithms in innovative ways to create interactive DVDs.

"The fact that these DVD products can help children develop critical skills such as logic and problem-solving while playing in a non-linear environment is very exciting," said Alan Waldman, SVP and General Manager of Scholastic Media's Interactive Products Group. "DVD-EXTRA STUDIO helped us to bring some very compelling interactive DVD titles to the market with the kind of interactivity today's tech-savvy young people want most. It is like working with CD-ROM game play with all of the other interactivity benefits, yet on a DVD format that kids can play on their televisions."

DVD-EXTRA STUDIO's Predictive Preprocessing is a compilation technique that starts with the definition of the title in the early programming -- or preprocessing stage -- so that all possible game play events are anticipated and rendered. Thousands -- or even tens of thousands -- of audio, video, still images and reference images are then interwoven using this navigation logic and complied to produce the DVD. As a result, highly interactive titles -- that play on standard, consumer DVD players -- can be designed and produced quickly, reliably and cost-effectively. Before DVD-EXTRA STUDIO, these types of interactive DVDs were not feasible using conventional DVD authoring tools.

"ZOOtech is happy to be working with Scholastic Media to create a decidedly diverse range of experiences using the DVD-Video platform, and make titles, like Clifford and I SPY, a truly interactive experience," said Clynton Hunt, Vice President Business Development, ZOOtech. "We're committed to reducing the technology barriers so that publishers have the greatest possible freedom to bring their visions of interactive edutainment to the DVD market. DVD-EXTRA STUDIO users can automate many formerly manual processes, such as the generation of assets and links. These types of efficiencies simply cannot be replicated using other tools."

About Scholastic Media

Scholastic Media (SM) is the entertainment and media division of Scholastic Inc., the global children's publishing and media company. A proven leader and innovator in the children's entertainment landscape and award-winning licensor and marketer of children's properties worldwide, SM ranks as one of the foremost producers of quality, family-oriented content for all platforms, including television programming, feature films, home entertainment, interactive, and the Internet.

About Scholastic

Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books and a leader in educational technology. Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children's books, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, film, videos and toys. The Company distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including proprietary school-based book clubs, school-based book fairs, and school-based and direct-to-home continuity programs; retail stores, schools, libraries and television networks; and the Company's Internet site, www.scholastic.com.

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 problem. It reduces development costs by automating the most complex, labor intensive and error-prone elements of the design and production phases, thus enabling rich interactive content to be delivered comparatively inexpensively and efficiently.

DVD-EXTRA is not a new format for DVDs. It does not require any new disc pressing technology, or 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 communications 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. For more information, visit www.zoo-tech.com

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