Sun Joins MPEG-4 Industry Forum to Help Drive the Adoption of the MPEG-4 Standard in Media Applications

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- September 9, 2000 -- Reaffirming its deep commitment to supporting open standards and technologies, Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) today announced that it has joined the MPEG-4 Industry Forum (M4IF). Participation in this forum will enable Sun to help accelerate the promotion and adoption of the MPEG-4 standard, which is designed to handle the transportation, synchronization, coding and rendering of audiovisual multimedia content for Internet and wireless applications.

MPEG-4 is an ISO/IEC standard developed by MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group), the same committee that developed the Emmy Award winning MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 standards which have made interactive video on CD-ROM and digital television possible. M4IF was established to further the adoption of the MPEG-4 standard as an accepted and widely used standard among application developers, service providers, content creators and end users.

Although, MPEG-4 started as a very low bit-rate audiovisual coding standard, it currently addresses much more than low bit-rate media streaming. MPEG-4 provides a standardized way to compress synthetic and natural audio and visual objects in a scene, as well as providing effecient mechanisms to compress and stream rich interactive media. For example, using this standard, wireless phones will soon be capable of receiving rich interactive digital video content based on MPEG-4 technology.

Sun has actively participated in defining and developing this MPEG standard, which includes the Java Application Engine in a component know as MPEG-J. MPEG-J is a programmatic system which specifies an API for interaction of Java code present as part of the media content with MPEG-4 media players. By combining MPEG-4 media and safe executable code, content creators may embed complex control with their media data to intelligently manage the operation of the audiovisual session.

"The MPEG-4 Industry Forum is very pleased to see Sun join", said Rob Koenen, President of M4IF. "It is very important that the same companies that have actively developed MPEG-4 are also committed to jointly take the necessary>extra steps to get the standard accepted. The M4IF carries out activities outside of ISO/IEC's scope such as promoting MPEG-4 and initiating discussions leading to the potential establishment of patent portfolios outside of M4IF."

"Sun's entry into the M4IF lends support to what many have suspected: that MPEG-4 provides an ideal platform for all advanced networked multimedia applications," said Stephen Bjorgan, Director of Engineering at France Telecom. "From digital interactive TV broadcast to e-commerce Internet applications,>from remote learning to advanced conferencing, content can be reused and distributed on all platforms and networks. France Telecom is looking forward to working with Sun's Media Central products in an effort to deliver innovative MPEG-4 services to our customers."

MPEG-4 technology integration is planned for the next version of Sun's Media Central's platform -- an open standards-based architecture for the broadcast and Internet streaming media markets. The StorEdge Media Central platform combines Sun's Enterprise servers and StorEdge arrays. It is also planned in the future versions of Java Media Framework APIs which support audio, video and other time-based media on the Java platform.

Sun will be working closely with other members of M4IF to help facilitate>early, wide-spread adoption of the MPEG-4 standard. Sun also plans to cooperate in achieving interoperability through conformance testing.

More information about M4IF can be found on and

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