Microsoft looks to be expanding Windows Media Center features for the Japanese market. They will be adding ISDB-T support which is the Japanese digital TV format and multilanguage closed-captioning. Also being added is TV Asahi, NHK, NTV, TBS and Fuji TV as content partners (maybe that will be an Online Media type arrangement), next stop europe?

On Friday (Thursday, June 12 at 9:01 p.m. PST) in Japan, Microsoft is announcing several new broadcast partners and the addition of a new hardware partner that will offer enhancements to the Windows Media Center experience for our customers in that region.

This announcement signals availability of some exciting improvements for Windows Media Center users in Japan coming later in 2008.  Adding TV Asahi, NHK, NTV, TBS and Fuji TV to the list of content partners while naming Fujitsu as a new hardware partner means that our customers in that region will have more ways to enjoy even more of Japan’s most popular TV programming on their Windows Vista-based PCs.  Future support for Japan’s digital terrestrial broadcast format, ISDB-T, will be announced along with features that directly appeal to the Japanese market, such as improved playback options for PCs connected to TVs, and support for multilanguage closed-captioning.

The partnership with TV Asahi, NHK, NTV, TBS and FujiTV will allow these premium content providers to deliver interactive features with their programming in the future, delivering a unique experience on Windows Media Center in Japan.

We are very excited about the news in Japan.  We also want to let the Windows Media Center community elsewhere around the world know that Microsoft will continue to improve the Windows Media Center experience for our customers worldwide.  We plan to continue to add content partners and enhanced features and capabilities in other regions in the future, and will share these as they are available.

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