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National Semiconductor and DiStream form Partnership for Video-on-Demand Market

DiStream's DiVET software improves viewing quality of streaming video over the Internet

Nov 7, 2001

November 7, 2001 - National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE:NSM) and Digital Interactive Streams, Inc. (DiStream) today announced a partnership to bring high-quality streaming video to the television over low bit-rate pipes.  DiStream's DiVET™ software has been ported to National's Geode™ SP1SC10 set-top box reference platform, providing an optimal solution for video-on-demand (VOD).

DiStream's DiVET software facilitates entertainment-on-demand services through their unique, patent-pending video-enhancement technology, which leverages the Geode processor to improve video quality.  The result enables VOD over "last mile" copper wiring to the home for DSL and cable modems.  The DiVET application suite also integrates and manages a service provider's network to deliver an integrated media services for the consumer, including VOD, audio-on-demand, Internet web access, e-mail and an electronic programming guide.

DiVET software algorithms sharpen video quality and remove artifacts associated with low bit-rate video after it is decoded using MPEG-4, Real, Windows Media Technology, or other IDCT-based codecs. DiVET enables consumer-quality VOD to be delivered at bit rates between 500 Kbps to 1 Mbps, which easily fits within the 1.5 Mbps available to most households utilizing DSL or cable modem services.  This offers a significant reduction over the typical bandwidth requirements of 1.8 Mbps for MPEG-4, and 2 - 4 Mbps for MPEG-2.  The DiVET player also provides enhanced security to protect video content operating on a private network with several levels of encryption and Macrovision.

The delivery of streaming content has become increasingly important in the past several months, as Hollywood movie studios and other content providers have announced joint efforts to deliver near-first run movies and other content via the Internet.  The increasing global availability of broadband technology has opened the residential market to content providers and entertainment on demand service providers, such as Intertainer, MovieFly, movies.com and others.

"Technology partnerships such as the one announced today between National Semiconductor and DiStream prove National's continuing dedication to the delivery of consumer-quality and cost-effective streaming set-top boxes," said Jonathan Taplin, CEO of Intertainer.  "In addition, DiVET offers the potential for further quality improvement post decoding at lower bit rates.  For Intertainer, these technology announcements are an important step in realizing our vision of the future of home entertainment delivered using the Windows Media architecture."

National Semiconductor has developed a wide range of silicon and total system solutions to drive the advanced set-top box market.  The combination of Geode hardware solutions and DiVET software enables set-top box manufacturers to meet consumer-quality video levels with fast time-to-market. 

"DiStream's DiVET provides a unique solution for delivering high-quality video over low bit-rate pipes," said David Pederson, set-top box business unit director of National Semiconductor.  "National is committed to working with DiStream to help promote the rapidly-growing video-on-demand market, as well as offer fully-optimized, complete streaming set-top box solutions."

"National Semiconductor is a recognized leader in the Information Appliance market as a result of its high performance, cost effective, low-power Geode processors and platforms and partnership with leading hardware and software companies," said George Sarney, CEO of DiStream.  "We believe the partnership between DiStream and National Semiconductor positions both companies to be the leaders in the emerging low-bit rate streaming media set-top box market."

About National Semiconductor
National Semiconductor is the premier analog company driving the information age. Combining real-world analog and state-of-the-art digital technology, the company is focused on the fast growing markets for wireless handsets; information appliances; information infrastructure; and display, imaging and human interface technologies. With headquarters in Santa Clara, California, National reported sales of $2.1 billion for fiscal year 2001 and employs about 9,700 people worldwide.  Additional company and product information is available on the World Wide Web at www.national.com

About DiStream
DiStreamis a leading global provider of software and software engineering consulting services for companies in the semiconductor, Information Appliance, PC and telecommunications industries.  Founded in 2001, DiStream has offices in Jacksonville, FL. More information on DiStreamproducts and services is available on the World Wide Web at http://www.distream.com