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Nero Digital™ To Showcase The Fastest H264/AVC Decoder In The World At Computex 2004About AheadAbout Ateme

Nero Digital™ set for major upgrade as advanced video coding (H264) previews at Computex 2004.

COMPUTEX, TAIPEI, TAIWAN (May 27th, 2004) -- Ahead Software, leaders in digital media technology, exhibiting in the Nero suite at Computex 2004, will be unveiling an H264/AVC (Advanced Video Coding) implementation of Nero Digital™ already surpassing other available H264/AVC solutions in the speed stakes.

Recognized as the World’s fastest MPEG-4 video encoder in recent independent testing, Nero Digital’s H264/AVC decoder takes this a stage further with lightening fast decoding of complex algorithms reducing CPU overhead to previously unheard of performance levels.

Adopted by the DVD Forum as a codec for next generation HD-DVD, and by major Japanese broadcasters for mobile content delivery, H264/AVC is set to have a major impact in the future of video coding and content distribution. Jointly developed by the Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the MPEG committee of ISO/IEC, H264/AVC has a huge compression efficiency over MPEG-2, while at the same time integrating effortlessly into existing MPEG-4 architectures such as Nero Digital.

Nero Digital™ is a complete MPEG-4 A/V solution that also includes HE-AAC (High Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding). Complementing the new H264/AVC Nero Digital support will be PS (Parametric Stereo) AAC extensions for audio. Parametric Audio Coding contains a highly resourceful tool to code the stereo image enabling Parametric Stereo AAC to be combined in a backwards compatible fashion with High Efficiency AAC for usage in the low bit-rate range. This can offer an increase of up to 33% in coding gain over HE-AAC permitting very high quality audio compression at the lowest bit rates.

Ahead Software’s AAC developers have created special optimizations to the existing Nero Digital HE-AAC core codec that includes down sampled HE-AAC mode that will provide higher quality playback for devices not supporting HE-AAC but supporting LC AAC. Likewise for devices that have HE-AAC integration, there will be a big improvement in the overall quality of playback.

A free upgrade to Nero’s ultimate all-in-one digital media solution, including Nero Digital™, will be available soon at www.nero.com.

About Ahead

Ahead Software provides the most reliable CD/DVD software applications available to serve digital media markets worldwide. Since its inception in 1995, Ahead’s leading application, Nero, has built a loyal customer base of more than 140 million users world-wide.

Ahead’s award-winning flagship product Nero 6 provides an all-in-one comprehensive CD/DVD burning suite. Ahead’s product line also includes Nero Digital™ – audio/video technology, SIPPS™ – VoIP, and across – professional computer aided translation software. Ahead distributes its products globally through world’s leading drive manufacturers and PC makers, as well as leading worldwide retailers, online partners, and also directly to consumers at www.nero.com. Ahead Software AG is headquartered in Karlsbad, Germany, with its subsidiaries Ahead Software Inc. located in Glendale, California USA and Ahead Software K.K. located in Yokohama, Japan.

About Ateme

Ateme is headquartered in France (www.ateme.com). It is one of the leading providers of hardware and software solutions for video and signal processing in the World.