FREMONT, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 8, 1998--Sigma Designs, Inc. (Nasdaq:SIGM), a recognized leader in digital video solutions for networked multimedia applications, today announced that its REALmagic NetStream MPEG playback boards are being used in the new Electronics interactive department in Wal-Mart stores across the continental United States, giving customers the ability to preview home videos, CDs and tapes before buying.
By scanning the product's bar codes at special Interactive Endcaps(TM), customers will be able to view a 30-second music video followed by three 30- second audio clips from each CD or tape before buying. Multiple in-line listening stations, spread throughout the electronics department, will permit listeners to hear up to three 30-second audio clips from each individual CD and tape. Customers can preview thousands of CDs and tapes before purchase.
In-line home video stations will allow customers to view 30-second clips of each home video on the shelf. Customers will be able to sample up to 400 home video titles. In addition, the Wal-Mart TV Network, a two-hour show of original entertainment programming and in-store advertising will be broadcast on all 30-40 TVs on display in the department.
The nerve center that runs the interactive systems in the electronics departments is a networked video application using PC based servers and kiosks/clients in each of the approximate 1950 participating Wal-Mart stores. Wal-Mart purchased a total of 6000 REALmagic NetStream MPEG playback boards. The PCs were custom configured by Dell with special proprietary software, network interface cards and special Sigma Designs MPEG cards. The servers will receive data from a satellite uplink, which will connect all of the stores.
Wal-Mart's technology innovation appears to be the first of its kind among the discount retail giants. The audio-visual technology has began roll out in Wal-Mart stores and will continue to be installed throughout the first of the year.
Sigma Designs, headquartered in Fremont, is an acknowledged leader in the fast-growing multimedia market. Sigma entered the multimedia market in 1993 with products based on the MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) standard for compressing and decompressing digital audio and video signals. Sigma is a driving force in advancement of the MPEG technology used in most multimedia products on the market today. Sigma Designs' products, marketed under the REALmagic trade name, include affordable MPEG/DVD video and audio decoding hardware used in consumer and commercial PC-based applications. Sigma products are sold worldwide through a direct sales force, distributors, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). For more information, visit the Company's web site at http://www.sigmadesigns.com .