RealTime IT News

MSN TV 2 Internet & Media Player Debuts

Microsoft used the TechXNY conference spotlight to lift the curtains on the new MSN TV 2 Internet & Media Player, branding the device a "complete overhaul and replacement" for the MSN TV Internet receiver.

The software giant's MSN TV unit said the broadband device is expected to hit retail outlets by mid-October and will offer a home network device capable of shuttling premium MSN content, PC-stored digital media and e-mail to TV services.

The MSN TV 2 Internet & Media Player (formerly WebTV), is manufactured by Thomson under the RCA brand and comes with a wireless keyboard and remote control. It carries a retail price tag of of $199.95, plus subscription fees for MSN TV connectivity.

The premium MSN TV service includes access to 200 commercial-free radio stations, a primary MSN e-mail account with 2 gigabytes of storage, 10 secondary e-mail accounts with 250 megabytes of storage and spam protection capabilities.

Subscription options range from $9.95 monthly or $99.95 a year for users who connect through their own broadband service; or $21.95 monthly or $199.95 annually for dial-up users, Microsoft said.

The latest iteration has been fitted with an Ethernet port and two USB ports for add-ons like media card readers, wireless adapters and printers. It has been preloaded with Windows Media Player (WMP) for TV, Internet Explorer 6.0 Web browser and Windows Media Connect, which handles the sharing of media across a home network.

Microsoft said the upgraded device is driven by the Intel 733 MHz Celeron chipset, providing 16 times the previous processing power, and will ship with 128 MB of RAM and 64 MB of Flash memory.