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RealTime IT News

Microsoft to Test Broadcasts of Web Content over TV Signals

Microsoft Corp. announced today it is conducting a series of Web content delivery tests with U.S. broadcasters and cable programmers using TV broadcasting technologies.

The trial will test the broadcasting of data to Windows 98 broadcast-enabled PCs over the vertical blanking interval (VBI) portion of a television signal. The VBI delivery system will allow broadcasters to transmit Web pages to the PC, which then stores the content on the hard drive for later viewing.

Microsoft is conducting these VBI trials with 12 participants, including Capitol Broadcasting Co. Inc., Citytv, Cox Broadcasting, The E.W. Scripps Co., Guthy-Renker, KCTS-PBS, MuchMusic, New England Cable News, Oregon Public Broadcasting, The Paramount Stations Group, Sinclair (SBGI), and WFLA-TV.

In addition to Windows 98 PCs, later this year Web TV set-top boxes equipped with WebTV Plus software upgrades will also be able to receive these types of broadcasts.

Future trials will involve testing the performance of synchronizing Web-based content with television programs.