[email protected] Launches Advanced TV; Links With Microsoft, Liberate

[email protected] Corp. established a pair of
partnerships designed to propagate Wednesday’s launch of its advanced
digital television applications and services.

According to George Bell, [email protected] (ATHM)
president, the deals with Microsoft
Corp.
and Liberate Technologies
will help [email protected] open a new era in interactive television and broadband services for consumers.

Bell said that [email protected]’s Advanced TV would transform television sets
from receivers of broadcast programming into interactive portals.

“Advanced TV will transform television from receivers of broadcast
programming into portals of two-way, broadband networks,” Bell said. “This
will not only open up new markets for broadband Internet access, but will
also redefine TV programming and advertising as we know them today.”

Bell added that [email protected]’s advanced TV solutions program leverages the
company’s broadband technologies, operations and network infrastructure,
which already serve more than one million broadband cable modem subscribers
nationwide.

[email protected]’s vast experience and success in delivering broadband content
and services gives us a real jumpstart on the market,” Bell said.
“Virtually all of our infrastructure, experience and relationships in
broadband services can be applied to advanced television.”

[email protected] intends to develop and deliver its advanced TV services in
close association with its cable industry partners. For cable subscribers,
these technologies increase the level of interactivity with Internet
content to provide a diverse array of information and entertainment services.

[email protected] and Microsoft (MSFT) announced they are in discussions to form a strategic relationship to
ooperate in the development and deployment of enhanced television
technology and services.

The collaboration would strengthen and broaden both companies’ two-year
working relationship with a focus on accelerating the rollout of enhanced
television services through set-top boxes and other devices.

One way the companies hope to speed the delivery of this technology is by
reducing Multiple System Operators deployment barriers, including the need
to integrate new television services with existing cable operations.

More than 20 MSOs already have an exclusive partnership with [email protected]
for delivery of broadband data services to nearly 60 million homes passed
by cable.

The collaboration has two key elements; [email protected] would develop its
broadband TV portal application, user interface, and broadband applications
and services to work on the Microsoft TV Platform. In return, Microsoft
would work with [email protected] to extend their proprietary platform to support
ubiquitous enhanced TV cable systems.

Adam Grosser, @Home subscriber services president, said the company intends
to transform television viewing, in the same way they’re revolutionizing
high-speed Internet access.

“As the leading provider of broadband services to the home, [email protected]
will be able to do for the television viewer what we’ve already done for
cable modem subscribers, who can now use their personal computers to access
media-rich content, new applications and broadband services through the
Web,” Grosser said.

“The challenges of realizing enhanced television’s market potential are
enormous; it will take both of us, utilizing our respective strengths in
support of our cable industry partners, to quickly realize the full
potential of this new industry,” Grosser added.

Phil Goldman, Microsoft general manager of the TV platform division, said
[email protected] is in a unique positionto sup

port the ambitions of the cable
industry to tap into a whole new range of consumer services.

“By building atop the Microsoft TV platform, [email protected] would have the
kind of powerful tools it needs to deliver a complete TV service right
away,” Goldman said.

[email protected] and Liberate Technologies (LBRT)
formed a strategic relationship to leverage their advanced interactive
elevision technologies and applications.

[email protected]’s enhanced television services will be supported on set-top
boxes currently being deployed by the cable industry. [email protected] and
Liberate are cooperating in order to develop advanced TV services, like TV
mail.

The new services will require the development and integration of
application software and server technologies, and will be delivered and
managed through broadband cable networks. Liberate will provide the client
software to facilitate applications, while [email protected] will attend to
service delivery systems.

Both companies intend to work in partnership with cable operators to
deliver integrated digital video and broadband services.

Grosser said [email protected] was pleased with the deal, in that Liberate and
[email protected] have been able to forge such a productive and cooperative
relationship in order to develop of advanced TV services.

“By keeping focused on what it is we do best, [email protected] will be able to
do for the television viewers what we’ve already done for cable modem
subscribers who can now use their personal computers to access media-rich
content, new applications and broadband services through the Web,” Grosser
said.

Charlie Tritschler, Liberate vice president of marketing, said Liberate’s
work with [email protected] underscores the importance of cooperation between
solution providers in order to fuel the enhanced TV market.

“Our mission at Liberate is to provide a solid software platform that will
enable the adoption of a whole host of new information and entertainment
services across a range of set top boxes and server infrastructure,”
Tritschler said.

“Ensuring customers that [email protected]’s enhanced services and applications
are optimized for the Liberate platform will mean a powerful choice for
cable operators and a better experience for their customers” Tritschler said.

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