RealTime IT News

Microsoft Upgrades, Rebrands IPTV Platform

Microsoft said today at NXTcomm it is releasing a new upgrade of its Internet Protocol television (IPTV) software and rebranding the platform as Mediaroom.

The new Mediaroom platform features in-home personal music and photo sharing, allowing consumers to listen to music and view photographs stored on their computers on television screens. The upgrade also includes dynamic MultiView (multiple picture-in-picture) capabilities, Multimedia Application Environment for development of interactive services and advanced applications and digital terrestrial television (DTT) support.

The company also introduced the Microsoft Mediaroom Application Development toolkit, which provides service providers and third-party developers with tools to create revenue-generating, TV-based applications that run on the platform.

"Microsoft is committed to providing our IPTV customers with the very best software platform so they can take full advantage of their intelligent, two-way IP networks, and begin deploying richer and more personalized TV and connected entertainment experiences," Enrique Rodriguez, corporate vice president of the Microsoft TV, said in a statement.

The rebranding is designed to use the company's name as a competitive edge in the increasingly crowded IPTV platform arena. Heckart said the name will better reflect the broader set of new connected entertainment experiences made possible by IPTV.

In addition, the Microsoft Mediaroom name and identity are designed to create a "powerful competitive differentiator" for service providers.

"In the highly competitive television market, a well-regarded brand can be a very strong asset," Christine Heckart, general manager of worldwide marketing for Microsoft TV, said in a statement.

"By leveraging Microsoft Mediaroom as an ingredient brand, service providers can take advantage of the worldwide awareness, positive attributes and consumer preference for Microsoft-based solutions."

The launch of also marks the general availability of DTT capabilities on the platform, allowing service providers in regions with DTT programming to offer fully integrated IPTV services.

Microsoft said "more than 18" service providers have selected Mediaroom for their digital TV offerings and commercial deployments are under way with 10 of the providers.

"With personal media sharing and new application development capabilities, Microsoft Mediaroom brings the consumer television experience to a new level, enabling the best in TV, plus access to all your media in one place," Rodriguez said.

Also Monday, the Associated Press reported Microsoft is making a $12 million investment for a 1 percent share of Chinese electronics maker Changhong.