Microsoft Releases TV Platform

Microsoft Corp. Monday launched the Microsoft TV Platform, an open, standards-based solution
that provides a scalable platform for enabling enhanced-TV services.

The Microsoft
TV Platform includes technologies that will enable network
operators to deliver Enhanced-TV services to both set-top boxes currently on
the market and new, advanced set-top boxes expected to be rolled out later
this year.

More than 100 companies, including content developers, tools
vendors, ISVs, IHVs, systems integrators and OEMs, are engaged in various
stages of creating solutions based on the Microsoft TV Platform.

“We are thrilled not only to offer an expanded product line, but also to see
an ever-increasing level of industry support for the Microsoft TV Platform,”
said Jon DeVaan, senior vice president of the Consumer Group at Microsoft.

“With the addition of the two newest members of the Microsoft TV Platform
family, network operators now have the widest range of options to suit their
strategic needs for deployment, enabling them to offer compelling new
Enhanced-TV services to their customers.”

The Microsoft TV Platform supports a broad menu of new TV applications and
services, including multiplayer gaming, interactive content, shopping,
e-mail, chat, pay-per-view, video on demand, personalized advertising and
Internet access.

The Microsoft TV Platform consists of four software solutions for both
current- and next-generation set-top boxes and integrated- TV devices:

  • Microsoft TV Advanced is designed for use in advanced digital and analog
    TV devices. The software adapts and extends the Microsoft Windows CE
    operating system to television products and supports features including an
    integrated browser environment for television, graphics and streaming audio
    and video services, communications and home networking services, conditional
    access, an electronic programming guide (EPG), built-in applications such as
    Personal TV and multiplayer gaming, and a set of developer interfaces for
    third-party applications and services

  • Microsoft TV Basic Digital client software is designed to bring
    enhanced-TV services to the current generation of set-top boxes based on
    digital cable, satellite, digital terrestrial and MMDS networks. Microsoft TV
    Basic Digital integrates the NDS VideoGuard conditional access product, which
    provides a path for network operators that want to expand their support for
    basic video-centric services to encompass more enhanced-TV services
  • Microsoft TV Server is designed to be the foundation of a network
    operator’s enhanced-TV services, managing the set-top boxes and the services
    on the network. Microsoft TV Server provides network operators with a range
    of software components to build, deliver and manage large-scale,
    commercial-grade enhanced-TV and TV-commerce services

  • Microsoft TV Access Channel Server software offers cable operators a
    solution for delivering interactive content and services to the current
    generation of digital set-top boxes. By enabling the use of
    current-generation set-top boxes, network operators can preserve current
    investments in digital cable. Using patented technology developed at Peach
    Networks Ltd., Microsoft TV Access Channel Server enables service providers
    to “narrowcast” application sessions over MPEG2 video to digital cable
    set-top boxes

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