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.

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