Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV

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Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV

Microsoft MediaroomMicrosoft today announced that they have renamed Microsoft IPTV to Microsoft Mediaroom to more accurately reflect the comprehensive "media" functionality of their IPTV platform. In conjunction with the name change to Mediaroom, Microsoft announced several new features to its Internet Protocol television (IPTV) software platform, including in-home personal music and photo sharing and dynamic MultiView (multiple picture-in-picture) capabilities that will allow you to have up to 16 Picture-in-Picture (PIP) windows in a single screen.
Microsoft Mediaroom

Data and brother LoreThough unless you are Data, the android from Star Trek TNG, there is no way anyone can process that much video input!

Also, their API will allow multiple camera angles, which could be a huge boom for sports channels. Imagine for instance if you can subscribe to an NFL Plus Channel that allows you to see multiple camera angles within PIP windows. You'll be able to see live whether a player's feet was inbound or out of bounds without a replay.

The new Multimedia Application Environment provides an HTML-based development environment, with open-application-programming interfaces that will allow third parties to develop applications for Mediaroom, including video-on-demand portals, gaming, and interactive TV services. The Microsoft Mediaroom multimedia platform supports simultaneous recording of multiple high-definition and standard-definition TV channels. Sweet!

Ironically, AT&T U-Verse, a Microsoft partner that uses Microsoft-powered set-top boxes can only watch/record 1 HDTV channel at a time. Perhaps U-Verse customers and their Microsoft set-top boxes will get an upgrade in the near future to the new Mediaroom, which supports >1 HDTV channel? Although I believe it's not a set-top box issue with a single HDTV limitation, but rather it's a bandwidth limitation of AT&T U-Verse which utilizes a fiber/copper-hybrid approach. It's copper the last leg into the house (VDSL), so squeezing multiple HDTV channels plus have room for Internet surfing bandwidth is a technical obstacle rather than a software one.

No doubt Microsoft has made Mediaroom "transport agnostic" so it can work over coax, copper, or fiber. So the more bandwidth you have, the more advantage you can take of their multiple HDTV capabilities.

One of the important new features in Mediaroom is the personal media sharing. This enables consumers to listen to digital music and view digital photographs stored on PCs on their televisions. Currently, 10 service providers worldwide are commercially deploying the Microsoft IPTV platform for their digital-TV offerings, including AT&T, BT, Deutsche Telekom, T-Online, and Switzerland’s Swisscom.

Thus, unfortunately, you have to be in one of the select areas where this IPTV offering is being deployed. U-Verse is coming to Connecticut and it's being deployed very rapidly. Unfortunately, my neighborhood doesn't have it yet and I'm none too bitter about it too.

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