Category Archives: 1179

Microsoft Mediaroom Gets More Power and Gives TV a Reverse Gear

Mediaroom-based services can now add Mediaroom Anytime,
enabling TV viewers to enjoy previously aired programs or restart currently
airing shows without preplanning or prior DVR recording; new immersive
applications complement the Mediaroom TV experience with content and services
from the Internet.

LAS VEGAS — Jan. 8, 2009 — At 2009 International CES today,
Microsoft Corp. unveiled Mediaroom Anytime, a groundbreaking feature set for
the Microsoft Mediaroom multimedia and IPTV platform that allows viewers to truly
watch TV on their own time. In addition to existing Mediaroom features, such as
video on demand, DVR Anywhere and Remote Digital Video Recording, the new
Mediaroom Anytime features take time-shifted TV to the next level, enabling
viewers to access previously aired shows directly from the Interactive Program
Guide or immediately restart currently airing shows without any preplanning or
prior DVR recording. In addition, Microsoft announced that the Mediaroom
platform has reached nearly 2.5 million subscriber homes worldwide, an increase
of more than 1.5 million new connections in the past year alone.

With the new Mediaroom Anytime feature set, service
providers now have the ability to offer their customers the following benefits:

  • Restart Anytime offers the ability for viewers to rewind or
    restart the currently airing program from any point, regardless of whether the
    show is being recorded or the TV was switched off or tuned to another channel.
  • Live Anytime allows viewers to scroll backward in the Interactive
    Program Guide to watch previously aired programs. These previously aired
    programs also can be made accessible through the service provider’s video on
    demand library.
  • Download Anytime extends Microsoft Mediaroom-powered
    services to more consumers by enabling viewers to download on-demand movies and
    programs to their set-top boxes so they can watch them anytime regardless of
    bandwidth constraints. For example, viewers could watch high-definition
    programs on low-bandwidth networks.

SingTel plans to trial Mediaroom Anytime features — Restart
Anytime and Live Anytime — and aims to offer the service to its mio TV
subscribers in 2009. Mediaroom Anytime functionalities can be added to
SingTel’s existing Microsoft Mediaroom-powered connected TV service offerings
via a simple software upgrade that requires no action by existing subscribers.

“mio TV aims to be at the forefront of new innovations and
services that will let our customers control what they watch, when they want,”
said Low Ka Hoe, SingTel’s director of IPTV Business. “The ever-evolving
Mediaroom platform and the new Anytime features allow us to continue delivering
enhanced value and a truly immersive TV viewing experience to our customers.”

Read
Full Press Release

‘08 Disappointments: Xbox IPTV

2008 was going to be the year of IPTV, and while AT&T and
Verizon (actually QAM) have made great strides in the IPTV marketplace, Microsoft hasn’t done
much to push what was promised on their end (Note: Microsoft powers AT&Ts
IPTV DVRs).  Of course the prime example
here is the concept of using your Xbox
360 as an IPTV DVR
.

The concept had been thrown around online for some time, but
at CES 2008 Microsoft made it official and announced they were working with BT in
the UK to bring the functionality to life
. 
That’s about the last time I heard anything on that subject.  I’m not sure if the service never launched
with BT, but to say the concept has been anything but a failure would be
pushing it.

AT&T is still the only [major] US provider using Microsoft’s
MediaRoom IPTV software, which means they are just about the only option for
this concept coming to life in the US.  I
don’t see the concept that appealing for IPTV providers (I
actually said it would flop in Nov ‘07
), but it will be interesting to see
if CES 2009 brings anything about Xbox and IPTV back into the spotlight.

Microsoft IPTV Press Releases from IBC2008

Microsoft
Mediaroom Unveils Next-Generation Advertising Platform for IPTV Services

New adjunct offering
enables targeted and measurable advertisement insertion for Mediaroom service
providers from one complete platform.

AMSTERDAM,
Netherlands — Sept. 12, 2008 —
Microsoft Corp. today unveiled the Microsoft
Mediaroom Advertising Platform at the IBC2008 conference. The new adjunct
offering lets broadband service providers deploying the Microsoft Mediaroom
Internet Protocol television (IPTV) software platform offer targeted,
measurable and interactive advertising spots all from one comprehensive
platform. Service providers will benefit from operational flexibility and
simplification with an end-to-end solution that enables integrated, cross-platform
advertisement deployments.

Marking the first instance of Microsoft advertisement
investments focused on TV services, the Mediaroom Advertising Platform brings
together in one cohesive offering the addressability offered by IPTV technology
with state-of-the-art tools for campaign and decision management powered by
Microsoft Advertising. Now the interactivity, audience addressability and true
measurement found in online advertising models can be applied to the world of
IP-powered television, opening new revenue opportunities for broadband service
providers and more effective campaigns for advertisers. The Mediaroom
Advertising Platform will support advertisement insertion into all TV content
formats, including traditional linear television, video on demand (VOD),
third-party interactive TV applications, as well as service-provider-owned
assets including the electronic program guide.

Read
Full Press Release

Microsoft Launches
New Program to Help IPTV Operators Migrate to Mediaroom From First-Generation
Platforms

Microsoft Mediaroom
Migration Program provides guidelines and solutions for service providers
considering upgrading their IPTV platforms.

AMSTERDAM,
Netherlands — Sept. 12, 2008 —
Microsoft Corp. has launched a new program
to ease the transition for Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) service providers
using other platforms to migrate to its solution. Called Microsoft Mediaroom
Migration Program and unveiled at the IBC2008 conference, the program provides
guidelines and solutions for service providers considering upgrading their IPTV
platform. The Microsoft Mediaroom Migration Program delivers a structured
assessment process and analytical tools for migration, including business and
technical workshops to review set-top-box portability, network compatibility
and audio-visual head-end interoperability. The program also includes
risk-benefit tools to compare lifetime customer value and build the business
case for executive management.

Ben Huang, director of product management for Microsoft
Mediaroom, said, “As the IPTV market matures, we’re seeing interest from
operators on first-generation platforms and homegrown solutions to migrate to
Microsoft Mediaroom. These service providers need to add high-definition and
advanced digital video recording (DVR) and video-on-demand features that are
now fundamental to any competitive TV offering, and they want to remain
competitive by being able to easily deploy advanced interactive applications.
We are currently engaged in assessing migration opportunities with a number of
customers and have been approached by many more. Platform migrations are
complex, so this program has been developed to assist with business and
technical planning, and reduce the cost and pain of migration.”

Read Full Press
Release

Microsoft Gives
Liftoff to Next Generation of Interactive TV at IBC2008

Broadcaster
application shows what audiences can expect from interactive TV.

AMSTERDAM,
Netherlands — Sept. 12, 2008 —
Today at IBC2008, Microsoft Corp. unveiled
technology that makes it easy for service providers and content owners to
develop a new generation of groundbreaking interactive TV services. Microsoft
is showcasing interactive applications that point the way to how people could
experience TV in the future.

The demonstrations on display at IBC include the first
public viewing of an interactive application developed for the Microsoft
Mediaroom platform by emuse technologies using content from the BBC. The
application shows how the broadcaster’s original journalistic content,
including news, sports and weather, could look in the future. Building on the
success of Red Button and BBC iPlayer, the application provides interactive
access to a huge breadth and depth of the broadcaster’s content and services via
an intuitive and easy-to-use interface.

Read Full Press
Release

Microsoft
Demonstrates an End-to-End Solution Portfolio for the Digital Content Life
Cycle at IBC2008

Microsoft announces
new customer for Interactive Media manager; details new Silverlight adoption
and previews H.264 playback; introduces new Mediaroom IPTV platform
developments; and highlights new industry-specific solutions for digital
content creation, management, delivery and monetization.

AMSTERDAM,
Netherlands — Sept. 12, 2008 —
This week at the IBC2008 conference held at
the Amsterdam RAI conference center, Microsoft Corp. will showcase the advanced
media platform technologies and partner ecosystem that enable organizations to
create, manage, deliver and monetize an endless variety of engaging digital
entertainment experiences. Microsoft and its partners provide solutions to
support the full content life cycle, including content creation and management,
media business management and monetization, and digital content delivery.

Microsoft is making several announcements at the show,
including new customer adoption for the Microsoft Interactive Media Manager
(IMM) solution with Abertis Telecom; adoption of Microsoft Silverlight by
European broadcasters and the upcoming inclusion of additional codecs such as
H.264 and Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) in the Silverlight plug-in; and
developments for the Microsoft Mediaroom Internet Protocol television (IPTV) and
multimedia software platform including the Microsoft Mediaroom Advertising
Platform (MAP), Mediaroom Migration Program and an interactive TV application
developed by emuse technologies using British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) content,
which will be demonstrated for the first time at the show.

Read Full Press
Release

Short Bits: Remind Me, MCEfm, MediaRoom

A few days ago I talked about a new
plug-in called Remind Me which pops up reminders
in Media Center for user
defined events.  My main issue with the
plug-in was no way to import events from something like Outlook, but as of
today you can
import from Outlook 2003 and 2007
!

Missing
Remote has a nice review of MCEfm
, a Last.fm plug-in for Media Center.  Verdit? 
It’s approved for everyday use by Mike so you might want to check it
out.

Gizmodo
has an overview of Microsoft IPTV platform, MediaRoom
and how it beats
cable and satellite services.

Microsoft at NAB Show 2008

Microsoft Announces New Support for Silverlight
by Content Companies Worldwide

Today at the NAB Show 2008, Microsoft Corp. announced
significant momentum for Microsoft Silverlight resulting from new customers adopting
Silverlight to deliver richer, more interactive media experiences on the Web.
Building on recent support from major content providers such as AOL and NBC
Olympics.com on MSN, Microsoft announced new adoption of Silverlight by media
and content companies worldwide, including Madison Square Garden (MSG)
Interactive, Tencent, Abertis Telecom, Terra Networks Operations, SBSi, MNet
and Yahoo! JAPAN.

“It’s exciting to see broad industry recognition and rapid
adoption of Silverlight across the world,” said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice
president of the .NET Developer Division at Microsoft. “Silverlight offers
customers and partners the highest quality creation and delivery of media,
protected content, advertising and rich Internet applications, and we are
committed to making it easy for partners to integrate and extend Silverlight
capabilities.”

Read
Full Press Release

Microsoft Extends Its
Vision for Creating, Managing and Experiencing Content at the NAB Show 2008

This week at the NAB Show 2008, Microsoft Corp. is
showcasing its offerings that support the entire content life cycle
from content creation and management to delivering end-user experiences
highlighting the technologies and solutions that media and entertainment
companies need to align business and content creation processes.

Microsoft made several announcements at the show, including
solution updates to Microsoft Interactive Media Manager (IMM) and Virtual
Earth, updates to and new customer deployments of Microsoft Silverlight, a new
collaboration between Microsoft Mediaroom and Sigma Designs Inc., new customers
implementing Microsoft Dynamics to manage customer relationships as well as
their supply chains, and a strategic alliance with Ascent Media Group.

“It’s great to see the debate in the industry shift from
whether media companies can create profitable businesses in the digital age to
how technology can be used and deployed to manage business processes and fully
monetize content across multiple distribution channels,” said Gabriele Di
Piazza, managing director for the Media and Entertainment Business in the
Communications Sector at Microsoft. “The media industry can expect Microsoft to
continually develop and deliver the solutions that tackle the unique challenges
unfolding as digital media and the Internet take on greater importance in
nearly all facets of life.”

Read
Full Press Release

Microsoft, Ascent
Form Strategic Alliance to Build New Solutions to Serve Entertainment Industry
Transition to Digital Supply Chain

This week at the NAB Show 2008, Microsoft Corp. and Ascent
Media Group announced a new strategic alliance that will result in new
solutions that will automate and streamline the supply chain for the media and
entertainment industry and help them transition the digital age.

As part of the alliance, Microsoft will work with partners
to create a new solution that Ascent Media Group will use to manage its
business processes as well as offer new services to media and entertainment
companies. Composed of new media and entertainment functionality built on the Microsoft
Dynamics AX platform, the new solution will integrate and streamline media
production processes. Ascent will offer a hosted version of this solution along
with integrated managed services to film studios, broadcasters, global media
enterprises and advertising agencies, all of which are demanding capabilities
that allow the immediate distribution of digital content to outlets around the
world.

The new Microsoft Dynamics AX functions are tailored to
address typical business processes in media and entertainment organizations
including work order management, library management, resource scheduling,
element tracking, digital ordering and distribution, among others. Ascent Media
Group is uniquely positioned to be the preferred digital supply chain provider
for Microsoft solutions for media companies, with its expertise in asset
management, metadata tracking, billing and notifications and strong media
industry relationships.

Read
Full Press Release

Microsoft Helps Media
and Entertainment Companies Move Into the Digital Distribution Age

This week at the NAB Show 2008, Microsoft Corp. is
showcasing several innovative deployments of Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft
Dynamics CRM that help enable media and entertainment companies to streamline
and automate manually intensive processes in the digital supply chain. These
deployments span the film, broadcast and music industries, all of which share
common challenges arising from the explosion of digital media. Microsoft
Dynamics is a line of financial, customer relationship and supply chain
management solutions that help businesses work more effectively.

“The need for integrated business systems is more critical
than ever as the media and entertainment industry transitions from distributing
content through single channels to repurposing and delivering content for
multiple user experiences,” said Gabriele Di Piazza, managing director for
Media and Entertainment in the Communications Sector at Microsoft. “Integrating
automated business processes and systems, such as accounting, contracts,
licensing and broadcast program management, with content workflows helps media
companies react more quickly and intelligently to changing consumer demands,
and can enable them to more effectively distribute and monetize content.”

Read
Full Press Release

Sigma Designs and Microsoft Collaborate on Advanced IPTV System-on-a-Chip for Microsoft Mediaroom

Powerful Sigma Designs SMP8654 Media Processor improves
cost/performance range for Microsoft Mediaroom deployments.

LAS VEGAS — April 14, 2008 — Sigma Designs (Nasdaq
“SIGM”), a leader in digital media processing system-on-a-chips (SoCs) for
consumer electronics, and Microsoft Corp. today announced a collaboration to
enable the Microsoft Mediaroom Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) and
multimedia platform to operate on next-generation set-top boxes using the new
Sigma SMP8654 SoC. The solution will provide a high-performance, cost-effective
design that will give service providers the ability to offer innovative
connected TV services, such as PC-to-TV photo and music sharing and also DVR
Anywhere, which gives consumers the flexibility to watch their recorded
programs on any TV in their home.

As a second-generation SoC platform for Microsoft Mediaroom,
Sigma’s SMP8654 builds on the successful legacy of its predecessor, the
SMP8634, while improving overall performance by approximately 50 percent. The
new collaboration reflects the strength of Microsoft and Sigma’s continuing
technology partnership and expands the range of partner solutions available within
the Microsoft Mediaroom ecosystem.

“Sigma’s new system-on-a-chip technology gives our customers
new ways to reduce costs and improve the performance of their IPTV service
deployments,” said Christine Heckart, general manager of marketing for
Microsoft TV. “Sigma has been a key partner in the Microsoft Mediaroom
ecosystem for more than two years. Our latest SoC collaboration with Sigma will
give our customers the ability to offer their subscribers new ways to get the
best in TV plus all their media, such as photos, music and favorite shows, in
one place.”

The SMP8654 includes a 500 Mhz Mips 24k main CPU, which
enables crisp user interaction and a wider range of application-based features
that enhance the “future-proofing” of this platform. A second Mips processor
called the IPU manages interrupt operations and offloads system tasks, such as
portions of the network stack, to further optimize main CPU utilization. In
addition, the SoC also maintains software compatibility with the Sigma
Multimedia Library to uniquely build on the proven performance and reliability
of Microsoft Mediaroom.

“We are very pleased with the success we’ve experienced as a
key technology partner within the Microsoft Mediaroom ecosystem,” said Ken
Lowe, vice president of strategic marketing for Sigma Designs. “Microsoft is a
key driving force in the development of the IPTV industry, and we are energized
to be moving into our second-generation platform together.”

About Sigma’s SMP8654 System-on-a-Chip Solution

Sigma’s SMP8654 media processor integrates a complete
complement of next-generation capabilities for a single-chip system-on-chip
(SOC) solution with a multi-core architecture, powerful multimedia processing,
robust content security system, and a full complement of peripherals. The
SMP8654 features a powerful 500-Mhz Mips host CPU, a second processor called
the IPU for offloading burdensome real-time tasks, and a third processor
dedicated to managing security functions. Its advanced decoder engines support
high-definition video decoding of H.264 (MPEG-4 part 10), Windows Media Video
9, VC-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 (part 2), the new AVS standard, and can support up
to 16 independent streams on screen in different formats. High-performance
graphics acceleration, multi-standard audio decoding, advanced display
processing capabilities, and HDMI 1.3 output round out its multimedia core.
Powerful content security is ensured through a dedicated secure processor,
on-chip flash memory, and a range of digital rights management (DRM) engines
for high-speed payload decryption. Additional functions including dual 32-bit
DDR-2 memory controllers, dual Gigabit Ethernet controller, dual USB 2.0
controller, NAND flash controller, and SATA controller provide for a
single-chip solution for most set-top boxes and consumer players.

Microsoft Finally Seeking to Globalize HDTV in Media Center

Microsoft is finally getting set to take HDTV in Media
Center outside of the US!  Our first hint
was a few months ago in a job application where Microsoft stated they were
working with European satellite TV providers
.  This just screamed Sky to me, and with Media
Center get H.264 and
DVB-S(2) support
in the next Media Center release it was just a matter of
time until things started to materialize more.

The next step has been taken in the form of another
job application
, this one laying to rest that Microsoft will indeed be
taking HDTV outside of the US.  The job
application asks if those applying are “passionate
about the GLOBAL
(emphasis theirs)
consumer experience”
and that they “thrive
on innovation and…are taking our technology to the rest of the World. Be a
part of the team that brings advanced HDTV to the PC!”

It’s too bad that a large percent of Media Center users have
been so passionate about that global experience and have yet been ignored for
six years.  That said, I strongly believe
that things are finally going to start moving along.  Providing the framework for things like H.264
is huge for TV sources outside the US.  As
DVB-S support will now be in Media Center, the question is will providers
outside the US like Sky adopt the platform? 
I’ve had conversations with some other MVPs like Ian Dixon who paint the
clear picture of commercial implications getting of the way of providers like
Sky jumping in.  There have been some ways
to get DVB-S within
Media Center
for a while now, but I hope we can see official support that
provides encrypted access as a part of Microsoft global initiative. 

Another consideration here is IPTV, and it could be the
starting point for it in Media Center. 
Deployments of Microsoft’s IPTV platform are much greater outside the US
where nearly 20 service providers are currently using it (this compared to only
1 in the US).  I’ve always seen it as
foolish for Microsoft to develop for IPTV in the US, a market that only includes
a couple hundred thousand with AT&T service.  Outside of the US however, the picture looks
much brighter.   Once again, H.264
support plays a huge role here to (as does VC-1).

Digital terrestrial service is another bullet on the
list.  With Freeview getting
ready to go HD
I hope that Microsoft is working on DVB-T2 support, which
will be used to broadcast the new channels. 
Once again this content will be delivered in H.264 which Microsoft
already has working in Media Center.

Sadly, I have no idea on ship times for this.  The framework is set to be there for
satellite services and H.264 video, but there are still a lot of questions
marks.  The job application is very nice and shows that Microsoft is actively looking to pursue support outside the US.  Windows 7 might be the key for
global HDTV support, and while it can never come fast enough I hope that we can
get Microsoft to comment on what they plan on adding before it launches.

This brings up another question, is Windows 7 set to be what Vista was supposed to be in terms of Media Center promises?

CES Wrap-up Part 1

CES just started a few hours ago, but I already feel like it
can start being wrapped up.  This years
show just hasn’t had the pop it needed, and it all started with Microsoft’s
lackluster keynote.  Unlike pervious
years, fancy demos of new products and concepts didn’t take center stage.  Instead most of the show centered on Bill
leaving.  The whole Connected
Home/Experience/Digital
Decade
concept didn’t make a big slash, despite it being the main
topic.  Media Center had its 15 seconds
of fame with half a dozen mentions in the keynote, yet no product demos or
anything on stage.

The “big” Media Center news on stage was that Extenders are
coming from HP and Samsung.  The HP
products were announced
at DigitalLife in September,
so in reality the Samsung announcement was the
only new Media Center related bit.  The
form factor for the Samsung will be an “compact device can be easily mounted to the rear of select Samsung
flat-panel HDTVs”
add-on module that will was not announced but the press release implied it
being built-in to
.  Update: I took this as meaning an add-on module that only works with those models and not a standalone unit that just happens to attach to those select displays.  I’m trying to find out the answer, but the above is a direct quote from the press release.  I
think I’d much rather see a Blu-ray/HD
DVD player with an Extender
at this point (notice how I put Blu-ray first
this time).

Mediaroom was the big news which I hated.  Don’t get me wrong, IPTV is great and now Mediaroom
is on 1 million STBs
.  However, the only
US provider is AT&T U-Verse and it has some growing pains.  U-Verse is only in some three-dozen markets
in the US and they spend the most amount of time taking about it?  Great for those who have it, but then again
for Media Center users it is a no go for HD. 
DVR
Anywere
lets you share content with other Mediaroom STBs in your home which
I expected at some point as other providers are doing it standard now too.  The other big news with Xbox 360
IPTV, but currently only from BT in the UK
. 
It is not clear how it will work. 
In the keynote it was said you would buy an Xbox 360 from BT, yet the
press release says it will work for “existing and future Xbox 360 console
owners.”

There was something about Zune Social that I didn’t care
about.  Sync is nice and really shows
convergence, so why don’t we have native voice control in Media Center?  Why is touch the new way to do things yet
Media Center has never seen a touchscreen’s pushed by Microsoft? 

Sideshow was a noshow. 
Surface was their in part, still cool but still a novelty for most
businesses in my opinion.  No news about
the DIRECTV tuner, nothing about BOCR or two-way cable.  Nothing about SP1 or Fiji.  Really a whole lot of nothing.

Microsoft Mediaroom Delivers Connected TV to More Than 1 Million Set-Top Boxes

Microsoft’s service provider customers add two new IPTV
subscriber households per minute.

LAS VEGAS — Jan. 6, 2008 — Today at 2008
International CES, Microsoft Corp. announced that its Microsoft Mediaroom
Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) and multimedia platform is delivering video
entertainment experiences to more than 1 million set-top boxes worldwide and
its service provider customers are adding two new IPTV subscriber households
every minute. The Mediaroom platform is on pace to reach 1 million subscriber
homes in the first quarter of 2008. These milestones demonstrate the growing
consumer demand for IPTV and connected television experiences that go beyond
traditional pay-TV offerings. Helping to lead this connected TV revolution,
Microsoft Mediaroom is transforming the way viewers experience television,
movies, music, photos and games in their own homes.

Deployed or being trialed by more than 20 service providers worldwide on
four continents and in 18 countries, Microsoft Mediaroom enables unique
features and experiences, such as simultaneous recording of multiple
high-definition and standard-definition TV channels, personal media sharing,
whole-home and remote digital video recording (DVR), and multiple
picture-in-picture scenarios. The platform also integrates with the Xbox 360
gaming device, bringing together next-generation television and gaming
offerings into an integrated entertainment experience. In addition, Microsoft
Mediaroom allows third parties to create exciting new TV applications and
services that enrich the TV viewing experience through the multimedia
application environment in the platform.

“We’ve received a tremendous response for BT Vision from our customers,”
said Dan Marks, CEO of the BT Vision service from BT, one of the leading
service providers that has deployed television services based on Microsoft
Mediaroom. “We expect to sign up many new BT Vision subscribers in 2008 and
beyond and look forward to bringing them new and connected TV services built on
the Microsoft Mediaroom platform.”

“The Microsoft Mediaroom platform is a key component in our vision to allow
consumers to experience entertainment content on any device, anytime,
anywhere,” said Enrique Rodriguez, corporate vice president of the Connected
Television Division at Microsoft. “It is very rewarding to see this vision
materialize with the support of our partners and customers. It is even more
gratifying that the opportunity ahead for consumers to experience connected TV
is even bigger than we had envisioned.”

Further showcasing Microsoft’s commitment to delivering unique connected TV
services to consumers around the world, Microsoft announced several other
Microsoft Mediaroom developments at the 2008 International CES:

  • DVR
    Anywhere. This gives consumers the flexibility to watch their recorded
    programs on any TV in their home, further enhancing the platform’s
    powerful connected TV capabilities. With DVR Anywhere, viewers could begin
    watching a movie in the living room, resume viewing it on the kitchen TV
    during dinner, and finish watching the same movie from the comfort of
    their bedroom. In addition, members of a household will never have to
    fight over the remote control again, due to the capability to watch the
    same or different recorded programs from multiple TVs in the home
    simultaneously while recording other shows to be viewed at their
    convenience.
  • Futuristic
    connected TV applications for Microsoft Mediaroom. Microsoft is partnering
    with ChoiceStream Inc., emuse technologies, ES3, Showtime Networks Inc.
    and Turner Broadcasting System Inc. to demonstrate applications that
    showcase new connected TV applications and scenarios that are enabled by
    the extensible Microsoft Mediaroom platform. These next-generation
    scenarios will be on display in the Microsoft booth at the 2008
    International CES show.
  • Ecosystem
    partnership with Broadcom. Microsoft and Broadcom Corporation announced a
    collaboration in IPTV products. The collaboration includes Microsoft and
    Broadcom working together to enable the Microsoft Mediaroom client
    software to operate on next-generation set-top boxes utilizing the
    Broadcom BCM7405 system on a chip.

“Demand for connected TV services is increasing exponentially on a global
scale,” said Vince Vittore, senior analyst at Yankee Group Research Inc.
“Microsoft Mediaroom’s reaching 1 million set-top boxes is an important
milestone. Microsoft Mediaroom is giving service providers new ways to
differentiate themselves from the competition and further add subscribers with
the many next-generation connected TV offerings the platform enables.”

The Microsoft Mediaroom platform will be on display at 2008 International
CES at booth No. 7144.

Microsoft Mediaroom Brings Connected TV to Life

Microsoft’s award-winning Mediaroom IPTV platform introduces
exciting new features that connect consumers with their favorite shows and
people from any TV in the home.

LAS VEGAS — Jan. 6, 2008 — Today at 2008 International CES, Microsoft
Corp. announced the availability of DVR Anywhere on the Microsoft Mediaroom
Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) and multimedia platform, giving digital
video recording (DVR) consumers the flexibility to watch their recorded TV
programs on any TV in their home, further enhancing the platform’s powerful
connected TV capabilities. In addition, Microsoft also announced it is working
with leading programmers, including Showtime Networks Inc. and Turner
Broadcasting System Inc.’s TNT and CNN networks, to showcase new connected TV
applications and scenarios that are enabled by the extensible Microsoft
Mediaroom platform.

With DVR Anywhere, viewers could begin watching a movie in the living room,
resume viewing it on the kitchen TV during dinner, and finish watching the same
movie from the comfort of their bedroom. In addition, members of a household
will never have to fight over the remote control again, due to the capability
to watch the same or different recorded programs from multiple TVs in the home
simultaneously while recording other shows to be viewed at their convenience.

Microsoft Mediaroom’s DVR Anywhere is software-based, so no TV tuners are
needed. It also requires that only one set-top box in the home have a hard
drive, thus lowering the expense for service providers and consumers. The DVR
Anywhere feature, which will support standard and high-definition TV, is the
first whole-home DVR offering currently available to IPTV service providers.

Microsoft is also partnering with Showtime Networks and Turner Broadcasting
to demonstrate applications Microsoft jointly built with ES3 that showcase the
potential of Microsoft Mediaroom to bring consumers new, personalized connected
TV experiences. These next-generation scenarios, not yet available to
consumers, will be on display in the Microsoft booth at the 2008 International
CES show, and include the following:

  • NASCAR
    on TNT. The real-time excitement and features of NASCAR.com will be
    brought to the TV viewer. While watching NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races
    broadcast by TNT, fans can enhance their viewing experience by choosing
    between several different live in-car driver cameras and driver audio,
    while simultaneously watching the main race.
  • Showtime
    Interactive Boxing. This application brings the ringside experience to the
    viewer’s living room. Using some of the many features available, viewers
    can choose from between several live audio feeds while watching the boxing
    match.
  • CNN
    election coverage. This demonstration highlights the potential advantages
    of Microsoft Mediaroom in delivering real-time information such as news
    and commentary on current events. For instance, viewers may be able to
    access the richness of CNN.com’s 2008 election coverage while watching
    CNN’s television broadcast, and possibly even participate in interactive
    straw votes for candidates.

In addition, Microsoft will show an application called My Pad, designed and
built by emuse technologies, that connects viewers to their social networks
through the TV via Windows Live services and also enables them to share
personal pages that exist online and on the TV. Finally, Microsoft and
ChoiceStream Inc. will demonstrate a personalized TV and video-on-demand
recommendations application tailored to each viewer’s unique tastes and
preferences.

“With DVR Anywhere and the promise of new applications that can further
extend Microsoft Mediaroom’s potential in the future, Microsoft is delivering
on its promise to make the television experience truly social, personal and
connected,” said Enrique Rodriguez, corporate vice president of the Connected
Television Division at Microsoft. “Consumer demand for connected TV is here,
and Microsoft Mediaroom continues to offer new ways for viewers to experience
TV as part of their connected, digital lifestyle while also enabling the very
best digital TV service available anywhere.”

“Consumers are coming to expect connected TV services from their TV
provider,” said Pete Dailey, senior research analyst with Stratecast Research.
“With Microsoft Mediaroom, consumers are promised new ways to extend their TV
experience beyond the living room, making the TV a major hub of the connected
entertainment lifestyle. This innovation enables carriers to differentiate
video offerings based on very compelling connected functionality rather than
simply competing on price.”

More than 20 of the world’s leading service providers across four continents
have selected the Microsoft Mediaroom platform for their digital TV offerings.
The Microsoft Mediaroom platform will be on display at the International CES
2008 show at booth No. 7144 in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention
Center.