It took 12 years and more than $10 billion (E8.3 billion), but one of Microsoft’s biggest dreams may finally be coming true: The company is close to becoming a major player in the television business.This is not about PCs that play video, but rather a whole new platform for delivering television over the Internet, through software that’s mostly invisible to consumers.”
Microsoft Sees a Future on the Small Screen
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2005-10-11 1:45 pmjeanmarc
I think being passive and just watch what’s on, have a futur too: just imagine how boring it’ll be to always have choose the TV programs, you always watch the same topics and you’ll never get proposed new subjects..
TV on demand is promising, Microsoft use the Burst.com patents to delivery IPTV (http://www.burst.com/new/newsevents/pressrelease009.htm), next infrigers will probably be Apple, Real..
Now I don’t know who to root for. The software monopoly or my cable company which implies its customers would happily eat monkey crap in its ads…
Instant channel changes does sound cool though!
2005-10-11 3:11 pmAnonymous
“Instant channel changes does sound cool though!”
I live in the UK and I’ve never used a system that doesnt have near-instant channel changes. Analouge TV is instant and digital terrestrial has <0.5 second delay, easily acceptable.
How long do you people have to wait to change channel?
Also mentioned in the article:
“imagine four live pictures on a screen at once” – that has been done in sports coverage on the UK digital terrestrial system.
Problems: 1. Sound can only be heard from one picture at a time – this isnt a technical problem, just think about it, how could you concentrate on four symaltaneous audio streams?
2. In order to see what is going on propely the picture needs to be “maximized”, defeating the object of having these multiple “screens”. This may not be a problem when everybody has 28″+ HDTV’s, but that won’t happen for years.
Also, the only advantages of IPTV over sattelite, cable or digital terrestrial methods of broadcast are simplified interactivity, the possibility of an individual stream per customer and the ability to watch on your PC.
As we all know, this will be a proprietary system, probably based on WMV which will be DRM’d to hell and only playable on Microsoft-approved set top (why are they called this, I dont know anyone who puts them on top of the set?) boxes and Windows PC’s. Your DVD-recorder would need to be Microsoft-approved in order to record from this, and the recording would probably only ever work in your player, and if it takes off, “Version 2” or whatever will probably require a special Microsoft-approved TV with some sort of propietary encrypted input port.
All in all, very little in the way of new features, gives away too much power to Microsoft. A BAD IDEA.
What about a feature that automagically skips all the commercials?
It took 12 years and more than $10 billion (E8.3 billion), but one of Microsoft’s biggest dreams may finally be coming true: The company is close to becoming a major player in the television business.
Ahem,i bet we’ll see more XP is great commercials than?
Why do we have radios in all our cars? To pipe advertising into a captive audience. Why do we have TV’s in all our homes? To pipe advertising into a captive audience. Why do we have our computers plugged into the Internet?
Can you even imagine a world without advertising? I can.
2005-10-11 5:01 pmAnonymous
Can you even imagine a world without advertising? I can.
Sure, you can. But it will be a world without content. Because somebody has to pay for the content, and if you’re not willing to subsidize it through advertising, you better get out your wallet.
Windows, Internet Explorer & ActiveX and Windows Media Player required, (everybody else is SOL)…
I rather go to a GNU/Linux fest and enjoy the company of real people…
In some areas with “digital cable” it takes 1-2 full seconds from button click to decode and resolving a picture adn then allowing you to change the next channel. This kills channel surfing. I dumped Comcast digital for this purpose (yes, even AFTER the upgrade made the interface less annoying and the channel changes faster than the old 3-4 seconds).
Analogue, and “basic” cable are near instantaneous (as they should be). Satellite has the maximum 0.5 second delay unless there is a thunderstorm ;-).
2005-10-11 5:49 pmCPUGuy
Yeah, I can’t stand it.
Even the channel guide is crap.
I’ve noticed that, with Brighthouse (aka TimeWarner) if you subscribe to DVR the system runs a bit faster. Eh, I don’t like any of these companies.
I have seen a demo of the MS IPTV, and it works quite well (just from seeing the demo, not actually using it).
and if you’re not willing to subsidize it through advertising, you better get out your wallet.
Another option launch a few extra sms channels where people have the illusion of actually winning something by sending a sms or dialing expensive telephone numbers.You would be amazed how good the content will be subsidized with that money.
The braindead still have their amusement.
Sane people can watch TV without having to risk join the braindead after some period of time.
These announcements were originally made late last year. I think this may be a surprising success for MS. They could use one. The “instant” channel change is very, very difficult from a resource perspective. Basically for all broadcast content, MS caches enough content to provide a burst upon channel change until the true data feed can catch up. See the problem here, each IPTV server has a tremendous load on it, so in turn, it cannot scale to support large numbers of customers, yet. I think they’ll figure it out. Last I heard they were looking at 10, that’s right, 10 customers per IPTV server. MS has built something called a connected services framework that is supposed to be special, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens when SBC rolls it out in early 2006. They also promised carriers better compression so they can fit more SD and HD content on the same connection.
To address the why? Carriers need IPTV in order to compete with cable providers. Cable providers have the “triple-play” TV, Internet Access, & Voice. Right now Verizon & SBC can only partner with people like Dish for the same bundle. Cable companies are rolling out VoIP as well, only increasing competition for phone service.
Now get this, there are new standards coming that will help anyone build integration across these services. MS IPTV connected services framework was surprisingly built to play friendly with these new standards. I know, disbelief, MS actually playing well with others, big surprise.
So you will have integrated, bundled services across internet, TV, and voice — both wireless and voip, wireline. Caller ID Pop-Ups on TV. Video conferencing. Immediate chat following program. See what I see, actually sharing your desktop in the middle of a call. An integrated desktop on TV. So you have TV stream in upper left corner, caller ID next to it showing an incoming call. There could even be metadata so that the IPTV stream can launch related content via a portal. Say you are watching coverage of the war in Iraq, you can get vital stats about the area they are discussing. On the voice side, you can be walking down the street on your cell phone and when you walk through your front door, it detects your wi-fi network and transfers the session to voip.
All of this is pretty cool and very realistic. The frameworks are in place, they just need the carriers to roll out the infrastructure and then start building the applications. Verizon and SBC are rolling out the infrastructure and a ton of niche software companies are building the rest.
“one of Microsoft’s biggest dreams may finally be coming true”
Having every human being read the word Microsoft many times, if not just one time per day?
After all, how many of us can avoid reading the word Microsoft or Windows if we use the WWW frequently? Once the tentacles branch out from the web we will eventually have to watch these words creep further and further into our lives.
MS wants this so they can have their image on their terms. Meanwhile, feeding us carefully crafted FUD.
Think of the marketing potential and control MS would have over the ignorant.
What better way to manipulate than through mass media.
Sometimes it’s hard to see the snake in the grass, but not this time.
Ok, I know I ll be scored down:
But I can’t resist to laught at the idee that if the Windows servers crashes they’ll broadcast a blue screen!
That would be really funny
2005-10-12 2:16 amdoug
They already do with the local public access channels that do nothing but show powerpoint slideshows.
btw this news item is a verbatim copy of one on slashdot: http://slashdot.org/articles/05/10/11/2150259.shtml?tid=109&tid=129…
TV is shit, unidirectional networks are shit, regression on opticfibers, not for me, thanks.