More support for Microsoft's IPTV platform

Posted by Mark Raby

At the Broadband World Forum Europe today, Microsoft announced that it has partnered with Cisco, Motorola, Philips, and Tatung to provide new set-top boxes for Internet Protocol TV (IPTV), to support high-definition TV, digital video recording, and other advanced features.

The companies are known for making system-on-a-chip (SoC) set-top devices, and through new enhancements, according to Microsoft, the additional features, like HD support, are possible.

Compatible SoC set-top boxes are available from all companies immediately. Additionally, Philips is working on a hybrid IPTV-DTT set-top box. Tatung also announced the STB2000 series set-tops with support for HDMI. Both will be available by the end of the year.

Microsoft TV: IPTV Edition is a more fleshed-out version of the company's now defunct MSN TV service. Instead of focusing on TV Web browsing, which was the selling point for MSN TV, it gives users a TiVo-like experience, with digital recording and, planned for the future, application networking support. Additionally, it has an embedded Windows Media Player application and picture-in-picture capabilities.