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.