updated 10:20 am EDT, Mon June 18, 2007
Microsoft this morning reincarnated its Internet TV efforts with Mediaroom, a new platform that hopes to involve users more in controlling the experience. The software now adds media sharing abilities that turn any supporting set-top box into an extender: nearby PCs can offer music and photos to the hub when live content isn't enough, Microsoft says. It also brings better web-based services for games and video, and takes advantage of its extra headroom to bring multiple videos onscreen; subscribers to a Mediaroom-based service can either preview other stations in a smaller window or watch different camera angles for the same sports event.
Other features, including live program guides and DVR functions, carry through from earlier services.
The company says that 18 companies have chosen to use Mediaroom for their IPTV services and that ten of these are already in the process of rolling out the new features, including AT&T's U-Verse network. The cost of using the technology and extra enhancements will vary from carrier to carrier.