updated 01:25 pm EST, Tue January 25, 2011
Mediaroom IPTV may bring Silverlight and WMC hooks
Microsoft's Mediaroom IPTV backbone might get a major boost soon if leaks prove accurate. One project, codenamed Taos, would give it direct support for the Silverlight plugin and play web-based TV on DVRs without needing special support. While few details were available, ZDNet reiterated that it might be part of a wider strategy for web video in the living room, since Microsoft is already porting Silverlight to the Xbox 360 and has been working on support for system-on-a-chip hardware needed for set-top boxes.
A separate project, Monaco, would put Mediaroom directly into Windows Media Center. Its aims aren't known but could at least give home theater PCs direct integration with IPTV service.
Microsoft has been rumored developing its own set-top box, but the new developments suggest instead that it might instead be creating an overall platform that others can use. DVRs and other media hubs are shipping with Windows Embedded Standard 7 and could, through add-ons, get web video support or a Windows Media Center front end.
The updates could lead to many future DVRs and TV boxes having hooks that could let a cable or satellite provider offer Internet video as a bonus or to fill in coverage, such as for on-demand movies or online-only special features.