Microsoft expands IPTV technology ecosystem

MUMBAI: At the 2007 National Association of Broadcasters conference (Nab) electronic media show in Las Vegas software major Microsoft has announced additional technology suppliers providing technologies that support the Microsoft TV Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) Edition software platform

This is being deployed by several service providers worldwide. Microsoft says that the announcement illustrates the accelerating growth of the IPTV industry and Microsoft‘s commitment to work with a broad range of solutions providers to ensure ongoing industry innovation while allowing service providers the flexibility to choose from a variety of technologies to deploy IPTV services.


The announcement features new Microsoft IPTV partners or solutions in the following categories:
* Server processors. AMD and Intel Corporation provide leading chipset solutions for server and storage infrastructures for the IPTV Edition ecosystem. Their processors are key to the scalable deployment of live and on-demand TV applications.

* Encoding solutions. Thomson Grass Valley‘s standard definition encoders support the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 standard used in IPTV Edition.

* Set-top boxes. Pirelli Broadband Solutions will provide set-top boxes supporting Microsoft TV IPTV Edition. Pirelli‘s portfolio of hybrid decoders brings together IPTV and digital terrestrial TV in one multimedia platform, enabling a wide range of content bundles to be secured through conditional access system standards and digital rights management technologies.

Pirelli‘s set-top boxes are based on single- chip technology and support legacy and new encoding standards such as H.264 and VC-1 at both standard and high definition. Pirelli set-top boxes can be equipped with hard drives of various storage capacities, providing additional capabilities such as local video recording, recorded-services playback, live TV pause, and time-shift recording.

* Servers and storage. Sun Microsystems Inc.‘s Sun Fire x64 servers are the newest carrier-class servers to have been tested against the high-performance IPTV platforms from Microsoft.


Research firm Yankee Group senior analyst Vince Vittore says, "With IPTV deployments now happening in most major regions around the world, the market is entering a new phase. The addition of these new technology companies to Microsoft‘s IPTV ecosystem is a clear indicator that the IPTV industry has reached a new level of maturity.

"Service providers will benefit by having more technology options and the flexibility to deploy a solution that best meets their specific business objectives and the needs of their

Microsoft TV Division director of the Worldwide Partner Ecosystem Joe Seidel says, " Microsoft‘s commitment to the IPTV industry is not only to deliver a comprehensive end-to-end IPTV Edition software platform, but to constantly ensure that industry-leading solutions in all areas can work with our platform to enhance its features and functionalities.

"With the relationships we are announcing we add another layer of support for our service provider customers as they continue to deploy IPTV services to consumers worldwide."


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