Television

Microsoft India launches Electronic Programming Guide

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BANGALORE/MUMBAI: Microsoft Corporation India Pvt Ltd has launched an Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) for users of Windows XP Media Centre PCs. Making its debut in India, EPG is an on screen interactive guide to television programs,

This new concept will allow viewers to navigate, select, explore and record shows across more than 80 channels in the country, at their own convenience.

The service can be integrated into the Windows XP Media Center PCs and will be available to users free of cost. It has the capacity to automatically download and update every time the user is connected to the internet.

The Microsoft Windows XP Media Center PC functions as a PC, TV, Radio, DVD player & Media Player. EPG adds to this functionality, as it serves as an electronic search engine that informs the user of what is playing on which channel and when, for a period of 15 days. Moreover, this time limit can be upgraded on a day-to-day basis, states an official release.

Windows Client Business Group director Rishi Srivastava said, "TV as an entertainment medium provides limitless choices to the consumer today. Presently, their TV consuming time is undirected and cluttered. We believe that the Electronic Programming Guide will help consumers take control of their entertainment experience by helping them watch their favourite program any time, any where."

EPG caters to the diverse needs of the viewer by allowing him to locate his favourite shows by simply punching in key words like the name of the program, movie, actors, time, day and date. Besides this, the guide also provides viewers with relevant information like a short description of the program including the start time, plot, duration, censorship classification and genre. In order to make the guide easier to scan, it is possible to hide channels that are not included in their TV service package or the ones that they do not watch regularly.

Combined with the DVR (digital video recording) capabilities of Windows XP Media Center, viewers can search for and record not just a single episode but also an entire series. With the help of this easy to use device, users can even create their own collection of favourite movies, soaps and serials.

Along with these facilities it also comes with conflict resolution feature. In case, two programs are to be recorded, which are scheduled simultaneously, the EPG will resolve the conflict by automatically searching for the repeat telecast of either of the two programs over the next few days thus, recording them separately with much ease.

Srivastava adds, "We believe that Windows XP Media Center combined with the electronic programming guide will be a huge success in India. Consider this, for Rs 30,000 a consumer can now buy a PC that also provides an unmatched TV viewing experience."

For the benefit of the user, microsoft has also agreed to launch an awareness campaign comprising of advertisements and activities to promote this one of a kind concept, which they hope will spiral demand. The company will also partner with additional OEMs, content partners, and other companies in the digital entertainment industry to catalyse the growth of this segment.

Currently Windows XP Media Center PCs from HP, HCL and Sahara are available at more than 300 reseller outlets across 30 cities in the country for a price range starting from Rs 30,000.

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