Microsoft rebrands its IPTV plaftorm, adds PC to TV functionality

Microsoft Mediaroom logoMicrosoft today announced the availability of Microsoft Mediaroom, a re-branded version of its IPTV software platform that enables service providers to deliver interactive IPTV services into the home.

Along with the new name, the company has added a number of new features including PC to set-top-box media sharing (photos and music), multi picture-in-picture capabilities, and over-the-air digital terrestrial television support. Additionally, the new Microsoft Mediaroom Application Development toolkit allows service providers and third-party developers to connect to web services and develop TV-based applications that will run under Microsoft Mediaroom.

Microsoft Mediaroom screenshot

So what?

The first thing to note is that Microsoft is pushing the idea that by attaching its consumer-facing brand ‘Microsoft Mediaroom’ it can help television service providers differentiate their service from competitors.

By adding media extender capabilities (PC to TV), the platform begins to encroach on consumer devices like the AppleTV. It’s also likely that set-top-boxes based on Mediaroom will be perceived as being “free” to customers as they’ll come bundled as part of an IPTV subscription service.

Mediaroom is intended as a platform which encourages developers to build new applications and services. It’s quite possible that software could be added that makes any set-top-box/service based on the platform compete with additional devices and markets such as casual gaming, or music and film download services, as well as open up Mediaroom to partner with existing players in those markets.

Finally, the inclusion of a digital terrestrial television functionality would allow interactive IPTV capabilities for over-the-air television by having the same box act as a digital tuner as well as connect to a user’s broadband connection. This would be particularly relevant in the UK where the Freeview DTT service is very popular. (See our recent post ‘UK television networks to launch a Joost-killer?‘)

last100 is edited by Steve O'Hear. Aside from founding last100, Steve is co-founder and CEO of Beepl and a freelance journalist who has written for numerous publications, including TechCrunch, The Guardian, ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb and Macworld, and also wrote and directed the Silicon Valley documentary, In Search of the Valley. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

15 Responses to “Microsoft rebrands its IPTV plaftorm, adds PC to TV functionality”

  1. Yet another buggy micorsoft application, welcome to this app. thanks for sharing this news

  2. zomb says:

    Comon dude. Give it a break. When its Microsoft, its buggy. When its Apple.. WOW! Do you think it makes you on the top of the world to say Microsoft sucks? We all know it but dude.. come to earth.

  3. din says:

    thanks zomb. im sick of this looooooseerrrrsss!!! apple and its tiny limited functionality.

  4. brilo says:

    Integration my friends. I’ll take one part x-box, one part pc, and one part media room for one glorious version of entire home television/dvd’s/net clips/pics/music from one source…..ahh grand. Oh yeah, and it won’t be a shitty colored white box that is overpriced and limited.

  5. Carl says:

    Looks good. Hopefully they can update the xbox 360 to act as a Mediaroom too.

  6. eBooksBay says:

    Looks good, Microsoft is better than Apple in many ways, how every they come up with their stuff.

  7. Aaron says:

    “By adding media extender capabilities (PC to TV), the platform begins to encroach on consumer devices like the AppleTV. ”

    Heh, Microsoft has been selling “PC to TV” extenders for several years now. The V1 MCE extenders went on the market like three years ago. And of course the Xbox 360, which is superior to the AppleTV in almost every way, went on sale about a year and a half before AppleTV. It has MCE “PC to TV” extender functionality built in for both MCE and non-MCE based machines.

    Funny how Apple comes late to the game with an under performing poorly-selling product and it somehow still gets the used as a market identifier.

  8. Rob says:

    MS loves to compete with companies on products it never thought of….

    Google has a search engine, we need a search engine…
    Apple has an ipod, we need an ipod….
    Sony has a playstation, we need a playstation…
    AOL has a portal, we need a portal (MSN)….
    Palm has a portable OS, we need a portable OS (Windows Mobile)…
    Apple sells online music, we need to sell online music….

    Is there no end to the list?
    They may not be innovative, but they are the richest copycats on earth.

  9. Bill says:

    Rob, don’t be a maroon.

    Google didn’t think of web searches. They came late to the game, beat out by Yahoo and several others, some of whom aren’t even around any more.

    Apple certainly didn’t come up with the concept of an MP3 player. Others were first.

    Sony was decades after the original game consoles were released.

    AOL was far from the first portal.

    Apple was again a Johny-come-lately with the online music thing.

    In every single example you give, the originators are not the ones who dominate the field. It’s someone else who came along and did it better.

    Oh, and even if you were correct in your examples, you fail miserably here. MS inovated the media center concept, and they continue to dominate the field. Apple is playing catch up here, and doing a very poor job of it.

  10. Steve O'Hear (editor) says:

    @Bill

    You are completely correct that none of those companies invented their product category. If you look at innovation vs invention, in the tech industry it’s often about who is able to innovate in terms of bringing said product to market. iPod for example, is a lovely product, and in some ways was better than other digital music players before it, but also was marketed very differently — based on simple features and “1,000 songs in your pocket” — coupled with the elegant iTunes jukebox/store.

  11. James says:

    “Rob MS loves to compete with companies on products it never thought of….
    Google has a search engine, we need a search engine…
    Apple has an ipod, we need an ipod….
    Sony has a playstation, we need a playstation…
    AOL has a portal, we need a portal (MSN)….
    Palm has a portable OS, we need a portable OS (Windows Mobile)…
    Apple sells online music, we need to sell online music….
    Is there no end to the list?
    They may not be innovative, but they are the richest copycats on earth.

    Interesting. None of the companies you mentioned above invented the product they made popular.

    Where’s Apple’s surface computer? They make a piss poor rip off of Windows Mobile that you can’t even run your own code on, ripping off a little corner of Microsoft Surface Computer’s multitouch, which was developed 4 years ago. Are you going to hold them to the same standard you hold Microsoft to?

  12. cenourinha says:

    It wont replace the AppleTV…

  13. Aaron says:

    “It wont replace the AppleTV…”

    Of course not.

    Someone would have to actually buy the AppleTV before it can replaced.

  14. Beach says:

    and wht about linux, MYTHTV has some nice features in it, im starting to convert my HOME into a linux LAN Mythbox, one box to record all my shows, share out media. COST = NOTHING.

  15. Aaron says:

    “By adding media extender capabilities (PC to TV), the platform begins to encroach on consumer devices like the AppleTV. “

    Heh, Microsoft has been selling “PC to TV” extenders for several years now. The V1 MCE extenders went on the market like three years ago. And of course the Xbox 360, which is superior to the AppleTV in almost every way, went on sale about a year and a half before AppleTV. It has MCE “PC to TV” extender functionality built in for both MCE and non-MCE based machines.

    Funny how Apple comes late to the game with an under performing poorly-selling product and it somehow still gets the used as a market identifier.

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