Microsoft Can't Resist - Enters the Connected TV Fray

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Brier Dudley from the Seattle Times pretty much had to dig into some sealed-off meeting rooms, to find them, but apparently there were a whole stack of TV boxes and a flat-screen TV with a new Microsoft TV system built in - luckily proving Dudley's prediction that Microsoft would be coming out into the connected TV space, aside from the Xbox gaming angle.

The set-top boxes shown ranged from a paperback-book-sized Acer Revo prototype to a Gateway set-top box with six digital tuners, based on a new tuner card from Kirkland's Ceton.

...Reycom's REC 100 will work as a digital video recorder and stream video around the home to PCs, Xbox 360 consoles and home servers. It can be controlled with a remote control or with a Windows Phone 7 device.

Apparently and interestingly, Microsoft decided not to open up like Google TV with a browser in the basic software, but manufacturers can add one to their products.

Haier's TV included a browser that could be used to access websites such as to watch online video on the big screen. Pendergrast also showed how the system works with Windows Phone 7. Using an LG phone that has media streaming capability and a "play to" button on the menu, he selected media on the phone and clicked to stream it to the set-top boxes so that it appeared on the big TV displays.

Opportunities for third party apps and developers? Not likely.  I doubt they will be shipping with an SDK or API. 


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