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Microsoft Sees Future in IPTV

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the would-be-nice-if-it-ever-happens dept.

Microsoft 246

linumax writes "It took 12 years and more than $10 billion, but one of Microsoft's biggest dreams may finally be coming true: The company is close to becoming a major player in the television business. This is not about PCs that play video -- the company has done that for years -- but rather a whole new platform for delivering television over the Internet, through software that's mostly invisible to consumers." From the article: "Consumers will see cool new features -- imagine four live pictures on a screen at once -- instant channel changes and more options for on-demand video rentals, including high-definition content. Microsoft TV also merges phone services, so incoming messages, e-mail and caller ID can be displayed on users' television screens. Microsoft hopes its Internet protocol television system (IPTV) will also be used in India, China and other developing countries, where it could provide education and government services as well as entertainment via the television."

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Slashdot Censors Dissenting Views (-1, Troll)

bit trollent (824666) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769290)

Due to excessive bad posting from this IP or Subnet, anonymous comment posting has temporarily been disabled. You can still login to post. However, if bad posting continues from your IP or Subnet that privilege could be revoked as well. If it's you, consider this a chance to sit in the timeout corner or login and improve your posting . If it's someone else, this is a chance to hunt them down. If you think this is unfair, please email moderation@slashdot.org with your MD5'd IPID and SubnetID, which are "6de13b5040b79597b363652c6cec030b" and "cfd86e10a6bebf3998a2745ac3aeeb05" and (optionally, but preferably) your IP number "*.*.*.*" and your username "bit trollent".

Congratulations! Slashdot has one less user who doesn't take your illogical ramblings as the sacred word of God. I raised my voice in protest one time too many and now I have been silenced (for a while anyways). This is not the first time our censorship overlords have flagged me for muzzeling, and it probably won't be the last.

Before I am finally banned I would like to say that the people who make this site a reptetative craphole of halfassed regurgitated opinions are utterly worthless. The vast majority of you unoriginal shitheads could drop dead with no noticeible impact on this site. Who would make my unsjustified posts defending/condeming $topic? Some other shithead with too much time on his hands and a penchant for the uninispired, thats who. Trust me, someone will be here berate us on the difference between free and gnu/free. It goes without saying that the same is true of praising Apple, reguardless of how sleazy they many behave, how onerous their vendor lockin is compared to say Microsoft, or anything else which may irk real geeks. Someone will still be here to explain why they are still the next best thing to Open Source. It goes without saying that anyone failing to reprimand Microsoft for existing and objectively weighing the cost and benefit of their software will be instantly explained away as a paid shill. No need to worry, Applesexuals. Shilling accusations inexplicably don't apply to you. Anyway, to all the people who make slashdot suck, here is a big 'up yours' from me to you.

In my last post before my forced posting sabbatical I would also like to say something to the people I have argued with over the years with my two accounts. (the other one has excellent karma. yeah I know how to play the game.) This specifically goes out to the people who have exposed my ignorance with style and aplomb. You guys rule. When others point to the moderation system as the true judge of truth you are not satisfied. You use evidence and genuine logic to make your point and in the process expand our minds and challenge us to think critically. I may not have always agreed with what you said, but I often learned something new. There have also been times when you genuinely changed my mind.

These genuine insights are rarely rewarded with modpoints, but I know you don't care. I'm sure some of you have been censored as well. But at the end of the day when the modpoints are tallied and the people who once again repeated the popular oppinion have moved on to repeating the popular opinion on some other subject, the minds you opened, challenged, or enfuriated remain.

Be proud free thinkers of slashdot, you are the real winners.

Re:Slashdot Censors Dissenting Views (0, Offtopic)

TooMuchEspressoGuy (763203) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769332)

Maybe they banned your account because... oh, I don't know... you post long, off-topic rants on how everyone is out to get you and how you're being repressed by the Evil Slashdot Hive-Mind?

...nah, that can't be it...

Re:Slashdot Censors Dissenting Views (1)

dustinbarbour (721795) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769397)

Don't be such a lunatic. I get that when I try to post anonymously, too. Just log in, stand by your comments and you'll be able to post all day.

Re:Slashdot Censors Dissenting Views (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769632)

Back to the Future 2 already envisioned this.

Better than Open Source (1)

Pres. Ronald Reagan (659566) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769302)

I'd like to see an Open Source project come close to doing something this cool.

This is why Microsoft and propritary software and hardware is so cool.

Hmm, I wonder... (3, Interesting)

TooMuchEspressoGuy (763203) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769304)

I wonder how many commercials MS will add in between shows. If it's the 25+ minutes that is currently the norm on regular TV networks, then I doubt that they will get very many people to sign on.

I know that my money is staying in my pocket until someone introduces commercial-free subscription TV.

Re:Hmm, I wonder... (2, Funny)

krem81 (578167) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769463)

I know that my money is staying in my pocket until someone introduces commercial-free subscription TV.

Yes, if only someone [hbo.com] thought of that...

Re:Hmm, I wonder... (2, Insightful)

redheaded_stepchild (629363) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769610)

now if you could only get it seperated from the other 80 channels of ad-drowned garbage.

Re:Hmm, I wonder... (2, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769474)

I wonder how many commercials MS will add in between shows. If it's the 25+ minutes that is currently the norm on regular TV networks, then I doubt that they will get very many people to sign on.

It's called Subliminal Advertising. Microsoft is good A big hurdle, yet Microsoft is good is the required bandwidth, where cable cable is bad for you and satellite satellite bad for you have bandwidth galore as it's mostly Microsoft is good one way and minimally dependent Bill loves you consumer end hardware.

Besides, it isn't around soon enough Steve will dance for you to show you this. [yahoo.com]

"Mission accomplished", said President Gargamel

Re:Hmm, I wonder... (4, Funny)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769570)

They'll keep a 30 minute show to 30 minutes, but real programming will be sped up 1.4x from 22 minutes to 16 minutes, offering them 6 additional minutes of ads. The extra ads will be performed on the TV shows' sets by the actors, to confound the commercial skippers.

"Buy Irish Spring Soap, it even makes me smell good!" Malcolm Reynolds

My attempt at a +5 funny.. (0, Offtopic)

digital-madman (860873) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769305)

Obscure Referance Alert

"...except in Nebraska!"

-Digital Madman

MOD PARENT FUNNY (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769355)

Very obcure indeed and fucking funny!
You could get a chair thrown at you for that!

Re:My attempt at a +5 funny.. (1)

KodeK (887864) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769571)

For those of you who don't get it:

here [goyk.com]

- or -

here [goyk.com]

The MSterious Future (4, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769308)

IPTV is the needed "invention" to roll faster connections for less money. IPTV can offer a variable payment method - subscription (show, channel or all channels), pay per view, or ads. IPTV can bring low budget vids to a wide audience, and it can tell advertisers, content creaters and others who is really watching their shows.

But will government, cable distributors and Hollywood allow it? I already foresee the "monopoly monopoly!" posts, but I think only a few big players could start the ball rolling.

I am very interested in seeing what MS can do to overcome bandwidth concerns at the backbone, ISP and user level (TFA only eludes to it).

IPTV could destroy Tivo, Comcast and Fox if the content is broadcast quality or better. I fear blog production quality, though.

Will this eventually be a separately managed "Internet" bridged at the DSLAM or ISP level? Will MS involve enough big players to keep regulators off their back? Will it run Linux? Err...

Then again, it could be a WebTV failure as well.

We need to stop separating media into cable, POTS, cell, radio, Internet, etc. Its all just packets and it needs massive cohesion in order to be truly at-will. Use all that bandwidth for AnyPacket services and bandwidth will skyrocket while prices will plummet. Why is MS forced to chase landlines? Overregulation.

Funny though that MS is digging their own grave. IPTV = more bandwidth = more client-server software implementation.

I can't wait for the future.

Re:The MSterious Future (5, Informative)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769441)

But will government, cable distributors and Hollywood allow it?

Verizon and SBC have been having some problems licensing TV channels, but they'll probably just spend their way through the problem. There are also local franchise problems that are being slowly solved in various legislatures.

I am very interested in seeing what MS can do to overcome bandwidth concerns at the backbone, ISP and user level

You can't fix this problem in software. SBC is using VDSL over the last mile and the video will all be flowing over their own network (aka "walled garden"). IP multicast cuts down on the backbone traffic a lot.

IPTV could destroy Tivo, Comcast and Fox if the content is broadcast quality or better.

It is broadcast quality, but for the forseeable future you'll only be able to get IPTV from your last-mile broadband provider. Obviously cable companies have no need for IPTV, so that leaves the telcos. Telcos are just starting to roll out broadband networks that have enough capacity for IPTV (VDSL/FTTH). TiVo is an equipment/software provider, so they can survive in an IPTV world by making IPTV boxes instead of cable boxes. Fox is a content company, so IPTV will just be another distribution channel for their content.

Re:The MSterious Future (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769531)

Verizon and SBC have been having some problems licensing TV channels, but they'll probably just spend their way through the problem. There are also local franchise problems that are being slowly solved in various legislatures. Both over-regulation consequences.

IP multicast cuts down on the backbone traffic a lot. Maybe, but true IPTV would be on-demand rather than scheduled, IMO. Of course, if the back-end is closed and licensed, its doomed to fail. iTunes picks RSS feeds for podcasting from anyone, but IPTV will likely give us "what we don't want, when we don't want it."

TiVo is an equipment/software provider, so they can survive in an IPTV world by making IPTV boxes instead of cable boxes. Fox is a content company, so IPTV will just be another distribution channel for their content. Only if its scheduled, not on-demand, and only if its a closed backend to only be used by big media corporations.

Re:The MSterious Future (1)

sdpinpdx (66786) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769454)

I am very interested in seeing what MS can do to overcome bandwidth concerns at the backbone, ISP and user level (TFA only eludes to it).
If anyone could push wide deployment of IP Multicast [wikipedia.org] , it would be MSFT. Then again that would level the IPTV playing field somewhat, which is not the MSFT way.

Re:The MSterious Future (2, Interesting)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769491)

If anyone could push wide deployment of IP Multicast, it would be MSFT.

I doubt it. MS has been pushing IPv6 for years, and where is it?

Then again that would level the IPTV playing field somewhat, which is not the MSFT way.

Exactly. The MS IPTV business model does not involve sending anything over the Internet; all the video stays within each ISP's network. Thus no changes to the Internet backbone are needed.

Re:The MSterious Future (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769613)

The MS IPTV business model does not involve sending anything over the Internet; all the video stays within each ISP's network. Thus no changes to the Internet backbone are needed. /i> Which is why this is doomed to fail amongst the ever-growing geek and neogeek crowd.

This crowd wants both big media shows and RSS-fed indymedia shows. They want it when they need it, not when Nielson says it should be show. They want it funny/interesting/insightful 52 weeks a year, not just 4 weeks of sweeps and troll the other 48.

Information will combine better through Google rather than MS. I am so close to not separating my TV/radio/net/Phone data, but I'm just waiting for the Next Big Thing to combine it for me.

I doubt MS' IPTV will be it.

Re:The MSterious Future (1)

Xrathie (921592) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769662)

There has been tons of bandwidth on LANs for years and people have not been going back to dumb terminals and mainframes ...those days are dead ...DEAD.

Given what a shitpile Comcast On-Demand is (1)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769311)

(for which Microsoft wrote the software), I wouldn't give it much hope.

I See No Future For This Spammer: +1, Informative (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769320)


And his name is Shithead [blogspot.com]

Thank you very much.

I don't... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769321)

I don't watch television, you insensitive clod!

4 pictures at once??? (1)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769335)

Good grief. How many people evn use Picture in picture?
I get called foure eyes a lot, but even I have a hard time
following two screens at once, much less four.

record 4 primte time shows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769488)

You may wish to record 4 prime time shows at once though .. and only watch one at a time. Sometimes a show you are interested in on TLC is on at the same time a good show on the Discovery channel is on. So 4 simultaneous channel reception/decoding capability is not totally useless.

Re:4 pictures at once??? (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769489)

Yes, for me one outstanding application is Baseball. One could have All the games on at one time and not miss any of the action.

Re:4 pictures at once??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769517)

Two digicams and an open-minded girlfriend are what pic-in-pic was made for. Clearly you are a basement dweller.

Re:4 pictures at once??? (2, Funny)

SoloFlyer2 (872483) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769765)

Welcome to slashdot... you must be new here :)

Re:4 pictures at once??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769527)

i have 5-8 monitors/tv's in a circle around me, project (when not dead) one of which is a super wide screen multimonitor setup
i often use pip.

and if this doesn't blow your mind. i often pip inside a pip.
computer monitor to tv and tv inside tv switching channels.

yee simple minded folk.

for the love of $diety... (0, Flamebait)

Rodness (168429) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769349)

it's yet another area in which Microsoft can expand their monopoly...
I wish they'd focus on getting even just one thing RIGHT before they
worry about tying TEN things together.

what's next, the Microsoft Toaster/Fridge/Dishwasher/Hair dryer combo?

Re:for the love of $diety... (2, Insightful)

The_Quinn (748261) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769663)

it's yet another area in which Microsoft can expand their monopoly... I wish they'd focus on getting even just one thing RIGHT before they worry about tying TEN things together.

If dollars are votes, then you are NOT in the majority in your opinion.

Re:for the love of $diety... (0)

Xrathie (921592) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769709)

I am SOOOO glad there are people like you out there... as long as Microsoft keeps tieing everything together and the Freeware community doesnt I will continue to be worth alot more $$$ as a Microsoft specific programmer than you. When are you Linux people going to learn that integrating everything together IS the secret behind Microsofts success? No one wants the headache of tieing it all together for the programers... the programmers should make their software plug together like Microsoft does or else just be happy with a constant and distant 3rd place. P.S. NOTHING is perfect so get used to it. Microsoft will NEVER make one perfect piece of software and neither will you...besides HELLO WORLD...

Re-boot your TV in the middle of a Game? (1)

RoterheadPro (909161) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769354)

One thing about regular plain ol' TVs. They work. My Comcast DVR has so many problems that I have replaced it once (bad file links on the recordings). Many hangs, reboots etc.

This may be an interesting play toy for awhile, that will be about it. A friend just turned in his Vonage system as there were way too many problems for it to be a reliable phone system.

pointless? (2, Insightful)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769361)

to me this seems like such a waste. the few features mentioned sound like crap or not new. for instance the article says "imagine four live pictures on the screen at once" -- why would i want to watch 4 at once? anyway, picture in picture (you know, that button that says PIP that nobody uses) has been around since the dark ages. the other features mentioned are already available one way or another or are pointless.

Main use for multi screen is sports (1)

xswl0931 (562013) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769635)

Could come in handy if you're watching the Olympics

Re:pointless? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769673)

why would I want to watch 4 at once?

Do you ever have 4 apps open at once?

Right now on my dual screens I am focused on this window (1), but i am keeping mental track of:
(2) My IM window (did someone new sign on? did they send me a message?)
(3) My email window (did i get a response to my last email yet?)
(4) My Napster playlist (what song is playing? what song is coming up?)

Re:pointless? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769683)

How about on-demand movie playing. Sure some provides already do that (Germany's Premiere), but you have to buy into their expensive hardware and subscription. You didn't see yesterday's game? Just browse through this menu and select it for 8 this evening. Jesus, how about renting movies through you television? There are a lot of possibilities and the technology is out there, let's just hope TV provides will use them.

btw, at this year's PDC some lady showed how you can set a show for recording at 6am through your GSM.

Sure (4, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769363)

With PC sales slowing as the market saturates, Microsoft is salivating over the potential of faster-growing areas such as television and mobile phones.

Salivating? More like clawing desperately at taking over the living room. They already failed with WMA thanks to iPod.

All Apple has to do is release a video-based iPod, and it's bye-bye Windows in the living room as well--to be more specific, WMV (VC-1) will be dead along with H.264, which is already the primary codec for Blu-ray movies (Sony is already threatening X-Box 360's streaming movie capabilities thanks to Blue-ray, thereby making X-Box 360 useless since it has no Blu-ray or HD-DVD drive).

I'm sorry, the features sound cool, but a lot of Microsoft tech gadgets have come and gone that sounded cool on the surface but just didn't provide the right interface or were too cumbersome. As usual, I'll wait and see (and hope Apple does something to actually legitimize it).

Re:Sure (0, Troll)

grazzy (56382) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769459)

'scuse me, how did the iPod do anything to harm a VIDEO-format? All the iPod did was to inflate the price fo the standard mp3-player. And get alot of people robbed off the iPod becuase their unique design.

Apple legitimize? You're talking about the company that tried to force all their customers into using a single button mouse. You'll be kept waiting for a long time d00d. :)

Ps. http://www.mac-sucks.com/ [mac-sucks.com]

Re:Sure (4, Informative)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769558)

'scuse me, how did the iPod do anything to harm a VIDEO-format?

Beats me. I never said it did. I said an iPod video would kill WMV like the normal iPod has killed WMA. Reading comprehension...it's a good thing.

All the iPod did was to inflate the price fo the standard mp3-player. And get alot of people robbed off the iPod becuase their unique design.

Yeah, that's "all" it did. And all the Apple II did was legitimize the home personal computer.

Apple legitimize?

Yes, just like they did with the iTunes Music Store, which now has greater than 80% of the market.

You're talking about the company that tried to force all their customers into using a single button mouse.

Force? I was using multiple-buttoned mice in 1998.

Next.

Re:Sure (2, Informative)

interiot (50685) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769460)

They already failed with WMA thanks to iPod.
Well, there's another iPod announcement tommorow [engadget.com] ... Apple could have video wrapped up by then too.

Re:Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769464)

All Apple has to do is release a video-based iPod, and it's bye-bye Windows in the living room as well...

Yes, because nothing sounds better than watching video on your iPod when enjoying the comfort of your living room.

Re:Sure (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769583)

Especially when you can plug it into any television or monitor and enjoy the comfort of any living room you happen to be in.

Re:Sure (3, Insightful)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769756)

I'm sorry, the features sound cool, but a lot of Microsoft tech gadgets have come and gone that sounded cool on the surface but just didn't provide the right interface or were too cumbersome.

Microsoft's software always sounds good before it is actually released. We should check with some people [theregister.co.uk] who have already tried to use Microsoft's IPTV offerings.

Imagine.... (5, Insightful)

colonslashslash (762464) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769365)

"Imagine four live pictures on a screen at once"

Imagine two of those being horrible brainless reality TV re-runs peppered with commercials for products you wouldn't even think about buying, one a giant fat dirty BSoD and the other a rather fetching locked-up "Do you want to send this error report to Microsoft" dialog box floating happily on a background of hills and blue sky.

Ahh yes, the future is bright. The future is BallmerVision.

Ballmervision? (1)

convex_mirror (905839) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769559)

Ballmervision reminds me of: "The Battle for the minds of North America will take place in the Video Arena: the videodrome." But I'll just assume I don't need to get a mental image of Ballmer pulling a gun out of his, ahem, stomach. Argh, too late, too late. /obscure?

There's a terrifying thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769573)

The future is BallmerVision.
Monkeyboy, Monkeyboy, Monkeyboy. Can somebody please think of the chairs?

Re:Imagine.... (4, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769696)

When I saw the article title: "Microsoft Sees Future in IPTV" and the line "...Microsoft's biggest dreams may finally be coming true:"

The first thing I thought was "Intellectual Property Television", and "oh great, Microsoft is going to try to patent the idea of selling things on TV. AND start their own TV home shopping channel to boot.".

Must be too many anti-MS articles lately, I'm getting trigger happy....

Blurring the line... (3, Informative)

fragmentate (908035) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769367)

I remember when Amiga [amiga.com] was talking about such an environment. Where the lines between appliances were blurred. They dubbed it Digital Convergence [com.com] but never went very far with it.

The idea was that all of your devices serve a single purpose (they did in 1998, when this was published). But, Amiga had this vision that they'd develop a platform that could live on a TV, a computer, a mobile phone, even a PDA. You could watch TV on your phone. Or you could use your phone over the TV (huh?). Even better, your phone and your TV could be your computer.

The next ten years are definitely going to be interesting. Will Microsoft ever get this thing off the ground? Or will all of the litigation stifle it?

I realize what Microsoft is talking about is a bit different, at least on the surface. But if they have this portable "media OS" they can certainly take it to the next level -- the level of "Digital Convergence".

Re:Blurring the line... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769637)

Phone over tv, iow, Video Conferencing.

Re:Blurring the line... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769665)

Look, WebTV was bad enough for the Internet. Why are repeating it? Look at the mentally handicapped and severely delusional who bought into the first time. I don't think online forums and Usenet could stand another assault from the "I bought my computer at a prayer meeting" crowd.

Idiots (1)

CypherXero (798440) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769371)

"imagine four live pictures on a screen at once"

Wow, they must be stupid. I can view SIX live pictures on the screen at one time, and switch focus between them to hear the feed, and select the screen I want to make it full screen. I have Dish Network, with a built-in 100-hour DVR.

So...what was that about four live pictures at once?

The real annoyance. (3, Interesting)

Elgonn (921934) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769375)

Not ads or commercials but: How much DRM and proprietary hardware will be needed to view it?

Re:The real annoyance. (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769565)

How much DRM and proprietary hardware will be needed to view it?

The same amount as with digital cable. IPTV looks and feels just like digital cable (the boxes are even made by the same companies); the only difference is RTP/IP vs. TS/QAM transport protocols.

More Microsoft Innovation! (5, Funny)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769378)

Yup, nothing truly exists until Microsoft 'Innovates' it into existence. Nope, nobody ever thought of sending video over IP until today, thank God Microsoft is out there inventing the future for us.

Re:More Microsoft Innovation! (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769422)

No kidding. This was the most important line, in my opinion:

With PC sales slowing as the market saturates, Microsoft is salivating over the potential of faster-growing areas such as television and mobile phones.

Translates to: "We know Longhorn won't sell that much because people don't want to buy all new 3.5Ghz, DirectX 10 hardware just to display shadowed windows on the screen, so we have to chase after all the markets we've been flopping in for 12 years to make the shareholders happy and thinking Ballmer has control over this massive zit about to pop that we call Microsoft."

More creative ways to (2, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769384)

isolate people from one another, make them sedentary and homebound, render many hours of their days sterile and counterproductive,...

Great, that's all we need, 4 simultaneous screens filled with crap. If only they could raise the level of current programs and take commercials away, I'd pay dearly for such television. In the meantime, I'll stick to my books thank you very much.

Re:More creative ways to (2, Funny)

shadowmatter (734276) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769462)

... isolate people from one another, make them sedentary and homebound, render many hours of their days sterile and counterproductive,...

My god, they're making Slashdot TV!

I can't wait for the CmdrTaco news report -- with dupes :)

- shadowmatter

Re:More creative ways to (2, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769643)

"There was a flood in Jamaica. Ten thousand Bob Marley impersonators were swept out to sea."

[pause]

"And in other news, Jamaicans are worried that ten thousand Bob Marley impersonators may have been killed in freak flooding."

[pause]

"And in other news, the Bob Marley Impersonation Council is asking for donations to help in the recovery after disasterous Jamaican floods."

Re:More creative ways to (2, Insightful)

Bellum Aeternus (891584) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769602)

Yeah, 'cause books don't make you sedintary and they really do help with your social life too. Not that I watch a lot of TV, just the pot shouldn't be calling the kettle black. :-)

Re:More creative ways to (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769700)

This attitude is a real pet peeve of mine.

first, not everything on TV is crap. What is crap depends on the viewer now, doesn't it?
second, TiVO pretty much deals with the commercial issue.
Third, If they don't know what you would like to see, they'll never make it.
forth, this one is a biggy and may come as a surprise to you so you better be sure your fat ass is sitting down...what am I saying, of course it's sitting down. ok ready? here goes:
There are books that are crap too. More books are crap then every TV show ever. So if you don't want to get involved in any media that doesn't produce crap, I suggest you rip your eyes out of your head, and poke your ear drums out.

Re:More creative ways to (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769712)

Exactly why a truly revolutionary IPTV medium would:

1. Let you choose what you watch and when (and where: home, PC, PDA, vPod)

2. Let you choose how to pay (ads, PPV, subscription, surveys)

3. Let you choose the quality levels

4. Let you choose value added options (surround sound, multiple views for sports, optional languages)

5. Let anyway buy into the distribution, and receive a revenue share.

With Microsoft Involved... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769385)

It's doomed. At least what part of it they try to co-opt, manipulate, pwn, etc. Let's face it. They are best off if they stick to Office and Windows, although Vista may be the beginning of the end.

Their track record isn't promising.

That's bad news (1)

Uukrul (835197) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769386)

Microsoft is going to want to do a regulated market. So you may expect regulated IP Television, so no other little player can enter the game. May be a IP Television emission tax wold do the trick.

Popups! (1)

cycletronic (918616) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769391)

Gah, I don't want the new "Refinance your house! Click on your state!" with some weird animal dancing on my TV screen.

Re:Popups! (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769512)

Gah, I don't want the new "Refinance your house! Click on your state!" with some weird animal dancing on my TV screen.

No, they just have weird people suffering problems in B/W when suddenly the screen turns color while a salesman yells about a product when a bunch of stupid people applaud for about 30 minutes like it was the holy grail. 1-800-555-DUMB. CALL NOW!!

MS IPTV - watch out !!!!! (1)

COredneck (598733) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769394)

I can see Micro$h!t not only have DRM on any given show but would go as far as not to allow you skip commercial ads. They might even require a human response during the commercials in order to get at people who choose to get a drink or go to the bathroom during the ads.

You will not have any control on how you watch the content.

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769406)

Given MSNBC, and Microsoft's entire image as a dull, conservative company run by a single megalomaniac, I would have to say that this project is doomed before it starts. No one is going to want Microsoft TV...no one. They're going to pervert the promise of true democratized video to such a level that you won't even be able to get porn.

I'm not saying porn is the bee's knees...just that MS will be so afraid of tarnishing their god fearin' image with the sheeple soccer moms and sheeple sysadmins who buy their inferior software that their content is going to be nothing but a bunch of bleached blonde newscasters and XBox ads.

But at least it'll bring lots of n00bs to Halo Online...

Instant Channel Changes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769416)

"Instant Channel Changes". I've been looking forward to this features for a few years now ever since digital cable. The digital cable I have is so advanced that when I press flip through channels it literally takes 2 seconds for the picture to come in (i reckon the latency is to decompress or something?). Recently I was reminescing the good old analog days when you could just flip through channels and see the image of what's on (and also why they dont buffer the channel increment or at least screenshots).

--
PS> I hope M$FT or whoever decides to make old and/or documentary type programming available free or subscription based instead of going the route of overcharging.

Adware and Spyware (3, Insightful)

kludge99 (196947) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769419)

This brings a whole new level to the meaning of Adware and Spyware. Talk about your privacy concerns. Microsoft will know not only when you watch TV but also which channels.

IPTV Shows (1)

Viking5150 (97471) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769421)

I watch and recommend some great IPTV shows:

- This Week in Tech [thisweekintech.com]
- Digital Life TV [digitallifetv.com]
- Systm [revision3.com]

These are all hosted by former TechTV hosts.

Wait A Minute.... (2, Interesting)

mpapet (761907) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769430)

I've seen this article before.

1. New MS technology to revolutionize some industry MS doesn't dominate.
2. Feature list that makes you say "wow."
3. Feature list, like most MS products is 99.9% over-promised.
4. Does anyone really want a TV that downloads spam?
5. Does anyone want a TV that can interrupt them?
6. How about a TV that controls what you watch?

I seem to remember some TV viewing software in Windows 95 that made similar promises.

WARNING: Written by PR department. (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769437)

"Instant" channel changes? Hardly. Unless you're streaming all 10,000 channels over the customer's DSL2 line... which can't happen.

Sounds nice though, doesn't it?

It may be possible (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769538)

Anything less than one jnd [wikipedia.org] is "instant", and I vaguely remember reading that MS has some trick to do channel changes in only a few RTT, which would be good enough.

(Background: Analog TV systems can usually change channels in a few frames. But digital systems have to wait for the next I-frame, which may be a half-second or more. But if a server sent you the previous I-frame over unicast, you could start decoding much sooner.)

Re:WARNING: Written by PR department. (1)

schwaang (667808) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769555)

What if you pre-emptively decoded the next channel up and down, and any channel that the user is hovering over in the guide selector (if it's anything like digital cable)?

That would cover 75% of channel changes for me. The rest (where I punch in the channel number instead of surfing the guide) could be helped by keeping frequency-of-use information.

"Hey couch-potato #99432 just pressed 5, he's probably on his way to 550 which he watches on Tuesday nights, so start decoding it now. Oh and Walmart reports he just bought some new brand X shaving cream, show him an ad for brand Y."

I bet that's not how it works, but maybe it could...

Re:WARNING: Written by PR department. (1)

iosmart (624285) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769596)

It's actually true. The channels change a heck of a lot faster than regular digital cable/satellite. I know some people who know some people...

Re:WARNING: Written by PR department. (1)

easttuth (870185) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769601)

Current FTTP deployments allow 55 ms latency in TCP connections. A standard NTSC video signal typically requires a serial bit rate of 143.2 Mb/s. 30 MB/s (typical mid-range FTTP bandwidth) incoming would allow for a nearly instantaneous first frame response time on an NTSC signal, approximately 74.9 ms. Seems pretty instantaneous to me. Theoretically speaking, of course.

Considering the source... (1)

pmike_bauer (763028) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769449)

...does IPTV stand for Intellectual Property TV?

I can see it - but different (4, Insightful)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769479)

From what I've seen, the excitement of "IPTV" seems to be modeled on the wrong things. "Have four screens at once! Imagine all the TV you'll get!"

I think the real magic of IPTV will be convenience. Right now, I have an iPod for Podcasts (yes, the name sucks to some people - deal with it), and a Tivo at home. For some stupid ass reason, Tivo doesn't have their Desktop software with OS X 10.4, but that's another issue.

For me, the beauty of IPTV will be watching whatever I want. Whenver I want. Did I miss "Battlestar Gallactica" or the entire first season of "Veronica Mars" (Hey, I've seen the first three episodes - good show). Or "Firefly". With IPTV, and perhaps some sort of subscription in place of my cable, I can see them. Click the button to my set top Tivo-ish device, and I can watch the episode. Or use my account to view it on my phone as I travel nationwide. Or catch it on my laptop. I wouldn't even mind commercials so much (unless they were done in an onerous fashion - ie: if I pay $2 to watch an episode, I better damn well be able to fast forward a commercial if I want).

The rest of it ("instant channel changes"? My parents had that with a regular TV - it was called "Hey, kid, change the channel") is fluff. But IPTV has a need now. Look at how many people download episodes off of the net. I'll be honest: if I missed a show (pre-Tivo days), I'd bittorrent it and catch the other episodes later. I'm still hoping that Tivo fixes its desktop software to make it 10.4 compatible so next time I hop on a plane I can watch something there instead of feeling bad for violating intellectual property law by downloading a commercial-less TV episode through a peer to peer network. (Yes, I'm not sure if it's officially illegal or not, but since I'm assuming it is not legal, I still feel bad.)

What's going to be interesting is how Microsoft reacts. Right now, Apple has a near lock on the online music industry - and if my theory is right, they're manuevering so that within 5-10 years when iPods are down to $30-$50 apiece (aka - the price of a decent portable CD player right now), they'll make their money by being the driver of online music sales through the iTunes store, thereby becoming the Microsoft of music. (Oh, I'm sure the Apple fans are going to hate me for that one.)

My guess is that Apple is now hoping to do the same thing for online video sales. I don't predict an iPod Video tomorrow, but if Apple has an "Airport Express Video" or some other type of device with a tivo-ish remote control interface (store the movies/video podcasts/etc on your PC, stream through the wireless device in a oh-so-Apple cool and simple interface), they could make a move.

Microsoft is all about the PC - everything is the PC and serves it. Apple I think has learned that, with the iPod, they can keep the PC in there, but it's a side player; without the PC, the iPod would not function, but it doesn't matter if you use Windows or Mac, Apple still makes money. If they introduced another device that was like that, Apple could continue to have the PC be important, but not the *most* important thing.

(Which is why I think their recent market share sales went from 4.5% to 6.6% or something like that according to their latest financial statement - by making the PC unimportant with their devices, they made it easier to buy a Mac. Odd idea, and I'll let someone else tell me how wrong I am.)

If they had a device like that, the studios would be, like the iPod, forced to play with them or risk being locked out. MS would rather you bu a "media center PC" - yet another big complicated expensive box for the house, which may be giving them tunnel vision in their IPTV plans. So I'm not sure if they get it - but we'll just have to wait and see.

Of course, this is all my opinion. I could be wrong.

Over what pipeline? (1)

rubberbando (784342) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769481)

I can't see a cable/satelite company letting them send a competing television service using their pipeline and I can't see a phone/dsl provider letting them provide a competing phone service using their pipeline either.

Re:Over what pipeline? (1)

Chokolad (35911) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769530)

Have you read TFA ?

Instant channel changes!! (1)

DysenteryInTheRanks (902824) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769495)

Wow, "instant channel changes" is touted as a feature. Does anyone else remember when TVs had dials that instantly changed the channel? And then remote controls that did the same thing? Or when cable boxes could instantly change the channel?

It was only within the last 10 years that we began watching digitally compressed content over cable and satellite, and the decompression lag made flipping channels really slow. Now Microsoft is fixing things back to the way they _used_ to work in the first place and sellilng that as a feature.

Oh ya, they'll also let you work on a computer using the TV as a monitor, just like in the late 1970s. Yip. Ee.

Re:Instant channel changes!! (1)

bdcrazy (817679) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769689)

New and Improved!
No Batteries Required!
No waiting to save the image! ... on a package for a manual advance film camera for sale at target.

The more things change, the more they attempt sell you the same old crap and call it new.

I wish... (1)

AnonymousYellowBelly (913452) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769505)

... MS wouldn't see IT'S future. Someday I'll tell my son about the meteorite that exterminated MS vampires ;-)

I'm in awe... (1)

xwizbt (513040) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769519)

As someone who's recently challenged the UK licencing team for the right to own a TV without paying for the BBC, I'll be interested to see what content can be offered that will lure me back. I don't want to be treated like an idiot, don't expect my television to provide my opinion for me, don't want to find out what 'expert's think of something and prefer to have references to back up facts. I don't imagine this will go far.

Slashdot Comments Random Sampling (1)

NthDegree256 (219656) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769524)

Slashdot Comments Random Sampling

"Consumers will see cool new features -- imagine four live pictures on a screen at once -- instant channel changes and more options for on-demand video rentals, including high-definition content. Microsoft TV also merges phone services, so incoming messages, e-mail and caller ID can be displayed on users' television screens."

Comments: "Four pictures? What kind of idiots are they, who needs four pictures at once," "on-demand video rentals? great, another pipeline for Microsoft to start sucking money out of," "messages, email, and caller ID on my screen? too much clutter, Micro$oft!"

Now, imagine it with one key word changed.

"Consumers will see cool new features -- imagine four live pictures on a screen at once -- instant channel changes and more options for on-demand video rentals, including high-definition content. Apple TV also merges phone services, so incoming messages, e-mail and caller ID can be displayed on users' television screens."

Comments: "Four pictures? Hmm, can't say I'd use it myself but I can see people wanting this," "on-demand video rentals? good, they'll probably tie it in to iTunes so it can all go through one smooth source," "messages, email, and caller ID on my screen? leave it to Apple to find a clean, simple way to tie everything together in one package!"

Or even...

"Consumers will see cool new features -- imagine four live pictures on a screen at once -- instant channel changes and more options for on-demand video rentals, including high-definition content. Insert your favorite Linux distro here TV also merges phone services, so incoming messages, e-mail and caller ID can be displayed on users' television screens."

Comments: "Four pictures? all right, that's a good way to manage things," "on-demand video rentals? great, that's just what I need! I'll even stop pirating because the open-source community is finally getting in the action," "messages, email, and caller ID on my screen? so convenient! Why can't those hacks at Micro$oft come up with something like this?"

Hey, I'm having fun with this.

"Consumers will see cool new features -- imagine four live pictures on a screen at once -- instant channel changes and more options for on-demand video rentals, including high-definition content. SCO TV also merges phone services, so incoming messages, e-mail and caller ID can be displayed on users' television screens."

Comments: ... well, I think we all know how this one will go.

And personally, I'd just like to add... four screens? Imagine a beowulf cluster...

Couldn't give a damn (2, Interesting)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769537)

Quite frankly as technology moves forward, TV becomes less and less important in my life so the prospect of 4 simultaneous screens, interactive 'this', view again 'that' leaves me cold. For the same reason, building new features into the TV is aiming at the wrong device - I spend more time on my computer than watching TV - and that's NOT to say I live and breathe computers 24/7.

The Internet is a wonderful tool that has allowed me to do my job (IT support and consultancy), keep in touch with old friends, see what's on in the local cinemas, check out local live music, order books, CDs and DVDs online and contribute to technical discussions etc. and gadgets such as a SmartPhone and PDA mean I can check email and perform remote diagnostics and configs wherever I am.

Sad techie? - not really, the portability of my support tools means I do not have to be tied to the office all day - I can be 'on the road' meeting people, working from home or even taking 'time out' to do what I want to do until something needs my attention. Far from nailing me down in front of a 'media wall' of plasma/LCD TVs, the Internet and technology has got me 'out and about', socialising and spending more time in the real world.

The prospect of more sophisticated media delivery via the Internet is 'logical' from an evolutionary perspective but right now I'd give up my TV if it wasn't for my 5 year old Son and his Children's programs, my wife's love for all things 'soap' and the fact that I watch the news every now and then.

Deliver my 'regular' TV via IP if you wish but do it because it makes it cheaper or happens to be 'the way to go', but not because you think I am crying out for wall-to-wall soaps, drama, comedy etc. 4-up on the display!

Information and learning via IP TV - well Digital analogue, digital terrestrial and satellite can do that already. but I suppose you gain interactivity 'built in'. Alert me when a phone call comes in? - er, my basic phone does that by making a noise. Well I suppose with the new system, when a call comes in it will start to record the current programme in case I miss something - well, if the program was *that* watchable I'd keep watching unless ther was some kind of emergency - but the number of times that has happened in my life so far? - er - zero; and if I miss the news it will be round again in half an hour.

The target markets are interesting - India, China and 'developing' countries - hmm, sounds like a good idea to lock every one into your 'all-in-one' system whereas right now I have the freedom to buy a TV, radio, computer (email), landline telephone service and rent DVDs from anyone I want and mix and match service providers to suit me - oh, and then what happens when there's a local distribution point failure - I lose all my comms and media services in one go?? - brilliant!!

Been there, done that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769547)

imagine four live pictures on a screen at once...

I've previously imagined 10 live pictures at once. ;-)

DirecTV has this (1)

Kallahar (227430) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769551)

DirecTV has a few stations that show four shows at once. It's a quick way to see what's on on several networks at once, or you can see what story the major news channels are showing. Only one has sound.

It may sound like a fun idea, but in reality it really isn't all that useful, you can only have sound on one at a time anyway, and I'm sure you can't read the CC for four stations at once...

The Devil's Playground (1, Troll)

Doomedsnowball (921841) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769552)

If you have time to watch television you are completely useless to everyone and everything except marketers. TV is no longer the best medium for either entertainment or information. Or productivity if you are watching it on a computer. If you are interested in this new Microsoft product, you should just go and take yourself out of the gene-pool thus cutting demand for this kind of useless crap.

don't scare me like that! (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769557)


IPTV is more commonly know arond these parts as Iowa Public Television, the state run science, educational, and childrens channel. That would have to be one of the last places I would want to see M$. (it's bad enough M$ has managed to get advertisements on what used to be an advertisement-free channel)

Innovation... (1)

JordanL (886154) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769560)

Kudos to MS for actually implementing something no one ever has before.

IPTV is the Future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769563)

Now whether Microsoft is part of that future remains to be seen, but I think IPTV will replace all of the other technologies out there. It already has support for some great features, and the possibilities are endless. I have IPTV with an AmiNET110 [aminocom.com] box and I couldn't be more pleased with my setup. There are still many features to be sought, but it allows for easy updates and adding of features, includes gaming and IR keyboard support, not to mention it is based on Linux.

Well duh (1)

Solr_Flare (844465) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769566)

IPTV(or some similar implementation) is the future. Same as digital distrobution gaining ground in the music industry and gaming industry. The movie industry is already exploring their options too.

The problem is, and always has been, our sorely lacking infastructure. Not every home has broadband, and most homes that do can't afford the "super deluxe" high bandwith options. Beyond that, most ISPs offer horrendusly shoddy customer service. Frequent outages, slow speeds, etc are the norm(more so the futher you move out of densely populated regions).

Without a good infastructure in place, IPTV and the like will never be huge money making successes. This is especially the case because poor digital signal results in horrendous pixelation and audio distortion. At least with analog you just get a slightly fuzzier picture. You need strong consistant bandwidth to pull this off and most places just aren't there yet. We *are* getting there, but we've got another decade or two to go before it gets really solid.

And that's in technologically sophisticated countries. Tack on another 20 to 100 years to that figure for 3rd world countries.

Worst Fear: A BSoD on my TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769605)

The only problem I have with this is MS's trackrecord w/ stability. Do we really want a TV that will go belly up and need to be rebooted in the middle of our pay-per-download movie?

bad TV outdone (1)

wardk (3037) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769690)

wow, and I though television had sunk to it's lowest already.

moore's law applies to the bottom end too, eh?

Think of the children! (1)

havardi (122062) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769693)

Why does every new product/technology have to be "used in India, China and other developing countries, where it could provide education and government services"?

On the eve of Apple announcement (1)

andygrace (564210) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769720)

Interesting timing considering Apple's probably going to release an iTunes style video download store tomorrow.

The problem is not how to get more live streams of video into the lounge room, but how to get a viewer's favorite shows delivered to them automatically and display them on a big screen without rewiring the house. That's why a wireless link between TV and computer with cheap integrated H.264 decoder is a brilliant idea. 1.5+ Megabits/sec of H.264 can be fairly decent HD and it's not going to overtax broadband connections.

We need to move to a non-linear world of video and move away from the '57-channels-and-nothing-on' effect. Video podcasting/TV on demand is better and there are two business models - pay per show, without any commercials or free with some kind of advert at the start.

This is a geniune threat to the current broadcast/satellite operators and as well as video rental stores, but it is a great model for content producers. And think of all those statistics.

IPTV/Network Broadcast/Satellite/Cable is still good for live events, but most television is prerecorded and show based. I think Apple have this one nailed.

single play DVD? (1)

pbjones (315127) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769727)

Single Play DVD, Now IPTV? I can't see a breakthough here as people have been streaming video for years and I doubt that anything does will be 'almost' seamless. Good luck to them, if they can get the major content providers to play the game too.

Instant channel changes? (1)

fbg111 (529550) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769755)

Consumers will see cool new features -- imagine four live pictures on a screen at once -- instant channel changes

Yeah, I hate having to wait several minutes from when I push the channel change button to when the channel actually changes, as with all current TV's. What a godsend this new innovation will be!
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