Sunday, April 15, 2007

Microsoft Expands IPTV Ecosystem, Cites Growing Deployments Worldwide

Microsoft has expanded its list of partners supporting its IPTV Edition software platform to include 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.

Microsoft's existing IPTV ecosystem partners include Alcatel-Lucent; set-top box manufacturers Cisco Systems (Scientific Atlanta), Motorola, Philips and Tatung Co.; chip manufacturers Sigma Design Inc. and STMicroelectronics; server solution providers HP and IBM Corp.; and encoder providers Cisco Systems (Scientific Atlanta), Harmonic, Motorola and TANDBERG Television.

Microsoft also noted that its IPTV Edition now has deployments under way with nine leading service providers and trials with seven additional providers, representing a footprint across 15 countries on four continents.