Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Microsoft Mediaroom 2.0 Extends IPTV to PCs and Phones

As part of Microsoft's digital entertainment strategy, Microsoft announced Microsoft Mediaroom 2.0, the next version of its IPTV solution for service providers.

Microsoft said that while its original version of Mediaroom enabled services to be viewed on TV set-top boxes and on Xbox 360 game consoles, Mediaroom 2.0 alleviates the need for operators to deploy redundant systems, allowing them to expand the reach of their television service to include Windows 7-based PCs via Windows Media Center, Web browsers on both Macs and Windows-based PCs and, in the future, compatible smartphones.

Specifically, Mediaroom 2.0 gives service providers the ability to offer their subscribers features such as:

  • The ability to stream live and on-demand content to the TV but also devices such as PCs and phones

  • The same on-demand experience on the PC with Windows Media Center in Windows 7.

The Mediaroom software supports whole-home digital video recording, on-demand capabilities, access to both operator-hosted content and Internet TV, and interactive applications. Mediaroom 2.0 also adds support for Microsoft Silverlight and Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) Smooth Streaming for the access and delivery of on-demand content. In addition, support for Microsoft PlayReady preserves the service providers' ability to secure their content libraries and monetize consumer experiences.

Mediaroom 2.0 also adds new on-demand storefront that further enhances the monetization potential for Mediaroom service operators.

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Microsoft also noted some key Xbox and Xbox LIVE stats:

  • There are now over 39 million Xbox 360 consoles around the world, and more than 500 million games have been sold.

  • Between Christmas and New Years Day, Xbox LIVE experienced its busiest week ever, adding a new member every second and a record of more than 2.2 million concurrent members online.

  • Nearly 10 million people have logged into Xbox LIVE's nongaming applications -- Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, Last.fm, Sky, Canal and Zune -- using their Xbox as a way to stay connected to friends and family.

  • Xbox LIVE membership is now an active community of over 20 million people.