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The Internet Media Microsoft Television

Verizon and Microsoft Partner for IPTV 242

benore writes "According to the AP, Verizon joins other baby bells SBC and Bellsouth in choosing Microsoft to provide TV content over high speed internet. IPTV, whose technology will deliver TV content in much the same way as VOIP delivers phone service, relys heavily on fiber optic speeds. According to SBC, Microsoft's IPTV technology will allow a home to receive 3 standard TV signals, 1 HD channel, and high-speed Internet access all at the same time."
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Verizon and Microsoft Partner for IPTV

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  • Trendy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tarcastil ( 832141 ) on Friday January 28, 2005 @10:32PM (#11510761)
    I like how Microsoft, like Apple, is moving beyond just PCs.
    • Re:Trendy (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Microsoft bought WebTV an awful long time ago.

      Microsoft's been trying to move beyond just PCs for years. The only thing Apple did that was new or surprising or different from Microsoft was that they tried to move beyond just PCs and succeeded
    • Not really (Score:3, Insightful)

      by WindBourne ( 631190 )
      This is just a backdoor into the cables and hollywood. MS can see the writing on the wall with OSS. Now, they need a new monopoly.
      • "Now, they need a new monopoly."

        Yes because everything they touch becomes a monoply. IIS, XBOX, PocketPC, MSN...
        • IIS, XBOX, PocketPC, MSN...

          No, but they tried like hell on IIS and MSN. Both were shot in the foot by MS themselves (IIS is a security nightmare).

          XBOX and PocketPC are still being worked on. I do not give PocketPC better than a 25% shot at it (linux is moving up and ipod is a prelude to a pocket PC), but XBOX is well on its way. I am in hope that the cell can stop it, but that is simply trading one monopoly for another. I am tired of that. Back in the 80's, I pushed MS as a way to fight IBM's monopoly. T

          • "No, but they tried like hell on IIS and MSN."

            Duh. It's called bidness.

            "XBOX and PocketPC are still being worked on. I do not give PocketPC better than a 25% shot at it(linux is moving up and ipod is a prelude to a pocket PC)..."

            Eh. Linux on it's own isn't going to replace the PocketPC. Microsoft's not only working on the OS, but on making apps that are useful as well. For example, PocketPCs work really well with Office. Also, Microsoft's moves to make WMP a more widely adopted video standard are
    • "I like how Microsoft, like Apple, is moving beyond just PCs."

      You left out HP and Sony. But, yes, Microsoft is obviously following Apple's every move even though any company in their position would diversify, too.
      • "I like how Microsoft, like Apple, is moving beyond just PCs."

        You left out HP and Sony.

        Yeah, it's about time that Sony and Hewlett-Packard made something besides computers :-)

  • But.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Alias777 ( 841435 ) <gregmiller2&gmail,com> on Friday January 28, 2005 @10:36PM (#11510788)
    Will the general public latch on to this? In the past, to my knowledge, they have not been jumping to joy to buy new equipment to use a service that ultimatly has less costs overall. Main Point : Comsumers are lazy. They dont want to have to do anything to get what they want. They want good TV, and they want it now.
    • Re:But.... (Score:4, Funny)

      by bstadil ( 7110 ) on Friday January 28, 2005 @10:46PM (#11510849) Homepage
      They want good TV

      A conjecture so well supported by the latest reality TV craze.

    • One benefit is that IPTV can require less bandwidth than existing cable systems, which shoot every channel available to a customer in a continuous stream all the way to that viewer's set-top box. The viewer then selects a channel to watch, typically using a remote control and a set-top box.

      With IPTV, only the desired channels are transmitted to the home. In theory, that allows the company selling programming through an IPTV system to offer a limitless choice of channels.

      Pay for the 3 or 4 channels worth
      • You don't have access to just 3 or 4 channels, rather you can receive 3-4 channels of content simultaneously (ex: for different tvs in a house, or your tv + vcr, etc).
      • IPTV only sends the channels that you are currently watching, but they still bill you for all the channels you have access to. Due to the way the content owners have structured the contracts, you'll never get a la carte TV channels unless the government intervenes.
    • Most likly they will do what they do now, they offer you the hardware for free to signup with their servies, like a cable modem or cable box.

      People love to jump onto new technology when its free, how many people do you know that have the dvr cable boxes, these have only been popular for what about 18 months, maybe more, and sience you can have one for only $xx.xx dollars per month, everyone got one.
    • They want good TV, and they want it now.

      You mean they want to be numbed and they want to be brain-dead now.

      If MS could come up with IPTequila, then they would have something customers want.
  • by FunWithHeadlines ( 644929 ) on Friday January 28, 2005 @10:37PM (#11510794) Homepage
    "Microsoft's IPTV technology will allow a home to receive 3 standard TV signals, 1 HD channel, and high-speed Internet access all at the same time."

    While simultaneously allowing Microsoft to spy on your TV viewing habits, not to mention which shows you tape. Oh sorry, I thought I was reading the WMV license terms. But you get the idea. Let Microsoft in your living room and you never know what you are agreeing to.

    Oh well, just a little baseless paranoia for a Friday night.

    • The next headlines: Microsoft acquires Tivo. Microsoft offers IPTV discount with purchase of Xbox Next. Xbox Next comes packaged with Windows Media Center Edition, etc. This is a wet dream for Microsoft..
    • Its no different then all their other software (xbox windows ie etc). I dont think alot of people would care about them spying on their viewing habits if they belive that it will enhance their expierence.

      • I certainly wouldn't. If microsoft has to sell anonymous data about my viewing habits to support a feature worth having, it wouldn't bother me in the least. TiVo does it and noone really cares.
        Maybe I'm weird, but I honestly don't care who knows what I'm watching. Oh nohs they'll find out i watched Real Sex eXXXtra!
    • You mean what tivo currently does? I love how my directivo requires a daily call even though it downloads updates straight off the sat feed and gets the guide from the feed aswell.
  • by craXORjack ( 726120 ) on Friday January 28, 2005 @10:39PM (#11510803)
    besides my TV viewing being at the mercy of DOS attacks and trackable (you think http cookies have been abused, just wait) and limited since I can currently buy more satellite receivers if I want more simultanious HD streams?
  • by freralqqvba ( 854326 ) on Friday January 28, 2005 @10:40PM (#11510810) Homepage
    "to be transmitted in the language of the Internet"

    Finally we'll be able to get the news in 1337 - and I never throught I'd live see the day.
  • Can't wait to see (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 28, 2005 @10:42PM (#11510822)
    For years, both the cable companies and the telephone companies, when confronted about the fact that they respectively tend to hold local monopolies in many areas, have defended this by saying "we're not a monopoly; I mean, we have a [cable/telephone] monopoly, of course, but it isn't a monopoly because we have to compete with [telephone/cable].

    But then something interesting started happening, and we see the beginnings of the final stages of it with this Verizon/Microsoft partnership. Now the Cable companies are all trying to do exactly what the telephone [now dsl] companies do, and the telephone [now dsl] companies are all trying to do exactly what the Cable companies do, and they're both getting good enough at it that anything having to do with satellite dishes will be entirely marginalized pretty quickly.

    I can't help but think it won't be too long before your area's one telephone company does, in fact, compete with your area's one cable company, and your area's one cable company does compete with your area's one telephone company, but neither of them compete with anyone else in any fashion. When this happens I don't think it will be too long before collusion between the cable and dsl companies becomes an absolute standard. Why not? Duopolies are good for business, and what's good for business, at the expense of consumers or no, is apparently good for America.
  • I Pee TV? (Score:3, Funny)

    by reymyster ( 521177 ) <acuity AT gmail DOT com> on Friday January 28, 2005 @10:44PM (#11510834) Homepage
    I wonder how one would pee tv streams...I bet HD would hurt
  • by ozzmosis ( 99513 ) * <ahze@ahze.net> on Friday January 28, 2005 @10:44PM (#11510841) Homepage Journal
    I'm not sure I totally understand but when it says "recieve 3 standard TV signals, 1 HD channel" does it mean you will only be able to have 3 boxes in your house to recieve TV from IPTV?
    • It means, if you're trying to watch that much TV, you've maxed out the bandwidth available to you. Since they're using Microsoft, I'd guess the video will be encoded WMV9. Which means, a little over 6 Mbps for the HD channel, and 1 Mbps each for the SD channels. So, they'll give you around 10 Mbps worth of data to your home.
  • Prefixes (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Alias777 ( 841435 )
    IP over anything, I suspect, will be the new craze. First there was X[insertname], then it was i[insert capital letter and name here], now its VO[insertname]. They [consumers and companies] seem to go towards prefixes that sound cool and scientific. Like the cosmetics companies trying to make up names that sound very medical. Now they are marketing VOIP, it was about a year and a half from when it was first introduced and announced. Will this come early or late? 2005 or 2010?

  • What company caved in and let Microsoft buy them, so Microsoft can add "IPTV" to their product portfolio?
  • Because regular TV (Score:5, Insightful)

    by agraupe ( 769778 ) on Friday January 28, 2005 @11:03PM (#11510937) Journal
    Regular TV just wasn't doing it for me... I mean, actually having to move *from* my computer *to* the couch? How am I supposed to manage that? I also have always hated how big my TV is and how comfortable my couch is. I would much rather watch a small screen that a) has bottom and top black boxes or b) has a horrible resolution and sit on my computer chair!
  • by wowbagger ( 69688 ) on Friday January 28, 2005 @11:05PM (#11510945) Homepage Journal
    "You have changed the channel. Your TV must reboot for this change to take effect...."

    "Hi! It looks like you are watching Fear Factor. Would you like me to help you lower your IQ furthur?"

    "TV update has detected 14 new updates, 5 of them critical. Install now?"

    "You have changed your PVR, stereo, and snackbowl. You must re-register your TV before you continue."

    "J00 5uk3r! PW3N3D!"

    "Program JSPRINGER.EXE has causes an exception in GOODTASTE.DLL..."

  • by zymano ( 581466 ) on Friday January 28, 2005 @11:07PM (#11510965)
    Who needs them ! What we need is high speed fiber to the home thats AFFORDABLE ,$20-30 a month that uses all it's bandwidth to INTERNET 2 or something similar. Having 3 regular Digital channels and one HDTV channel is stupid. I don't want to see QVC in HD. Who will decide on what we see ? Same problems as always without Alacarte. Same stupid Kiddy shows, Sports shows, News shows, reruns. Fuck em all. I am sick of Corporate rule.
  • by Utopia ( 149375 ) on Friday January 28, 2005 @11:09PM (#11510979)
    The demo I saw allowed allowed selection of different camera angles based on personal preferences in a baseball game.

    It looked awesome. I was also suprised at the quality of the streams and the speed at which channels could be changed. Since there is no TV tuner it had multiple Picture-in-picture capabilities.

    I can't wait for Verizon to install fiber in my area.
    I will be subscribe to this from day one.

    • also have an 'angle button'

      can you name a non-porn dvd that uses it? and for bonus points- do you own any?

      the fact that different angles are available- means squat.

      • Bonus feature disks on commercial DVDs. The UHF commentary track. The Men in Black on-screen commentary. The multiple language tracks on the official Star Wars Extra Special Edition DVD set.

        As well as the "Myterious Mysteries" pre-ANH DVDr laserdisc transfer. You can use the angle button to switch between the restored 1977 opening crawl and the 1981 "A New Hope" crawl.

        The Angle feature, is really multiple simultaneous video streams. And it is used fairly frequently.

    • Are you sure it wasn't a "it should be like this" demo, not a "this is actually IPTV running on stage, right now" demo?
    • That demo was pretty cool. I saw it because I downloaded the "bill gates gets blue screen during product demo" video, and it was in the same presentation. Interested parties can download the whole thing here [ntitemp.com]. or here. [linux.gda.pl] (You can stream it from MS faster but they edited out the many many techincal difficulties...)
    • For those not so fortunate you can watch Bill's keynote here [microsoft.com]. Not nearly as good as Job's keynotes, but it has Conan O'Brien. You can also see the two errors that got so much attention right after CES. 1 hour. Rated G for Gates.
    • it had multiple Picture-in-picture capabilities

      With only 3 channels (and 1 HD channel), even with one level of P-in-P, you're watching half the channels. Just 3 channels sounds kind of weak. Often said: "500 channels and nothing's on." With 3 channels, it better be offering something completely out of the box, not just the same old teevee.

      I wonder how using it for TV watching sucks down the bandwidth for other things, like dowloading huge files. Or vice versa.

  • Reboot my TV? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by saundersr ( 842208 ) on Friday January 28, 2005 @11:13PM (#11511005)
    it's really going to suck when my tv signal freezes up for no reason like my windows box does.... I don't know that I really want microsoft taking over anymore of the world than it has already...
  • by jd ( 1658 ) <imipak AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday January 28, 2005 @11:17PM (#11511030) Homepage Journal
    This is probably done via multicast. No sane company would attempt to distribute feeds of this kind using unicast/point-to-point technology. Oh, right, this is Microsoft, isn't it. Hmmm.

    Even so, that's probably the way they'll go. They have to, if they are to reach the number of consumers they'd need to be profitable. This is where there's a problem, though. ISPs don't provide multicast to the home. Microsoft would have to force a radical shift in attitudes amongst ISPs, if this plan is to have a hope of working.

    Multicasting would solve one of the other concerns mentioned by Slashdot users - privacy. Because routers only know the next link in the chain, it would be impossible for Microsoft to determine who was listening to the multicast transmission.

    However, this creates a problem for the cable companies. Anyone can set up a multicast feed. It's easy. This means that anyone can set themselves up as a TV station, virtually unregulated by the FCC (which has next to no authority on Internet matters), with none of the licensing issues "real" broadcasters have to endure.

    Although Joe Average is unlikely to offer serious competition any time soon, start-up channels which start entirely on the Internet would have significantly lower overheads and therefore have more money to produce quality output. Those start-ups may very well be dangerous to existing TV stations.

    TV-over-IP, because it would be unregulated, completely bypasses all ownership rules. This means that newspapers and radio stations that are looking to muscle into TV would have an advantage as they could get into IPTV without restriction, whereas TV companies are limited in what they can do in other media.

    Multicasting is already supported across the Internet backbone, which means overseas operators could transmit to US homes. As it stands, several European sports channels are already relayed over the Multicast backbone. Those channels stand to reach a lot of extra homes, if this is the method Microsoft adopts, which would likely be very interesting news to their sponsors.

    Of course, if the F/OSS community could pressure Internet Providers to switch multicasting on now, it would preempt Microsoft's strategy, which in turn means that our favorite monopolist would not gain total control over the entire televised media industry.

    • This is where there's a problem, though. ISPs don't provide multicast to the home.

      Yeah but, well, Verizon is an ISP. They could start.
    • Well, having multicast certainly could kill the oligopoly that is TV.

      That's what the DRM is for, probably. But if they can't tell if anyone's breaking the DRM...

      It's Microsoft. I'm sure they'll find a way to fuck it all up.
    • Don't be so optimistic. The headend will probably be inside the ISP's network, so they will only enable mulitcast inside their own network. And they will hack their routers so that only their central server can create multicast groups.

      Oh yeah, the edge routers can log multicast joins so they still know what you're watching (although "they" is the ISP, not Microsoft).
    • Because routers only know the next link in the chain, it would be impossible for Microsoft to determine who was listening to the multicast transmission.

      Since this is Microsoft we're talking about, you will probably be forced to use DRM-encumbered software that reports back what channel you're watching.

      Of course, if the F/OSS community could pressure Internet Providers to switch multicasting on now ...

      To do this, we'd need a killer app.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    From the article: "IPTV, whose technology will deliver TV content in much the same way as VOIP delivers phone service, relys heavily on fiber optic speeds."

    Verizon can't even provide decent (>768Kb/s) SDSL service in New York, which is one of its core markets. When I called them 2 months ago, SDSL was still a "new technology" to them. Go speak to someone in IT who deals with Verizon on daily basis, they'll tell that Verizon and incompetence go together.

  • Huge mergers like this always remind me of Fight Club.

    "When deep space exploration ramps up, it will be corporations that name everything. The IBM Stellar Sphere. The Philip Morris Galaxy. Planet Starbucks."

    • This is the first insightful and correct usage of a Fight Club quote I've ever seen. So much so, in fact, that my first instinct wasn't blind hatred.

      Props ;)
    • You got the quote wrong, and ironically it is in fact Microsoft that is mentioned by Jack:

      "When deep space exploration ramps up, it will be corporations that name everything: The IBM Stellar Sphere. The Microsoft Galaxy. Planet Starbucks."

  • Imagine if this was available to people who get hi-speed Internet via cable. Sure, it would serve no purpose to get TV-over-IP-over-TV, but some people would do it just to be cool. Also, why should I get DSL (or fibre-optic, or whatever this needs) and ditch my TV any more than I should get cable tv, internet, and VOIP?

  • That stands for Intellectual Property Television, right?

  • bandwidth...... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by doormat ( 63648 ) on Saturday January 29, 2005 @12:11AM (#11511299) Homepage Journal
    1 HD channel = 20Mbit/s (maximum at 1080i, dont know if it would support 1080p/30)
    3 SD TV channels = 3Mbit/s each, 9Mbit/s total
    Internet variable, probably at least 1-2Mbit/s

    Total BW: 30Mbit/s.
  • by calstraycat ( 320736 ) on Saturday January 29, 2005 @12:13AM (#11511306)
    Great. Now we will have the same piss-poor programs from the same five mego-opoly media behemoths streaming into our homes but, this time, transmitted on a different pipe using a different transmission protocol. Whoop-tee-do.

    Seriously, more competition in the service provider space might keep prices down, but since it will be the same garbage programing, I can't get very excited.

    Although I'd rather not see Microsoft's proprietary technology used in the transmission protocol, I'm not too worried. TV streams from the Baby Bells are still a long way off for most people. The vast majority of their outside plant facilities need backhoe-style upgrades to get that fiber to your house.

    I know they are claiming these services are just around the corner, but they have been saying that for about 15 years now. How many of you can't get a DSL line because you are on a long line? Of those who can get it, how many get more than 1.5 Mbps? Yeah, thought so.

    They need at least 10 Mbps to each house for this roll-out. It's gonna be a while.
  • OK, this is the THIRD time this stupid story has been posted. And STILL there is not one single bit of IPTV. Can we just agree to not post this story ever again? Or at least until there IS such a thing as IPTV?
  • I neither have the 3 standard TV signals, nor the 1 HD channel, nor my high-speed Internet connection.
    I have nothing, becuase someone installed something he shouldnt have.
  • Delivering TV over IP is not as hard as you might think and not as expensive either. At least not the consumer part. Laying the fiber is the expensive and time consuming part but that can be handled. The most annoying part of the whole sh-bang is the content providers. None of them want to see their content comming anywhere close to the internet. I have worked with many people who wanted to develop such a plan and everyone was stopped by the content providers. Then again, who has every lasted long against m
  • Nobody watches television any more.
  • by ApheX ( 6133 ) on Saturday January 29, 2005 @12:21PM (#11513624) Homepage Journal
    3 SDTV and 1 HDTV channel.

    This doesn't mean only ONE channel in the service is HDTV, it means that you can only receive 1 HDTV channel at a time. If I only have 1 TV in my house that is HDTV complaint - thats fine, I can watch any of the HDTV channels on it, however, if I have more than ONE HDTV in the house, they are both going to have to be tuned to the same channel. Also, if you have more than 4 TVs in the house going at the same time, 2 of them would have to be watching the same show. While maybe the assume that many people wouldn't have more than 1 HDTV and 3 SDTVs it almost sounds like a step back to the days of pre-multiswitch satellite, when you had your 1 receiver feeding all the tvs in the house the same show.

    I'll keeo my DirecTV and TiVos thanks.

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