Author Topic: Microsoft Mediaroom Powers New HD IPTV Service from Canada's MTS  (Read 1950 times)

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Offline joshua minaya

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Microsoft contacted [itvt] last week to let us know that MTS Allstream, a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian telco, Manitoba Telecom Services, has launched an HDTV service in Winnipeg, based on the Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV platform and various technologies from Mediaroom reseller and systems-integration partner, Alcatel-Lucent. According to Microsoft, the new service offers 30 HDTV channels (with more to be rolled out later this year), DVR service, and an EPG with picture-in-picture capability; and is slated to roll out additional advanced services later this year. It is currently available in limited areas of Winnipeg. "We are thrilled to bring the most advanced TV experience in Canada to Winnipeg residents and to share the next generation of TV with our customers," Kelvin Shepherd, president of consumer markets at MTS Allstream, said in a prepared statement. "We are proud that we have built an innovative product like no other in the country with industry leaders Alcatel-Lucent and Microsoft, and we look forward to providing our customers with Canada's number one TV entertainment experience."
In other recent Microsoft Mediaroom news:
--The company announced last week that US incumbent telco, AT&T, whose U-verse IPTV service is powered by the Mediaroom platform, plans to use Microsoft PlayReady content access and protection technology to enable shared content and converged entertainment experiences across its television, broadband and wireless services. As part of the deal, Microsoft says it will add support for PlayReady into the Mediaroom platform, enabling access to PlayReady-based content through AT&T U-verse set-top boxes. "AT&T's vision of converged entertainment services is something we share, and our collaboration on the use of PlayReady technology for content access and protection represents a significant milestone toward the future of integrated entertainment across multiple screens," Enrique Rodriguez, corporate VP of Microsoft's TV, Video and Music Business Group, said in a prepared statement. "Through the power of software such as PlayReady and Mediaroom, AT&T will bring its customers an exciting new range of services and content." PlayReady is billed by Microsoft as being designed to enable digital entertainment services across devices and software applications, with a specific focus on meeting the needs of mobile and network operators, service providers and device manufacturers. According to the company, it supports a broad range of business models that can be applied to almost any type of digital content and a wide range of formats; and provides features, such as service domains and embedded licenses, specifically designed to make it easy for consumers to enjoy content on all their registered devices without requiring an active connection.
--At the IPTV World Forum in London last month, Alcatel-Lucent announced that its "digital media suite" of products--comprised of its Multimedia Content Manager and its Interactive Media Manager--now supports the Microsoft Mediaroom Presentation Framework, Microsoft's new multimedia application environment for the Mediaroom platform (note: for more on the Mediaroom Presentation Framework, see [itvt]'s interview with Microsoft's Shari Barnett, in Issue xxx). The company claims that this will enable IPTV service providers to increase ARPU and generate new revenue streams by offering personalized, on-demand content offerings and interactive TV advertising. "By streamlining service operation over IPTV platforms, Alcatel-Lucent enables service providers to concentrate on content retailing and maximizing their advertising space," Rik Missault, VP of Alcatel-Lucent's Digital Media and Advertising Division, said in a prepared statement. "IPTV providers leveraging Alcatel-Lucent's solutions can infuse subscriber services with a rich mix of video, music, games, mobile, and interactivity to make the IPTV viewing experience more personal and compelling for subscribers. And, with our support of the latest version of the Microsoft Mediaroom platform, we are now extending this functionality to an even broader market." Microsoft bills the Mediaroom Presentation Framework as providing IPTV operators with tools for seamlessly blending on-screen broadcasting with content and services pulled from the Web, and Alcatel-Lucent claims that its digital media suite will "further complement" this capability. The suite provides operators with a series of pre-tested templates for quickly creating new interactive TV applications (including voting, enhanced TV and interactive ads); according to Alcatel-Lucent, these templates offer a "write once-deploy many" solution that gives content providers and media agencies an "abstraction layer," so that they can focus on their core expertise without having to worry about the technical capabilities of TV software platforms. Alcatel-Lucent also bills the digital media suite as enabling operators to upload a digital media asset once for monetization across many devices and users: operators can extend the video experience for their TV audience while also enabling that same experience on broadband or mobile, the company says; and content packaging to personalize the user's experience is made easy by cross-promoting video assets with music and other services, and by providing multiplatform purchase capabilities allowing users to access their content anywhere, anytime, it claims. In addition, Alcatel-Lucent says, the look-and-feel of the experience can be exposed to content providers and media agencies so that they can customize it to their needs using pre-tested templates.