Mediaroom-based services can now add Mediaroom Anytime, enabling TV viewers to enjoy previously aired programs or restart currently airing shows without any preplanning or prior DVR recording; also new immersive applications complement the Mediaroom TV experience with content and services from the Internet.
At 2009 International CES today, Microsoft Corp. unveiled Mediaroom Anytime, a groundbreaking feature set for the Microsoft Mediaroom multimedia and IPTV platform that allows viewers to truly watch TV on their own time. In addition to existing Mediaroom features, such as video on demand, DVR Anywhere and Remote Digital Video Recording, the new Mediaroom Anytime features take time-shifted TV to the next level, enabling viewers to access previously aired shows directly from the Interactive Program Guide or immediately restart currently airing shows without any preplanning or prior DVR recording. In addition, Microsoft announced that the Mediaroom platform has reached nearly 2.5 million subscriber homes worldwide, an increase of more than 1.5 million new connections in the past year alone.
With the new Mediaroom Anytime feature set, service providers now have the ability to offer their customers the following benefits:
— Restart Anytime offers the ability for viewers to rewind or restart the currently airing program from any point, regardless of whether the show is being recorded or the TV was switched off or tuned to another channel.
— Live Anytime allows viewers to scroll backward in the Interactive Program Guide to watch previously aired programs. These previously aired programs also can be made accessible through the service provider’s video on demand library.
— Download Anytime extends Microsoft Mediaroom-powered services to more consumers by enabling viewers to download on-demand movies and programs to their set-top boxes so they can watch them anytime regardless of bandwidth constraints. For example, viewers could watch high-definition programs on low-bandwidth networks.
SingTel plans to trial Mediaroom Anytime features — Restart Anytime and Live Anytime — and aims to offer the service to its mio TV subscribers in 2009. Mediaroom Anytime functionalities can be added to SingTel’s existing Microsoft Mediaroom-powered connected TV service offerings via a simple software upgrade that requires no action by existing subscribers.
“mio TV aims to be at the forefront of new innovations and services that will let our customers control what they watch, when they want,” said Low Ka Hoe, SingTel’s director of IPTV Business. “The ever-evolving Mediaroom platform and the new Anytime features allow us to continue delivering enhanced value and a truly immersive TV viewing experience to our customers.”
At 2009 International CES, Microsoft also unveiled new immersive concept applications that complement the Microsoft Mediaroom TV experience with content and services from the Internet. These applications, which show new ways for viewers to engage with and personalize the TV experience, will be on display for the first time and include the following:
— BBC Worldwide TopGear.com. This demonstration application allows fans to access and interact with content found on http://www.topgear.com/. Viewers can try technologies developed by emuse such as interactive features and video on-demand functionality to download episodes of the BBC’s award winning flagship motoring show “Top Gear.”
— Turner Sports and the PGA of America, together with ES3(TM), built this application to allow viewers to switch dynamically between camera feeds, watch golfing instructional videos and click from static to video advertisements.
— The Associated Press red carpet events, built by ES3 and the AP, is a celebrity news application which features up-to-the-minute information, photos and video clips at the hottest red carpet events.
— Live Capture of Photos and Video lets viewers upload photos and videos to the Microsoft Live Mesh cloud storage Web site and view their personal content via the TV.
— Visual Voicemail, a completely integrated visual voice mail application, lets TV users check their voice mail and play back messages, even at pitch-controlled, fast-forward speeds.
— TV Dashboard, designed and created by ES3, shows local news and information that Mediaroom subscribers can access while watching TV.
The applications were built on the Microsoft Mediaroom Presentation Framework platform, an applications environment within Mediaroom that provides the building blocks needed for creating innovative and intuitive user experiences for TV. Mediaroom Presentation Framework was just released to Mediaroom service provider customers and exciting applications will begin rolling out to consumers in the second half of 2009.
“Television is no longer a one-way broadcast experience. With powerful software and network connectivity TV is evolving to deliver richer, more immersive ways for consumers to watch anything, anytime and anywhere,” said Enrique Rodriguez, corporate vice president of the Connected TV Business Group at Microsoft. “These latest developments of the Mediaroom platform demonstrate how Microsoft is leading this transformation from broadcast to connected TV and shaping the consumer experience and expectation of TV.”
“TV viewing options are increasing exponentially, and consumers are coming to expect their TV service providers to bring fresh new services and content-viewing options to the table,” said Michelle Abraham, principle analyst, In-Stat. “As evidenced by the latest developments with Microsoft Mediaroom, consumers can be confident that choosing an IPTV-powered service guarantees connection to the TV you love, with rich interactivity and control over when they watch.”
The ongoing subscriber momentum for Mediaroom-powered services demonstrates a growing demand from consumers for new ways to watch TV beyond what traditional cable and satellite providers offer today. As this demand increases, Microsoft continues to bring new life to its vision for connected TV by unlocking additional avenues for consumers to experience TV on their own terms.
The Microsoft Mediaroom platform will be on display at booth No. 7144 on the CES show floor.
About Microsoft Mediaroom
The award-winning Microsoft Mediaroom Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) and multimedia software platform is driving the future of television by enabling broadband service providers to deliver new connected TV and entertainment experiences to consumers worldwide. Microsoft Mediaroom provides new ways for consumers to experience TV as part of their connected, digital lifestyle, while also creating new business opportunities for broadband service providers, hardware manufacturers, content creators, advertisers and application developers. Over 20 of the world’s leading service providers across four continents have selected the Microsoft Mediaroom platform to drive their digital TV services. More information on Microsoft Mediaroom and the opportunity to deliver the best in TV plus all your media in one place is available at http://www.microsoft.com/tv and http://www.microsoftmediaroom.com/.