Microsoft licenses exFAT technology to LCD TV manufacturer

Microsoft has announced a patent agreement with Funai Electric Co. Ltd., the manufacturer of LCD televisions sold under brand names such as Philips, Magnavox, Sylvania, and Emerson.

In the agreement, Funai will gain access to Microsoft’s Extended File Allocation Table (or "exFAT") file system technology patents, which cover many of the aspects related to the relatively new file system that is best suited for flash memory-based storage, such as SD cards and USB memory sticks. exFAT was designed to be used in situations where neither the aging FAT16 or FAT32 file systems (commonly used on flash devices) or the NTFS file system were feasible.

"Consumers want TVs to offer experiences that were once available primarily on personal computers. A patent license like this one allows two industry leaders to deliver the type of cutting-edge innovations that today’s consumers demand," said David Kaefer, Microsoft's general manager of Intellectual Property (IP) Licensing. "Our patent portfolio reflects the innovation that results from the billions of dollars of R&D Microsoft invests each year, and we are pleased to share access with an established leader such as Funai."

Kenji Sakata, officer of IP licensing at Funai, stated that "we are very pleased that this agreement enables us to incorporate Microsoft technology into our products, which will foster an even richer user experience for our customers."

Microsoft first included support for the exFAT file system as part of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and has since included it as part of Windows 7. An update has also been released which enables computers running Windows XP to utilize the file system.

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still1 said,

Yes, and consumers pay more.

As with a PC or a notebook or a Laptap where the added cost of a whole windows os is like $50 tops, this will add what? $5 to the cost of a TV, onoze, one less happy meal for you for the week!

GP007 said,

As with a PC or a notebook or a Laptap where the added cost of a whole windows os is like $50 tops, this will add what? $5 to the cost of a TV, onoze, one less happy meal for you for the week!

HAHA, indeed!

Tomo said,

How dare they run a profitable business!


I thought this would be obvious; Perhaps not. (I put on my cape and Obvious mask)

Anti-Microsoft fanatics aside, the issue many people have with Microsoft is not that they run a business for profit. Rather, it is exactly how much of a profit they make. It seems unlikely that they would be able to charge the current prices for their products if Apple were to actually try to compete with them in volume, or if perhaps Ubuntu were to start taking double digit bites out of Microsoft's market share.

"cutting-edge innovations that today’s consumers demand"

"richer user experience for our customers"

Nice marketing speak, but this really leads to nothing for end users.

The_Decryptor said,
"cutting-edge innovations that today’s consumers demand"

"richer user experience for our customers"

Nice marketing speak, but this really leads to nothing for end users.

The_Decryptor said,
"cutting-edge innovations that today’s consumers demand"

"richer user experience for our customers"

Nice marketing speak, but this really leads to nothing for end users.

The 4GB limit is quite annoying, especially for video files that you might want to show on a TV.

epple said,
The 4GB limit is quite annoying, especially for video files that you might want to show on a TV.

File size limit of 64 ZiB (512 TiB recommended max) exFAT

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExFAT

macrosslover said,

he's talking about fat32.

Which means he's talking about something that is irrelevant. This is exFAT, not FAT32 so I'm not sure what the 4GB limit has to do with anything.

Soldiers33 said,
why would a tv need this functionality?

to read from usb sticks and memory cards, think slideshows of your pictures on TV or playing a movie you have on USB stick

XerXis said,

to read from usb sticks and memory cards, think slideshows of your pictures on TV or playing a movie you have on USB stick


My Sony TV already do that so that means ex-fat is in there already?

still1 said,

My Sony TV already do that so that means ex-fat is in there already?
It reads from a FAT32 memory stick, ala 4GB filesize limit.. exFAT increases that limit.. Ideal when you watch HD stuff that is 6-10gb.

Soldiers33 said,
why would a tv need this functionality?

ExFAT is 64bit iirc, so you can have and connect crazy large volumes to your TV, if it's got USB, 1TB+ external hdd full of media so you can play. And also, as others have said, the 4GB per file limit is blown away. Now you can have very large files for HD movies of today, and even for the future. It's not like we're going to stop HD at 1080p you know.

GP007 said,

ExFAT is 64bit iirc, so you can have and connect crazy large volumes to your TV, if it's got USB, 1TB+ external hdd full of media so you can play. And also, as others have said, the 4GB per file limit is blown away. Now you can have very large files for HD movies of today, and even for the future. It's not like we're going to stop HD at 1080p you know.

Wow, I didn't know all that. Very interesting. Sounds like this will be the way to go in the future. :)

I'm not sure why people think this is a bad thing. More compatibility with different formats is generally a good thing. Everybody still uses Fat32 because the rest aren't compatible with much else besides Vista and Win7, even with XP you need an update.

mmmh... i'd prefer ntfs support i guess...
still, at least we will get rid of fat32 someday...

someday, because exlusives and vendor-lock-in's don't count much, IMO

Glassed Silver:win

Ext2 (a simple enough non-journaling file system) has been around for donkeys years, and could have filled this role, if only MS would have supported it in their OSs. ExFAT is nothing special at all, it's just the first time MS has supported a file system that fits this need. It really is sad that licensing fees need to be paid just so gadget makers can allow people to put large files on their devices. It's not like MS innovated or invented something good here. It's just a really *basic* file system with support for large files.

FunkTrooper said,
Ext2 (a simple enough non-journaling file system) has been around for donkeys years, and could have filled this role, if only MS would have supported it in their OSs. ExFAT is nothing special at all, it's just the first time MS has supported a file system that fits this need. It really is sad that licensing fees need to be paid just so gadget makers can allow people to put large files on their devices. It's not like MS innovated or invented something good here. It's just a really *basic* file system with support for large files.

so very true

FunkTrooper said,
Ext2 (a simple enough non-journaling file system) has been around for donkeys years, and could have filled this role, if only MS would have supported it in their OSs. ExFAT is nothing special at all, it's just the first time MS has supported a file system that fits this need. It really is sad that licensing fees need to be paid just so gadget makers can allow people to put large files on their devices. It's not like MS innovated or invented something good here. It's just a really *basic* file system with support for large files.
Is this the first hardware manufacturer to support ExFAT? There is always the hope that other manufacturers will choose an open filesystem. They could always include one of the EXT file system drivers for Windows with their product. While this is just as likely as pigs flying through the frozen wastelands of Hell, you never know.

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