Microsoft previews digital TV update

Microsoft is set to reveal more details of the latest version of its digital cable software at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Microsoft TV Foundation Edition 1.5 is designed to be used by cable operators with their existing hardware and network systems to offer cable TV viewers features like video on demand (VOD) and advanced parental screening. The upcoming update will build on the 1.0 version by offering improved interactive program guide (IPG) features and new tools for use with VOD, high definition television (HDTV) and digital video recorder (DVR) technology, Microsoft said on Tuesday. Specific features include on-demand storefronts for in-home shopping and a new programming recommendation service, dubbed Best Bets, that uses people's viewing history to help them find VOD movies to watch.

"With Microsoft TV, network operators now have more opportunities than ever to merchandize the premium services that differentiate their offerings from competitive satellite services," Moshe Lichtman, a vice president in the Microsoft TV division, said in a statement. The software maker is increasingly concentrating its efforts on interactive television (iTV) middleware as its primary opportunity in the market for software that helps companies deliver interactive digital services to consumers.

News source: C|Net

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