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Microsoft, Broadcom Enable DVR and Home Networking Engines on Microsoft TV Platform. Broadcom's Technology Supports Live TV Controls, Personal Video Recording, And Multiple Data Streams for Networked Home Services. Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT - news) and Broadcom Corp. announced that Broadcom has developed a third-party hardware reference platform, which will enable digital video recording (DVR) and home networking capabilities in

set-top boxes running on the Microsoft® TV platform.



The Broadcom reference platform will enable set-top box manufacturers to more easily add DVR and home networking features to a Microsoft TV-powered set-top box so that network operators can offer those services to their subscribers. Under the memorandum of understanding, Broadcom and Microsoft will work together to integrate the Broadcom advanced set-top box platform with the Microsoft TV Advanced client software solution. Broadcom will become the first cable set-top box reference platform to enable DVR capabilities on Microsoft TV.

The DVR capabilities enabled by Microsoft TV Advanced and the Broadcom reference design include digital recording of TV programs, live TV controls and creating customized viewing preferences for watching time-shifted TV. The Broadcom reference platform also features a high-speed, DOCSIS 1.1-compliant cable modem and a Home Phoneline Networking Alliance (HPNA)-certified communications engine that turns the set-top box into a hub for a networked home. This allows users to share PC peripherals and high-speed Internet access.



Broadcom's reference platform enables set-top boxes to provide for the delivery of voice, video and data to and throughout the home. The platform includes a dual analog video encoder to support full watch-and-record DVR, giving viewers greater TV-programming control. The watch-and-record function lets the viewer record a program while watching and time-shifting another program, or record two programs simultaneously. The platform also offers 2-D and 3-D graphics engines for studio-quality text and graphics.

"Broadcom's technology allows Microsoft TV to streamline development efforts for consumer electronics manufacturers and will make it easier for our network operator customers to deliver compelling Microsoft TV-based interactive services," said Alan Yates, vice president of sales and marketing for the Microsoft TV Group at Microsoft. "By enabling features such as DVR and home networking applications, Microsoft and Broadcom can help network operators capitalize on revenue-generating services now and in the future."

"The combination of Broadcom's technology with Microsoft TV gives consumer electronics manufacturers and network operators a powerful platform to easily deliver rich interactive TV services to consumers," said Tim Lindenfelser, vice president and general manager of Broadcom's Broadband Communications Business Unit. "We're pleased to work with Microsoft in providing a solid foundation for two-way interactive TV applications. This collaboration will help OEMs and network operators more quickly deliver these compelling new capabilities."

This demonstrates the flexibility of the Microsoft TV platform in enabling network operators to deliver customized solutions to their subscribers. Microsoft and Broadcom will work with systems integrator Rachis Corp. to integrate the Microsoft TV platform with the Broadcom reference platform.



About Broadcom Broadcom is the leading provider of highly integrated silicon solutions that enable broadband communications and networking of voice, video and data services. Using proprietary technologies and advanced design methodologies, Broadcom designs, develops and supplies complete system-on-a-chip solutions and related applications for digital cable set-top boxes and cable modems, high-speed local, metropolitan and wide area and optical networks, home networking, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), carrier access, residential broadband gateways, direct broadcast satellite and terrestrial digital broadcast, digital subscriber lines (xDSL), wireless communications, SystemI/O(TM) server solutions and network processing. Broadcom is headquartered in Irvine, Calif.



About the Microsoft TV Platform

The Microsoft TV platform is a standards-based, client and server software family that enables network operators and their partners to deliver the most compelling interactive TV services to consumers. The platform supports a range of TV devices -- from current and next-generation set-top boxes and digital video recorders to integrated television sets, entertainment appliances and other computing devices. Through the platform, network operators and hardware providers can team up to offer consumers an unparalleled range of services, from e-mail and Internet on television to interactive programming, electronic program guides and digital video recording.



Microsoft TV also creates significant new economic opportunities for network operators and industry leaders worldwide that have chosen to work with the platform to deliver or supply the services, programming, hardware and software for interactive TV. Microsoft TV supports open standards and is backed by the technical expertise, support and broad third-party developer community for which Microsoft is known. It is an integral part of the Microsoft .NET vision of empowering people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.


AKA Top Secret name "Home Station"
 

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Blah, blah, blah... You'll have to excuse my cynicism, but this is about the 100th such scheme that has been come up with so far. I think that they just keep throwing out ideas, with variations, until one seems to stick, then they'll actually try to create the hardware and software that does what that particular press release promised. It'll take 2 years to get a beta, and then it won't work very well for the first 2 releases of course.
 
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