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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Like many people, I've been waiting anxiously over the past year for MS/UTV to release a USB Ethernet adapter (and the software upgrade to support it). I never use the WebTV capabilities of the box today because the pitiful 56K is almost worse than using telepathic powers to surf the 'net.


But if I could connect via my DSL connection, life would be fantastic. It would be fun to casually browse the 'net from bed rather than having to get up and go to the office to use the browser. Interactive TV could actually be fun, but I've never even bothered trying because of the connection.


I was wondering how many people have started "pestering" MS/UTV about releasing this capability that they promised over a year ago. (Remember, their original web site said that Ethernet/broadband capability would be released in the near future - but that was a year ago. Does anyone still have a copy of that web page?)


Unless someone sees a good reason not to do this, I'd strongly suggest that everyone who is interested in getting Ethernet access for their UTV send an e-mail to them ([email protected]) asking/suggesting/demanding that they release this function soon.


Here's an example of the e-mail I sent a few weeks ago (by the way, they did not give me any response at all, so I'm going to continue sending it until they do...):


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From: Kent Schumann [mailto:[email protected]]

Sent: Monday, April 15, 2002 11:26 AM

To: [email protected]

Subject: USB Ethernet and False Advertisement

Importance: High


I am trying to get updated information on when Ethernet access via USB ports will be available on UTV? The WebTV and InteractiveTV features are almost useless with the ability to use broadband connections that over 50% of the US population now has.

When I purchased UTV one year ago, it was prominently mentioned on your web site (and on many of your reseller/distributors sites) that USB Ethernet capabilities were coming in the future. Well, I think that waiting a year is definitely "in the future". And in this market, that is NOT a reasonable timeframe.

The recent 3.5 upgrade is a tremendous step in the right direction for UTV. But the true compelling argument for UTV over competitors is the WebTV capabilities.

Please give me an update on if/when USB Ethernet capabilities will be offered. After waiting a year, I do not want to hear that future releases cannot be discussed. Microsoft has been guilty of marketing false promises before, but it is an illegal tactic to make product promises that are never kept. Please share any information that is available.

If it will not be released (which is what I would assume if you say that there are no confirmed plans for it at this time), I believe that a rebate should be given since this product is NOT going to perform as originally promised. I'm sure that I can find a web site that still has the old UTV web pages proclaiming the future USB Ethernet capabilities.

Please help.

By the way, there are hundreds, if not many thousands, of people that are just as anxious, eager, and frustrated by this issue as I am.

Thank you.


Kent


-----------------------------


Anyone else want to follow suit and send an e-mail to them requesting Ethernet capabilities to be added ASAP?
 

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All previous posts on this subject all seem to say there is virtually a 0% chance MS is ever going to enable Ethernet via USB for UTV units.


Ed
 

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With the vast reduction in UTV staff recently, I doubt that they even read e-mails anymore, let alone respond to them. I do not expect any new features of any kind. Hope I am wrong.
 

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Broadband was in the beta at one time. Think it was an internal beta, however, and not released externally. I believe it was one of the first things cut to get 3.5 out the door. So the possibility exists that we could see it again in the next release of UTV.


However, since many people don't like the interface of WebTV to begin with, I don't know how compelling it would be to have a broadband connection. Consider: Would you rather browse with IE on your PC or the web browser in UTV, even with a broadband connection?


Personally, I'd rather see the UTV team spend their time improving the TV recording capabilities of UTV (something my PC cannot do) than trying to turn it into something my PC can do a lot better.
 

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The reason we (or at least I) want broadband for my UTV?


1) If it can be treated as a peripheral to my Windows 2000/XP box for streaming playback, that would be just FABULOUS. (If I can move

content between my UTVs, and/or my Windows boxes and UTVs even better.)




2) A cheap internal web server on the box itself would solve the 'hey! I want my remote record feature back!' that was in the in beta but cut from

3.5.


P.S.


If any Microsoft people are listening, there are plenty of us who would sign bulletproof NDAs in order to contribute programming time to the UTV effort.

The opensource model works, but closed-source works too. :)
 

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I AGREE... LETS EMAIL THEM TO DEATH....... i hate the slow connection... i want to use the usb port to enable broadband dsl...


my email to them was simple... everyone should do it....


even just place it in the subject line...............

We need usb ethernet connections...PLEASE?
 

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Sources in the know said at the time that 3.5 was being tested that Broadband was being tested internally, one reason for this might have been because none of the Alpha testers had both a Broadband connection & a PC connected.


Sources in the know say that a Broadband connection will not work with the UTV unless first routed through a PC.

RockStar
 

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Let me start off by saying yes, I work for Microsoft and no, I don't work for Ultimate TV. ;)


What I do know is that the Ultimate TV team is very much alive and engaged. They're reading your posts on a regular basis. I don't think emailing them to death is the most constructive way of getting your voice heard. As a fellow enthusiast, I'd like to recommend an online petition for specific features. If you can show that they'll be widely adopted, that will have a much more positive effect.


Cheers,

Sean
 

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Sean_MS,


If the UTV team is alive and engaged, what are they working on that is new for UTV? Do they plan on future upgrades with new features? Time frame?
 

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Just did a Google search of "Sean Alexander" and "Microsoft" and came up with quite a few hits. She seems to be involved in Windows Media Player. Perhaps she is trying to help us through unofficial channels. (13 Days)
 

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Thanks for the info, Sean. It's nice to know that UTV lives and that the team, regardless of size, is still working to make a great product even better. I bagged my Tivos in favor of the four UTVs I have and don't regret it at all, especially since 3.5.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by stevepvr
Sean_MS,


If the UTV team is alive and engaged, what are they working on that is new for UTV? Do they plan on future upgrades with new features? Time frame?
Now that's the hard part. I'm under NDA as you might imagine and I rather enjoy my job so I can't really say anything without the express permission of the Ultimate TV team. Suffice to say that as soon as they give the go-ahead to discuss any future directions, I'll be here to answer your questions as a fellow enthusiast.


The best thing we can do right now for UTV team is to build a better community. That's why I'm taking personal time out here as well as my normal stomping ground in the MS Newsgroups. (Note: We have proposed a MS Newsgroup available at msnews.microsoft.com for Ultimate TV as a secondary option to this one. There's some preliminary interest- I'll let you know when I hear more.


Thanks

Sean
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by stevepvr
Just did a Google search of "Sean Alexander" and "Microsoft" and came up with quite a few hits. She seems to be involved in Windows Media Player. Perhaps she is trying to help us through unofficial channels. (13 Days)
Hehe. Yes, I'm the Lead Product Manager for Windows Media Player. I added my pic to my profile to help squelch the gender question. ;)


Actually I'm just an UTV enthusiast like you are. I'm a long standing lurker in this group that decided to stand up and help out.


Background: I got my first TiVo the year of its release as a b/d present from my (then) fiancee and after seeing what PVR has to offer, I upgraded to Ultimate TV. So glad I did that both my parents now own Ultimate TV's that they bought themselves and they both love it.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Kevin L
Thanks for the info, Sean. It's nice to know that UTV lives and that the team, regardless of size, is still working to make a great product even better. I bagged my Tivos in favor of the four UTVs I have and don't regret it at all, especially since 3.5.
Thanks Kevin. As an ex-TiVo user, who converted my extended family to DirecTV and UTV, I'm with you.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Sean_MS
...I'd like to recommend an online petition for specific features. If you can show that they'll be widely adopted, that will have a much more positive effect.
Also, it helps if we don't ask for things that they can't reasonably deliver. I'm not suggesting that we all become experts on software development, but I can think of a few requests we should not even bother to make (like USB Ethernet so that we can pull video to our PCs - I mean come on, who thinks that is really going to be OKd by the lawyers?)


Why not come up with things they can do?
 

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Mr. Sean_MS,


Thanks for your help, we can use it. Sorry for the gender confusion, I was just quoting from an article that mentioned you as "she", otherwise I would have assumed you were a guy.


Anyone know if UTV Hardware is still being manufactured, as opposed to just using up current inventory?
 

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Actually Sean is probably a good person to tell us why streaming from the UTV to a PC is doable.. Newer versions of Windows Media Player

have pretty decent media rights enforcement.


But rather than bashing each other's ideas, lets just throw them all in a pile and see what Microsoft says can be done.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by technofiend
Actually Sean is probably a good person to tell us why streaming from the UTV to a PC is doable.. Newer versions of Windows Media Player

have pretty decent media rights enforcement.


But rather than bashing each other's ideas, lets just throw them all in a pile and see what Microsoft says can be done.
While Microsoft offers optional DRM or "Digital Rights Management" for personal CD copying or Content Delivery Network (CDN) delivery via services like Intertainer.com, it is really designed as a speedbump to make it easy for honest consumers to stay honest with regards to the wishes of the content owner (such as the network).


I don't think you'll see any changes in the near-future regarding copy protection.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by scopeman



Also, it helps if we don't ask for things that they can't reasonably deliver. I'm not suggesting that we all become experts on software development, but I can think of a few requests we should not even bother to make (like USB Ethernet so that we can pull video to our PCs - I mean come on, who thinks that is really going to be OKd by the lawyers?)


Why not come up with things they can do?
scopeman, I respectfully disagree. I would very much like to have USB/Ethernet capabilities on my UTV. I don't want to pull video to my PC, I want to be able to use the interactive features as well as possibly making MSNTV's email more usable for me. I use broadband for every other machine in my house and hope to never have to dialup to anything ever again. The 56k modem in the UTV, to me, is really not useful since I will go over to use one of my devices connected to my wireless LAN instead of dealing with the modem. But if UTV enabled Ethernet capabilities on the UTV they would keep me in front of their device even more than they do now.
 
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