I know little about IPTV other than I figure it's Television over the Internet. Heh.
Announced earlier this month was Microsoft Media Room, an update to Microsoft's IPTV platform. Long Zheng (fantastic blog) had the scoop four weeks ago when he noticed Microsoft trademarking it in Australia.
I'd personally really like to see Microsoft get this right. Remember UltimateTV? Microsoft's also been talking to Comcast (my provider) about Microsoft's Foundation software for a while.
There's rumor around that say that Microsoft's Foundation software will run on the craptaculous Comcast Motorola 3412 DVR. There's also word that Tivo's software can run on that Motorola 3412 as well. Either why, I needs me an upgrade.
You can find a gallery of images of the Xbox 360 IPTV interface over at Engadget. It'd be interesting if someone put together a matrix of all the IPTV options out there so we could get an idea of what our choices are going to be in the future. There's already a lot of XBoxes out there, and I'm unclear as to what software will be running on what box.
For example, I have a Motorola DVR from Comcast, and an Xbox 360. I don't think this is an unusual scenario. I have Verizon FIOS for my Internet. IPTV comes out, now what? Do I run it on my Comcast DVR? Maybe not, perhaps I cancel with Comcast, and Verizon sends me a new set top box. Or, do I use the Xbox 360? If I want IPTV in another room do I go buy another Xbox?
I'd love for the XBox360 to take on this role. If you've never seen the Media blade with in the 360 or watched a download HD movie on it, you're missing quite a treat. The experience is butter. Truly. Even better is the Media Center integration on the Xbox.
The problem with all this isn't a problem my Mom will have. She'll get one box from her television provider and it'll work. No Problem.
It's me (I?) who will have problems. I just want to watch TV. How will I choose?
Either way, do head over to http://www.microsoftmediaroom.com and http://www.microsoft.com/tv and check it out. Click on Find Your Local Provider and you'll get a list of the providers that can offer Media Room today. Note AT&T U-verse is listed for the US. I've never heard of this service, and their ordering site is down, so I can't see if it's available in my area.
International (non-US) Readers, what's the word about IPTV and set-top boxes where YOU are?
Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. I am a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.