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Microsoft Touts IPTV Progress

Software giant Microsoft says that its headend and set-top software for Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) was used by its telco customers to provide video services to 500,000 new subscribers in the past quarter, and is now being used to deliver IPTV to over 2 million subscriber households worldwide.

Microsoft made the announcement in conjunction with the Telco TV show in Anaheim, Calif., where the company is demonstrating the latest version of its Mediaroom software platform. Microsoft says that adoption of Mediaroom has more than doubled over the past year, and that the software is now being used on nearly 4 million set-top boxes globally.

The biggest Mediaroom customer to date is U.S. telco AT&T, which counted 781,000 subscribers for its U-verse IPTV service at the end of the third quarter. In September, the telco used Microsoft’s Mediaroom DVR Anywhere technology to launch in select markets its “Total Home DVR” service, which provides DVR functionality to multiple TV sets within a home. AT&T plans to roll out the service to its entire U-verse footprint by the end of the year.

"AT&T U-verse TV delivers a new and exciting consumer experience that gives AT&T the edge to compete and grow market share in a highly competitive TV market," said G.W. Shaw, AT&T executive director of U-verse marketing, in a statement. "Take Total Home DVR, for example. Because of our flexible software platform, we were able to download this powerful new feature directly to consumers' homes overnight and to further differentiate versus cable."

Other Mediaroom features that are enabled by IP connectivity include personalized weather and sports information and the ability to remotely program the DVR via a PC or mobile device.

To speed Mediaroom’s adoption, Microsoft has established an “ecosystem” of qualified technology and systems integration partners whose products have been vetted as being compatible with the Microsoft software. Recent third-party products qualified by the Microsoft Mediaroom Interoperability and Qualification Lab include Harmonic’s ProStream 2000 digital video splicer and Envivio’s 4Caster C4 three-screen multichannel, multiprofile encoder.