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Microsoft Updates ‘TV Foundation’

Microsoft Corp. unveiled an upgraded version of its "Microsoft TV Foundation" product.

The 1.5 release supports a wider range of set-top boxes, including Motorola Broadband Communications Sector’s "DCT-700," "DCT-2500," "DCT-5100," "DCT-6200" and "DCT-6208" series. The previous version of TV Foundation was earmarked for the "DCT-1700" and "DCT-2000" series.

The new Foundation software also features HDTV and digital-video-recorder support, plus an optional "Best Bets" application.

The latter is a recommendation engine MSOs can roll out under three separate scenarios.

The first is a "Critics Picks" application, where top movie critics list the five highest-rated movies on the on-demand service.

A second option is a "Last Chance" application, where MSOs can highlight movies about to come off VOD.

A third option is a personalized recommendation based on previous purchase history -- an application a consumer would have to affirmatively opt into.

Microsoft said the Foundation technical trials with Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable continue, with Comcast consumer trials planned for the first part of 2004.