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Interactive TV

January 21st, 2003 · No Comments

Forbes writes about the battle between Sony and Microsoft:

Microsoft is the software giant, but has had little success selling hardware. Sony is the leading TV manufacturer and one of the top five makers of VCRs, but has traditionally relied on others for the software that fills its boxes. Now each is trying to elbow the other out of the race to persuade consumers to pay more to set up custom programming, download movies or store family photos.

Microsoft and Sony think they can go it alone and establish the standard software platform that set-top boxes run on. This software would tap cable content, and be the base for other applications that could link with a home PC, manage saved content like previous Sopranos shows and movies.

A recently released version of Windows called XP Media Center Edition is a bundled PC and media hub that at the click of a button goes from a desktop-like display to a larger, TV-like one. It has so far been relegated to niche users like techie college kids. Microsoft envisions some version of this software becoming the home platform that links all devices.

“We see the TV as the central broadband point of the home,” says Sony spokesperson Greg Dvorken. Sony this week introduced RoomLink, a software that allows viewers to see PC content through their televisions. For Microsoft, the central broadband hub will be the PC.

Different viewpoints…will it the PC or TV at the centre of home entertainment?


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Tags: Emerging Technologies

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