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Set-Top Boxes Unveiled For Microsoft's IPTV Software

Microsoft and four set-top box manufacturers said Tuesday that set-top platforms supporting Microsoft's TV IPTV Edition are available.

IPTV

Two of the set-top makers -- Cisco Systems and Motorola -- said AT&T will deploy their devices. Philips and Tatung Co. also said their set-top boxes will operate the Microsoft IPTV Edition.

Last month, widely published reports claimed that Verizon Communications was taking much of its TV set-top box work in-house, because the telecommunications giant wasn't pleased with Microsoft's effort.

On Tuesday, Microsoft said SoC set-tops from the four manufacturers are currently available to support the Microsoft software at telecommunications carriers worldwide.

"The advent of system-on-a-chip set-tops is a key milestone for the IPTV industry," said Microsoft's Christine Heckart, general manager of marketing for the Microsoft TV Division, in a statement. "As our service provider customers are beginning worldwide deployments of IPTV Edition, and set-top partners are unveiling these advanced devices, consumers will be able to experience television in a new exciting way."

Heckert also said that SoC set-tops will be used for the delivery of HDTV, Digital Video recording (DVR) as well as other advanced features. The devices are HD-capable and IPTV ready.

Motorola, which said that AT&T will be the first service provider to deploy its set-top boxes commercially, said the devices are currently shipping to service providers worldwide. Cisco, which said it is using silicon from Sigma Designs and STMicroelectronics in its set-top boxes, observed that its devices are available with appropriate connectors and features for global markets.

Philips and Tatung said their set-top boxes will be available in coming weeks.

Microsoft's TV platform utilizes a brace of software programs that support a range of services including interactive program guides, digital video recording, HDTV, and on-demand programming.

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