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Comcast Offers Trial Of Microsoft TV Software 194

Posted by simoniker
from the here-cably-cably-cably dept.
Anonymous Howard writes "Designtechnica has a news article about Comcast and Microsoft announcing an agreement to test digital TV services using the "Microsoft TV Interactive Program Guide (IPG)". The trial is scheduled to start this fall using Motorola DCT2000 set-top boxes. The software is designed to help network operators get more value from on-demand and other digital TV services." There are some more details in an article over at CNET News.
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Comcast Offers Trial Of Microsoft TV Software

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  • by molarmass192 (608071) on Monday July 21, 2003 @06:43PM (#6494765) Homepage Journal
    more info [yahoo.com]

    Guess AOL and MS are all buddy-buddy now that the whole Netscape "misunderstanding" is behind them.
  • DCT Software (Score:5, Informative)

    by Detritus (11846) on Monday July 21, 2003 @06:48PM (#6494791) Homepage
    The current DCT software sucks. Every time you hit a button on the remote, you have to wait for the lousy software to (slowly) execute the command and refresh the screen before pressing another button. The vaunted EPG (electronic program guide) is a joke. It only shows half an hours worth of programs. They waste big chunks of screen space on ads. For a box that supposedly costs $750, they could have hired some real programmers to write the code.
  • Re:Hmm (Score:4, Informative)

    by jafac (1449) on Monday July 21, 2003 @06:52PM (#6494821) Homepage
    As an owner of a DishPlayer 7200, which ran this software - I can affirm - while it doesn't BSOD, up until about a year ago, this software was rife with serious, serious, issues. Every update they put out kept making the problems worse and worse. But finally, it seems they got it right. It's a slow box, but it's reasonably stable now.

    The thing is, it was the WebTV client that caused most of the havoc, but I didn't even subscribe to WebTV - I was in it for the PVR functionality.
    Supposedly the OS is a stripped-down FreeBSD. But that's just hearsay from DBSForums.
  • In 1997, Microsoft invested $1B [microsoft.com] in Comcast.

    With that kind of money talking, Comcast could give a shit about TiVo, shareholder or not.

    ~Philly
  • A Few DCT Facts (Score:2, Informative)

    by Barovelli (635801) on Monday July 21, 2003 @07:39PM (#6495102) Homepage Journal
    hmm is my IP showing?
    • The programming guide currently in use is by PreView, it gets loaded into the DCT at the local cable system (it's not built in). DCT2000s have 2mb RAM, the more channels in a system, the less room for info (or ads -ha ha)
    • The boxes also seek out new firmwares upon power up. Ever plug one in, see a picture, then have it shutdown? New firmware (Welcome to DCT Update . . )
    • Channel switching is quicker on later models. The 5100s are darn quick.
    • I am not a big fan of of the tiny writing or ads in the guide, but at least it helped convince my family that we needed a big screen TV to read them.
  • Re:DCT Software (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Monday July 21, 2003 @08:37PM (#6495458) Homepage
    first off get a clue the DCT 2000 and 3000 have very VERY slow processors in them AND they are busy doing many other things.

    Before you spew pure crap from your mouth please get a clue as to what you are talking about.

    The DCT 5000 is much faster because it has a much faster processor, more ram and can multitask because many of the subsystems are seperated and based on newer technology.

    Cable descramblers are not changed every 7 minutes to the latest technology they are based on something that works and from 1997-1998.

    If you can do better, go make your own cable box... IE: put up or shut up.

  • by jea6 (117959) on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:10PM (#6495643)
    http://www.microsoft.com/tv/ [microsoft.com] and don't forget to check out their ridiculous promo videos.
  • Re:Again. (Score:3, Informative)

    by LinuxHam (52232) on Monday July 21, 2003 @10:34PM (#6496115) Homepage Journal
    If there is a cost savings, it will certainly trickle down to you as the consumer of said service.

    You're obviously not a Comcast customer. Hell, you may not even be a consumer in the real world making a statement like that.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @01:03AM (#6496771)
    As an early forced adopter of the MS IPG (Willamette Broadband in Canby/Wilsonville, OR was one of the first testers for the 'new' system), I can say that the MS IPG looks, feels, & acts just the same as the old AT&T interactive guide, just with a new blue color scheme.

    All the ad spaces are still there. The system is still extremely slow. There are channels with the same wrong programming information.

    For anyone hoping that the new MS system is going to be better than what you have now, you're in for a rude awakening. I can always take some digicam screenshots of the TV if anyone's interested.

    ~rick

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