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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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  • Re:Will it mean... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rekkanoryo (676146) * <rekkanoryo AT rekkanoryo DOT org> on Monday July 21, 2003 @07:08PM (#6494908) Homepage
    Well, I suppose you have me on that point. But we'd (all the Comcast customers I know) would rather see the left-side ads gone and replaced with more programming information. Faster response times on the button pressing would be nice too.

    The feature I would really like to see is the ability to customize the size of the text on all the "interactive" stuff. While I feel the text is too big and bold-faced, my parents would like to see it bigger. Also, being able to customize the colors for the guide would be nice; my parents have difficulty reading the white text on green background for the sports shows, and I'd prefer to see anything and everything on the PPV channels in purple like our old TV Guide channel had. The best thing, however, would be the option to turn off the display of programming information for non-PPV channels that are not in the package you're currently subscribed to. It's frustrating and difficult to remember the 45 channels I don't have because I pay $60/month for the service instead of $90.

    But that's just me...

  • Again. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AntiOrganic (650691) on Monday July 21, 2003 @07:09PM (#6494912) Homepage
    Though I already expected to see this many blue-screen "jokes" and anti-MS zealotry, I have to admit that while Microsoft's security is questionable, so far they've done a damned decent job of creating stable operating systems. This computer has, as of this writing, been up for 27 days without a reboot (XP Professional) and I never had a problem on my old iPaq either before I sold it. Windows Server 2003 is very much a step in the right direction too, ousting much legacy code responsible for instabilities in the past.

    While I hate to further Microsoft's aims, as a matter of principle, if it does the job better and cheaper than other competing software for digital cable boxes, why not use it? If there is a cost savings, it will certainly trickle down to you as the consumer of said service.
  • Re:Again. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GlassHeart (579618) on Monday July 21, 2003 @07:52PM (#6495171) Journal
    While I hate to further Microsoft's aims, as a matter of principle, if it does the job better and cheaper than other competing software for digital cable boxes, why not use it?

    You should always use the product that is better or cheaper, or both. However, you need to be smart in making that determination. First of all, "better" is not determined by a list of features. The same feature can be implemented in entirely unusable ways. Secondly, "cheaper" does not refer to the price on the tag, either, but the total cost of ownership. For example, if Microsoft lowers the price of XP to $30 in order to crush a new OS rival selling at $50, you should not take the bait. The long term cost (after the competitor is crushed) is worse products and services, and higher prices.

  • by Felinoid (16872) on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:06PM (#6495626) Homepage Journal
    You know every time Microsoft comes out with something (Like the X Box) I'm hoping it has bugs.
    The X Box couldn't have survived unless it was good. Your first entrence into a market is going to key your future in that market.

    The entertainment industry is very nasty about quality control. You don't "make due" with a sucky TV show. You switch channels or turn the TV off. It's something you CAN live with out and if it sucks well.. you will.

    So if the X Box had Microsofts typical "Crash and burn" style... We wouldn't have our favoret little Linux console now would we?
    The funny part is the only defect we found so far is the one that let's us install Linux.

    I don't feel fear about this. It's that whole irrational hate of all things Microsoft that comes when people make webpages for IE7 instead of for web browsers.
    When I get e-mail in Microsoft word instead of PDF or better yet TEXT.
    Or any other occasion when someone says "Well just use Windows."
    Makes me just want to start kicking the person in the groin and say "Well just get a sex change".

    But you do realise it's not actualy Microsoft but some irrational idiots who do this.

    Note that Microsofties say "Just use Windows" not "try" or "Give it a chance" but "How dare you NOT use Windows.." and it's even more blasphamy to use Linux. You'll get a while speal about how "Linux will never be useful as a desktop" for saying "I use" not "Please try"
    Linuz Zellots however are "Try Linux it MIGHT work for you." and GIVE you a CD.

    I've seen Linux zellots compaired to Amiga fanatics and Mac zellots by Microsofties and it really bugs me how much they forget of the Amiga and Mac counterparts.

    Amiga: Anytime someone comes up with some new technology "Amiga did it first".. While true it's still quite an acomplishment to bring those Amiga features to other platforms.
    Mac: Woah be it to anyone who mentions the Mac was designed to be user friendly.
    People early on took this to mean the Mac isn't powerful but it has proven itself quite powerful.
    Still today Mac users will lynch anyone who mentions the downsides of the GUI. (Any GUI)

    I'd say Linux Zellots are quite mild.
    But that dosen't mean slamming everything Microsoft puts out is exactly ummmm....

    Is it even right to call them Linux Zellots when they'd support APPLE, BeOS, OS/2 or Palm over Microsoft?

    Anyway just becouse Microsoft puts it out dosen't mean it's going suck.
    Just the irrtaional little Anti-Micro side of me hopes it will.
  • by Wumpus (9548) <IAmWumpus AT gmail DOT com> on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:14PM (#6495658)
    probably a RISC

    Definitely not a RISC.

    RAM

    Could have fooled me...

    Could the MS IPG SW be a starting point for hacking these cheap embedded video processors to some open source OS, like Linux, QNX or *BSD?

    Not without a significant investment in headend hardware and a lot of reverse engineering (unless you're already an authorized developer for the platform, in which case you're probably sick of it by now). Those things are as closed as they get - the MPEG hardware won't do anything but decode MPEG coming from the RF connection, the firmware is prorietary, the hardware specs are ridiculous. Getting code to even run on the box is an unbelievably painful chore.

    And, assuming you manage to hack a box and get it to run your code - it's going to be pretty much useless without a server at the headend sending it data.

    These things are useless. If you want to work on a box with similar hardware specs, get a 68k based Palm device, and have fun. At least you'll have a decent amount of memory to play with.

    And QNX isn't open source. So there.

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