Microsoft partners with major players on IPTV Edition-powered SoC STBs

With Zune and Vista hogging all the headlines these days, you may have forgotten that Microsoft is also hard at work pushing its IPTV Edition software platform into living rooms around the world, so the software giant decided to take the Broadband World Forum Europe in Paris as occasion to remind us just how committed it is to TV over the internet. The major announcement to come out of the conference was the immediate availability of system-on-a-chip set-top boxes powered by Redmond from several of the major STB hardware manufacturers, including Cisco, Motorola, Philips, and Tatung. All of these boxes will provide the end-user with HD and DVR support and on-demand viewing as well as more advanced capabilities like multiroom streaming and home media networking. Most of the new offerings -- such as Tatung's STB2000 series, Philips' BT-bound hybrid IPTV-DTT STB, and Cisco's unnamed models -- use an SoC based on Sigma Designs' 8634 chipset, with Cisco also hitting up STMicroelectronics for its silicon. Moto, meanwhile, announced that AT&T would be be the first customer to take delivery on its new devices, which -- as we already knew -- will be heading into the homes of the few, the proud, the U-verse subscribers. So congrats, Microsoft, on another product category successfully infused with your special brand of software, but now that you've become a major player in this realm, remember to watch your back -- FairUse4IPTV could be right around the corner.