Microsoft launches Ultimate TV
9 January 2001 US> Microsoft has announced the availability of Microsoft UltimateTV service, which integrates DIRECTV programming, digital video recording, live TV controls, interactive television and Internet access in one package.
UltimateTV is the only service that utilizes two tuners, enabling viewers to watch two live shows simultaneously, watch one live show while recording another, or even record two live shows that are on at the same time.
For $9.95 a month, consumers can find and record up to 35 hours of digital programming. They also will receive live TV controls that give them the ability to pause live TV and interact with television shows, and they will enjoy three hours of Internet access.
For an additional $5 a month, customers can use their own compatible Internet service provider, such as MSN, for unlimited Internet access. DIRECTV programming, which features more than 225 channels, is sold separately; pricing varies by package.
"UltimateTV offers consumers a whole new way to experience television," said Bruce Leak, president of Microsoft WebTV Networks, Inc. "Now you can live your life and still enjoy great TV, pick the best time to watch your favorite shows, pause live TV to answer the phone, and send an e-mail message with a picture of your kids to your in-laws during a commercial."
The new DIRECTV receivers with UltimateTV service manufactured by THOMSON multimedia and Sony Corporation of America integrate four separate products into one economical and easy-to-use box.
THOMSON began manufacturing the RCA receivers (DWD-490RE) in December, which are scheduled to be available at retail in February.
"We`re already working on future enhancements such as the ability to support a high-speed Internet connection like DSL," said Rob Schoeben, senior director, UltimateTV Planning. "We`ll make this and other service enhancements available through simple software upgrades delivered via satellite in the coming months."
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