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Time to Rethink U.S. TelcoTV

The Diffusion Group (TDG) believes that the standardization of MPEG and the availability of ASIC-based low cost/high volume MPEG4 systems and set top boxes will ultimately prevail in the world of PayTV. WM9 may make some sense for content distribution to the PC. However, with media giants such as News Corp entering the broadband fray, we may soon see MPEG4-H264 become widely used on the Net for IPTV distribution. Microsoft has been fighting the video battle on many fronts, arguably too many �- from video codec format to encoder systems; from VOD servers to Digital Rights Management; from PayTV middleware platform to Windows Media 9 play list & trick play modes and signaling controls. It seems that Microsoft is doing its best to own a piece of every stage of the video experience �- far too many for other media giants like News Corp to be comfortable. Moreover, in a system like a TelcoTV platform �- where the integration of stable, coherent, and well-defined system components is critical �- TDG believes that providing too many pieces of the system actually works against both the vendor and the service operator that deploys them.

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