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September 15, 2008

Microsoft Launches New Platform for Broadcast TV on the PC

By Raju Shanbhag, TMCnet Contributing Editor



Microsoft (News - Alert) is now offering its Protected Broadcast Driver Architecture (PBDA), a new worldwide platform for broadcast TV on the PC. The platform enables the PC-TV hardware ecosystem to combine virtually any free or premium TV service into Windows Media Center, which is made possible by the recent release of Windows Media Center TV Pack.

Microsoft says that the launch of PBDA-based tuner solutions in Japan, Germany and the U.K., indication that momentum is growing for this new platform. Solutions launched so far using this technology include AVerMedia’s tuner system for protected digital terrestrial television in Japan and Hauppauge’s first-ever Freeview-certified PC-TV tuner solution.
The existing Broadcast Driver Architecture (BDA), which has been Microsoft’s standard for digital video capture on Windows operating systems for many years, will be now enhanced by PBDA platform. Now, to specifically enable and support the ability to output broadcast services on a one-off basis, PC original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and tuner-makers no longer need to rely heavily on Microsoft. They can target a broader set of TV standards and markets by developing and shipping TV tuners for Windows Media Center.
“For the first time, we’re enabling those in the PC-TV community to build tuners and integrate almost any broadcast service into Windows Media Center themselves regardless of geographic location or television standard — we’ve removed a major roadblock by delivering one consistent platform for the industry,” said Geoff Robertson, general manager for Windows Media Center at Microsoft.
Robertson continued: “The tremendous response we’re already seeing for the platform means PC OEMs, broadcast service providers and tuner-makers can now collaborate and embrace the PC as a first-class citizen for delivering more high-quality free or pay content to consumers in their local markets. This is a major milestone for us and our partners as we continue our efforts to deliver the highest-quality, personalized TV-watching experiences available to people everywhere.”

INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO — the biggest and most comprehensive IP communications event of the year — is going on this week (September 16-18, 2008) in Los Angeles, California! The show features three valuable days of exhibits, conferences, and networking opportunities you can’t afford to miss. Be sure to check out and blogs from Rich Tehrani, Greg Galitzine, and Tom Keating for news highlights from the show. See you there!

Raju Shanbhag is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Raju's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Mae Kowalke

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