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Encyclopedia > MSN TV
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This article has been tagged since December 2006.

MSN TV (formerly WebTV) is the name of both a thin client which uses a television for display (rather than a monitor), and the online service that supports it. Image File history File links Circle-question. ... A HP T5700 thin client, with flash memory A Neoware m100 thin client. ... A computer display monitor, usually called simply a monitor, is a piece of electrical equipment which displays viewable images generated by a computer without producing a permanent record. ... An online service provider is an entity which provides a service online. ...


The product and service were developed by WebTV Networks, Inc., a company purchased by Microsoft Corporation and absorbed into MSN (the Microsoft Network). While most thin clients developed in the mid-1990s were positioned as diskless workstations for corporate intranets, WebTV was positioned as a consumer device for web access. Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... For other uses, see MSN (disambiguation). ... A HP T5700 thin client, with flash memory A Neoware m100 thin client. ... LOCAL AREA NETWORK Local area network scheme A local area network is a computer network covering a small geographic area, like a home, office, or group of buildings. ...


Web TV is an adapter that the consumer would connect to their television set designed to allow internet connection. The setup includes a web browser, cord or wireless (i.e. bluetooth or IRDA) keyboard and connection to the Internet (i.e. using modem, ADSL, cable, PLC). An example of a web browser (Internet Explorer), displaying the English Wikipedia main page. ... 6 or 15cm outside diameter, oil-cooled cables, traversing the Grand Coulee Dam throughout. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Bluetooth logo This article is about the electronic protocol named after Harald Bluetooth Gormson. ... The initials IRDA can refer to various things: In Information Technology and Communications, IrDA refers to Infrared Data Association, a standard for communication between devices (such as computers, PDAs and mobile phones) over short distances using infrared signals. ... It has been suggested that Keystroke be merged into this article or section. ... A modem (from modulate and demodulate) is a device that modulates an analog carrier signal to encode digital information, and also demodulates such a carrier signal to decode the transmitted information. ... Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) is a form of DSL, a data communications technology that enables faster data transmission over copper telephone lines than a conventional modem can provide. ... 6 or 15cm outside diameter, oil-cooled cables, traversing the Grand Coulee Dam throughout. ... PLC may stand for: Palestinian Legislative Council, law-making body of the Palestinian Authority Parti Libéral du Canada, the term in French for the Liberal Party of Canada Partido Liberal Constitucionalista (or Constitutional Liberal Party), a major political party in Nicaragua Phospholipase C Platoon Leaders Class Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth...


While Web TV does not allow as much functionality as a computer-based browser, it is a low-cost alternative to a traditional computer connection to the Internet. The NASA Columbia Supercomputer. ...


It should be noted that the term web TV is also used concerning TV transmissions over the Internet, usually by streaming. Streaming media is multimedia that is continuously received by, and normally displayed to, the end-user while it is being delivered by the provider. ...

Contents

The concept

As founder Steve Perlman was watching television one evening, he saw a commercial that ended by displaying the website address for the company; he often recalls this as a Campbell's Soup advertisement.[citation needed] He wondered exactly why Campbell's Soup would provide a web address for a television audience that (most likely) was neither interested in eating soup at the moment nor likely connected to the Internet at that precise moment. Steve Perlman is an entrepreneur and inventor with over 60 patents in an array of multimedia and communications technologies. ...


It occurred to Perlman that if the television audience were enabled by a device to augment television viewing with receiving information or commercial offers through the television, then perhaps the web address could act as a signal and the television cable could be the conduit.


Early history

Founded by Steve Perlman in 1995, WebTV Networks began life as Artemis Research. Perlman brought along co-founders Bruce Leak and Phil Goldman shortly after conceiving the basic concept. Year 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full 1995 Gregorian calendar). ... A graduate of Stanford University, Bruce Leak was the engineering team leader of the first version of QuickTime by Apple Computer. ... Phil Goldman, of Los Altos Hills, California, was an engineer and entrepreneur. ...


Artemis Research hired many engineers and a few business development types early on, having about 30 employees by October 1995. Before incorporation, the company referred to itself as Artemis Research to disguise the nature of their business; they explained on their original website that they were doing research in sleep deprivation involving rabbits. The sleep-deprived engineers found this funny; Phil Goldman's pet house rabbit Bowser (inspiration for the General Magic logo) was often found roaming the building as late into the night. However, many animal activists were not in on the joke and took offense to the website. Sleep deprivation is a general lack of the necessary amount of sleep. ... An example of the HRS website at www. ... General Magic was a company co-founded by Bill Atkinson, Andy Hertzfeld and Marc Porat that developed new kind of handheld communications device they called a personal intelligent communicator, which was a PDA precursor that stressed communications. ...


When the U.S. State Department limited the ability to export WebTV on the basis that the encryption required to visit secure websites was a non-exportable "munition" (despite the fact that the technology had originated outside the U.S. in the first place), they registered the munitions.com website, and set up a website offering implements of destruction. Bowser's name was lifted for the browser itself. The United States Department of State, often referred to as the State Department, is the Cabinet-level foreign affairs agency of the United States government, equivalent to foreign ministries in other countries. ... “Cipher” redirects here. ...


The launch

WebTV business card design

WebTV Networks, Inc was incorporated on June 30, 1995. Primary design criteria were ease of use and low cost. Image File history File links WebtvLogo. ... Year 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full 1995 Gregorian calendar). ...


WebTV Networks conserved their financial and managerial resources by providing licensed consumer electronics manufacturers with a reference design, allowing them to manufacture and market the client. Their profits were derived from operating the online service. They paid a fee to manufacturers for each new subscriber, allowing the manufacturers to sell the clients at a lower price.


By the spring of 1996 WebTV Networks employed approximately 70 people, many of whom were finishing their senior year at nearby Stanford University, or were former employees of either Apple Computer or General Magic. They were desperate to obtain business deals with either Sony or Philips in order to have a product on the store shelves for Christmas 1996. However, it wasn't until they told Sony that there was a deal with Philips that Sony came back to the discussion and asked to be part of the platform. As a result, the company offered the complete package (service and box) on September 18, 1996 to the American market. Year 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar). ... Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly known as Stanford University (or simply Stanford), is a private university located approximately 37 miles (60 kilometers) southeast of San Francisco and approximately 20 miles northwest of San José in Stanford, California. ... Apple Inc. ... General Magic was a company co-founded by Bill Atkinson, Andy Hertzfeld and Marc Porat that developed new kind of handheld communications device they called a personal intelligent communicator, which was a PDA precursor that stressed communications. ... Sony Corporation ) is a Japanese multinational corporation and one of the worlds largest media conglomerates with revenue of $68. ... Philips HQ in Amsterdam Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. (Royal Philips Electronics N.V.), usually known as Philips, (Euronext: PHIA, NYSE: PHG) is one of the largest electronics companies in the world, founded and headquartered in the Netherlands. ...


The company garnered approximately 12,000 subscribers during the first holiday selling season. The subscription base grew to 35,000 by Easter, and more than 150,000 by autumn 1997. AOL claimed that a huge percentage of its traffic was suddenly coming from WebTV customers. At that rate, it was the second most successful launch of a new consumer electronics product category (behind digital satellite television).[citation needed] Satellite television is television delivered by way of communications satellites, as compared to conventional terrestrial television and cable television. ...


The initial price for the box was about US$325, with the wireless keyboard for an extra US$100. There was no difference between the Sony and the Philips boxes except for the housing and packaging. In fact, WebTV arranged to have the boxes manufactured for both companies through a local electronics contractor.


The monthly service fee was about US$20 for unlimited on-line usage and up to six e-mail addresses. The box included a 33.6 kbit/s modem which was used to connect to the WebTV Service, no hard drive, and only 8 MB of RAM. The MIDI musical instrument library was supplied by Beatnik, a company founded by New Wave music icon Thomas Dolby and fit within 128 KB of memory. Random access memory (usually known by its acronym, RAM) is a type of data storage used in computers. ... Musical Instrument Digital Interface, or MIDI, is a system designed to transmit information between electronic musical instruments. ... Beatnik is a media stereotype that borrowed the most superficial aspects of the Beat Generation literary movement of the 1950s to present a distorted (and sometimes violent), cartoon-like misrepresentation of the real-life people and the spirituality found in Jack Kerouacs autobiographical fiction. ... New Wave is a term that has been used to describe many developments in music, but is most commonly associated with a movement in Western popular music in the late 1970s and early 1980s inspired by the punk rock movement. ... Thomas Dolby (born Thomas Morgan Robertson, on 14 October 1958) is an English musician, producer, and inventor best known for his 1982 synth pop hit She Blinded Me With Science. // Thomas was not born in Cairo, Egypt as his early biography from EMI suggested, but was actually born in London...


Microsoft takes notice

In September 1996, Perlman stood on a chair at a company lunch celebrating the rollout of backend service software. In his typical energetic style, he promised the 120 employees that WebTV would be the biggest success ever, and that they would never have to fear that Microsoft would buy the company and ruin it, because he Leak and Goldman had agreed that they would never sell the company to Microsoft.[original research?] Year 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar). ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ...


In April 1997, at another company meeting, Perlman announced to a shocked room of 250 employees that the three founders and the investors had agreed to sell the company to Microsoft. Bill Gates told an audience at NAB in Las Vegas the same news and received the same response. Of the three, Bruce Leak was given credit for having worked the deal. Year 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1997 Gregorian calendar). ... For other persons named Bill Gates, see Bill Gates (disambiguation). ... For further information, see Las Vegas metropolitan area and Las Vegas Strip. ...


According to SEC filings, by that time Perlman had 7 million shares of the company, while his two co-founders had 4 million shares each. For some reason, this was redistributed in time for the Microsoft deal so that they each had 5 million shares. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires public companies to file reports regularly so that they can be made available to the public. ...


Microsoft offered about US$12 per share for the privately held company. To convince the employees (especially the engineering team, of which the Microsoft deal required 80% to remain) to sign up for the new owner, the founders realized that they needed to sweeten the deal, and thus gave up some of their stock to raise the effective price for employee shares to about US$18. Even still, many engineers privately fumed, publicly protested, stalled on projects and discussed mutiny. For many, this marked a turning point in their ability to trust the three founders.[original research?]


The deal was challenged by Sun Microsystems and others. In August 1997, the Department of Justice cleared the acquisition and WebTV Networks became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Microsoft. There were about 22 new millionaires created at that moment, though most would lose that status as soon as they paid their taxes. Sun Microsystems, Inc. ... Year 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1997 Gregorian calendar). ... DOJ headquarters in Washington, D.C. Justice Department redirects here. ...


The WebTV client

Since the device was a dedicated web browser appliance, the cost of licensing an operating system could be avoided. The box featured such cutting-edge technology as a 64-bit RISC CPU chip, and a smart card reader, neither of which ever caught on for Internet clients. The web browser was compatible with both Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer and the box featured 2 MB of RAM. At a time when 56 kbit/s modems were common, the WebTV had a 33.6 kbit/s modem, and used a caching firewall for acceleration, which was a feature that most dialup ISPs didn't offer even as an extra-cost option until years later. As a thin client, there was no need for a hard disk, but by putting the browser in non-volatile memory, upgrades could be downloaded from a WebTV server. It has been suggested that Maintenance OS be merged into this article or section. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Die of an Intel 80486DX2 microprocessor (actual size: 12×6. ... Smart card used for health insurance in France. ... An example of a web browser (Internet Explorer), displaying the English Wikipedia main page. ... Netscape Navigator, also known as Netscape, was a proprietary web browser that was popular during the 1990s. ... Windows Internet Explorer (formerly Microsoft Internet Explorer, abbreviated MSIE), commonly abbreviated to IE, is a series of popular graphical web browsers developed by Microsoft and included as part of the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems starting in 1995. ... Typical hard drives of the mid-1990s. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with NVRAM. (Discuss) Non-volatile memory, nonvolatile memory, NVM or non-volatile storage, is computer memory that can retain the stored information even when not powered. ...


The WebTV units used a 64-bit RISC chip. Since all software was downloaded from WebTV servers, there was no need to support legacy applications. This decision eventually caused problems, as users demanded support for proprietary file formats like that of RealAudio. Each time Real Networks released a new version - almost a yearly event, as Real Networks sought to sell new licenses to existing licensees - WNI had to negotiate for source code, and then port it to the WebTV architecture. The file format would become available to WebTV users about the same time it became obsolete. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... RealAudio is a proprietary audio format developed by RealNetworks. ...


A second model, the "Plus", was introduced a year later. This model featured a tuner to allow watching television in a PIP (Picture-In-Picture) window while waiting for pages to arrive, allowed one to capture video stills from video camera, VCR or broadcast television as a JPEG, and included a video tuner that allowed one to schedule a VCR in a TiVOesque manner. The Plus also included a 56k modem. In order to accommodate large nightly downloads of television schedules, a hard drive was included in the original Plus; as chip prices fell faster than hard drive prices, later versions of the Plus used an M-systems DiskOnChip flashrom chip instead. It also supported ATVEF, a technology that allowed users to download special script-laden pages to interact with television shows. Picture in Picture (PIP) allows you to watch more than one TV program(channel) at the same time on television sets or other devices. ... In computing, JPEG (pronounced JAY-peg; IPA: ) is a commonly used standard method of compression for photographic images. ... TiVo (pronounced tee-voh, IPA: ) is a popular brand of digital video recorder (DVR) in the United States. ...


WebTV produced reference designs of models incorporating a disk-based personal video recorder and a satellite tuner for EchoStar's Dish Network and for Hughes' DirecTV. Disagreements between Microsoft and the satellite televisions companies led to a lack of support, and the models failed. EchoStar Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH) is the parent company of DISH Network and the maintainer of the satellite fleet that provides the signal that DISH Network markets. ... DISH Network is a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service that provides satellite television and audio programming to households and businesses in the United States, owned by parent company EchoStar Communications Corporation. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A standard DirecTV satellite dish with 1 LNB on a roof DirecTV (trademarked as DIRECTV) is a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service based in El Segundo, California, USA, that transmits digital satellite television and audio to households in the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America except for Mexico. ...


As an ease-of-use design consideration, WebTV early decided to reformat pages rather than have users doing sideways scrolling. As garden-variety PCs evolved from VGA resolution of 640x480 to SVGA resolution of 800x600, reformatting to fit the 560-pixel width of a television screen became less satisfactory. The WebTV browser also translated HTML frames as tables in order to avoid the need for a mouse. To address these problems, the engineers at WNI developed the MSN Companion, which was another easy-to-use thin client which used an SVGA monitor and mouse. Both Compaq and e-Machines marketed the Companion, Compaq producing it in multiple models. However, being substantially more expensive than WebTV (which at this point was typically $50 after rebate) and lacking many features that PC users and WebTV users found standard, the Companion never found a customer base. VGA Port VGA plug Video Graphics Array (VGA) is an analog computer display standard first marketed in 1987 by IBM. It has been technologically outdated in the PC market for some time. ... Super Video Graphics Array, almost always abbreviated to Super VGA or just SVGA is a broad term that covers a wide range of computer display standards. ... A Compaq MSN Companion. ... The Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ), commonly known as HP, is a very large, global company headquartered in Palo Alto, California, United States. ... Gateway, Inc. ...


MSN rebranding

MSN TV logo
MSN TV logo

In 2001, WebTV Networks, Inc. sold their subscriber base to Microsoft, and the corporation was dissolved, although the WebTV engineers continued to work for Microsoft, many of them working on Microsoft's Xbox video game system or Microsoft IP-TV technology, offering television programming over the internet. Microsoft's MSN unit took over WebTV's subscribers, and contracts with Philips and Sony were terminated, with RCA being the sole manufacturer of units. Heavy promotion of WebTV ended, and the high churn rate and support costs associated with new subscribers dropped, allowing the newly rebranded MSN TV to achieve profitability, despite a lower subscriber census. At its peak, there were more than 1 million subscribers. Image File history File links MsntvLogo. ... Image File history File links MsntvLogo. ... The Xbox is a sixth generation era video game console produced by Microsoft Corporation. ... Philips HQ in Amsterdam Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. (Royal Philips Electronics N.V.), usually known as Philips, (Euronext: PHIA, NYSE: PHG) is one of the largest electronics companies in the world, founded and headquartered in the Netherlands. ... Sony Corporation ) is a Japanese multinational corporation and one of the worlds largest media conglomerates with revenue of $68. ... RCA, formerly an acronym for the Radio Corporation of America, is now a trademark owned by Thomson SA through RCA Trademark Management S.A., a company owned by Thomson. ... This does not cite its references or sources. ...


In recent years, the number of consumers using dialup access has dropped and as the Classic and Plus clients were restricted to dialup access, their subscriber count began to drop. Because the WebTV client was subsidized hardware, the company had always required individual subscriptions for each box, but with the subsidies ended, MSN started offering free use of MSN TV boxes to their computer users who subscribed to MSN, as an incentive to not stray to discount dialup ISPs.


Broadband MSN TV

In late 2004, Microsoft introduced MSN TV2. Like the MSN Companion, the "Deuce" is capable of broadband access, and allows the use of a mouse, but it uses the television as an output device, eliminating the need for a computer desk in crowded homes.


For inexpensive devices, the cost of licensing the operating system is substantial. For Microsoft, however, it would be actualizing a sunk cost, and when Microsoft released the MSNTV2 model, they adopted standard PC architecture and used Windows CE software with few changes. This allows a standard PC to be used with relatively few changes, allowing MSNTV2 to more easily and inexpensively keep current. The new box has Adobe Reader, Windows Media Player, and can access Windows computers on a home network to function as a media player. MSNTV2 uses a different online service from MSNTV, but like WebTV did, requires a subscription. For those with broadband, the fee is US$99 yearly. Microsoft appears to be devoting substantial resources to making MSN TV2 successful. It has been suggested that Bygones principle be merged into this article or section. ... Windows CE (sometimes abbreviated WinCE) is a variation of Microsofts Windows operating system for minimalistic computers and embedded systems. ...


Linux on the MSN TV2

In February 2006, Chris Wade analyzed the proprietary BIOS and applied a sophisticate in Memory patch which allowed the Bios to be flashed and used to boot Linux on the MSN TV2 player. Since then, the price of used MSN TV2 devices in auction sites has skyrocketed. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... In psychology, memory is an organisms ability to store, retain, and subsequently recall information. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Linux (IPA pronunciation: ) is a Unix-like computer operating system. ...


WebTV/MSN TV client hardware

Brand Model Type Modem RAM ROM Storage CPU speed CPU chip
Sony INT-W100 Classic V.34 2 MB 2 MB 2 MB 112 MHz R4640
Philips MAT-960 Classic V.34 2 MB 2 MB 2 MB 112 MHz R4640
Sony INT-W150 New Classic V.90 8 MB 2 MB 2 MB 150 MHz RM5230
Philips MAT-965 New Classic V.90 8 MB 2 MB 2 MB 150 MHz RM5230
RCA RW-2100 New Classic V.90 8 MB 2 MB 2 MB 150 MHz RM5230
RCA RM-2100 New Classic V.90 8 MB 2 MB 2 MB 150 MHz RM5230
Sony INT-W200 Plus V.90 8 MB 2 MB 1.1 GB 150 MHz R4640
Philips MAT-972 Plus V.90 8 MB 2 MB 1.1 GB 150 MHz R4640
Samsung SIS-100 Plus V.90 8 MB 2 MB 1.1 GB 150 MHz R4640
Mitsubishi RW-2000 Plus V.90 8 MB 2 MB 1.1 GB 150 MHz R4640
Mitsubishi RW-2001 Plus V.90 8 MB 2 MB 1.1 GB 150 MHz R4640
RCA RW-2110 Plus V.90 16 MB 8 MB 2 MB 167 MHz RM5230
Sony INT-W250 New Plus V.90 16 MB 8 MB 2 MB 167 MHz RM5230
Philips MAT-976 New Plus V.90 16 MB 8 MB 2 MB 167 MHz RM5230
La-Z-Boy Fabric New Plus V.90 16 MB 8 MB 2 MB 167 MHz RM5230
La-Z-Boy Leather New Plus V.90 16 MB 8 MB 2 MB 167 MHz RM5230
Echostar Dishplayer 7100 DISH tuner V.90 16 MB 4 MB 8.6 GB 167 MHz RM5230
Echostar Dishplayer 7200 DISH tuner V.90 16 MB 4 MB 17.6 GB 167 MHz RM5230
RCA UltimateTV DirecTV tuner V.90 16 MB 4 MB 40 GB 167 MHz RM5230
RCA RM-4100 MSNTV2 V.90 128 MB none 64 MB 733 MHz Celeron

See also

  • GYM

External links

Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... The following is an incomplete list of Microsoft software applications. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, the lead section of this article may need to be expanded. ... The following is a list of Microsoft Windows components. ... Microsoft Office is an office suite from Microsoft, which is available on the Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X operating systems. ... Microsoft Dynamics is a line of software for business made by Microsoft. ... Microsoft Visual Studio is Microsofts flagship software development product for computer programmers. ... Microsoft Money 2006 Premium Microsoft Money is Microsofts personal finance software for computers using the Microsoft Windows operating system. ... Encarta is a digital multimedia encyclopedia published by Microsoft Corporation. ... 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  Results from FactBites:
 
MSN TV - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1353 words)
MSN TV (formerly WebTV) is the name of both a thin client which uses a television for display (rather than a monitor), and the online service that supports it.
In 2001, Microsoft's MSN unit took over WebTV's subscribers, and contracts with Philips and Sony were terminated in favor of RCA being the sole manufacturer of units.
Like the MSN Companion, the "Deuce" is capable of broadband access, and allows the use of a mouse, but it uses the television as an output device, eliminating the need for a computer desk in crowded homes.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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