mioTV might be the only thing you need?
While having lunch after recording episode 32, Jerrick and I noticed on a mioTV brochure that Singtel’s mioTV is powered by Microsoft’s Mediaroom. Being the tech journalist, I did some research, and discovered that the mioTV set-top box might become the only thing you’ll ever need in your living room!
mio TV will continue to revolutionise the TV experience at home
The interactive and flexible mio TV platform will open up even more opportunities for innovative services in the future. Subscribers will have much to look forward to, including the possibility of communicating using video conferencing and instant messaging, displaying photos and playing music from their PCs, all on the TV set.
– Official Singtel.com Press Release, July 20th 2007
According to the internet know-it-all (wikipedia), Microsoft Mediaroom is a platform by the Microsoft TV division designed specifically for IPTV. Mediaroom allows the set-top box to do a lot more than just stream and record TV. It is also capable of becoming a media center extender. Just like Sony’s PS3, the Mediaroom platform allows the set-top box to connect and stream content from any compatible Windows Media Connect system (such as Windows Media Player). Apart from all these already very promising features, the Mediaroom platform also allows developers to develop software for the set-top box, just like Window XP/Vista’s MediaCenter. That means it’s possible to have simple games, or even Instant Messaging clients on a Mediaroom device.
Here’s another interesting thing about Mediaroom. There will be a mediaroom client available for the XBox 360 in the future. With it, you can hook up your 360 to a mediaroom device and expand it futher with Xbox Live.
The question, however, is if Singtel will take advantage of this
promising platform. If they do, then the mioTV could essentially be
the only piece of hardware apart from your xbox 360 that you need in your living room to connect to your media. This will make mioTV a lot more attractive to consumers who want their media in their living room than to Starhub’s solution. Even with Mediaroom just as an IPTV set-top box, the Mediaroom interface, reminscent of the Windows MediaCenter program, is a lot easier to use and prettier to look at than SCV’s solution.
I’m just obsessed with gadgets. People in Snigapore (including myself) have been looking for ways to get the full MediaCenter experience here, but so far there’s either no content (i.e. an open electronic programme guide) or the signal is locked to propriety hardware. If Singtel takes advantage of Mediaroom’s expandability, there won’t be a need to anymore.
Of course, what mioTV really needs is content. It can have the coolest set-top box in the world, but unless it has good content, it won’t be very successful. Jerrick has an interesting take on the existing content though. Let’s see if I can get him to talk about it.