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They still make WebTV... err, MSNTV? - MegaZone's Safety Valve
The Ramblings of a Damaged Mind
zonereyrie
zonereyrie
They still make WebTV... err, MSNTV?
I'd thought they'd dropped the WebTV line - but I just saw an ad for MSN TV, which is the name MS gave it a while after they took it over. Looks like RCA is still making new versions - the one in the ad was certainly a lot smaller and sleeker than the old units I've seen. (We had one at Event Zero to test the sites we developed.)

So I've got to wonder, why the hell doesn't MicroSoft ever integrate things? I mean, it seems obvious to me to offer the MSN TV service via the XBOX. It looks like the MSN TV HW is fairly low end. The XBOX is a PIII-733 with GeForce4ish video and Ethernet, and a modem wouldn't be hard. If they're going to offer TV based Internet, why not?

I suppose it isn't much of a market overall. AOL started AOLTV and then gave up. They were going to make an AOLTiVo unit which would've been AOLTV with TiVo DVR features. Hell, looking at the MSNTV HW specs, you could add it to a standard S2 TiVo with just a software upgrade since the TiVo has more power. :-) AOL gave up on AOLTV completely - they shut down the service on 11/30/2003. I wonder if the AOLTV HW is useful for anything - modding, etc...

I am: geeky geeky
Current Media: TiVo: Robot Wars

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Comments
blarglefiend From: blarglefiend Date: December 25th, 2003 07:36 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
Pioneer released a unit here about six months ago that does digital TV and internet-fu. No DVR, but that'd be the logical next step.

Some of the DVRs on the market in this part of the world would, at the very least, be moddable to do web stuff on the telly. I don't think any of them have ethernet yet, but at least one has USB2, so add on a USB-modem or the like...

Still, it's insane stuff. I can see some (small) value in things like the weather and RSS plugins for Freevo (the latter is very cool, actually, except that it crashes too much), but having tried web browsing on a TV when staying in Hongkong the idea of using it for anything much seems... well, "last resort".
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: December 25th, 2003 08:59 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
I think it'll be more popular for those with HD displays. SD NTSC or PAL resolution is basically VGA. But 720p or, better, 1080i provides much better resolution and real estate.

Even better, of course, would be a display designed to handle higher resolutions as well as HDTV.
blarglefiend From: blarglefiend Date: December 25th, 2003 09:17 pm (UTC) (Direct Link)
When you can afford a HD display, you can almost certainly afford a computer, too. And the experience winds up being a whole lot better with a computer.

(I've got a HD display, and while text is quite readable it's still nowhere near ideal for anything more than quickly checking the TV guide.)
j_b From: j_b Date: December 26th, 2003 12:12 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Now, the debate can rage, if Sony decides to do some ps/2 webtv thing, should they use KHTML, Moz, or Opera? :)
zonereyrie From: zonereyrie Date: December 26th, 2003 12:35 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
Probably none of the above, there are specialty browsers for TV displays. But of those three - Opera is the only one with versions designed for TV, small displays, etc. Neither KHTML nor Mozilla have been optimized to handle the limitations of a TV display.
z_gryphon From: z_gryphon Date: December 26th, 2003 11:20 am (UTC) (Direct Link)
"optimized" is sort of an amusing word to use in that context. :)
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