TWC Kicking Microsoft's IPTV Tires


Time Warner Cable is planning to test out Microsoft’s Mediaroom IPTV software in L.A., Light Reading’s Jeff Baumgartner reported this week.

I’m told that Time Warner Cable apparently about two months ago decided to fire up the Microsoft middlware in a small section of its L.A. system. Why is TWC going the Redmond route? It’s looking to get an edge in anticipating the transition to IPTV. Another bonus: Microsoft’s PlayReady digital rights management system is said to be strong and is also attractive because it provides cross-platform support.

Right now it’s planned as a test but Time Warner Cable could widen it out if things go well. TWC didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Note that Time Warner Cable previously took a stab at delivering cable TV over IP, in its San Diego system — with limited success, although to be fair that was a PC-based service, not one that used IPTV set-top boxes.

That test, which ran from July 2005 to January 2007, delivered 75 cable channels using RealNetworks’ media player but was used by fewer than 1% of the 9,000 subs who had access to it on any given day (see Time Warner Ends ‘Unscalable’ Trial and TV Goes to PC in San Diego).