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Microsoft First to Virtualize IPTV

image If you’re like me and live in a small town, your hopes of getting a chance at an IPTV service is probably down as low as it can go.  The fact is that companies don’t want to invest the money to bring these services to rural areas when the return is negligible.  It makes business sense.  Well, maybe our hopes can start to rise!

Microsoft announced today that they have deployed their Mediaroom IPTV service with virtualization support.  This can drastically reduce the number of servers needed to provide IPTV service to smaller markets.

With virtualization support, it is possible to deploy and operate a full Mediaroom-powered TV service for up to 30,000 subscriber homes per market using fewer than 10 physical servers. Even for deployments of greater than 30,000 subscriber homes, a mix of virtualized and dedicated servers can still provide efficiency benefits.

“Reservation Telephone Cooperative prides itself on delivering a full range of advanced voice, data and TV services to our highly distributed community of just under 10,000 customers in North Dakota,” said Royce Aslakson, CEO of RTC. “By adding virtualization support, Microsoft Mediaroom is making the promise of converged entertainment services approachable without the cost and compromise inherent in more piecemeal solutions. The opportunity to sprint ahead of traditional TV services is now within our reach.”

Mediaroom with virtualization offers the full functionality of Microsoft’s award-winning IPTV platform including video on demand, DVR Anywhere for viewing and managing recorded shows in any room, and Mediaroom Anytime for viewing of previously aired programs or restarting currently airing shows without any preplanning or prior digital video recording. Other capabilities include high-definition video for live and on-demand content, multiview, instant channel zapping, and TV applications that support rich interactivity and seamless blending of Web content and services with broadcast TV. A full lineup of Mediaroom features is available at http://www.microsoft.com/Mediaroom/Features.aspx.

“Mediaroom with virtualization provides the industry’s lowest platform footprint for deploying a full IPTV service,” said Andreas Mueller-Schubert, general manager for the TV, Video and Music Business at Microsoft. “Given the pressures of today’s economic environment, the reduction in capital expenditure and ongoing efficiencies make Mediaroom with virtualization an attractive proposition for operators of all sizes as they launch and grow their IPTV businesses.”

“As IPTV becomes more mainstream, the industry must find a way to lower deployment costs. Mediaroom with virtualization does just that by reducing the overall number of servers that need to be deployed,” said Vince Vittore, principal analyst at Yankee Group Research Inc. “This development comes at a time when consumers are demanding the ability to access their content regardless of location or device. Mediaroom with virtualization gives service providers of all shapes and sizes a chance to fulfill this demand.”

To power virtualization in Mediaroom, Microsoft is using Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, Microsoft’s hypervisor-based server virtualization technology. Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V enables multiple virtual servers to be hosted on the same physical server. Virtual servers share the physical server’s resources, such as memory, disk access and CPU cycles. Sharing these resources efficiently can result in a dramatic reduction in the number of physical servers that are needed to deliver services.

Although the market I live is is probably smaller than 30,000 subscribers, I hope that this makes IPTV an option for some small market companies.  It would be nice to have the same services without having to deal with living in a larger city.

via Microsoft Press Release

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Adam Thursby

Adam Thursby is the founder and creator of The Digital Media Zone.

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