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MSN On Your TV

Staff Writer
Published: 2004-10-05

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Broadband-Home-Network-Enabled Living-Room Device Offers Exciting New Entertainment, Information and Communications Options for the Television.

The MSN TV unit of Microsoft debuts the new MSN TV 2 Internet & Media Player, shipping now and due to arrive at major consumer electronic retailers across the country by mid-October. MSN TV 2 is the only product that brings premium MSN content, PC-stored digital media and e-mail to TV for a truly integrated Internet and media experience. MSN TV 2 is a broadband-home-network-enabled device manufactured by Thomson under the RCA brand. It includes a wireless keyboard and remote control and has an MSRP of $199.95 plus a subscription fee.

"The new MSN TV 2 Internet & Media Player frees consumers from their home offices so that they can enjoy Web or PC-based photo slide shows, music or videos with their families in their living rooms," said Sam Klepper, general manager of MSN TV at Microsoft. "Our service is unique because it offers a vast array of entertainment, information and communication services, yet it is easy to set up and use. It is the result of eight years' experience developing and delivering interactive television services to consumers."

MSN TV 2 runs a new version of the MSN TV service that enables broadband households to enjoy Windows Media-compatible music, video and photos on their televisions from the Web or shared from files on their networked PCs. Users can choose from hundreds of news, sports and entertainment video clips updated daily from leading content providers and play them back on their TVs automatically. The service includes access to 200 commercial-free radio stations, a primary MSN e-mail account with 2 GB of storage, 10 secondary e-mail accounts with 250 MB of storage, and constantly updated spam protection.

The MSN TV 2 Internet & Media Player is a complete overhaul and replacement for Microsoft's earlier MSN TV Internet receiver. Driven by the Intel 733 MHz Celeron chip set, which provides 16 times the previous processing power, it includes 128 MB of RAM and 64 MB of flash memory. MSN TV 2 is equipped with an Ethernet port and two USB ports for accessories such as digital media card readers, wireless network adapters and printers. Based on the Windows CE operating system, MSN TV 2 comes preloaded with Windows Media Player for TV, Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 technology and Windows Media Connect, a new Microsoft technology for sharing media across a home network.

MSN TV 2 also includes a 56Kbps phone modem, so current MSN TV dial-up users can upgrade to the more powerful system. "Although our new focus is on delivering broadband services, MSN TV 2 provides an easy and affordable alternative for consumers currently without Internet access and e-mail at home," Klepper said.

MSN TV 2 will be available nationwide at major consumer electronic retailers including Best Buy, Circuit City Stores Inc. and CompUSA, as well as online through Amazon.com and Microsoft.com, beginning the first week of October. MSN TV offers subscription packages required to receive MSN TV service ranging from $9.95 monthly or $99.95 annually for users who connect through their own broadband service to $21.95 monthly or $199.95 annually for dial-up users.

Key Features

-- MSN Video. The MSN TV service provides broadband subscribers with access to hundreds of video clips to view from their TVs. Content is provided by leading programmers such as NBC, Discovery Channel, Fox Sports, Food Network, AtomFilms and many more, with dozens of new clips added daily.

-- MSN Radio. Broadband customers can choose from 200 high-quality, commercial-free radio stations in dozens of genres and enjoy them on their home entertainment systems.

-- Photo viewer. Instead of crowding around a small digital camera screen or PC, subscribers can relax and view photo slide shows on their televisions using photos from e-mail, from a networked PC or from a digital camera's media card using an optional media card reader.

-- Home-network-enabled. Customers can enjoy digital media on their televisions using a wired or wireless home network to play MP3s or Windows Media Player-compatible music or video stored on their computers.

-- E-mail. MSN TV service includes 11 MSN e-mail accounts, MSN Junk E-Mail Guard to help eliminate unwanted mail, automatic e-mail virus protection, and attachment viewers for Microsoft Word, Adobe PDF and digital picture file attachments including JPEG, GIF, BMP and PNG.

-- MSN Messenger for TV. Customers can talk online, in real time, with friends, family and colleagues. They can keep existing MSN Messenger display names or create a new one.

-- MSN Chat for TV. With the MSN TV service, customers can chat about anything and everything that interests them -- right from the comfort of their couch.

-- Web surfing. The new service gives greater access to online content by browsing with Internet Explorer 6.0 technology. Text size can be enlarged for easy reading from a distance.

-- MSN Parental Controls. For concerned parents, MSN TV includes content filters to help block inappropriate content from children.

-- Personalized information center. The service brings up-to-the minute information on news, money, sports and entertainment to the home page while allowing personalization of stocks and weather.

-- Easy to use. The MSN TV 2 Internet & Media Player is not a computer and requires no software to buy or install. The wireless keyboard has easy- to-use color-coded buttons that quickly connect users to e-mail and the Internet.

-- Automatic updates. As new features and enhancements become available, the MSN TV 2 Internet & Media Player is automatically updated by the MSN TV service.

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