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MULTIMEDIA: KVH and Microsoft to bring broadband connectivity and MSN TV service to mobile customers
Posted by Arne Hess - on Thursday, 05.01.06 - 13:14:12 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 8083x
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Microsoft and KVH Industries today announced an agreement to bring the MSN TV service to consumers traveling in cars, trucks, RVs and boats throughout the United States. KVH's Mobile Internet Receiver with MSN TV service, a customized version of the MSN TV 2 Internet & Media Player, will provide in-motion access to Web browsing, Microsoft Windows Media Player, MSN Mail and MSN Messenger, digital photo viewing, MSN Video, and MSN Radio with two-way connections made possible by broadband EVDO cellular services. The result will be the first in-motion product to offer consumers easy-to-use, high-speed Internet access on the television screens already installed in cars and other vehicles today. KVH's Mobile Internet Receiver with MSN TV service will also include Wi-Fi output to provide Internet connectivity to a wide range of Wi-Fi-enabled products.

"Today's consumers expect to be able to stay connected while they're on the go in their vehicles," said Sam Klepper, general manager for the MSN TV division at Microsoft. "With the availability of MSN TV service on KVH's Mobile Internet Receiver, consumers will now be able to communicate, access information, and enjoy digital entertainment wherever their travels may take them."

"There is clearly a demand for mobile access to live media ranging from satellite TV to broadband Internet," said Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH's president and chief executive officer. "With more than 20 million automobiles expected to be equipped with video screens by 2011 and color TVs as standard equipment aboard boats and RVs for many years, these screens provide an excellent platform not only for live satellite TV and gaming, but also for an integrated Internet solution. KVH looks forward to working with Microsoft on the Mobile Internet Receiver with MSN TV service that will leverage these screens and MSN TV technology to offer consumers an affordable, reliable source of two-way, in-motion Internet access."

Consumers will be able to enjoy in-motion connections to a variety of MSN communication, information and entertainment services. The high-speed connection, offered by an EVDO (Evolution Data Optimized) data modem that KVH is integrating into the Mobile Internet Receiver, will leverage existing broadband data services offered by several major cellular companies. EVDO service is available in more than 170 markets nationwide, with new markets being added on an ongoing basis. Connection speeds for EVDO service are similar to residential DSL broadband service, with a maximum speed of 2.4 Mbps and typical speeds of 400 Kbps to 700 Kbps. When EVDO is unavailable, the system will automatically switch to standard 1xRTT data service, which is available in most cellular coverage areas. 1xRTT has a maximum upload and download speed of 144 Kbps, and typical speeds of 50 Kbps to 80 Kbps.

By using EVDO services for connectivity along with built-in Wi-Fi output, the vehicle or vessel is turned into a "mobile hot spot." Passengers will be able to connect to other Internet services using Wi-Fi-enabled laptop computers, PDAs and other devices using an Internet browser, e-mail application or instant messaging tool.

Demonstration units of the Mobile Internet Receiver with MSN TV service are on display in multiple KVH vehicles at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The hardware and service are expected to be available for purchase in mid-2006. Pricing for the Mobile Internet Receiver with MSN TV service will be announced at a later date.

Cheers ~ Arne


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