Microsoft made the news this week over a new deal with Germany’s Deutsche Telekom. Starting this summer, Microsoft TV software will be used to deliver television programming and video on demand over a VDSL Internet Protocol network. According to a Reuters report, the service is scheduled to be available in 50 German cities by the end of 2006, and the company forecasts 1 million users by the end of 2007. The VDSL network is expected to make data speeds up to 50 megabits per second possible.
Sources at Microsoft point to inexpensive set top boxes that are due to come to market this year, which will make it easy to access IPTV from a television without the need for a separate computer.
IPTV is clearly gaining momentum worldwide. Microsoft TV already has a deal with AT&T, which is part of the company’s Lightspeed video service that started testing in San Antonio last December. IPTV offers some distinct advantages over cable and satellite broadcasts, and as the phone companies pursue “triple-play” configurations more aggressively, IPTV could become a common feature in homes worldwide.