Microsoft launches Internet TV in Korea
October 30th, 2009

The new Microsoft Windows 7 operating system will enable Koreans to receive TV broadcasts on their computers without special receivers, The Chosen Ilbo reports. Programmes by broadcasters MBC and EBS will be available through an Internet-TV function added to the media centre of the new operating system, Microsoft Korea said yesterday. This will enable users to watch broadcasts on their PCs without an IPTV subscription or a set-top box.

Microsoft says it is negotiating with other foreign and domestic broadcasters and video content providers to provide more programming. The move is apparently the company’s first step into the global broadcasting market.

The Chosen Ilbo reports that Korean IPTV operators are unhappy, saying the move puts them at a disadvantage. A spokesman for one IPTV company said: “Our company has invested nearly 1.5 trillion won (US$1.25 billion) to upgrade communication networks and manufacture set-top boxes, but Microsoft doesn’t need to make additional investment for its Internet TV service. It’s unfair.”

The Korea Communications Commission said there are no legal grounds to curb Microsoft’s provision of Internet broadcasting.

(Source: Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union)