by Fabio fretiJuly 19, 2012
In September, 1996, Sony and Phillips introduced the first WebTV set-top boxes from WebTV Networks, Inc. They became known as WebTV Classic, sometimes called the WebTV Internet Terminal.
In December 1997, a second generation of set-top box was introduced, which is known as the WebTV Plus. The new unit includes a TV tuner and integrates the TV and Web worlds.
In August of 1997, Microsoft Corp bought WebTV Networks, Inc. In December 1998, Microsoft began expanding WebTV Networks' offering by offering television-based software platform products and associated network services in order to deliver a complete digital solution for cable system operators and broadband service providers.
WebTV Classic and Plus service consists of two parts: the WebTV Reference Design, on which WebTV licensees such as Sony and Philips base their boxes, and the WebTV Network, a subscription-based online service that is an essential part of what makes the TV-based Web browser feasible.
Both the WebTV Classic and the WebTV Plus use versions of a proprietary browser. This browser is secure (128-bit SSL encryption) and supports most functionality offered by Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Netscape's Navigator Gold. A key difference, though, is that the WebTV browser manipulates text and images so that they look better on a TV screen. Without WebTV's technology, text would flicker on a TV screen and be very difficult to read.
In January 1999, WebTV Networks, Inc. and EchoStar Communications Corp. announced the WebTV Personal TV service for Satellite. Also, WebTV Networks, Inc. announced its continued work with industry leaders in advertising, broadcasting and content creation for the acceleration and adoption of interactive television. HBO, KCTS-TV, MSNBC and The Weather Channel have now committed to developing new or extended interactive content and services - directly related to their popular television shows - for the Microsoft® WebTV Network™ Plus service and the WebTV™ for Windows® feature of Windows 98.
In 2001 WebTV Networks sold their subscriber base to Microsoft and ceased to exist. At its peak, there were more than 1 million subscribers.
In late 2004 Microsoft introduced MSN TV2 which is capable of broadband access and allowed the use of a mouse.
In 2005 additional support for playing music and video files, listening to Internet radio stations, and viewing and managing photos was added.
News Source: http://www.free-press-release.com/news-about-webtv-webtv-history-in-brief-1342690770.html
Official Website: http://free-web-tv.solobuonumore.com
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