Microsoft TV

From WebTV Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This page is currently a stub. More information will be added to this page when time permits.

Microsoft TV was a software platform based on WebTV technology with a focus on interactive TV. It offered services such as digital video recording, electronic program guides, internet on TV, and interactive programming.


Companies were able to obtain a license to use the platform in their own products. It's unknown how many of them were given out. Examples include TV Cabo (from Portugal) with their Smartbox interactive TV product, Cablevisión Mexico, and Thomson with their TAK all-in-one TV platform.


Microsoft TV appears to be based on the same technology as UltimateTV, and likely ran on top of the Windows CE kernel. The simulator program released for Microsoft TV hints that the platform also may have utilized CompressFS. Compared to WebTV/MSN TV, it has a lot more usage of CSS and JavaScript. The architecture it ran on is currently not known.


Microsoft TV's protocol has been observed to be similar to the WTVP protocol, except that some of the services it uses have different names compared to their WebTV-equivalent services, alongside the addition of a few headers for Microsoft TV-specific functionality. The Microsoft TV Simulator is able to connect to regular WebTV/MSN TV servers, though, with it confirmed to work on minisrv-based servers just fine.


Inside the CompressFS in the "Configuration" directory, a "Configuration.xml" file is present. It would presumably be edited by the the licensee using the Microsoft TV platform to configure information about the service (i.e., service IPs, name, and phone numbers) and settings in the box itself. Settings configured by this file include but are not limited to: whether the OS should show the "OneWorld" UI or not (a built-in home page with links to Microsoft TV services and rotating panes for news and weather) and what URL the box should connect to when powered on, as well as settings for the browser itself such as the user agent and app version.

Parameters Array

In a good bunch of HTML files inside the CompressFS (such as various panels from the OneWorld UI's "start menu", which is essentially its own version of the Option menu), a JavaScript file is embedded, named "parameters.js". All the code does is define an array named "parameters" and a function named "unspace". The array is seen used to access information regarding the user's current page (such as the title and the address) and some other user settings.