TDS Telecom upgrades Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV platform

TDS Telecom, a subsidiary of Telpehone and Data Systems (NYSE: TDS), said it has upgraded its Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Mediaroom platform to version 2.3 as a way to make the customer's viewing experience "more intuitive and easy-to-use."

With this upgrade complete, TV service customers now have various new features and service enhancements, including: a customizable local weather application; enhanced menus with programming categories and shortcuts for various common commands; multiple favorite lists for each set-top box; and the ability to share photos and music on TVs using a USB drive on the TV or personal computer.

Kari Gray, product manager for TDS, said in a release that "This upgrade gives all of our customers more options and more control over their TV-watching experience."

TDS TV Mediaroom customers will get the upgrade automatically for free. Today, it only offers the Microsoft-enabled IPTV service in Farragut and Mt. Juliet, Tenn.--two of its initial IPTV service markets. In addition Farragut and Mt. Juliet, Tenn., TDS offers IPTV service in: Camden County, Ga.; Monticello, Minn.; La Vergne, Tenn.; and Black Earth, Cross Plains, Middleton, Monroe, New Glarus, Verona, and Waunakee, Wis.

Microsoft's deployment with TDS, while relegated to only two markets, illustrates that the platform still has support from the major telco community. When Mediaroom becomes part of Ericsson's (Nasdaq: ERIC) Business Unit Support Solutions in the second half of this year, the Swedish company will be able to assist TDS and other smaller telcos that face challenges in finding interoperable IPTV systems. 

While it has plans to expand coverage into more markets this year, TDS TV is available in parts of Tennessee, Georgia, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Despite being only available in a few of its markets, IPTV has become a key part of the telco's bundling strategy. In Q1 2013, TDS Telecom added 200 and 1,100 broadband and IPTV customers, respectively.

For more:
- see the release

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Article updated May 21 noting other markets where TDS offers its IPTV service.