The real battle for the living room

Telcos and cable TV providers are tussling over who will own the TV/video pipeline into consumer living rooms, and it is fun to watch them one-up one another as they pile on the HDTV channels and make promises about what is to come next. But, the real battle for the living room is about to happen on the software front.

Microsoft recently announced the beta version of its Mediaroom Presentation Framework, with all kinds of new goodies for IPTV service providers. However, the Soft At Home consortium led by France Telecom also is looking to work its way into consumer living rooms possibly to challenge Microsoft, and how video content is organized, presented and managed for IPTV services.

Soft At Home was announced a few months ago, but there has not been much detail since (The group's website consists of about three pages).

Next week at NXTcomm, I will be meeting with executives from both Soft At Home and Microsoft Mediaroom (not simultaneously, though that might be fun). Look to FierceIPTV next week for more detailed reports on their distinct approaches, as well as other show news.