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Microsoft Shuts Down MSN TV: Pioneering Set-Top Box Couldn't Keep Up With The Times

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by CatfishRivers, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Microsoft shuts down MSN TV, a pioneering set-top box that couldn't keep up with the times | The Verge (click for full article)

    by David Pierce - July 7, 2013

    "Before TVs were "smart," before Boxee and Roku and Apple TV and TiVo, there was just WebTV. Steve Perlman's brainchild was designed in the 1990s to marry the computer and television, and though its technology is now widely used Microsoft has decided it no longer has use for the product it bought for $425 million in 1997. Now known as MSN TV, Microsoft has announced that it will cease operations in September of 2013.

    GOOGLE TV BEFORE GOOGLE TV


    WebTV was, like so many inventions, born of necessity. Perlman needed a graphical display for his PC, so he hacked into the one he already owned - his television. The resulting product was a crude mix of set-top box and home theater PC, and it was good enough to make Businessweek's Stephen H. Wildstrom declare in 1996 that "I think we may now have the product that could turn the World Wide Web into a mass-entertainment medium." In a way, it was Google TV long before Google TV. Before Google, even."
     
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  2. overtimeman

    overtimeman Active Member

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    LOL! Along about 2007 it was like chewing gum that had lost it's flavor! The only reason I kept my MSNTV2 was the fact I was an alpha tester and didn't get charged a monthly fee! People in discuss groups whined,pissed and moaned about paying for nonservice and now the same ones are upset they are finally shutting it down.Go figure.I wonder if MSN is going to try again with the rumored streaming unit called X BoxTV based on Win8? Have to wait and see!
     
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  3. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    I used to love the MSN chat rooms that I accessed with my Philips Web TV Classic! LOL Those were fun back in the 90's - we even had get togethers.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2013
  4. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    It would be interesting to know how many MSN TV subscribers there still are. I bet many of them are seniors - although I read in the MSN TV discussion groups that some had computers and just kept their MSN TV subscription for the discuss groups.

    Maybe now that MSN TV is shutting down this will give GTV sales a little boost? I think many of the old-timers might still be scared of computers. So IMO quite a few will migrate over to GTV - also quite a few will probably buy a Samsung Chromebox or a Chromebook.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2013
  5. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I never really understood what Microsoft was trying to do with MSN TV but I would sure think that Google TV is the best place for the remaining users to migrate.
     
  6. Rick44

    Rick44 Member

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    That was me. I wanted the internet, but didn't want to deal with the viruses of computers. I got the first webtv in, I think 1997, then got MSNTV2 when it came out several years later. I finally cancelled when I got the googletv. By that point it was pretty much a joke. Not just the things you could never do videoswise like youtube. It was all the sites that at one point were workable that no longer were. They pretty much couldn't update anything. I still remember that when I cancelled the person on the phone asked me why. Why??? I was paying $9.99 a month for email. That and the discussion groups, I suppose. What else could it do at that point? I'm surprised it took this long to close shop.


    Much as I've complained about googletv, it isn't MSNTV. Still, I think a case of damning with feint praise. Just because it's not as bad as the worst of the worst doesn't excuse things that have happened in recent weeks. And I don't know whether it's the browser being outdated or what, but the browser is very clunky. I just did a factory reset a couple weeks back and I still do ctl/alt/del ALL THE TIME. Spend 20 minutes on youtube and it's like the system's memory is gone. I always had some issues with it, but certainly not to this degree. Definitely not the first year I had the tv.

    Are the chromebox and chromebook simplified pcs, Catfish? Here is what I'm looking for. I want the net on the tv, but I don't want memory limitations or to deal with all sorts of viruses and spyware or adware. I have a 2006 laptop that is so slow. I have Verizon's Security Suite which keeps saying there are no viruses, but there is something on it. Adware or spyware. Like that about blank address that will come up when connecting to a site. When I first turn the computer on it's sometimes 8-10 minutes before chrome actually opens up.

    But I guess everything is in the expectations. When I first had webtv, with dialup, it was wow. I was on the net for the first time. I mean on a everyday basis. Then youtube came about and all this other video content. No access to it. The net kept advancing and it just couldn't keep up.
     
  7. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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  8. Rick44

    Rick44 Member

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    Thanks, Catfish. I am seriously considering getting that.
     
  9. guest

    guest Active Member

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    Hi.
    I'm looking to use my GoogleTV outside. Since it's not practical to lug a television around, I'm thinking about getting one the "Chrome's"! Is there a thread that outlines the pro's and con's of the ChromeBook versus the ChromeBox? What do you recommend? [Of course, "GoogleTV Glass(es)" would be the most practical, and coolest, but I don't think it's on the market just yet!]
     
  10. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    If you want a portable Chrome OS solution I recommend the Samsung ARM Chromebook. It is reasonably priced at $249 and has a good customer rating on Amazon of 4.1 stars. It's the number 1 selling laptop on Amazon - so it must be doing something right.

    http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-XE303C12-A01US-Chromebook-Wi-Fi-11-6-Inch/dp/B009LL9VDG

    The Chromebox would appeal more to someone that doesn't want a portable solution and instead wants a dedicated box for their TV/monitor.
    The Chromebox has diffeerent hardware than the Chromebook - (the Chromebox runs an Intel chip and has 4 GB of RAM (compared to 2 GB of RAM for the Samsung Chromebook) - thus the Chromebox probably scores a bit higher on the bench mark speed tests - but you probably wouldn't really notice much difference.

    I suggest reading the Amazon reviews carefully for the different models so that you will feel comfortable with your decision.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
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  11. Rick44

    Rick44 Member

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    I could use either as tv monitor, right? The laptop's advantage would be that I could disconnect it and use it in other rooms or places? Now, understand that my computer know how is very, very little. So, answer this what may be a stupid question. Double the ram wouldn't make much difference in speed? What is ram, exactly? Does it have to do with the memory capacity of the device? What is the gtv ram? Is your opinion that I won't have any web limitations with the book versus the box? I mean besides speed. The difference in ram won't make certain sites less user friendly?

    You talked about not using apps earler. Again, that is me. I have never downloaded an app with gtv. I basically use none of them. Settings would be the one I use most. Pandora, have never touched it. The tv and movies app, never touched it. I use my dvr for program search. Wait, I had a 30 day netflix free trial. I did use the app for that. Other than that, forget it. The device came with maybe 2 dozen apps. I pretty much don't touch them, settings aside . And chrome if you consider that an app, but you don't even have to go in the apps section to access that.


    I use, or used, the chromes browser for virtually all my web activity. I bookmark my favorite pages. 30-40. That is how I've used my gtv for coming up on 2 years.
     
  12. guest

    guest Active Member

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    Haven't you ever come across a PDF that you need to read? On GTV, if you click something that is in a PDF format, it gets downloaded. To read it, you will need an app. The ONLY app that functions optimally for viewing PDF's on GTV, and that is free, is the "Docs Viewer" app.
     
  13. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Rick44 the amount of RAM won't actually make your Chromebook any faster - but it might make a difference if you are multi-tasking with many windows open simultaneously:

    Do You Really Need More Than 4GB of RAM?

    Google TV devices currently have 1 GB of RAM.

    There should be no difference in what functions you can do with a Chromebox versus a Chromebook - they both run the same Chrome OS.

    However a Chromebox/Chromebook cannot do some things that a full Windows computer can do. Such as utilize Microsoft Silverlight, Skype, JAVA, and a few others. But you will have full Flash support with Chromebox/Chromebook.

    Yes you can connect either a Chromebox or Chromebook to a TV. If you connect a Chromebox to your TV you will need to purchase a DVI to HDMI converter (they're about $10 on Amazon). The Samsung ARM Chromebook comes with an HDMI port (so you don't need the DVI to HDMI converter) wiith the Samsung ARM Chromebook.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
  14. guest

    guest Active Member

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    So using a Chromebook for the purpose of replicating the experience with a Google TV, one would need to purchase a combination remote control/keyboard - "for ease of use". No? And with the Chromebox, one would need to purchase, additionally, the DVI to HDMI converter.

    Is the Logitech Revue box about the same size of the Chromebook? I'm just thinking about what it would be like to have to hold the black Revue box in one's hand for surfing, in place of our current Logitech keyboard. But I don't know if the Chromebook has been designed with that in mind. If it hasn't, then, yes, you'd need to buy a combination keyboard/remote control.

    Why are we, as Google TV users, not flocking to Chromebook, not purchasing Chromebook as a replacement for GTV - immediately? Can't a Chromebook do much more than any current GTV's on the market?

    With a Chromebook, for one, we could disconnect it from the TV and drive to Starbucks with it, accessing the internet on the Chromebook using Starbucks' free wi-fi. We can't do that with the current crop of GTV's.

    So I have to ask: What do we have to lose by replacing a GTV with a Chromebook? (Besides the current price tag of $249.00 on Amazon.)
     
  15. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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  16. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    With the Chromebox/Chromebook you don't have the PrimeTime app and the interaction with a cable TV box that Google TV has. You will basically have a desktop browser with full access to the Chrome store for Chrome extensions and full Flash support. While after the GTV Jellybean update - the GTV Chrome browser will be more like a mobile browser (without Flash) support. As I mentioned previously no android apps with Chromebook/Chromebox. (And conversely Chrome extensions don't work with GTV).

    It would be really great if somebody that has tried both GTV and a Chromebox/Chromebook could comment on this further......

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I just posted the following thread about Chromebooks:

    http://www.googletvforum.org/forum/...s-finally-finding-their-stride.html#post52440

    As you can see from the articles in that thread - Chromebook sales are doing good - and IMO the future looks bright for Chromebooks.

    Conversely GTV sales are not doing good. In fact there is talk of Google coming out with a dedicated Nexus android gaming console - which could put the entire GTV platform in jeopardy. Not trying to scare anybody (it's possible that GTV sales might improve after the Jellybean update) - but IMO right now as things currently stand - future support for the GTV platform (from manufacturers & Google) are a bit questionable at this juncture.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2013
  17. Rick44

    Rick44 Member

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    Why is the chromebox so much more expensive? What are it's advantages? Why wouldn't the chromebox have an hdmi port as well? Not that the $10 for the adapter would keep me from getting it. I just want the best web experience I can have. I have fios quantum. I want to be able to use that 50/25 speed if I have a wired connection. c. I don't want to read that my browser is outdated when I go to certain sites. i don't want websites that lag or freeze from lack of memory or because something on the site is not supported. Like with GTV. There is a board I frequent where one of the threads is a videos thread. What you get is mostly youtube links. Not the address, the actual video, I mean a freeze frame of it. Click on the link and the video plays there without going to youtube. You get a page with 10-15 of them on it, it will lock the gtv up. You might get the unresponsive/kill page message or this caused shockwave to crash message. To me, that is a memory issue. You don't get, or I don't, anyway, with a computer. I just wanted the best, problem free browsing experience that I can get.

    Guest, the pdf thing is one of the few times I considered getting an app. Thing is, it's only been a couple times. If I was constantly trying to open pdfs I'm sure I would have downloaded something.
     
  18. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Rick44 about a week ago when Amazon had the new Samsung Chromebox in stock they were offering it for $249.99. I just checked and Amazon is currently out of stock and now third party sellers on Amazon are offering the Samsung Chromebox for over $400. Don't buy it at that price. Wait for Amazon to get it back in stock - or buy one of the Chromebooks. Amazon has the Samsung ARM Chromebook in stock for $249.99. (Keep in mind as I mentioned previously the Samsung ARM Chromebook doesn't have an ethernet port - but you can use a USB ethernet adapter).

    The Intel processor in the Samsung Chromebox is a bit faster than the Chromebook with the ARM processor. But it's not a big difference and you probably wouldn't notice much difference.

    IMO Samsung left off the HDMI port on the Chromebox for fear that content providers might block the Chromebox. I know laptops have HDMI without issues from content providers - but seeing as how the Chromebox is a "box", runs an OS from Google, easily connects to a TV, and Google also puts out GTV boxes which are "blocked" by Hulu and network TV sites - these things were in the back of Samsung's mind when they decided to leave off an HDMI port on the Chromebox.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2013
  19. Rick44

    Rick44 Member

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    As always, Catfish, thank for your the info you provide. I think I'll be getting one of the two. I had noticed that chromebox was going through the third party seller rather than Amazon but figured the price wasn't much different. I think I'll heed your advive, see if it goes back in stock at a more reasonable price, and then decide which of the 2 to get.

    It's been what, 3 weeks now, with the youtube problem. They are not going to do anything to fix it and if the jellybean update fixes it I'm not getting that anyway.

    PS, I finally read that link you put upabout RAM. So, it's real use it for multitasking? I do very little of that unless you consider listening to a radio station or podcast while I browse the web real multitasking. But me with 5-6 windows open at the same time, doing different things? Never.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013
  20. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Hi Rick44. Based on your description of internet usage I would think that 2 GB of RAM should be fine for your needs. This is the quote from the article:

    "If you are a regular user, just light browsing, IM, or YouTube, you are probably just fine with 2GB of RAM"
     

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