“In recent weeks, announcements have come from major satellite television companies including DirecTV that they will be using a rival technology, developed through traditional standards organizations, instead of Microsoft’s competing video format, for their upcoming high-definition services.
Even Voom, the satellite HDTV company Microsoft touted as a supporter earlier in the year, recently said it would use the rival MPEG-4 AVC video format, or “codec,” beginning early in 2005.
The satellite companies’ moves, triggered by an increasing need for greater bandwidth, by no means count Microsoft out in other potentially larger markets such as cable television and online video. But the decisions by DirecTV and others show that the familiarity of the MPEG standard could be a difficult hurdle to clear. “