Cable Providers Want to Turn Your TV into a Phone

Calling all TVs | CNET “Cox Communications and Cablevision have in mind the ultimate feature for couch potatoes: answering the phone with your TV.

As described this week by executives attending the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s annual show here, someone watching TV will soon be able to answer in-coming calls, direct them to voice mail, or even screen them using caller ID, all through their TV.”

I’ve long believed that both TiVo and Microsoft should seek to own the phone in the home. Media Center already has the capability to show on screen caller ID but this is not enough.

Media Center should provide a full suite of built in voicemail technology, phone call recording technology, phone management, Skype and other VOIP services, and possibly even cam based video phone features. This is the future and could provide great publicity and PR for Media Center PCs. They should at minimum roll out the concept PC on this soon.

Microsoft should actually build and develop the “Microsoft Digital Phone.” This phone will offer expandable handsets that operate on standard cordless phone technology, integrate with your MCE and yes even your MCE remote will have a built in telephone.

They should also develop smart features to integrate your cell phone into the mix as well. (eg. you check your cell phone voicemail messages through MCE, you can have your cell phone forwarded to your home phone through MCE, etc.).

Of course, all this has got to be done in such a way so as not to piss off the Bells who Microsoft is working with to develop IPTV.