AT&T Launches New Interactive TV Apps, Media Share Functionality on its U-verse TV IPTV Service

AT&T on Monday announced two new interactive TV services and new "Media Share" functionality for its Microsoft Mediaroom-powered IPTV service, U-verse TV. The new ITV services are Multiview, which allows viewers to watch multiple channels at once; and TV Awards and New Shows, which is designed to keep viewers up-to-date on the fall season's award shows and premieres. The new Media Share feature, meanwhile, allows viewers to stream personal photos and music files from their PC to the TV set. All three enhancements are being offered at no additional charge. "The apps and features available with U-verse TV give you new ways to watch and interact with the shows you love," Jeff Weber, VP of video services for AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, said in a prepared statement. "We offer numerous apps on U-verse TV today, standard with every package, and we're adding more all the time."

According to AT&T, the new Multiview service allows viewers to watch up to four channels at once and select which channel should be the main feed with audio. At launch, three Multiview implementations are available to all U-verse TV subscribers: Sports Multiview (channel 601), News Multiview (channel 201) and Kids Multiview (channel 301); subscribers to the ESPN GamePlan package can also access a GamePlan Multiview application on channel 4400. Using the up and down arrows on their remotes, AT&T says, viewers can scroll through the picture-in-picture screens to see additional channels in the featured genre that are available in their U-verse TV package. Viewers click "OK" to determine which channel appears in the main Multiview screen, and, if there is a program they want to record while browsing, AT&T says, they can select the record button to schedule recordings without exiting the Multiview app.

The new TV Awards and New Shows app, meanwhile, is located on channel 95. It allows viewers to see a list of all programs that have been nominated for the Primetime Emmy Awards, the Teen Choice Awards and the Television Critics Association awards. Viewers can then use their remotes to vote for their favorite nominated shows; access bios of nominated actors and actresses, hosts and reality show stars; and preview a summary of new shows premiering this season.

Finally, the new Media Share functionality allows viewers to stream photos and music to their TV screen from any compatible PC that is connected to the U-verse home network. Once the service is set up (AT&T promises that the set-up process is "simple"), viewers can see photo slideshows on the TV, listen to playlists through their home theater speakers, and play photo slideshows to their favorite soundtrack, AT&T says. According to the company, any PC in the house can be configured to work with Media Share.

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