SBC Communications Inc. (SBC) is engaged in a full service broadband trial in Richardson, Texas. This trial brings together a unique combination of technologies. The all digital broadband network implements fiber to the curb (FTI'C), providing high bandwidth service to the trial participants. The fiber network carries telephone service and full service video and multimedia applications. The high bandwidth afforded by fiber also supports upstream video services and other highly interactive applications. We've all heard the old saw "Content is King." In building and integrating media systems there is a new monarch — software — and it is posing, perhaps, the most challenging aspect of the process. Knowing that a network with nothing to play upon it will not satisfy the needs of our customers, SBC is leveraging the advanced, object oriented capabilities in the Microsoft architecture to yield an environment that eases the work for developers. By creating an environment that lowers costs and speeds development time, SBC hopes to enable and to encourage its media partners to place larger numbers of titles on our network. SBC further hopes this environment will shorten and improve the quality control process and will significantly lower integration costs.
Keywords: software architectures, systems integration, interactive television, multimedia, media systems