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MS Ultimate TV Fees Announced

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF. -Microsoft WebTV Networks announced that the monthly fee for its forthcoming UltimateTV satellite recorder service will be $9.95, offering subscribers up to 35 hours of digital video recording (DVR) and three hours of total Internet access.

For $14.95 per month subscribers will be able to use their own compatible Internet service provider, “such as MSN.” DirecTV subscription fees will be handled separately, although package prices will vary.

“For the same price as traditional DVR-only services, UltimateTV subscribers get a whole lot more,” said Bruce Leak, president of Microsoft WebTV Networks. “You can watch one show while you record another, interact with enhanced TV programming, respond to interactive offers with a click of the remote, and communicate with family and friends.”

Viewers will be able to choose from more than 500 hours per week of interactive television, and an included Advanced Program Guide provides viewers the ability to watch and record programs up to 14 days out.

Additionally, the system is the first DirecTV decoder to enable viewing or recording two programs simultaneously, while “maintaining full digital video and audio recording quality,” the company said. This will allow the use of picture-in-picture functions on TV sets, as well as recording one show while watching another live broadcast.