AT&T Broadband, the largest cable operator in the country, said yesterday that because of a delay in the Microsoft TV platform it would instead use the Liberate TV platform in interactive television tests taking place later this year.
If the tests go well, it could possibly mean that Liberate instead of Microsoft will be the platform under which many AT&T cable subscribers ultimately receive interactive television on the planned 10 million digital set tops it intends to distribute. It is expected though that the company, in its I-TV test phase, will use many other platforms such as WorldGate, ICTV and OpenTV.
The announcement comes after Microsoft also delayed the roll out of set tops in the UK through cable operator United Pan-Europe Communications, who also decided they would go with Liberate.
Microsoft has a standing contract with AT&T to provide the platform for 7.5 million of the set tops as well as an investment of nearly 5 billion in the company.
AT&T currently has about 16 million cable subscribers.