Microsoft may have to concede to operators that are reluctant to commit to using Windows Media to deliver internet protocol television services, as Tandberg offers operators of the Microsoft IPTV software platform the choice of encoding video using either Windows Media 9 or the MPEG-4 AVC compression standard.

Tandberg has announced that it is extending its encoding integration for the Microsoft TV IPTV platform to support MPEG-4 AVC codec in addition to Windows Media Video 9, Microsoft’s proprietary implementation of the proposed SMPTE standard known as VC-1.

“By extending our Microsoft TV IPTV Edition platform codec support to include MPEG-4 AVC, in addition to WMV9 (VC-1), we are giving operators a choice of codecs as they make their important moves to IPTV,” said Noel Matthews, director of broadband at Tandberg Television.

Acknowledging Tandberg’s inclusion of MPEG-4, Phil Corman, director of partner business development for the Microsoft TV division said: “The combination of the Microsoft TV IPTV platform and Tandberg Television’s real-time encoders for both WMV9 (VC-1) and MPEG-4 AVC brings high-quality live broadcast video to consumers with improved price, performance and economies of scale to network operators.”

Many operators are still keeping their options open on the choice of compression scheme as they prepare to roll out their broadband video services. Vendors of video encoders and set-top boxes are therefore tending to offer support for both VC-1 and MPEG-4.