(InfoWorld Daily via NewsEdge) Swiss consumers are now able to use their high-speed Internet connections to view television as part of a service that Swisscom officially launched this week after delaying the offering for more than a year.
The Bluewin TV service uses IPTV software platform developed by Microsoft.
The service will initially offer more than 100 TV channels and more than 500 video-on-demand films.
Additional features include an electronic program guide with details of current and upcoming programs, a live pause function and remote recording via mobile phone or the Internet.
The Microsoft TV IPTV Edition software platform has been chosen by several other European network operators eager to carve out a chunk of the nascent IPTV market.
These include BT, Deutsche Telekom, and Telecom Italia.
After having experienced some technical problems with Microsoft's initial IPTV product and with the set-top boxes, Swisscom decided to delay commercial service until now.
Earlier this month, Deutsche Telekom launched its IPTV offering, based on VDSL.
By comparison, Swisscom offers customers a choice between ADSL and VDSL.
However, the higher bandwidth supported by VDSL allows two TV channels, or streams, to be transmitted simultaneously over a single access line, allowing customers to record one channel while viewing another, the operator said.
Around 75 %, or 2.3 million people in Switzerland, have high-speed Internet connections and are thus able to receive the Bluewin TV service.
Of these, 2 million have VDSL connections. The basic monthly fee is 29 Swiss francs ($23).
Â© 2006 InfoWorld Media
Â© 2006 Dialog, a Thomson business. All rights reserved