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BT appoints Philips for IPTV set-top


BT has selected consumer electronics giant Philips to supply set-top boxes for its forthcoming internet protocol television (IPTV) service. BT said its next generation digital television service would include set-top boxes with built-in personal video recorders (PVRs) capable of storing up to 80 hours of programming and delivering high-definition content.

The BT-Philips partnership builds on BT’s alliance with Microsoft, which will provide Microsoft TV IPTV Edition as the software platform for BT’s TV-over-broadband service. BT’s service will combine access to free-to-view digital terrestrial channels with an extensive video-on-demand library, catch-up TV – offering all programmes over the previous seven days on-demand – and a range of interactive services.

BT said it planned to offer these services across the UK from late summer/autumn 2006 after a trial in the spring/early summer. In addition the service will offer instant messaging, chat and video telephony on TV.

Ian Livingston, chief executive BT Retail said: “Our services will be a world first and will place power in the hands of the viewer. No longer will BT customers be reliant on TV schedules. From next year, they will be able to watch what they like when they like. This is all about giving our customers choice, convenience and control.

“We see next generation TV as a vital element of our vision for home entertainment. In an increasingly converged world, BT customers will be able to benefit from the combination of television, communications and the internet. For example, football fans across the country will be able to chat using video telephony while watching a match. Our catch-up TV offering will also allow people to watch programmes they may have missed but wanted to see.”

Rudy Provoost, CEO Philips Consumer Electronics said: “Philips is very excited to partner with BT to introduce this innovative new digital TV service to the UK market. This cooperation is an important proof-point of our strategy providing consumers access to information and entertainment anywhere anytime, while preparing the road for HDTV. It is all about bringing innovation and ease-of-use to the consumer.”

Meanwhile BT has poached James Soames, head of marketing BSkyB’s direct-to-home service, to lead the marketing drive for its IPTV service. Soames will report to Andrew Burke, chief executive of BT Entertainment.

Written by DTG Team

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