BT Opts For Microsoft's IPTV Platform
LONDON — BT has chosen Microsoft's Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) software platform to deliver TV over broadband in the U.K. The operator plans to trial a service early next year , with a commercial service expected to begin in the summer of 2006.
The software giant sees its IPTV Edition package as another way to get closer to major network operators, and has already scored wins with several U.S. carriers, including SBC and BellSouth.
Microsoft's end-to-end solution provides the software platform that manages the distribution of video content from the time it enters the distribution chain by encoders to the time it is decoded by the set-top box in the home. The company claims its version requires fewer integration steps for video distribution once deployed and can thus be more cost effective for carriers.
Major competitors for IPTV systems include Siemens subsidiary Myrio, which claims to be supplying its gear to at least ten major carriers, and UTStarcom.
Alcatel is a major partner helping Microsoft roll out IPTV systems.
"BT is a great example of one of the world's leading network operators choosing Microsoft TV as the software platform for its digital TV and converged entertainment services," said Moshe Lichtman, corporate vice president of the Microsoft TV division at Microsoft.
Gavin Patterson, Group Managing Director of BT Retail said the companies "share a common vision for converged entertainment in the home. TV over broadband services will play an important role in BT's triple-play offering for consumers. Our approach of over-the-air broadcast and broadband-delivered video-on-demand, interactivity and enhanced support is the perfect solution and complements existing TV propositions already in the UK market."
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