24 August 2004
How would you like to receive a phone call during the evening news programme without missing a thing on TV? No problem, the live-pause function allows time-shifted playback of programmes, even as a programme is being broadcast. This video recorder function adds something quite new to the traditional TV experience. With the aid of an integrated TV guide users can choose their favourite channels. Recording TV programmes becomes child's play as you no longer need to program your recorder using complicated key combinations. A simple touch of a button is all it takes.
"Many people today already view digital photos saved on a computer on their TVs. This means that the networked home is just around the corner. Our goal must be to integrate and offer telephony and Internet services in a networked home, and even television in the future," says Adrian Bult, CEO of Swisscom Fixnet. With the development of its TV service, Swisscom subsidiary Bluewin is combining ADSL with television in collaboration with Microsoft. In Switzerland, some 700,000 customers already use ADSL. The Bluewin TV offering can be supplemented to include an unlimited number of TV channels. Customers first choose which TV channels they wish to use and then simply pay for the channels they decide to order. Bluewin is preparing attractive price-performance packages to address the needs of individual customers.
Participants in the market test will be able to choose between the starter subscription for CHF 14.90 (8 channels plus 4 Swiss SRG channels) per month and the standard subscription for CHF 23.90 (21 channels from all categories plus 4 Swiss SRG channels) per month. The starter version can be supplemented with additional channels for CHF 1.00 each. The TV offering can be individually customized with video-on-demand (prices between CHF 3.00 and CHF 10.00) and attractive pay-TV channels.
A set-top box and an ADSL line from Bluewin are needed to enjoy this top-quality TV experience. The multimedia offering is fed to the Bluewin computing centre and then transmitted via ADSL to the customer's set-top box, where the IP signal is converted to enable it to be viewed on practically any TV. The bandwidth required lies between 1.2 and 1.5 Mbits. "As the first operator in Europe to trial pay-TV services powered by the Microsoft TV IPTV platform, Bluewin is now able to offer its DSL customers competitive, next-generation TV services, both broadcast and on-demand, combined with innovative communications and information services," said Tim Fritzley, Vice President Sales and Services, Microsoft TV. "The Microsoft TV IPTV platform is an ideal solution for operators like Bluewin that want to get the most from their network investments and offer the "triple play" bundle of voice, video and data services to deliver incredible value to their customers."
Since the collaboration with Microsoft was announced in November 2003 the market has so far shown great interest in the new form of watching television. The more than 600 people who will be taking part in the approximately three-month long market tests were assessed and chosen in August 2004.
With revenues of around CHF 10 billion (excluding Debitel) in 2003 and 16,000 employees, the Swisscom Group is Switzerland's leading telecoms company. Swisscom offers a comprehensive range of telecoms products and services and is clearly positioned as the leading provider of mobile and fixed voice and data services and Internet-based services.
www.swisscom.com - About us
Microsoft in brief:
Microsoft TV is a family of standard-based client and server software products and associated developer tools that allows network operators to set up digital TV services which can be delivered to subscribers and so create added value. Microsoft TV provides a comprehensive range of decoding devices and television tools that enable new services to be provided such as video-on-demand, interactive shopping, interactive program guides, content management services, digital video recording, supplementary programming, e-mail, instant messaging and much more. For more information on Microsoft TV please visit www.microsoft.com/tv.
Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") was established in 1975 and is the world leader in computer software, computer services and Internet technologies for the private and business sectors. The company offers a broad range of products and services that provide its customers with excellent software so that they can be optimally equipped - anytime, anywhere and with any device.
Zurich, 24 August 2004