Bluewin, a subsidiary of Swisscom, will be the first operator in Europe to trial a pay-TV service with Microsoft over broadband internet connections. Using set-top boxes, the 600 home trial will feature up to 25 television channels, a pay-per-view service and PVR functions. Beginning in September, he trial will run for four months, before the the true launch of the service in Switzerland.
Tim Fritzley of Microsoft TV said: “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. The huge advantage of this technology is that it is interactive and has made delivery of television programmes possible on-demand”.
Testers will have to pay for the service: €15.50 (UK£10.41) for the 25 channels, with pay-per-view films costing between €1.95 and €6.50 (UK£1.31 to UK£4.37).
The bandwidth required for the service will be around 1.2 and 1.4 megabits. Switzerland has around 700,000 broadband customers, Bluewin serving the majority of them with 390,000 subscribers.