Bluewin to Trial Microsoft Broadband TV

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.


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?