In a cornucopia of convergence, BT has announced their intention to use the Microsoft TV Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) Edition software platform to deliver TV over broadband in the UK. Internally within BT, the project is referred to as Project Nevis.
The Microsoft TV IPTV Edition software platform lets broadband network operators whizz high-quality video content and services down the wire to their customers using existing and next-gen broadband networks.
The platform delivers cost-effective and security-enhanced delivery of a whole gamut of pay-TV service offerings, including standard- and high-definition channels, on-demand programming, digital video recording, and interactive program guides.
There are extra consumer-pleasing gizmos in the package too, with features like instant channel-changing and picture-in-picture functionality using multiple video streams.
Unlike most consumer pay-TV delivery systems, the Microsoft TV platform allows network operators to integrate the delivery of pay-TV services with other networked broadband services in the home such as PCs, telephones, game consoles, mobile devices and other gadgets.
Gavin Patterson, Group Managing Director of BT Retail slipped on his buzzword moccasins and danced a soft shoe shuffle to his Big Vision:
“BT and Microsoft 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. The combination of Microsoft’s best-in-class technology with BT’s 21st-century network will result in an incredibly exciting set of next-generation entertainment and communication services available to consumers across the UK.”
As the sound of mutual backslapping threatened to reach ASBO-generating levels, Moshe Lichtman, corporate VP of the Microsoft TV division gushed:
“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.”
“We are very pleased to be working with such a well-respected and innovative operator as BT. Microsoft TV IPTV Edition will enable a full suite of integrated entertainment and communication services that will set the bar for what consumers will expect,” he added.
BT plan to start trials of the TV over broadband service in early 2006, with a commercial service expected to start in the summer of 2006.