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Press News

First Hungarian IPTV technical test starts

Budapest, April 21, 2006

T-Online Hungary started the technical tests of the IP-based television service in the middle of April. The IPTV promises a television experience completely different from “traditional” TV because, in addition to watching television as usual, subscribers can try such new content services as Video on Demand (VOD), personal video recorder (PVR), electronic program listings (EPG), timeshift, child lock and other interactive use opportunities. In the first step 500 users can try the new platform in the 11th district of Budapest.

Although IPTV means that programs are distributed via the Internet, no computer is needed to pull in the television programs, only a so-called set top box which converts the digital IP signals coming in through the ADSL network into programs viewers can watch on conventional television sets. Customers wishing to use this service need a so-called home gateway instead of the ADSL modem. The home gateway is a multi-functional, universal network device which acts as a router and connects to the network not only the set top box, but also a PC with Internet feature, and another set top box or even an IP telephone. Of course, the home gateway device has inbuilt firewall function and WLAN module, too.
The IPTV technology means that the content based on the Internet protocol comes in through the broadband network. In T-Online’s present configuration approximately 2.5 Mbit/s bandwidth is required to serve a set top box, in addition to the bandwidth used for Internet browsing.
Putting into operation the IPTV system is extremely simple: you only need to connect the set top box to the existing television set. Control is not more complicated than working an ordinary video recorder; a single remote control is used for the unit.
The services can be selected on the menu appearing on the television screen. The electronic listings not only show the actually running programs of the channels but also enable users to select the programs they want to record. It is also possible to use the set top box as a high capacity hard disk to record live programs one would otherwise miss. The timeshift feature of the set uses this data storage function: the user can “stop” the program he is watching and continue to watch it later from the same point where he left it. In the meantime the set will record the program for him.
In the test operation about 50 channels will be available, which are supplemented with premium channels. In addition comes the VOD feature, which enables users to watch complete movie films without interruption. At the pressing of a few buttons users can select the film they want to see and playing starts immediately.
PIN-code protection is an important feature of the system. It helps protect the purchase module, which is useful not only while using the VOD function, but it also helps monitor the billing; we can even change our service package with the remote control. The child lock function is also PIN-code protected, with its help we can shut off channels and VOD content we do not want our child to watch.
T-Online Hungary provides the IPTV service on Microsoft IPTV platform , which it has adjusted to the image of the Internet service provider and offers viewers with a Hungarian-language surface.