By Robert Briel
Published: October 6, 2010 09.53 Europe/London
Vodafone will launch a hybrid TV service called Vodafone Internet TV in Spain before the end of the year. The box will combinee DVB-T channels, both free-to-air and pay-TV, with a number of IPTV services including VOD.
The announcement was made by Isaac Hernandez, MD, Vodafone Broadband, at the SIMO Network fair in Madrid. The new service is set to compete with Telefonica’s IPTV service Imagenio and Orange TV as well as with cable. However, in contrast to its competitors, Vodafone does not plan to invest in content itself, but rather rely on DTT services in a hybrid box.
The hybrid box, said to be the Huawei HG553, will also allow access to internet on the TV, including on-demand and streaming sites, and will give access to locally stored content, such as videos, photos and music. The box is “PVR ready”, includes DNLA, wi-fi and ethernet connectivity and is also ready for 3D content. The DVB-T tuner is capable of receiving HD signals. The boxes could become available as early as this November.
Until recently, Vodafone was only active as a mobile operator in Spain, but after acquiring the assets of Tele2 in the country, it is now also active as an ISP. The announcement is reminiscent of a project that Vodafone plans for the German market, where a hybrid set-top box will combine satellite or cable with an internet TV service.
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