Multimedia, communications converge in France

Communications and multimedia services continue to converge toward an integrated, more personalized and on-demand experience, and the trend has fully caught on in Europe. For example, Deutsche Telekom AG subsidiary T-Online France is getting together its Club Internet ADSL-based digital television service — a video, voice and data triple play offering based on the Microsoft TV IPTV Edition software platform. T-Online France's Club Internet TV has tremendous ambitions. The service offers consumers more than 150 SD broadcast television channels, a full complement of video-on-demand (VOD) and subscription VOD programs, an intuitive and feature-rich interactive program guide with picture-in-picture, personal video recorder (PVR), and fast channel change capability.

The components behind these services are a sub-economy in and of itself. Harmonic's DiviCom Electra 5000 encoders were recently deployed to power the new Club Internet service. Harmonic's full range of MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 SD and HD headend solutions are selected by telco operators around the world to deliver high-quality, low bit-rate video services using the existing DSL-based infrastructure. The company aims to enable operators to take full advantage of the flexibility of Harmonic's IP-based video headend infrastructure to support a variety of new services. The versatility and advanced features of the IP-based DiviCom encoders are intended to help telco operators like T-Online France launch new video services and further extend the infrastructure to support HD, VOD and other bandwidth-intensive services.

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