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China: Tandberg, PCCW Initiate DSL IP HD

Hong Kong telco PCCW-HKT plans to work with Tandberg Television for a rollout of HD over DSL as one of Asia's first MPEG4 AVC HD operators. PCCW- HKT is approaching the 500,000 IPTV subscriber threshold for its Now TV service, according to published reports.

PCCW will purchase the Tandberg EN5990 MPEG4 encoder, the same unit used by DirecTV, BSkyB and others for their MPEG4 satellite services in the United States and Europe. Tandberg reported that with its EN5990 encoder, Now TV will be able to deliver HD content in half the bandwidth that would have been required for the same picture quality with MPEG-2. (Tandberg already supplies PCCW with MPEG-2 encoders for its IPTV services.) The Now TV premium service launched in Hong Kong in 2003.