TELKOM, MULTICHOICE TEST VIDEO-ON-DEMAND

Web and Mobile Data_old

A partnership between Telkom and MultiChoice to stream selected TV content over the Web has been established, says Alphonzo Samuels, Telkom's broadband executive officer. "We are investigating different compression techniques," he says, adding that a closed-group video-on-demand (VOD) trial is being conducted.

Samuels declines, at this stage, to reveal details on programming, the duration of the trial, or any dates on when the service may be rolled out. Telkom said recently it may consider buying a broadcast licence, in view of plans to bring Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) to SA. But since MultiChoice is a licensed content-providing partner for the VOD project, Telkom would not require the broadcast licence.

Samuels says the VOD trials are distinct from Telkom's IPTV plans, and believes the service would be "complementary" to IPTV in the future. MultiChoice would not comment on the partnership, citing contractual obligations. Alphonzo Samuels, Telkom's broadband executive officer, declines to reveal dates on when the service may be rolled out. VOD systems are either 'streaming', in which viewing can start as the video streams over the Internet, or 'download', in which the programme is brought in its entirety to a set-top box before viewing starts.

Users are able to pause, fast forward, rewind and jump between frames with all ?download' VOD systems and some ?streaming' VOD systems.

"Video-on-demand in SA is just around the corner; it is evolving extremely rapidly in the developed economies," says Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx, adding: "If we don't move in this direction we'll fall behind."

ITWeb