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Microsoft IPTV to woo Swiss test group

Swisscom subsidiary Bluewin will begin testing Microsoft TV's new Internet Protocol Television technology.

Microsoft TV and Swisscom telecom subsidiary Bluewin said Tuesday that they will begin testing the software company's Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) platform in 600 homes in Switzerland. The trial, announced last November, will let Bluewin offer new services such as instant channel changing, interactive programming guides with integrated video and multiple picture-in-picture capability on standard TV sets. IPTV also supports high-definition television, next-generation digital video recording and video-on-demand functionality. Once the trials are complete, Bluewin said it plans to offer the service commercially to its 200,000 broadband households.

Microsoft TV, a unit of the Redmond, Wash., software giant, began testing its IPTV technology last October with Bell Canada and Delhi, India-based Reliance Infocom. In June, it said SBC Communications would begin trials in the United States. Bluewin, a unit of leading Switzerland telecommunications company Swisscom, is the first public European phone company to test the service.