S-A, Moto Land SBC IPTV STB Deals

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SBC Communications Inc. awarded Internet-protocol-TV set-top contracts to Scientific-Atlanta Inc. and Motorola Inc. for its IPTV video rollout, slated for later this year.

The set-tops will provide SBC with broadcast-TV, video-on-demand and interactive applications.

SBC said the contracts give equal market opportunity to both vendors and continue through the end of 2008.

“This is a major technology milestone for IPTV,” SBC IP operations and services senior executive vice president Lea Ann Champion said. “A number of different technology components have come together to ensure that the set-top boxes can efficiently support the features and functionality we plan to deliver to our customers.”

The boxes won’t have tuners, which will allow multiple video streams to be sent to one set-top. SBC will use an advanced compression standard -- either MPEG-4 (Moving Picture Expert Group) or VC-1 (Video Codec 1) -- which will make digital-video-recorder storage more efficient, it said.

Both boxes will use Microsoft Corp.’s “Microsoft TV IPTV Edition” software.

SBC is currently testing IP-video-network equipment from S-A, including the IP-switching infrastructure it will use. The telco said it expects to use Motorola set-top boxes initially when it scales the service, followed by S-A. No dollar figures or volume numbers for set-tops were disclosed.

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