Microsoft IPTV to Debut in France

Microsoft's IPTV platform will make its debut first in Europe, with Club Internet selling the company's services in France. The technology will allow for a user to watch high-definition TV, two programs at the same time, and record up to 50 hours of video.

The service will be offered first to existing customers, who would be able to sign up beginning at the end of the month. New customers would be able to receive the service in August.

Club Internet is owned by the German-based telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom, which plans to bring the Microsoft service to its home country sometime this summer. British telecom BT Group plans to roll out service there later in the year.

"Working together, Microsoft and Club Internet are helping to create a revolution in TV entertainment for consumers across France," Microsoft TV general manager Christine Heckart said in a statement.

"Club Internet can combine its experience in pioneering innovative Internet services with the power of next-generation IPTV technologies to deliver unique TV and communications services that are truly integrated," she continued.

Microsoft says that its solution offers benefits over traditional digital TV and other IPTV solutions including instantaneous channel changing, picture-in-picture support, DVR capabilities, and video-on-demand functionality.

Club Internet has approximately 500,000 subscribers in France as of June, according to the company.

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