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BNS System Melds Paper Catalogs With Broadband IPTV Tech

Hong Kong – Broadband Network Systems
(BNS), based here, has developed an IPTV system that melds conventional paper
catalog ordering with a digital IPTV platform.

Called the BNS Touch, the IPTV
technology uses a camera-based wand or pen called a “Wiz” that links wirelessly
to a TV set-top box with some form of a broadband connection to instantly send
ordering commands to the IPTV operator. Once the tip of the Wiz touches a code
embedded in a product’s picture from a catalog or magazine, the device
transmits a command to a set-top box and on to the IPTV operator.

The simplicity of the system is
expected to spark interest in IPTV ordering, especially for such accounts as
home shopping channels, cable, telco and satellite service operators looking to
sell on-demand offerings, and hotels looking to generate more in-room service
orders, said Anke Gill, BNS,
marketing VP.

The platform was
designed to open new revenue streams and enhance customer loyalty for IPTV
operators, Gill said.

BNS Touch and the
Wiz are designed to enhance the service offerings of IPTV operators and hotel/multi-dwelling
unit (MDU) owners who can apply the solution to many applications, including TV
shopping, in-room dining, video-on-demand, karaoke and education.

The company is
first targeting TV service providers and IPTV operators to implement the
hardware and software package that makes up the BNS Touch system. BNS charges
operators a fee for the hardware based on the number of cable subscribers, plus
a licensing fee.

The company cited
an eMarketer forecast showing that the number of global IPTV subscribers is
predicted to increase 29-fold by 2010.

“I think one of
the more interesting trends is on the application side in Asia-Pacific, where
karaoke-on-demand is one of the most popular features,” said Jeff Heynen, broadband
and IPTV directing analyst at Infonetics Research.

The company is currently
developing a PC-based application for the technology but expects that IPTV will
be the major revenue generator for the system, Gill said.

BNS, which just launched the BNS
Touch platform in Asia last month, is now soliciting customers from service
providers, IPTV providers and publishers.

Eventually, Gill said, the company
may look to partner with CE manufacturers to incorporate the technology into
integrated Tru2Way TV sets and cable and satellite set-top devices.