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Canal Digital to launch online service

Nordic pay-TV operator Canal Digital plans to launch an online video service this year.

Speaking at the Telenor Broadcast press event, Morten Solbakken, vice-president and chief strategy officer, Telenor Broadcast Holding, said:  “This summer we’ll launch two new products; a web TV solution is imminent and we’re in the final stages of developing a VOD service for PVRs.” Solbakken said the pull-VOD service would see content streamed to set-top boxes. Although he wouldn’t give any further details of the online service, he said it would launch “very soon”. Rival operator Viasat launched an online play in 2007 which now offers catch-up TV services for its own free-TV channels and third party free-TV channels as well as a subscription VOD service.

Telenor’s press event also saw Telenor Satellite Broadcasting staging the first live 3D TV transmission in the Nordic region in partnership with Eurosport and Panasonic. Eurosport is broadcasting the two-week Roland Garros tennis tournament in 3D via the Thor 6 satellite at 1°West.

TSBc is distributing the feed to various locations in the Nordic territories, although it is encrypted and only available to closed groups, including Telenor’s head quarters in Oslo. Speaking about the potential for 3D TV services in the Nordic region, Jarl Soderman, deputy CEO business to consumer, Canal Digital Group said “events-based” broadcasts would probably launch first. “It could be sports event or rock concerts, that would be the first stage. Over time, our partners might look at their libraries of 3D content and see what else they can produce in 3D and decide whether they can deliver a 3D channel. We might then take it.”