Following the commercial rollout of HDTV by E-vision, competing telco du has also announced the launch of an advanced IPTV service dubbed du TV+.
The telco has already made HDTV available to locations with access to its fixed-line services, with a nation-wide rollout scheduled for August. All new du set top boxes will be HD-enabled while older boxes will be upgraded free-of-charge.
du TV+ subscribers will be able to watch HD channels such as National Geographic HD, myZen TV, Luxe TV and Showtime HD. du is currently in discussions with other content providers to expand its HD offering even further.
Unlike E-vision, which is offering its HD set top boxes for US $270, du subscribers will be to upgrade to du TV+ services in a phased manner by swapping the old decoders free-of-charge starting 15 August, 2009.
Farid Faraidooni, EVP commercial of du, commented that the service rests on Microsoft’s Mediaroom IPTV software platform, whose features include advanced multimedia capabilities such as digital video recording, video on demand, HDTV, instant channel zapping and multi-view capabilities.
“du has collaborated with Microsoft to bring a new dimension to TV viewing in the UAE," he claimed.
"Our offering includes features like intuitive channel search and display, advanced browsing and High Definition TV. HD channels from du will be available to all new du customers at no extra charge until 31 July, 2009.”
Faraidooni added that du will introduce its commercial HD packages in August 2009.
Subscriptions for du TV come with a standard decoder and a Basic TV Package for a monthly fee of US $8; subscriptions for du TV+ include a personal recordable decoder and a Basic TV Package for a monthly fee of $ 15.