The Entreprise des P&T Luxembourg (EPT) is planning to offer IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) to households at the beginning of 2008. The service, which includes up to 80 channels and video on demand, will allow customers to receive digital television and digital radio through the telephone line by using a decoder.
According to Luc Welter, head of the P&T Marketing Department, a pilot project will be issued in Limpertsberg-Luxembourg and Mersch in October to test the receptiveness of customers. P&T Luxembourg is also currently running a subscription list in order to demographically determine their coverage next year. The full price for the decoder and the subscription will be issued in September.
EPT will offer three different packages. The starter package proposes up to 80 channels, including German, French, Luxembourgish, British, Portuguese, Italian, and Spanish TV. The second package adds specialised channels such as kids and sports channels. The final upgrade includes video on demand with up to 100 movies, which can be purchased with a simple click on the remote control. Once the service is available, EPT is planning to increase its movie database up to a 1,000 movies. As a special feature of the service, customers will be allowed to save their movies on the hard disc of the decoder.
The way of the future
EPT follows the Minister for Communications Schiltz's call to digitalise all television by the beginning of January 2008. Luxembourg will then be the first country in the European Union to make the step towards fully digitalising TV. The official deadline set by the EU is only 2012. Besides EPT, cable TV operators Eltrona, Coditel, and Siemens are also marching into the same direction.
Some professional observers of the sector however indicate that this rush towards digital TV is somewhat exaggerated. Accordingly, people will not find themselves before a blank TV screen next January, as cable TV services will continue to operate.