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MTS Allstream Launches Most Advanced TV Experience in Canada


Next Generation MTS HDTV combines technology from Alcatel-Lucent Canada and Microsoft Mediaroom

WINNIPEG, MB, March 31, 2009 - Today, MTS Allstream Inc. ("MTS Allstream") launches MTS HDTV - the most advanced television experience in Canada - to residents in Winnipeg. MTS HDTV is the next generation of high definition television ("HDTV"), personal video recorder ("PVR"), improved guide features and other TV advancements. MTS Allstream is the first company in Canada to launch a digital television service that includes combined technology from Alcatel-Lucent Canada Inc. ("Alcatel-Lucent") and the award-winning Microsoft Mediaroom Internet Protocol television ("IPTV") software platform.

"We are thrilled to bring the most advanced TV experience in Canada to Winnipeg residents and to share the next generation of TV with our customers," said Kelvin Shepherd, President Consumer Markets, MTS Allstream. "We are proud that we have built an innovative product like no other in the country with industry leaders Alcatel-Lucent and Microsoft, and we look forward to providing our customers with Canada's number one TV entertainment experience."

"We are pleased to be working with one of Canada's leading communications companies to launch MTS HDTV," said Christine Heckart, general manager of marketing for the TV, Video and Music Business at Microsoft Corp. "With Microsoft Mediaroom, MTS HDTV gives Winnipeg residents access to a high-quality and feature-rich digital TV experience that provides a new level of control over when and what they watch."

"MTS TV has been a tremendous success, and we are pleased to work with MTS to bring an advanced version of this innovative product to residents in Winnipeg," said Alex Giosa, President, Alcatel-Lucent
Canada. "As the world leader in both IPTV and broadband deployment, we look forward to bringing technologically advanced information and communications to customers."

Customers taking advantage of the new MTS HDTV can expect the same high standard of service that they have come to expect, with the added benefit of exciting new capabilities today, and more to come in the future. Along with an extensive lineup of over 250 digital TV and music channels and features like video on demand, the new services include 30 HDTV channels, with more channels to come in 2009; a PVR, which enables customers to control how and when programming is enjoyed; fast and reliable Internet service; and an interactive program guide with built-in picture-in-picture.

MTS HDTV is currently available to limited areas in Winnipeg, with more areas and features becoming available throughout 2009. Customers have the opportunity to maximize their bundle discount by signing up for all of their communications needs with MTS - wireless, high-speed Internet and, now, MTS HDTV.
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damn, not in my area yet, but in on the list.


i asked about people who already purchased their hd stb and here is what i was told.

24 months of free pvr and 24 months of service free for 1 tv.


so it seems that they actually have a good deal for those who already have their HDTV STB
 

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WAHOOO - I am eligable, and got an appointment for the install for this week (turns out they were in my area already this week and must have got lucky with an appointment).

Should be able to report back next week on my experiences with the service.
 

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I live in the South West part of Winnipeg. I just called MTS and was told September at the earliest for release in this part of town. Very disapointing.
 

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I live in the South West part of Winnipeg. I just called MTS and was told September at the earliest for release in this part of town. Very disapointing.
Same here end of 2009. That is rediclouis!! Sounds like I may be taking advantage of the free HD PVR from shaw. Stupid MTS lied to me she said in April back when I called in febuary.
 

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Live in south west side of city and told no PVR until next year, this is ridiculous, launching a new service that is not available for almost a year. Time to switch to Shaw and the free PVR.
 

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Hope you get alot sooner. Pray it will come. U won't like the other company.
I think if we pray were pretty much screwed. The best option is to switch to a compnay that actually has a service that is avaiable to everyone and not just a select few. Smooth move MTS it is no wonder that Shaw's subscribers are climbing.
 

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Does anyone know about their HD-PVR? $3 to rent a receiver and another $5 for the PVR...not sure if you can buy it.

Who makes it...model number...inputs/outputs...pictures? - (Alcatel-Lucent Canada and Microsoft Mediaroom) Microsoft IPTV, HDMI, Coax and Toslink and unfortunately 720p as opposed to the 1080i from Bell-TV.

Is it dual tuner? - The rep says this can record 3 channels at one time...while you watch another live...not sure if this is remotely possible...but it sounds awesome.

The stated hard drive is 160GB yet it can house 25 hours of HD? - different compression?

How long is the guide...7 days...

Also...what area is being served at the moment...(I'm in the south-east)...as their pricing really seems to target the Bell crowd?

He said that the PVR system is not available in South St. Vital at the moment either...but by the end of June half of Winnipeg will be covered...and by the end of year everyone in Winnipeg should have access.

He also stated that they are feverishly negotiating with every HD channel (available in Canada) to carry them all...and he emphasized EVERY channel...as they want to blow Bell away...this is very very interesting...and if everything the rep says is true...(I have yet to actually see the Unit)...it may just prove to be a viable alternative to Bell-TV for us in Manitoba...(we may be able to finally be on an even playing field with those that have access to Rogers Cable)...although no word on "in-demand" yet...although I do believe the capabilities are present.

Ain't competition grand ;)

One last thought...I'm not sure if MTS will include all of these features in the release of their PVR...however...listen to what the Mediaroom PVR is capable of doing...and is currently doing in the US for AT&T.

You can watch a game in 720p with players on teams in your fantasy league displayed below in low-res picture-in-picture and switch streams at any time." Each stream has its own set of metadata associated with it, which can include player stats that can be setup by the user online...that in itself...is SuperCool.
 

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Not currently in North St. Vital

:mad:

Just got off the phone with the MTS CSR. I was told earliest end of September for my area (two blocks south of Kingston Row). Pretty disappointing! I am currently with Shaw but their PQ has been mediocre at best. Especially going from having Bell TV at my old house and having to switch due to tree coverage blocking any viable signal at my new place. The PQ comparison between Bell and Shaw was like night and day, not to mention the PVR ease of use, feature set and seach functions, etc. Funniest thing was when the CSR tried giving me this line about all the MTS customers who had HD sets and were patiently waiting for the service and that their digital picture from their current service "was not high-def but was a very good picture anyways..." ! I'm sure all these people with $1000 + HDTVs are perfectly happy with the SD picture and that HD is just a technicality!

I was all set to switch on the spot to MTS and now the waiting game continues. A friend who lives in St.James was also waiting for the new service from MTS after buying a Panny Plasma 2 months ago, resisting the free HDPVR offers from Shaw. Now he (and I suspect many others) will decide that waiting 6 months plus may not be worth it and will jump at the free HDPVR that Shaw is throwing at them. I don't see the sense of this strategy from MTS, I understand that logistically it is not feasible to roll out a service such as this city-wide but alienating large chunks of customers in this way seems more harmful than not. This was supposed to catch them up to the competition but its taking a heck of a long time.

I guess I'll be sticking with Shaw for the time being!
 

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I think this has more to do with the need to upgrade the distribution system throughout the city. I heard that something like 20-25% of winnipeg is eligible today and it is supposed to be up to 60-70% by end of 2009 and then 90% by end of 2010. Of course that is hearsay, the numbers may be off.

Anyway, I can understand that MTS would want to start the roll out as soon as possible, and really even 20% coverage is pretty darn good for launch. I guess they could have waitign until the end of the year when they had more coverage, but then no one would have got service until then.

I guess being one of hte lucky ones in a served area I can feel that now is better than later since it benefits me, and I certainly understand the frustration in waiting, as I would feel the same way. But I look at it this way, at least it is here, and they are working on it. Hopefully they will see the demand from customers and move faster to bring areas online.
 

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Ok so now I am confused. Steevy, I live on Springside which is 3 blocks south of Kingston and when I phoned MTS this morning they booked an appointment for next week to install the new HD and PVR. I already have HD with MTS and they gave me 2 years free PVR and HD.
 

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Ok so now I am confused. Steevy, I live on Springside which is 3 blocks south of Kingston and when I phoned MTS this morning they booked an appointment for next week to install the new HD and PVR. I already have HD with MTS and they gave me 2 years free PVR and HD.
That's weird! I live on Cunnington and they said my area was "not eligible for the new service until earliest late September". I think I'm gonna call back tomorrow. I suspect that the difference could be that you are a current HD customer. Maybe they are limiting the initial rollout to current subscribers in certain areas? I don't know, it seems strange that two streets next to each other would get two different answers.
 

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I'm gonna guess that they just have to upgrade the components inside their "DSLAM" cabinets from VDSL to VDSL2 (I think that's what the new system uses).

I forget, did you say that you have (or have had) MTS TV already? Pretty sure there are still some small pockets in the city that aren't even eligible for the MTS TV service that's been out since the beginning. I think it's because they are out of range of VDSL technology (approx. 900 metres from the DSLAM is what I'm told). The wiring coming from the DSLAM in my area travels about 850m before it gets to us, and that's on the thinnest 26 gauge wire. :( Birds-eye view is about 300m. I'm not getting pixellation thankfully, but my internet speeds suck.

I read that VDSL2 technology has a longer reach than VDSL, so this would probably make those people eligible now. If that's the case, IMO they did it backwards. If VDSL2 has longer reach, then maybe they didn't need to install all those DSLAM cabinets in each neighborhood, and could have still just had it coming straight out of the Central Offices.
 

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Just reading this posting and curious. If you are a current customer of MTS with the HD channels (the package they had previously), can you upgrade to the new package of HD channels even though the PVR feature may not yet be available in your area? Or does the upgrade for both these things go hand in hand? Just curious as to how it works.
 

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Complete list of HD Channels is on the MTS website. The company said more HD channels would be forthcoming in the coming year but no specifics.
 

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Who makes it...model number...inputs/outputs...pictures? - (Alcatel-Lucent Canada and Microsoft Mediaroom) Microsoft IPTV, HDMI, Coax and Toslink and unfortunately 720p as opposed to the 1080i from Bell-TV.

Is it dual tuner? - The rep says this can record 3 channels at one time...while you watch another live...not sure if this is remotely possible...but it sounds awesome.

The stated hard drive is 160GB yet it can house 25 hours of HD? - different compression?

How long is the guide...7 days...
I called MTS to see if it was available in my area - it wasn't. However, I did manage to get a few other questions answered.

As previously reported the main STB is a Motorola VIP1216. It can be set up for 720p or 1080i. Here is a link to the Motorola page where you can download a PDF with pictures and specs.
http://www.motorola.com/business/US-EN/VIP1216_US-EN.do?vgnextoid=5911f38886e46110VgnVCM1000008406b00aRCRD

The guide data for the IPTV system is 2 weeks (the old system is 7 days). The source of the guide data unfortunately is Gemstar. I was hoping it would be something else, but I guess there aren't many choices for Canada. So I expect the guide data will have the same quirks as Shaw.

I wasn't able to confirm with MTS, but perhaps the reason that the hard drive holds more HD hours is because they're using MPEG 4.
 

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Dr. Dave,

I heard the guide is from a US company called Tribune... Can't remember where I heard that, but that name is sticking with me. I may be wrong, but I don't think it is the gemstar guide.
 
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