PCCW to Use Thomson Portable Device for "eye 2," its Interactive Multimedia Service for the Home

--Service Offers IPTV, Video Telephony, Walled Garden Information and More

French electronics giant, Thomson, announced Thursday that it has been selected by Hong Kong-based telco, PCCW (note: the latter is a customer of Silicon Valley-based interactive TV company, ActiveVideo Networks), to provide a WiFi-enabled portable device as the platform for PCCW's second-generation multimedia-over-IP-to-the-home service, "eye 2," which launched June 9th. According to Thomson, the "Portable Media Center" device--for which PCCW is the first operator customer--is also being branded by PCCW as the "eye 2" and will enable users to move seamlessly between high-quality IPTV channels, local and online music streaming and photo albums and video telephony, as well as allowing them to access a range of online information and media services from PCCW's walled garden offering.

The device features a simple user interface, Thomson says, that can be controlled either by a touch screen or from "dynamically assigned controls on the surface." According to the company, it also offers high-quality stereo speakers and can be comfortably held in the hand while moving around the home (it also includes a stand). "We are very excited that PCCW Hong Kong, one of the most forward-looking service providers in the world, is the first customer to have selected our Portable Media Center for the launch of its 'eye 2' service," Andrew Levido, Thomson's head of business operations and head of Thomson Connect, said in a prepared statement. "We developed this device for just such an application as this one. This innovative device has been designed to help operators enhance the breadth of home networking and entertainment services that they can offer to the users wirelessly around the home." Added Tom Chan, managing director of PCCW's Consumer Group: "Our subscribers have rapidly accepted the huge advantages of a seamless multimedia service over IP. We are so glad to launch the first and foremost 'eye 2' in Hong Kong. It embodies telephone, TV, multimedia player, infotainment and interactive functionalities. Supported by PCCW's quadruple-play platform, we put every part of the service and unique user experience into the hands of our subscribers."