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November 16, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

British Telecommunications Plc yesterday announced that it will start consumer trials of BT Interactive TV in mid-1995 with 2,500 homes in Colchester and Ipswich, and will incorporate video-on-demand. Services in the trial will include shopping on demand, educational programmes on demand, a home banking service, a magazine service in conjunction with Reed International Plc, and a local Community Link. Future services planned are games on demand, advertising, audio on demand, news on demand and extended financial and shopping services. Apple Computer Inc is supplying the set-top boxes, and Oracle Corp the multimedia database and navigational software running on an nCube Corp parallel server. The customer management system is a Sequent Computer Systems Inc SE90 Cluster using Dynix PTX operating system. The Apple set-top boxes consist of a VCR-sized box which is based on the Macintosh LC475, running Mac OS modified to support MPEG and a 2Mbps network interface. Alcatel Network Systems will supply the optical fibre for the system and Westell Inc will supply the Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Loop transmission systems, which compress the video so it can be carried over copper phone lines.

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