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  1. Technology
November 27, 1995


By CBR Staff Writer

Tele-Communications Inc says results of its trial of Intelligent Television service are promising. The field test in Mount Prospect, Illinois has been operational for just over a year, offering 60 channels of pay-per-view services, specialist networks and multiplexed services. The test was designed by Tele-Communications to evaluate alternative pricing strategies, operational issues and marketing techniques in preparation for the introduction next year of digital video services to its cable customers in several regions. Intelligent Television serves around 1,400 homes representing 15% of Mount Prospect’s cable customers. Other features of the test included an electronic programme guide, called TV Guide On Screen, which was made available in 100 homes. Half of the homes trialled subscribed to the specialist service channels starting at $1.25 per channel per month on top of the $3.99 per month basic charge for Intelligent Television, 30% being homes that took the specialist services individually and the rest who subscribed to specialist packages of those channels. The selection of specialist channels includes cartoon, educational, travel, music history and home and garden options. Tele-Communications feels that this has shown that choice was the key to the trial’s success. Choice in cables services is very valuable to our customers and digital television will enable us to provide that on a large scale – ultimately making cable television a customisable service, said Pete Gatseos, director of research for Tele-Communications. Intelligent Television offers a near video-on-demand service with movies showing every half hour for $2.99 each, 70% of Intelligent TV customers order movies at least once a month and 63% said they used retail video rentals less often. Homes equipped with ‘TV Guide on Screen’ navigator showed higher viewing of pay-per-view services than the control group without. The goal of the test is to increase penetration of the Intelligent Television service in the Mount Prospect system and to gather additional results which will be used to evaluate and develop plans for the digital compression introduction throughout Tele-Communications’s systems, beginning in mid-1996.

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