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AT&T intros another IPTV service

US carrier AT&T launched its Homezone service on Wednesday, going toe to toe with the country’s cable TV providers.

The Homezone bundle combines Yahoo! broadband, AT&T’s DISH satellite television and wireless home networking services in a single device. The offering is available across the company’s broadband footprint as of today.

The package delivers IPTV video on demand with satellite TV programming in a set top box which also allows users to store music and photos. Web-based access to the system allows users to program the set top box from any PC as well as access their music and pictures remotely.

Rick Welday, chief marketing officer for AT&T Consumer said that wireless will also feature heavily in future incarnations of the service. Eventually, users will be able to access content, such as photos or movie clips either from the PC, TV or mobile phone.

“It underscores our strategy to integrate the three screens that many consumers value the most today: the TV, PC and wireless phone,” said Welday.

AT&T is presently undergoing a merger with Bellsouth, with which it jointly owns US cellular operator Cingular Wireless.

The service costs an additional $9.99 (£5) per month on top of whichever of several broadband and satellite TV packages the subscriber purchases.

But AT&T Homezone looks like it may be competing with the company’s own U-verse service, which delivers IP video on demand. At present the U-verse service is only available in San Antonio, but will be available in additional markets by year-end.

“While AT&T U-verse services will be the company’s primary video offer in available markets, both offerings underscore the company’s strategy to expand its video services portfolio,” AT&T said.

Alternately, Homezone could be seen as a stop gap service while U-verse gets off the ground. When U-verse launched in June it was already more than six months late and was seen as an entirely defensive move to protect AT&T’s customer base from new competitors and cable operators.

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