Microsoft (MSFT) and Guangzhou Digital Media Group have formally launched Zhujiang Digital, a connected TV service powered by the Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV platform.

"With the launch of Zhujiang Digital Interactive TV service, the Guangzhou Digital Media Group is delivering a personalized and connected alternative to existing TV services," said Guan Zhijian, director-general of Guangzhou TV Station and chairman of Guangzhou Digital Media Group. "Powered by the Microsoft Mediaroom platform, the new service will allow residents in Guangzhou to enjoy their TV when they want it, without missing a thing as well as rich interactivity."

This is the first Mediaroom-enabled TV service to launch in China and the first time Mediaroom has been delivered over a cable network anywhere in the world. The new service, available to residents in the region around Guangzhou, also includes the first deployment of the Mediaroom Anytime feature set, which will take time-shifted TV to the next level in China. Mediaroom Anytime will let subscribers access previously aired shows from their Interactive Program Guide and immediately restart currently airing programs without any pre-planning or prior digital video recording.

Guangzhou Digital Media Group also has taken advantage of the capability within Mediaroom for rich interactivity and the ability to seamlessly blend Web content and services with broadcast TV. The company has already engaged a number of local enterprises to develop interactive TV applications to complement the TV viewing experience. The applications being developed will enable Guangzhou Digital Media Group to offer its viewers new ways to communicate, share media and personalize the TV experience.

Guangzhou Digital Media Group plans to connect 2.5 million subscribers to this new IPTV service within three to five years.

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