Sunday, July 22, 2007

Watching movies with my cat mio

Singtel splashed across the Straits Times newspapers today announcing the immediately availability of its IPTV services for the consumer market. Called mio TV, it uses IP technology. With its already extensive telephone network, it is already all wired up to deliver video on demand. The thing that made me sit up was that you don't have to be tied to a contractual period to enjoy the service, unlike most other telco service plans such as those from Starhub, M1, PacNet, and even Singtel/Singnet.

So I was mystified when, on the same announcement, there was mention of 1 month and 12 month plans for the mio TV service. As all people do nowadays, I surfed over to to check the details yesterday morning. After presenting the home page, that site just didn't work. It just took ages, for example, to load the Promotions page, the Programme Guide Page, and the Channels & On Demand pages. I gave up. I suppose that newspaper announcement must have aroused the curiosity of so many people that morning that the website was just overwhelmed. Now this is good news for Singtel because it showed that people are looking for alternative sources of video entertainment, which so far has been provided by Mediacorp and Starhub. Starhub has never really lowered it prices - it keeps its customers by giving them great gifts and, at the same time, locking them up for at least 2 years (through term contracts). I have always felt, and hoped, that their prices could be lowered, but I have waited in vain all these years. Perhaps with mio TV, things will change?

On the other hand, the inability of Singtel's website to handle that morning's load is cause for concern. It has promised dedicated bandwidth for mio TV, but until mio TV takes off, it remains to be seen. A chicken and egg problem in the making?

In any case, I like it when businesses compete for my money.

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