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We've been waiting for the tru2way-based cable service Videotron promised since the end of 2009, and now it has finally delivered illico Digital TV. The software is being provided by Alticast, while HD DVRs available through Videotron and at retail are from Cisco and Samsung. While it's been a while and we can't quite remember where we put our excitement for all things OCAP (probably tossed when the retail availability dream died), Videotron customers can expect a new HD UI, widgets, and a 500GB DVR. At least in this initial push there's no mention of multiroom capabilities, although there is the ability to view video on demand content on PCs and mobile devices. It will start rolling out April 4th in the Greater Quebec region with other regions following soon, those interested can check out an English-subtitled trailer as well as a Francophone-only presentation video after the break.



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RAPIDE – SIMPLE – PERSONNALISABLE: Vidéotron lance illico télé nouvelle génération

illico TV New Generation delivers a host of innovations, setting a new standards for TV entertainment

Québec City and Montréal, March 27, 2012 – Building on 50 years of expertise in cable television, Videotron is introducing illico TV new generation, a service that propels viewers into a new interactive universe. illico TV new generation delivers a faster, simpler, customizable high-definition television viewing experience that gives customers user-friendly access to an unparalleled selection of content and entertainment offerings, with a single click. It is supported by a technologically advanced, evolutionary platform.

"With the advent of illico TV new generation, our vision of offering our customers the most advanced television experience has become a reality," said Robert Dépatie, President and CEO of Videotron. "We developed it in-house. More than 500 Videotron employees worked to create a powerful platform tailored to the needs of Quebecers and featuring navigation functionalities that stand apart from everything else on the market by virtue of their simplicity and intuitiveness."

Region-by-region roll-out across Québec
The technology is ready to be launched throughout Videotron's service area. illico TV new generation will be available in the Québec City area, Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean and Rivière-du-Loup as of April 4, and in the Greater Montréal area at the end of summer. For full details on the roll-out and set-top box migration, visit videotron.com/newgeneration

New generation, new experience
In addition to giving users a new interface with entirely redesigned ergonomics for fluid, intuitive navigation, illico TV new generation features innovative new functions to meet Quebecers' needs:

• New visuals – The illico on-demand film catalogue (channel 900) can now be viewed as a series of movie posters for easier browsing. Users can choose their preferred display configuration, such as carousel or grid. The new interface has been harmonized with the illico web and illico mobile environments.

• One-click recording – The most user-friendly HD recorder on the market; supports automatic recording of TV series and simple management of disk space and of any recording conflicts.

• Customizable program guide – The new program guide displays network logos to make it easy for customers to find their favourite programs. A filter option has also been added for greater convenience; users can choose to display only the channels included in their package or the ones they are interested in (sports, family, etc.).

• Powerful search tool – Users can choose to sort all the content available on illico by title, director, actor or keyword.

• Widgets – Interactive apps have been added for easy access to weather, free previews and new releases.

• Simple parental control options – A PIN is created during initialization, streamlining the process.

Still the best selection of content in Canada
The new service is powered by Videotron's vast array of content. As the uncontested content leader, Videotron has been able to make illico TV New Generation an exceptional showcase for entertainment offerings that provides easy access to an on-demand catalogue of more than 30,000 titles per year and the largest selection of French-language HD channels and movies in Canada. It also offers exclusives such as webcam feeds and interactive features, plus enriched video content adapted for different screens. Examples include programming from Lib tv, Canada's first mobile channel.

illico TV new generation highlights the synergies among Videotron's platforms, which deliver content to customers on four screens (TV, computer, tablet and mobile). Videotron is the only operator that lets customers pause and resume play on a different screen or remotely program their personal video recorder (PVR).

"The arrival of illico TV New Generation again confirms our single-minded focus on anticipating our customers' needs by developing distinctive, cutting-edge products," said Manon Brouillette, President, Consumer Services. "Choosing evolutionary technology opens up a wealth of possibilities and enables us to optimize customer experience in step with changing viewing habits."

Technology by Quebecers, for Quebecers
In a Canadian first, Videotron harnessed the expertise and talents of its own people to develop this state-of-the art platform for Quebecers. The colossal hi-tech project was launched three years ago by an all-Québec team of visionaries. In all, more than 500 people worked on it: programmers, marketing experts, product development specialists. They also had the benefit of being able to build on a set-top box developed by industry-leading partners such as Cisco and Samsung.


Cisco High-Definition Digital Video Recording Services
Enhanced User Interface and New Advanced Features Deliver Next-Generation Viewing Experience

MONTREAL, Mar 27, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Videotron, a leading Canadian telecommunications operator providing communications and broadband entertainment services, announced today it has chosen Cisco's CSCO +0.81% HD set-top box platform to deploy the next generation of its enhanced illico digital TV service.

Videotron will use the Cisco Explorer(R) 8642 HD-DVR and 4642 HD set-top boxes to deliver a best-in-class enhanced entertainment experience. Available in the province of Quebec, illico TV New Generation offers a new customer experience including advanced video services and faster navigation.

Highlights:



-- illico TV New Generation subscribers can use their remotes to access
interactive entertainment and information embedded in particular
programs, such as music, weather, local information, voting and
polling, and other services. Subscribers may also benefit from Digital
Video Recorder (DVR) functionality, Video-on-Demand, Electronic
Program Guide, Pay-Per-View, Caller ID, Weather, and the ability to
choose tailor-made entertainment packages.


-- The Cisco 8642 HD-DVR optimizes Videotron's existing Cisco-powered
cable head-end infrastructure and DOCSIS(R) network to give
consumers greater access to broader video and entertainment
experiences including broadcast television and video-on-demand.


-- The Cisco Explorer 4642 HD and 8642 HD-DVR set-top boxes give service
providers the opportunity to:


-- Advance their video service plans by integrating the quality of
high-definition video, digital video recording, and new service
application features.


-- Offer consumer innovative features such as a 500-gigabyte DVR hard
disc drive that supports up to 280 hours of standard-definition
and up to 55 hours of high-definition programming, hybrid video
service support, open standard support, multiple tuner support as
well as USB 2.0 and Ethernet connectivity.


-- Qualified to meet ENERGY STAR(R) Tier 1 strict
energy-efficiency guidelines, the Cisco 8642 HD-DVR requires less
than 1 watt of power consumption in standby mode, and is capable
of 'light sleep' mode.




Samsung Launches First HD Box and HD PVR in Partnership with Videotron

Samsung Set-Top Boxes Change the Way Videotron Customers Enjoy Home Entertainment

MISSISSAUGA, ON, March 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Samsung Canada, the # 1 TV and mobile phone provider in Canada1, announced today that they are enhancing the way Videotron customers watch TV with the launch of two new set top boxes - the Samsung HD box and the HD PVR. Both products will be available exclusively through Videotron, in support of their next generation illico digital TV service.

"We are very excited to enter the Canadian cable broadcasting market through illico TV new generation Service, the most advanced TV experience in Canada, provided by Videotron," said Paul Brannen, Vice President, Enterprise Business Group at Samsung Canada. "As an established leader in TVs and mobile devices, Samsung is focused on delivering premium and innovative products that enable Canadians to enjoy interactive home entertainment services team up with a telecommunications leader in Canada, Videotron."

The advanced features of Samsung set-top boxes provide illico customers with an enhanced multi-media experience, including high-definition video and functionality to record media for over 350 digital channels and practical interactive services to its customers. Samsung set-top boxes will be available throughout Videotron's retail network.

"Samsung consumers have told us that they want access to more content and a way to find it more easily," continued Brannen. "As a result, Samsung is focused on developing technologies that enable our customers to multitask - in their lives and through their devices."

"Samsung is known for their premium products and innovative services for consumers and were a natural fit to select as a set-top box provider for illico TV new generation," said Pierre Roy, Vice President, Engineering, Research and Development, Videotron. "As we looked to expand our Digital TV Service, it was a natural fit to work with Samsung as an established leader in TVs and mobile devices."

1Number one mobile phone provider in Canada, according to IDC Canada's Mobile Tracker.

About Samsung Electronics

Samsung Electronics Canada delivers unrivalled consumer experiences. Samsung enables Canadians to pursue their passions by offering a broad range of award-winning digital consumer electronics, IT, telecommunications and home appliance products. The Canadian arm upholds Samsung's global mission to provide consumers with innovative digital convergence products that possess exceptional technology, quality, features, performance and value. As a result of its commitment to innovation and unique design, Samsung has become one of the most decorated brands in the electronics industry. The company was ranked #17 in BusinessWeek/Interbrand "100 Best Global Brands" and was named as one of Fast Company's "50 Most Innovative Companies of 2011."

For more information, please visit www.samsung.ca.

You can also Like Samsung on facebook.com/SamsungCanada or follow Samsung on twitter @SamsungCanada. For customer service inquiries, please call 1-800-SAMSUNG (1-800-726-7864).

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Canada's Videotron finally delivers tru2way-based illico TV HD DVRs