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Business

Singapore's StarHub partners with Samsung on IPTV service

SINGAPORE -- Major Singaporean communications company StarHub announced Thursday it has formed a partnership with Samsung of South Korea for its new Internet Protocol Television service.

     Samsung will provide a new line of set-top boxes to StarHub customers, with the Singaporean company planning to launch the IPTV service later this year. Digital media company NAGRA will provide middleware technology for the devices. The three-way alliance is part of StarHub's push to shift its main TV business from cable to IPTV.

     The first of the three set-top boxes will be released on April 15th. Samsung will release the other two models over the next year, one with multiroom recording and the other with IPTV functions. StarHub says the devices will give customers quicker access to video-on-demand features and enable faster channel changing. 

     StarHub is a major pay-TV provider, with 533,000 subscribing households in Singapore as of December 2013. The company currently offers IPTV service only to commercial entities, but it plans to widen the coverage to retail customers in the second half of this year.

     Lin Shu Fen, StarHub's head of entertainment, said in a press release that the new technology offered by Samsung and NAGRA is "one of the many ways we constantly innovate to delight customers."

     Although the partnership does not mean Samsung will be StarHub's exclusive provider of IPTV-enabled devices, the companies hope the new service will bring them closer. Stanley Goh, vice president of consumer electronics at Samsung Singapore, said Samsung "believes that this technology will revolutionize StarHub's customer viewing experience."

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