Canadian service provider SaskTel claims that it's the first North American IPTV service provider to commercially launch High-Definition (HD) television using MPEG-4, which is probably true, at least for medium to large service providers on the continent. SaskTel is a big advocate of Alcatel's triple-play service delivery architecture, which enables the service provider to offer high-speed Internet access, television and VOD all in a single bundle. SaskTel's Next Generation Access Infrastructure program provides for bandwidth up to 40 Mbits/s, which makes HD IPTV and VoIP services possible.
The cable companies have looked to HD in the past as the key differentiator between their television services and IPTV ones, however, SakTel's launch shows that's not likely to hold water for much longer.
For more on SaskTel's HD launch:
- see this article from Lightwave