Magnet unveils new video-on-demand service

12 Jan 2006

Magnet Networks has launched what it claims is Ireland’s first video-on-demand service to home users. The service is delivered over high-capacity broadband capable of carrying video content to customers’ homes.

The service, which has been in development for the past year, lets consumers choose and watch TV programmes or films on demand at any time. According to a Magnet Networks spokesman, it works similar to DVD content, so that users can pause, rewind or fast forward through programme chapters as they wish.

Initially the service will be free to Magnet Networks subscribers and the spokesman said the company would gauge the customer response before deciding on a pricing model. The content will be delivered to a customer’s set top box, which also governs the other components of Magnet’s triple-play offer – its TV, broadband and phone services.

The system is currently available to 100 customers in the Dunboyne Castle estate, a residential development in Co Meath which has high-bandwidth fibre-optic connections into each home. This area is still being developed and a further 600 homes as well as a hotel are being constructed.

To cater for areas where there is no fibre-optic cabling, a deal struck between Magnet Networks and ESB Telecoms late last year means that close to 700,000 homes around Ireland can receive ADSL 2+ connections. Magnet customers using this technology rather than fibre will also be able to access the video-on-demand service.

Both fibre and ADSL 2+ technology have the high capacity required to provide video content on a live stream into homes. Magnet also confirmed that content such as Hollywood blockbusters and popular TV shows will be added to the video-on-demand service over time.

By Gordon Smith