Thursday, April 20, 2006

HD = heavy disruption

From what I can make of it, this new HD set-top box offer from the ever-terrifying Free brings together a couple of my favorite disruptive elements: dual-mode GSM/WiFi wireless service (which looks like it will authenticate on any Free HD box, thus validating the FON model) and inclusion of 18 DTT channels. All for only EUR9.99 a month above the normal EUR29.99 for DSL, SD TV, and inclusive calls (including of course nomadic ones on the WiFi service).

UPDATE: Many Francophone Prix D'Or mega-uber value readers have written in to clarify a few points. First, the EUR9.99 figure is a one-off payment, not monthly, with an approximately EUR200 handset cost borne by the subscriber (hey I studied Spanish in high school, okay?). One also points out that Freebox users will also be allowed to make calls to the PSTN on any internet-connected computer in the world using any SIP-compatible IM client, with calls billed to the Freebox account (I find this very curious). It also appears that the HD box contains a video encoder, for which no purpose is stated in the release.

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