PCCW: “Customers gained more faith in our product as a result of this award”

Wesley Ng, PCCW Media

We speak to Wesley Ng, principal designer of the Stargazr IPTV user interface from Hong Kong telco PCCW Media, which won the category “Broadband Home: Appliances, Devices, Home Networks & Services” at this year’s Broadband InfoVision Awards.

Can you tell us a little more about your entry?

Stargazr is a IPTV user interface which integrates programme listings, on-demand videos, interactive services and personalisation. To streamline the TV experience, the remote control is redesigned with less buttons to improve usability.

With the easy-to-use remote control and onscreen interface, the basic TV controls can be accessed instantly. Discovering programmes and on-demand videos according to user’s preferences is quick and easy, with the simple yet powerful Programme Search function. Texts onscreen are crisply displayed in optimal legibility and readability on any screen size or resolution.

Why do you think the judges selected your entry for this award?

Stargazr is a good example of how broadband services can be efficiently applied to home networks and services. It is multi-function – the simplified remote control, powerful programme search, and personalisation of consumers’ tastes all demonstrate how broadband services can be utilised to the fullest to provide customers with the best home TV viewing experience.

The interactivity feature of Stargazr is also another aspect, which few other broadband products contain. It demonstrates that broadband services can allow enable interaction between human and machine, due to the fast transmission of information.

Information does not only transmit in high speed, it also transmits in a vast volume through broadband technologies on Stargazr. Every second, a gigantic amount of data on programme information is displayed and categorised on Stargazr, reflecting the full capabilities of broadband technologies.

What recent industry developments does it specifically address?

Stargazr specifically addresses the technological aspect of the TV broadcasting industry in Hong Kong. As Hong Kong TV broadcasting companies are switching from analogue to digital transmissions, Stargazr is specifically designed for TVs using broadband digital transmission. It is tailored for full HD widescreen displays.

What plans do you have to improve it in the coming months?

In the near future, we plan to have more personalisation and interaction on Stargazr’s platform. We believe that in the near future, TV experiences will go beyond people’s living room and extend to mobile platforms. So there are TV companion apps planned to work along side Stargazr on smartphones and tablets. Details of the plans are, however, confidential to the company.

What changes do you believe are ahead for the broadband industry as a whole?

The usage ratio between fixed and mobile broadband is changing. More and more users have access to mobile broadband. They even use mobile broadband at fixed points. This is changing business behaviour and the lifestyles of the general public.

Video-on-demand transmission is also increasing. Therefore, a larger broadband connection, enabling faster and greater data transmission, will be required to allow seamless video/TV broadcasts.

How does being selected for this award benefit your business?

Internally, this has increased morale among staff. They feel proud of their work and have become more productive in upcoming projects. Externally, customers gained more faith in our product and are willing to spend more as a result of this award. With the growing publicity, Stargazr is allowed to introduce tomorrow’s TV experience to the public so as to attract more content and more viewers to the TV network.

This year’s Broadband InfoVision Awards were announced during a gala dinner held aboard a river cruise in Paris on September 27th, 2011. For a complete list of winners, please click here

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