ViewCall America Inc., a Norcross-based provider of Internet television services, and Canada’s MTS Advanced Inc., a subsidiary of Manitoba Telecom Services Inc., have announced the creation of ViewCall Canada, a joint venture to deliver Internet television to the Canadian market.
ViewCall is a subsidiary of Colorocs Information Technologies Inc., an Internet technology provider also based in Norcross.
ViewCall will supply the technology and content of its Internet television channel, On-TV, while MTS, a commercial online service provider, will provide its technological expertise and knowledge of the Canadian market to the joint venture. The Canadian release of On-TV is scheduled for spring, 1997.
The two companies conducted field trials of the channel in Manitoba for several months before deciding to form the joint venture. “Overwhelmingly positive results from the trials and analysts’ validation of our approach to enhancing television made the decision to proceed with the joint venture straightforward,” said Alan McKeon, president and CEO of Viewcall America.
The channel provides viewers with e-mail, news, weather and sports updates and Internet access through their television sets. Internet content includes Yahoo!, a search engine; InfoSpace, a web directory; USA Today and Reuters on-line news service.
Despite the optimism of the two companies, Internet television has been plagued by concerns about the speed and user-friendliness of the technology, and the cost of setting up the system. Set-top boxes and Internet-ready televisions cost $300 and up.
Subscribing to On-TV, which is typically bundled with Internet access appliances from Mitsubishi, Sega and Boca Research, is cheaper than other hardware-based solutions, says ViewCall, while the company’s practice of customizing content for each customer and storing the necessary information minimizes delays in accessing the Internet.
For more information ViewCall can be reached at (770) 729-2929; fax (770) 729-2936, or the company’s web site address is http://www.viewcall.com.