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JAPAN

BSkyB to use boxes from Matsushita

Matsushita supplied about 400,000 set-top boxes to Rupert Murdoch’s British satcaster BSkyB. The boxes will bee used for BSkyB interactive services that start this fall and give customers the ability to do tasks such as buying tickets or taking care of banking needs through the satellite service.

British Interactive Broadcasting, a joint venture by BSkyB, British Telecommunications, Midland Bank and Matsushita, will offer the interactive service and the boxes are made by a Matsushita facility in Wales.

BSkyB has said it will offer set-top boxes for free from June 1, while charging about $62 for installation.

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Interfaces system OK’d

Japanese Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications is expected to approve the 720-scanning line progressive system for the coming digital transmission of terrestrial television, on the basis of the final recommendation from the Electric Communications Technology Council. The council is an advisory organ to MPT minister Seiko Noda.

So far, MPT approved only the 1,080-scanning line interlace system for HDTV, but has been under pressure from computer manufacturers for the addition of the interlace system for common use by computer screens and television receivers.

INDIA

Nick pacts with Zee

Nickelodeon is reported to have inked a deal with India’s Zee Network to launch on its digital network. Zee will offer Nickelodeon on its direct-to-cable heads digital platform by September.

Nickelodeon will be a pay-TV service on this platform. Nickelodeon and Zee intend to share revenue equally. Nickelodeon will also be dubbing its programming in regional languages in India.