Fastweb’s Chili TV bows in Italy

Channel can be watched on any Internet connected device

MILAN — Italian telco Fastweb has launched a free on-demand channel called Chili TV that can be watched on any device as long as it’s hooked up to the Internet.

The channel doesn’t require a decoder, execs said at a press conference in Milan, or a subscription to Fastweb’s phone service, only a broadband connection of at least 1 Mbps (megabits per second).

Chili has a bit of original programming as well as product from international studios and Italian producers including Warner, Paramount, MovieMax, Fandango, Lucky Red, Mondhome and Bim. Movies can be rented for 48 hours or purchased and viewed on any device. The channel offers some 600 free videos subdivided into Junior, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Woman, and Wellness.

It can be viewed on smart TVs, PCs, Blu-Ray readers, home theater systems and, starting in June, tablets and smartphones that use the Android operating system.

Fastweb, founded in 1999 and acquired by Swisscom in 2007, had 1.7 million subs at the end of 2010. Its investment in fiber-optic networks have made it a leader in the field and given it an edge in triple-play — bundled telephone, video and Internet service — particularly in and around Italy’s biggest cities.