Orange expands IPTV service

France Telecom’s ISP Orange is beefing up its IPTV offer TV d’Orange with new channels and services including an Android app.

A new virtual channel called Services pratiques (Useful services) offers on-demand information such as traffic reports, weather and entertainment and a daily horoscope.

A special application brings content from the premium movie channel Orange cinéma séries to mobile devices, PC and Android tablets. Customers can download movies via Wi-Fi and view them offline for up to 30 days after the original broadcast. The app is available free of charge at Android Market and at Orange.

A new top tier called Extra offers 35 new channels including eight entertainment channels (KZTV mangas, Paris Première, Téva, RTL9, Game One, E!, Jimmy and AB1), 11 music channels (Mezzo, Mezzo live HD, M6 music Hit, M6 music Club, M6 Music Black, MCM, MCM Top, MCM Pop, I concerts, Nat Géo Music and Trace Tropical), seven children’s channels (TéléToon, KidsCo, Boing, Piwi, Mangas, Boomerang and Baby TV), 4 sports channels (Sport+, Motors TV, ESPN Classic and Yach & Sail) and six factual channels (Stylia, Encyclopépia, Escales, Toute l’histoire, Animaux and Chasse & Pêche).

The extended tier costs €14 a month, but is discounted to €7 for the first three months. Programmes from most of these channels are also part of Orange’s VOD offer. The basic TV offer of around 130 channels is included in the basic triple play bundle, which retails at €32 a month.

Orange has reported heavy VOD usage, with over 100 million requested streams (on TV and PC) during 2010 (growing +38% compared with 2009). There were over 1.3 million requests during the month of December 2010.

Catch-up TV usage was also up 162%. The operator claims the widest catch-up TV choice in the market, with programming from the five channels of France Télévisions, MyTF1, M6 Replay, NRJ12 Replay and Canal+/CanalSat (only for subscribers of these premium services).