Wuhan officially began broadcasts over its high-definition interactive next-generation television broadcasting (NGB) platform yesterday.
In addition to providing traditional cable television services, the Wuhan Broadcasting Corporation's interactive HD television platform offers a range of public services, including medical, educational, and services, pension services, and water, electricity, gas, and communications payment services, as well as interactive entertainment and broadband internet access.
At a demonstration of the new system, the remote control for the set-top box doubled as a point-of-sale (POS) machine that will allow subscribers to pay by swiping their credit or debit cards. Subscribers need only enter their utility subscription numbers or their Wuhan Mobile or Wuhan Unicom mobile phone numbers to debit their bank accounts for the amount of the bill.
The Wuhan Broadcasting Corporation's network currently covers 3.2 mln users, 2.3 mln of whom are cable subscribers and 1.3 mln of whom are digital TV subscribers, making it one of China's largest urban cable networks. Over the coming two years, Wuhan will cultivate another 600,000 HD interactive TV subscribers.