KT's Mega TV zooms ahead with specialized services

With about 800,000 subscribers for its IPTV service, Mega TV, KT Corp. is the country's largest provider. KT was the first to provide live broadcasts of all three terrestrial television broadcasters, beginning on Nov. 17, while its competitors SK Broadband and LG Dacom took another month to secure retransmission rights to KBS, MBC and SBS programs.

For now Mega TV has a clear advantage over its competitors in terms of content available.

KT's Mega TV is the only IPTV service to provide programs from SBS's provincial branches. In addition to having secured retransmission rights to programs from all terrestrial television stations, Mega TV provides 38 channels including the 10 operated by cable television company On Media. LG Dacom and SK Broadband's IPTV services respectively provide 21 and 23 channels.

In addition, more than 85,000 editions of various programs are available through Mega TV's video-on-demand service.

In addition to giving viewers a wider choice in television entertainment, KT's Mega TV has added a whole new aspect to television by providing a large number of educational programs for a wide range of age groups from pre-school children to high school students and adults studying for professional qualifications.

Aside from offering a wider range of viewing programs, a major advantage of IPTV is that it allows information to be conveyed both to and from the user, and Mega TV uses this aspect of the new medium to provide a variety of services unavailable through conventional television.

Mega TV subscribers are able to access portal sites, online banking and stock trading systems. In addition, the company plans to introduce video calling, games and other interactive services in the future.

In an effort to differentiate itself from its competitors, KT has developed a number of functions to make Mega TV more user-friendly.

"As the variety of content and services available increases, navigating through Mega TV has become more complex", one KT official said.

"In response, we have upgraded our services and added search functions to solve the problem".

One such function is the 'My Channel Selection' function that allows the user to edit the menu bar. By using the function a Mega TV subscriber can edit the menu bar to only show the services and channels required by the user.

Mega TV also provides a child safety function through which subscribers can restrict access to programs according to the ratings of the video-on-demand programs. The function also allows the users to hide 19-rated programs from the menu.

With the addition of live broadcasts to Mega TV's programs, KT has upgraded the search function to allow viewers to search for programs and automatically switch channels when a program begins.

By Choi He-suk