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Bahrain’s Atyaf launches TV Everywhere

Bahraini telco Atyaf has launched an over-the-top (OTT) multi-screen TV service offering more than 130 linear channels and VOD content across the Middle East.

The service delivers content in both SD and HD in multiple adaptive bit-rate (ABR) profiles for delivery to connected TV sets, PCs, Android and Apple iOS devices, using software-based encoding solutions from US firm Envivio.

In the new multi-screen headend, Atyaf is using Envivio Muse Live and Muse On-Demand on the Envivio 4Caster appliances, as well as Envivio 4Manager for headend control and monitoring.

“Our goal is to enable the transformation of lifestyles for Atyaf customers, with next generation services that offer new viewing options, for anytime, anywhere access,” said Nezar Jamsheer, CEO of Atyaf Telecommunications and Infrastructure.

The telco already offers an IPTV service featuring Al Jazeera Sports and OSN packages, PVR and catch-up features, costing BHD 13.50 (US$ 35.80) per month.

There has been a flurry of OTT activity in the Middle East recently, including the launch of new pan-regional services by Abu Dhabi-based telco Etisalat and Indian online video service Hungama.

Bahrain’s incumbent Batelco launched its own IPTV service in late 2011 after migrating its fixed infrastructure to an IP-based network, and alternative provider Nuetel already offers IPTV and triple-play in the Amwaj Islands, with plans to extend its service to the mainland.

The current view of analysts from Informa Telecoms & Media (publisher of IP&TV News) is that strong regulatory backing for the country’s broadband sector means there is a positive environment for IPTV, but it will still find it difficult to make an impact against established TV sectors.

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