PowerTV, Scientific-Atlanta (S-A) and Videotron Communications announced a system-wide commercial deployment of e-mail over hybrid fiber/coax broadband interactive television. Videotron is offering PowerTV's SofaMAIL e-mail service via S-A's Explorer set-tops and digital network to all 1.6 million of its customers in Montreal and the Canadian province of Quebec.
Consumers will be able to join the "digital revolution" by accessing e-mail through their TV sets using the S-A digital navigator, without requiring any specialized technical knowledge. Videotron is also offering the service free with the purchase of digital cable service and an infrared keyboard.
The SofaMAIL e-mail application uses a wireless keyboard that allows consumers to type e-mail addresses or retrieve e-mail messages from the convenience of their living room. They can continue watching a television program with full audio in the upper right corner of the television screen while they read and compose e-mail messages.