Ellen Lee of the SF Chronicle reported this morning (Feb. 6) that SBC is spending $4 billion to launch IPTV, which will bring an unlimited number of channels into the home — and the service could be available in the Bay Area in the first half of this year. The service will enable SBC (which is changing its name to AT&T) to compete head-to-head with Comcast and DirecTV. Reporter Lee points out that the new service was demonstrated in a tiny Mountain View apartment. The photo shows a TV screen divided into interactive sections, which allows IPTV users to watch several channels at once. Chronicle photo by Michael Maloney. [MultiChannel News: How IPTV differs from cable TV]

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