LONDON, November 12 /PRNewswire/ --

- t5 labs's Instant Gaming Product Enables People to Play PC Games on a Standard Set-Top-Box -With no Special Software nor Installation Needed.

t5 labs today announced details about its unified gaming platform for network operators. The t5 labs "Instant Gaming" product enables people to play PC games on the same set-top-boxes (STBs) that are already in their homes. Consumers can now play console-quality games with nothing to install nor download.

This "virtual games console" operates just like video-on-demand. Cable TV and IPTV (TV over broadband) operators would run standard PC games and the t5 labs software on central servers. These would then transmit MPEG compressed video channels to users' STBs. All the processing is done on the servers and no software is downloaded by users.

Simply change channel and play. We call it "Instant Gaming".

Telecoms companies are investing phenomenal amounts to upgrade their networks. Verizon of the US alone is spending $18 billion on new fibre. Meanwhile, with a growth rate of 9%, the video games market is predicted by PricewaterhouseCoopers to have the highest growth of the entertainment industry with a value of $49 billion by 2011.

Interest from network operators has been extremely high and t5 labs is working in partnership with IBM(R) on a number of large-scale projects worldwide.

The games industry has also been very supportive.

"I've been at the forefront of the gaming industry for almost 25 years and there are very few occasions that I've seen something truly ground- breaking. When I heard what t5 labs were offering I was understandably sceptical, but on learning more I became incredibly excited by the potential of this technology to revolutionise and broaden the gaming market," Philip Oliver, CEO of Blitz Games

Some will be quick to raise concerns about latency. But, as Graham Clemie, founder and CEO of t5 labs explains, "Many people already enjoy playing online games. In some ways, latency with Instant Gaming will be less. Instead of connecting across the public Internet to perhaps the sole server in a country, in our case, the service will effectively be run over a private network, owned and operated by network operators and hosted at several sites across each country. The physical distance will be far lower and the operator can optimise their routers to prioritise the Instant Gaming traffic. Furthermore, now that many operators provide 20, 50 and in many cases even 100Mbits/s of bandwidth, transmission latency will be small.

Most importantly, our patent-pending technology vastly accelerates the compression process. This works by intercepting commands issued by the games software and exploiting the resulting knowledge of the objects on a screen and how they move. This can result in a 50% to 80% reduction in processing time.

Lastly, with Instant Gaming, existing PC games can be used with no changes to their source code. This is absolutely crucial to ensure a wide range of games are available."

Games publishers get to reach a new audience using a standard platform where games are impossible to pirate and for which there is no second-hand market.

Meanwhile, network operators can re-use their existing infrastructure to add video games - products that typically retail for three times the price of a DVD.

Many operators are striving to give their customers a triple-play package of TV, Internet and telephony. t5 labs believe their customers would prefer a little four-play.

About t5 labs

t5 labs is a start-up based in London. The company is founded by the CEO, Graham Clemie, a British national who is an ex-executive of Ericsson and NEC; and a graduate of the prestigious management school, HEC, Paris.

The management team comprises of ex-senior management from the telecoms industry whilst the development team come from the games industry.

Winner of the UK Department of Trade & Industry's SMART and R&D awards, the company spent the initial years on pure research. This culminated in its ground-breaking video compression acceleration technology that is now at the heart of its Instant Gaming product.

For more information please contact Derek Reeve Public Relation Media Manager Telephone: +44(0)179-543-5042

Derek Reeve, Public Relation Media Manager, Telephone +44(0)179-543-5042