Wednesday, October 26, 2005

BT Outlines IPTV Plans Combining Broadband with Digital Terrestrial

BT outlined its vision for nationwide next generation TV delivered over broadband and incorporating digital terrestrial channels. BT, which previously disclosed plans to use Microsoft TV IPTV Edition, announced its selection of Philips to supply set top boxes. Every set top box will include a personal video recorder (PVR) capable of storing up to 80 hours of programming and capable of delivering High Definition content.

BT said its service will be a world first combining access to digital terrestrial channels, an extensive video on demand library, "catch-up" TV and a range of interactive services.

BT is planning a commercial launch across the UK from late summer / autumn 2006. Trials are slated to begin next spring / early summer.

BT's next generation TV service will be available to BT customers without the need for a subscription fee. Services available at launch or shortly afterwards will include:

  • Entertainment on demand -- an extensive library of movies, TV and music all available instantly

  • Catch-up TV -- programmes from the previous seven days broadcast schedule will be available on demand without the need to record.

  • Flexible payment -- no mandatory subscriptions. Pay-per-view options

  • Personal Video Recorder capable of storing up to 80 hours of programming

  • More than 30 digital terrestrial TV channels

  • Communication services -- instant messaging, chat and video telephony on TV

  • Interactive services -- online games, retail opportunities and community services

"We see next generation TV as a vital element of our vision for home entertainment. In an increasingly converged world, BT customers will be able to benefit from the combination of television, communications and the internet," Ian Livingston, chief executive BT Retail.

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