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BT Vision Launches HD Movies Today…

by David Mercer | Sep 17, 2008

...and not before time. The BT Vision Philips set-top box (V-box) has had HD capability built in from day one, as have most IPTV set-top boxes around the world. So it's taken more than 18 months since the launch of the service to offer HD quality. BT's first deal is with NBC Universal "for a broad selection of feature films" on the VOD service. Specifically, that means The Incredible Hulk, Wanted and Charlie Wilson’s War, alongside library titles such as E.T. – The Extra Terrestrial, Shaun Of The Dead and Miami Vice. Prices for new films will be £4.95 and library titles £2.95. BT says they are "competitively priced", but Sky HD Box Office movies are priced at £3.99 so users will soon decide whether £4.95 is too much for a recent release. BT's model for Universal movies is the usual "unlimited viewing" during a 48-hour period. It's good to see broadband television in the UK catching up with other European countries like France (though, as I have pointed out many times, BT Vision is not really "IPTV" - it's IP VOD combined with DTT). It will require a lot more choice of HD content for BT to start deploying its HD service as a marketing weapon, but this is at least a start. BT should also be commended for not falling into the "four-letter word" trap: there is no mention of "full HD" or 1080p. The BT Vision V-Box can present HD content in 720p and 1080i via HDMI. All HD content is encoded and delivered to the V-Box in 1080i. So the UK's Blu-ray fans can rest easy for now. Client Reading: Full HD: Blu-ray Camp Claims Broadcasters "Mislead" Consumers Add to Technorati Favorites
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