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BT to run trials of video-on-demand service
Sunday 19 September 2004 16:55:00 by Andrew Ferguson

Video-on-Demand over ADSL connections has been around for sometime with companies like HomeChoice who have offered a service since 2000. BT seems to be set to move into this market, as an expansion of its existing BT Freeview boxes that retail for around £50. Further detail can be found on the Daily Telegraph website here.

FreeView Plus is likely to be only available to users of the BT Retail Broadband products, and to some extent matches the talk from Wanadoo of using their LiveBox product to provide Video-On-Demand content. The trials of the new BT service are set to start in the next few weeks, with places going to pre-selected customers, with a view to a full launch in the summer of 2005. One aspect of the product will be the ability for the user to boost the speed of their ADSL connection on demand. BT Wholesale mentioned this some months ago when doing the original briefings on CBC pricing.

Generally for viewing video content on a TV, a bit rate of around 2Mbps is needed, though the latest video codecs can produce reasonable results at lower bit rates. A summer 2005 launch would fit in with the envisaged release date for BT IPStream Home 2000, which is rumoured to be February 2005.

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