Paying between £7.99 and £16.99 for a film download can seem expensive, but if the physical DVD is shipped to you as well the price seems more reasonable. BT is continuing to embrace the media capabilities of broadband with the opening of its BT Vision Download store today, with an initial catalogue of around 70 videos. To visit the store go to www.btvision.bt.com.
The service is available to any broadband user in the UK, you can sign-up for the downloads whether you are a BT Retail customer or not. The fee gives you two download versions of your chosen films, a larger format at around 1.5GB for PC playback, and a smaller 0.5GB version for use on portable media devices. The speed of download is going to vary according to the speed of your broadband connection and any traffic controls your service provider employs - on a 2Mbps connection if running flat out you can download around 0.9GB an hour.
Informitv.com does raise some interesting points. Mainly that the downloaded material is not compatible with the Sony PSP or Apple iPods. The downloads are also restricted to versions of Windows that fully support Windows Media Player 10, so Mac users miss out once again.
In comparison to watching video via streaming, offering the full size, portable format and a DVD will provide reassurance to people, and while the price is not the best in the world, with the cost of petrol these days, driving just a few miles to your local Blockbuster soon mount up.
The portable versions appear to be encoded at about 800Kbps, with the larger file running at around 1.6Mbps. So a long way from being high definition material, but watchable on a PC or portable device.
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