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ABC programmes coming to BT Vision on demand
Thursday 26 August 2010 12:23:49 by John Hunt

BT have announced a deal today that will bring ABC TV programmes to BT Vision, their TV on demand service, on the 15th September. 'ABC TV On Demand' will give viewers access to popular US series from Disney's TV production company ABC Studios. This will bring programmes such as Desperate Housewives, Private Practice and Brothers & Sisters being made available through the service after they have had their first UK airing on broadcast television. Customers will also be able to watch past series of hit shows such as Lost, Grey's Anatomy and Ugly Betty.

"ABC TV On Demand is Disney's first launch of an ABC-branded on demand entertainment service outside of the US. BT Vision customers will be able to start, pause or rewind their favourite shows whenever they want without having to fit in with a broadcaster's schedule or missing an episode. This is just the latest addition to BT Vision's array of on-demand channels including Discovery, National Geographic and MTV."

Marc Watson, (Chief Executive of television and online services) BT Retail

"The ABC brand stands for innovative, high quality US television production. Leveraging this to launch an ABC TV On Demand branded service is a logical next step in our digital distribution strategy. Through partnering with successful and like-minded digital media platforms, such as BT, we are able to offer choice to consumers in how and when they enjoy our programming, while maintaining the highest quality of viewing experience."

Catherine Powell, (SVP/GM, Media Distribution) The Walt Disney Company EMEA

The service will cost £6.99 a month with individual episodes priced at just 99p.

Comments

Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
At those prices you may as well just buy seasons of the shows you like on dvd or bluray, especially the per episode price.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
An episode at 99p? A season maybe but an episode... good luck with that one.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
To be fair GMAN99 I think a season should cost a bit more than 99p but if you want to pay per episode rather than be ransomed for £6.99 per month for what maybe just a couple of series, it means you end up paying a heck of alot more. Season one of lost as an example has 25 episodes and can be bought for as little as £15 on dvd comes on several disks and has a ton of extras, featurettes and audio commentary.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Id probably pay £5 a season if the picture is atleast dvd quality, which i also doubt.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Actually I think it might be £6.99 a month and that's it. But if you don't sub to that its 99p per episode, that would make more sense. But I suppose it depends how many episodes you can see in a month for the £6.99 if that is the way it works. I thought it was £6.99 and then 99p each :)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Either way its a rip off if you are in the states you can watch all ABC shows online for free (probably even works with a US proxy).
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
http://abc.go.com/watch for anyone that wants to try
Posted by billford over 6 years ago
> > hit shows such as Lost, Grey's Anatomy and Ugly Betty.

Oh joy. They'd have to pay ME to watch those :-(
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
LOL i feel the same for 2 of the 3 you mention and almost the same for the third considering how poor the end to the series was.
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
Recommend a US based VPN then you can watch Hulu and other services.

Also by paying you are supporting biased corporate media.
Posted by djfunkdup over 6 years ago
why anyone would pay for this pants is beyond me....i had bt vision before i moved to vm and it is as slow as a snail that has been prescribed valium..eg:the lag between music videos and the selection time is a joke...
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
^^^ Is it one of those boxes where you press the remote button down for example, pause and wait 2 seconds and suddenly it then moves down?
Posted by djfunkdup over 6 years ago
m8 it was the whole layout that got on my breasts..it is so slow to use..eg:watching a music video....before you can select the next one to play you need to either wait or cancel the one playing..then go all the was back to the index,then load then wait...zzzzzzzzzzz
Posted by djfunkdup over 6 years ago
you cant select the next video your going to play until the one thats on is done......so if u are wanting to play a selection of music videos,,,you spend more bloddy time going in and out of menues than you do watching the videos..lol
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Sounds like an early mp3 player LOL
Posted by michaeleaton over 6 years ago
So for those on the top package (GOLD) we'd still have to pay another £6.99 to get the ABC shows? Which will air after the first UK broadcast? and they wonder why people download stuff??!
Posted by Essex over 6 years ago
yep.! another rip off from BT. They are so desperate to plug the hole in the pension fund now that Ofcocm refused to support the wholesale pricing policy that BT put forward for the same reason.

Dont forget the October price increases..move your line now if you can.
Posted by Legolash2o over 6 years ago
BT Vision is crap, why don't anyone think out of the box anymore? They are too busy copying everyone else ideas.
Posted by c_j_ over 6 years ago
"BT Vision is crap"

Of course it is, what else do you expect from the joint child of BT and Microsoft. It's a Windows CE set top box that MS had been trying to promote for years. I suspect this was a deal made at CEO level rather than the techies picking a suitable platform for the job and delivering it. Microsoft's promise of end to end DRM may also have had something to do with it.

Or it could just be that all software in consumer electronics is rubbish. My Humax PVR is.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Has the box ever had a serious windows update? (IE complete new OS) Win CE back in 2006 when vision launched was horrid, MS must of laughed all the way to the bank with that deal.... near 4 years later BT are still trying to flog their horrid box and service.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
My god atleast in that period of time Sky and virgin settop box tech haas moved on.
Posted by TheGuv over 6 years ago
Depends on what you term update. It's an embedded Win CE system with some custom software on the top hiding the OS. The first gen box has had a number of firmware updates fixing faults. I heard when it first launched you used to see Microsoft symbols n the like - that's all fixed now.

The 2nd version of the Vision STB is much improved. The processor in it is a lot faster and it's a much better end user experience.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Any idea what version of win CE it runs? I imagine V6.0?
Posted by TheGuv over 6 years ago
No idea. To talk about CE being a problem is a red herring. It's not visible to the end user. It's probably less of a factor to worry about as most likely scenario is that they defined fixed final image of CE at launch to lock development/improvement down to the Vision client software stack.

As noted earlier - first gen boxes are much improved/stable and gen 2 (black STB) is runs like it's on steroids.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
No i ask because all versions of win ce when released (like most MS stuff) had some serious bugs and other issues, so unless win ce itself on these boxes gets fed MS updates in addition to BTs firmware updates older boxes will never run properly.
Posted by TheGuv over 6 years ago
Not necessarily. Your assumption is that the bugs in CE manifest in regular operation of the STB.

Given that Vision has had an average of 1 major update to the software stack each year it seems unlikely otherwise there would be regular patch jobs.

Just checked - Vision currently runs CE 5.0.1400 which goes along with the idea I have suggested regarding using a stable OS.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
^^^ Eeek thats why early versions are slow, Win CE 5 Process address space is limited to 32 MB may also explain some of its lack of HD content as only very early DirectX was compatible with it.
Win CE 7 looks like it will be a significant upgrade with features like bluetooth 3.0, DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) and lots more, downside though will be DRM technology will also be PROPERLY supported. Wouldnt shock me if they roll out another new box by this time next year.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Hmmm maybe thats what they will choose (or what BT atleaast) will put forward for Canvas.
Posted by TheGuv over 6 years ago
With regard to lack of HD content - thats more to do with lack of bandwidth to stream it. It's well documented that Vision can do 1080p HD with 5.1 surround if you are prepared to download the film ahead of time.

With regards to next gen using a newer version of CE - i don't think they will. Since Media Room as well as CE require payments to MS, I think they'll look for something that will not tie them to 1 vendor and not add to the costs of the STB.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Is that HD for only over the net content or via broadcast also? (It hasnt got DVB-T2 has it?)Personally i just dont think their system and allocating 2Mb to vision works and the content from what i remember in compression and codec used terms just doesnt compete with other systems.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
Most films list with both SD and HD versions, so not sure about the comments re lack of HD content?

Regarding the next gen box, given BT is part of Project Canvas it would be surprising if it didn't offer that with the next box upgrade.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
What sort of bitrate and codecs do the SD and HD material currently use New_Londoner? Is it all 720p or does it now do 1080p?
Posted by TheGuv over 6 years ago
HD on BTV is for On Demand content only. Vision only has standard Freeview tuners at present.

Vision uses 1080i and 5.1 for HD content.
Don't know what the codec is. If you want to watch HD content - you need to download the film to the Vision HD ahead of time. You are only charged when you press play.

It is possible to download HD trailers to test the system - The picture quality is oustanding.

SD content On Demand is also superb.

To be honest - For someone who makes a lot of sweeping statements about Vision you know the square root of hee haw CB....
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
^^ Yuck interlaced, as bad as old sky HD stuff. How big are these "HD" files? I freely admit i dont know everything about Vision but i did know its res, you spoiled it though i wanted New_Londoner to answer with more disinformation (hoped he was gonna pick one of the options i gave ;) ). Oh and at a guess its still WMV container and VC-1 codec on the best and newest stuff WMV7/9 on older content ;)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
If an 1hr30min-2hr movie is 2gig or less its not very HD in my book. Thats divx like quality lol
Posted by TheGuv over 6 years ago
There was a report on thinkbroadband saying files were ~8gig.

As for baiting New_Londoner it's a bit pointless and achieves nothing for your own credibility as a contributer to this website.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
8gig and you have to download it? NO WAY, on a typical common BT connection at the average rate in the uk (which i think is around 4Mb) that would take hours.... literally. If that is true that makes the service even more pointless IMO. Films on itunes, lovefilm, PSN and xbox live are not even that size.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@CB
You did say that "if an 1hr30min-2hr movie is 2gig or less its not very HD in my book". Presumably you will be comfortable that the file size used by BT Vision is sufficient then, vs. the compression rates used by Sky, BBC etc?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
No because
1 I dont use sky and...
2 As to the bbc and iplayer thats free so why would i complain about bitrates on that, im not paying for it LOL
3 Other PAY services with inferior quality i dont by movies from either, eg PSN.... Why would i pay 12 quid for a so called HD film on that when i can buy the bluray in better quality with extras for the same.

SO me comfortable with BTs PPV quality, errr nope
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
Pity, given it meets your own stated criteria for an HD film but never mind.

By the way, agree with your comment about paying £12 to get an HD film. In my view, anything delivered electronically has to be competitive with its physical equivalent - either by being cheaper, being more convenient to purchase etc.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"Pity, given it meets your own stated criteria for an HD film but never mind."

Where did i state what my criteria is for a HD movie?? Are you now going to tell me BT vision matches bluray quality? Thats my bench mark when i compare any online movie service, i dont expect it to be as good obviously, but i also dont expect macro blocking to the picture. I doubt BT Vision can do that.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Also if BT vision movies are larger than a couple of gig, id like to know what codec they use, because after a certain bitrate on some codecs you dont gain anything so the massive size could all be for nothing, a lossy codec quantization algorithum can only do so much.... go pass that point and its just wasted bitrate and size.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
Well I guess that's one area where BT can claim knowledge as a great deal of HD broadcast content for various UK broadcasters is encoded on their kit. I suspect they're rather better informed on encoding than most....
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Er that would be "transcoding" you are talking about, there is a difference, would you like education on that also?
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
Actually I think they do both encoding and transcoding, so you're right to mention that as well.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
NO they dont, they transcode material than transmit it, trascoding involves taking the digital format and transcoding it to a digital format they use. BT dont originally encode anything TV related.
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