BT to release Freeview digital TV box
While not exactly broadband news, it is a sign of where things may go in the future. BT are set to release two Freeview digital TV settop boxes. One a basic device offering pretty much what all other Freeview boxes do, the second is more interesting as it include a wireless keyboard and offer web surfing and email on the TV via a BT Openworld dialup account. The boxes will be priced at £89.99 and £129.99 (inc VAT) respectively, the second one will if you have caller-id on your line also display incoming call phone numbers on the TV.
Internet TVs are not new, several suppliers already do them, but combining it with the caller id and BTs branding is likely to reach more of the market. What will be interesting is whether the product develops into a broadband capable device in the future. Manufacturers are working on units like this that can combine Video on demand and fast dynamic interactive content with broadcast TV, all you need to do then is to add a wireless gateway to allow standard PCs to access the Internet. If the price was right it could be just the right thing to drive demand for broadband in the UK.