BT Vision, the Freeview and on-demand TV service, has officially been launched today.
BT has been announcing content deals and building the hype over its unique service over the past year, and although the service officially goes live today, even pre-registered customers will have to wait to be connected until mid-December.
BT Vision is unique in that it's a service delivered by the TV's aerial as well as broadband, but doesn't, strictly speaking, require a monthly subscription, although many of its features are only available if you pay a small monthly fee.
On-demand content, including movies, TV replay, and sports, will be delivered via broadband; up to 40 Freeview channels will be received via the aerial. The lynchpin of the system is the Phillips V-box, which can store up to 80 hours of programming, and is HD ready.
Existing cusomters and new customers signing up for BT Total Broadband will receive a free V-box, although installation costs £60 and there's an initial connection charge of £30. Next year the company plans to introduce a self-install version.
Starting in summer 2007, BT Vision will launch a new sports service via the Setanta Sports channel, which broadcasts 46 live FA Premiership games, 60 live games from the Scottish Premier League, and more. BT Vision will also broadcast 242 “near live”, on-demand FA Premiership games.
The “near live” entails that the games will be available after 10pm on match day, and be available for 50 hours on-demand.
Films will be available on demand from £1.99 to £2.99; TV Replay will be available for £0.99 to £1.49; Premium Documentaries will cost £1.49; Individual Music Videos cost £0.29.