As well as being a partner in the forthcoming YouView (née Project Canvas) TV platform, British Telecom is keen to stress that it will keep its BT Vision offering running. And, indeed, that it is improving the service all the time.
Recently, it has adopted the standard definition versions of Sky Sports 1 and 2, a move that has helped rise the number of households with the service's set-top-box to over 450,000. And in 2011, it has plans to add Freeview HD and BBC iPlayer to, perhaps, a new version of the box.
But, one of the prospective changes in the future could see the company ditch its STB altogether.
The rise of the connected TV, coupled with the telecom giant's strides into transmitting linear and video-on-demand content through broadband lines rather than over the air, could see it strike deals with television manufacturers, adding its service to their on-board software in the form of an app:
"It’s certainly something we’re looking at as a future option", Kelly Barlow, general manager Customer Propositions BT Vision, exclusively told Pocket-lint. "BT recognises that that’s where the market is going. At the minute Vision is through a set-top-box, but I wouldn’t be surprised that, in the future, [an app] would also be a possibility".
"Nothing’s out of the question. I think anything that means that we can get Vision to customers at high quality is on the table as an option. Certainly, we look at lots of ways of getting maximum reach".
And it's not just connected TVs that interests BT:
"You’ve only got to look at the explosion of iPads and iPhones to see other areas. [Compatibility with] multiple devices is the future", said Barlow.
It could make up part of a two-pronged attack on the TV sector by BT, with the other coming from its YouView partnership. However Kelly was keen to stress that it differs from BT Vision because it isn't a subscription-based service:
"YouView is really exciting for us, as that’s the next generation of free TV. And, that’ll really bring on-demand to life even more for customers", Barlow explained.
"Freeview has always been part of our proposition, so BT Vision has always put its arms around free TV, if you like. For us, [YouView] is the next evolution from there. It really does bring free TV into the 21st century".
"It’s very exciting for us", she added.
Certainly, it seems, BT has all bases covered.
What do you think? Would you like to be rid of the humble set-top-box? Let us know in the comments below...