back to article BT Vision targets Xbox gamers for growth

BT is hoping to put a rocket up its slow-starting broadband TV service Vision, by making its movie and TV rentals available on demand to the UK's Xbox 360 owners. BT has what it calls a "medium term" target of two to three million Vision customers. Since launching in late 2006, it has attracted about 100,000, and looks set to …


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  1. Chris Wood

    Current kit not HD capable?

    The current Philips kit can output a 720p or 1080i signal over HDMI - indeed that's how I have it set up at home and the user interface is rendered in HD along with an upscaled freeview picture.

    I've no idea whether it will support over-the-air HD (if that ever happens), but given that BT often pushes firmware updates to the box (as it's always connected to the internet through the homehub) it doesn't seem impossible.

  2. Mike Crawshaw


    "The service is slated..."

    Got that bit right, anyways...!

  3. Chris Williams (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Current kit not HD capable?


    It's an input, not an output issue.

    The current boxes won't be capable of decoding HD Freeview signals, which is likely to be broadcast as a tightly compressed MP4 signal, and broadcast over DVB-T2, which together will provide the necessary extra bandwidth for HD.

    MP4 requires more hardware power, not software updates. The Philips doesn't have a DVB-T2 tuner either - I believe the standard is still a draft.

    If BT were to provide HD at the current mpeg-2 compression, on demand over the IPTV stream, that might be a different matter...except that it would require much faster downstream speeds than ADSL can currently offer.

    - Chris

  4. Anonymous Coward

    More importantly

    Is the second gen box going to be free for me; an early adopter?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    cr@p software

    If BT were looking for growth, then maybe they should get some decent programmers and fix the crap software that doesnt allow more than one vision box on a broadband line and fix the program guide thats so slow its painful to use!

    PS It will be in the landfill long before true HD/mp4 appears....2012??

  6. David Evans

    Maybe I'm being thick...

    ...but what's the benefit to the customer? If I still have to have a separate PVR in order to use Vision, what benefit am I getting from this? If the 360 had a Freeview tuner and the box was effectively replacing the Vision STB/PVR then I could see the benefit. Maybe BT should have done their deal with Sony as the PS3 WILL have a Freeview tuner soon.

  7. Steven Hewittt


    I already have on-demand (well downloadable) movies and Freeview on my 360 - Windows Media Center. Plus it has the best EPG i've ever seen and I can record tell / pause live TV.

    Cost = £50 for a TV Tuner added to my Vista Ultimate machine.

    If you already have XP MCE or Vista Home Premium / Ultimate, just slap on a TV tuner and get it that way.

    Screw BT. Plus what is the point of having a 360 when your tied to BT for the ISP. As you probably couldn't play games on their crap infastructure anyway.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Soooooo.... for more BT garbage, like we don't pay them enough, or download HD telly from torrents and wifi-stream it to my PS3 in the living room with TVersity for free.

    Nah, not impressed.

  9. Ian Hallsworth

    Only 100,000 users im not surprised

    tried to order it today mainly cause i want the series record and the power plug networking and was told that my 2400 line is not good enough (You only need a 2000 line).I suspect that the 100,000 are those you can pratically touch the exchange from the front gardens.

  10. Nick
    Gates Halo

    Thanks but no thanks...

    I'll continue recording TV off freeview and sky and streaming it onto my Xbox 360. No further subscriptions required. Besides, not even wild horses could drag me to use BT Broadband dis-services.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    BT vision - works fine for me...

    I think if you pop over to digital spy you will find a lot of users are more than happy with what BT Vision has to offer.Admittedly it was a bit flakey at the start but after a few fw upgrades it now works a treat..

  12. Anonymous Coward

    100,000 punters to date?

    Strip out all the BT employees who had it foisted on them whether they wanted it or not (in lieu of the shares that were taken away) and how many are left?

    In fairness, it's not a bad product for the telco's first toe in the water, and has improved immeasurably since launch.

    It also has one added bonus - if you're a BT Total Broadband punter who also takes Vision, they route your support calls for both to Customer Service in Newcastle, rather than their infamously piss-poor Boys In Bangalore.

  13. Andrew Barratt

    What about the caps?

    Does it have any impact on their fair usage policy?

  14. Anonymous Coward

    @ Chris Williams

    Actually the current Philips box is capable of MPEG4 decoding, however you are correct of course that it lacks a DVB-T2 tuner (since such a thing doesn't even exist yet as far as I know as the standard hasn't even been finalised). If the BBC had decided to go ahead with its proposed 4-hour overnight BBC HD service on freeview as MPEG4 over DVB-T then the current box should have been able to view it just fine.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Vision traffic does not use your download quota so it wont matter. The real reason i suspect the 360 support is coming in is because its pretty simple to implement. Mainly because Vision uses Microsoft's IPTV stuff :)

    It will also be a good deal cheaper than the marketplace...

  16. Chris Williams (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @ Chris Williams

    Thanks for the correction, ahead of its time in that respect I guess. Cheers,

    - Chris

  17. Robin Turvey

    BT vision on xbox ... BT what ?

    "BT vision to comes to Xbox" - and lo there was a collective shrug of the nations shoulders as they continued not to care about BT vision ....

  18. Simon King

    Possible to have HD before Freeview?

    BT are missing a trick here. According to MS bumpf, Mediaroom is perfectly capable of handling a HD stream over IPTV. Why not trumpet BBC HD and 4HD ahead of Freeview? This would make Vision an option for early adopters who A) Don't want to give Sky any money and B) Don't want a dish when Freesat comes out.

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