Ever fancied having your own Wayne’s World-style television show? Well, BT’s new TV-over-broadband service, which launches in 2006, will allow you to go one better and have an entire channel to yourself.
Unfortunately, this isn’t true public access – you’ll need to invite friends and family to view your channel. And they’ll need to have the BT TV service too. But once you’ve ensured you have an audience, you can upload your home videos and photo slideshows to a server where they’ll be constantly available to stream – so you can share special moments with you family or just make sure that any insomniacs you know will have something to put them to sleep.
We saw a working version of the broadband TV system, which uses Microsoft’s IPTV platform, and it was pretty impressive. It didn’t take long to realise that there could be copyright implications, however – it’s one thing to use copyright music on your home videos, but quite another to rip a DVD, upload it and share it with your friends. Microsoft’s representatives mumbled about copy-protection as if DVD hadn’t be cracked – so it’ll be interesting to see how this side of things develops before the scheduled BT launch in Autumn 2006.
There are a number of other telcos signed up to the MSTV platform service – by the end of 2006, Microsoft expects broadband providers in France, Italy and Switzerland and India to have their own broadband TV services.
The services will also feature standard broadcast TV, Homechoice-style on-demand programming, hard-drive video recorders and, worst of all, the ability to create TV chatrooms, so you watch a show and text-chat simultaneously. It’s like the phone was never invented…