Although it's likely being overshadowed by the Queen's recent HDTV spending spree
, the UK's BT Vision has quietly launched its own set-top box (dubbed V-Box) and IPTV
service in hopes of carefully gauging response during the first few months. The company asserted that it wanted to avoid the manufacturing backlogs and "embarrassing supply delays," so it was waiting until "next Spring" to hit the ad campaign in full force. Nevertheless, the V-Box and its subsequent services are live and ready to go, and the pricing structure is quite desirable indeed. The IPTV package brings the entire suite of Freeview
channels to the viewer at no cost, and the V-Box (capable of holding "about 80 hours" of content) is also delivered gratis save for £90 ($178) of connection / installation fees. The business model relies on users not being satisfied with the free programming at their disposal, and instead indulging in the plethora of on-demand movies, music videos, sports, and TV shows / replays at their fingertips. While we doubt this launch will steal too many customers away from Sky
(soon to be Virgin Media), this price is most definitely right if you're content with free.