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BT's broadband telly gets closer

Set-top boxes ahoy!

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BT has named Philips as its hardware partner for its move to broadband TV services.

Although no deal has been signed BT wants Philips to make the set-top box which will include an 80-hour disc-based video recorder. The world's favourite telco has already signed up Microsoft's IPTV for the user interface.

Services will include video-on-demand, "catch-up TV", 30 channels in association with Freeview, instant messaging, video calls and games. Catch-up TV will be an archive of the previous seven days broadcast content.

The telco says there will be no compulsory subscriptions but there will be top-up TV and pay-per-view channels available.

A BT spokesman said the telco would not be negotiating for football rights itself but Freeview channels, which BT will carry, may end up with football content.

Services will be available across the UK from late summer or early autumn 2006.®

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