Ten... IPTV set-top boxes
Bringing films from web to telly
BT Vision is based around a 160GB Freeview recorder and a connection to a BT line for a decent selection of on-demand titles, which play almost instantly, broadband speed allowing. The service includes catch-up TV from the main broadcasters; ESPN; on-demand films, some in HD; various archive programmes; and Sky Sports 1 and 2. You can pay as you go for most content or choose the £12.50-per-month "TV Unlimited" option, though movies and Sky Sports still cost extra. The hardware is due for an overhaul, especially with YouView looming - BT is a backer. The company’s rollout of the Infinity fibre-optic network means that, eventually, additional channels may be streamed through multicasting.
Price £40, subscriptions from £4 per month
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Digital Stream DPS-1000
Digital Stream’s internet TV box has been around for a while and consequently can be found selling for well below its original price. At the time of writing, it was under £50 at Currys. The user interface is based on the Onyx media player software. The above average selection of IPTV content ranges from BBC iPlayer and YouTube to Lovefilm for subscribers and Blinkbox pay-per-view movies. However, these are all standard definition so far. It’s a versatile media streamer but not as accomplished as the WD TV Live, for example, as it’s limited to 1080i resolution at best. The remote control is far from ideal and the system looks in need of bug fixes.
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