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HEXUS questions TV strategy head over High Definition TV

# 20 May 2006, 16:54 by Frank

UK News and Reviews website HEXUS.net has posted up an interview with ntl Telewest’s head of TV strategy, Mark Horley, regarding the cableco’s High Definition TV plans. Telewest already offers a High Def service, with ntl’s “coming soon” in 2007.

TVDriveTelewest football fans will be pleased to hear that free ITV and BBC High Def channels will be launching in time for this years World Cup, but ntl customers will be disappointed to hear they will have to wait until 2007.

HEXUS also asked Mark some technical questions, but PC enthusiasts interested in watching High Def programming on their PCs, or using their PC as a PVR, will be disappointed with the response:

HEXUS: Will there be CableCARD or similar support? Windows Vista is out in January and then every new Windows PC running Home, Pro and Plus version will be able to record encrypted high definition streams; do you plan to support this usage?

MH: We don’t support it at the moment. We believe we can offer functionality like PVR in a much more user-friendly way where the consumer wants it – on the main TV in the living room, through our own set top boxes.

So essentially, ntl Telewest are currently not interested in supporting an open standard, but instead prefer to lock customers into paying £10-£15 extra a month for a TVDrive box or equivalent. We hope that this will change in the future as the service get’s more mature and more content is provided in High Definition.

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