May 16, 2009

Considering BT Vision for HD?

Ever considered BT Vision for your high definition needs? Probably need to think again. I found this interesting review on Trusted Reviews and thought this observation hammered a firm nail into BT Vision's coffin:

Another real aggravation of the BT Vision system is its download speed. A 50-minute Planet Earth show in HD took a mind-numbing three hours and 20 minutes to download. And the HD version of Mamma Mia! took - drum roll, please - an incredible seven hours and 45 minutes. That's a whole hour and 45 minutes longer than the already intimidating 5-6 hour estimated download time given within the film's onscreen synopsis.

Compare this with the way the Xbox 360 downloaded the high definition Wanted in under two hours - using exactly the same BT Broadband line - and it's clear that something isn't quite working as it should within either the V-box or the BT Vision servers.

Obviously the snail-like download speeds make any sort of instant gratification with downloadable movies completely impossible with BT Vision - especially as, unlike the Xbox 360, the V-Box doesn't let you start watching downloaded films before the download has completely finished.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

"it's clear that something isn't quite working as it should within either the V-box or the BT Vision servers"

Or the BT Vision downloads are higher bitrate than the Xbox 360 ones, which could mean higher picture quality. The review does then go on to say "certainly slightly better than the Xbox 360's somewhat gritty HD video, and more consistent than Sky's HD pictures - even if it doesn't quite reach the same highs Sky can when it puts its mind to it" which sounds impressive.

Pretty bad if they can't max out the download speeds when it's only available on their own broadband service! Maybe they are maxed out and just very high bitrate. If only you could use it with a VM 50MB line.

I can live without instant gratification for downloads. Still quicker than lovefilm and more likely I'll get the title I request!

It is interesting that the service does offer an on demand movie subscription option. Not in HD (these are always premium PPV and there are only 8 titles, worse than filmflex!)... but it makes me believe something similar to on demand movie subscriptions could one day work with VM.


This does sound like decent competition for V+ M subscribers who like the occasional HD PPV movie, if they don't mind waiting for downloads and losing their VM broadband. At least you can buy it outright instead of the stupid extra "installation" and £5 per month charges.

Anonymous said...

Might well be worth considering an alternative to VM now.

I have just been told that the reason i can no longer view HD On Demand items is that it has been removed from the TV Large package and is only available (as of 1st May) on the XL package (for an extra 33 quid a month).

Great, thanks VM for reducing my service.
Load of rubbish.

Nialli said...

You sure it's an extra £33 a month? TV XL plus the phone line is that much, so it's not an extra £33 but an extra £12 over the TV L plus phone £21

Anonymous said...

thats what the VM guy quoted me. I already have the phone/BB/TV L bundle.

So i am pretty gutted to have to spend an extra 33 per month just to get the HD on demand back. I don't think its good value so I wont pay it.

Just very sad of VM to reduce the package and not notify me.

Anonymous said...

TV Choice was never advertised as being included with TV M or TV L according to VM but everybody's been getting it for ages.

http://allyours.virginmedia.com/html/bundles/triple-builder.html

With Broadband L and Phone M:
TV XL is £46
TV L is £35
TV M is £25

With Broadband L, Phone M and V+:
TV XL is £46 (V+ included)
TV L is £40
TV M is £30

So if you have broadband and V+ (I assume so since you're posting on the internet about HD, and it's not very good value to get a different broadband supplier with your VM TV!), it might only be a £6 upgrade. And the differences are very close on the other broadband packages too.

Also they used to offer TV Choice for £7 separately from XL. Maybe they still do if you call? But that would probably cost you more than upgrading to XL if you have V+ and broadband!

Steeper upgrade (£16) for me on TV M with V+ - I could have sworn the £5 V+ fee used to be advertised as including TV Choice, but it isn't any more and I've got no written record of that so I'm stuck. BT Vision looks like a similar offer to TV M with V+...

jillian said...

I am very fond of tv shows. So that is great for me for TV Downloads