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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 October 2005, 13:24 GMT 14:24 UK
BT offers TV 'on demand' service
Viewers are expected to watch more TV over the internet in the future
BT has announced plans to offer a set-top box that will allow viewers to watch their TV shows on demand.

The company's "catch-up" TV service will allow internet customers to watch programmes shown during the previous week without needing to record them.

From next summer, customers will be able to buy boxes and then pay for certain shows, with others being free.

Head of retail Ian Livingston said: "No longer will BT customers be reliant on TV schedules."

The system is part of a wider service that will include a library of films and music and a range of digital TV channels, which BT says will be provided with no monthly subscription fee.

'Viewing freedom'

It will initially be offered to BT's two million broadband customers at an undisclosed price but could later be rolled out to other users.

The services are part of BT's drive to gain a bigger share of the broadband market.

Mr Livingston said: "Our catch-up TV offering will allow people to watch programmes they may have missed but wanted to see.

"From next year, they will be able to watch what they like when they like."

BT has entered into a partnership with electronics firm Philips to put together the scheme.

The announcement that BT will offer Internet Protocol TV - television over a phone or cable line - is the latest development in the increasingly competitive TV market.

Last week, broadcaster BSkyB agreed a 211m takeover of telecoms firm Easynet.

Other firms offering similar services include Home Choice, which delivers over broadband 10,000 hours of shows and channels.

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