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BT's Broadband TV to be delivered by Philips

Brief: BT’s ambitious plan to transmit television programmes and movies across its broadband network has moved a step closer

BT announced on Wednesday that Philips has won the contract to build the set-top boxes for its forthcoming TV-over-broadband service.

The box will allow a user to receive television programmes and films from their high-speed Internet connection. It will also store up to 80 hours of TV, and support interactive services such as instant messaging and online gaming.

It’s not yet clear exactly what services customers will be able to access over the service. BT said on Wednesday that an "extensive library" of movies, TV and music will be available for immediate access, but precise details haven’t yet been announced. BT has also said that over 30 terrestrial digital channels – the likes of BBC 3, 4 and Sky News – will be available, as will the opportunity to download anything broadcast within the last seven days.

As reported earlier this year, BT has also chosen to use IPTV software from Microsoft for its broadband TV project.

The launch date may be slipping, however. Previously, BT had said it was aiming to launch in the summer of 2006, but in Wednesday’s announcement it said it hope to offer the service “from late summer/autumn 2006".