For those with a keen interest in my home entertainment setup (don't all shout at once) I finally rigged up my Internet enabled Sony Bravia and enjoyed a replay of Hustle on the BBC I-player. Pretty standard broadband connection distributed within the house via the power system. BT infinity is still to come in about 8 weeks.
The picture even on a pretty big screen was flawless with no buffering - so with very little fanfare convergence really arrived in the Lewinton household. Next stop LoveFilm and NetFlix.
About 10 years ago I did a similar thing with the HomeChoice service (entertainment over DSL) and it may be interesting to consider the similarities / differences.
1. BBC interface much improved and the menu system is very shallow in comparison
2. I would guess that the bandwidth for delivery was about the same @1.5mbp
3. Far less of a walled garden approach (although Sony still trying hard)
From a consumer perspective more similarities than differences.
From a business model perspective the differences are stark;
1. BBC are going straight to consumer whereas HomeChoice licensed content from the BBC
2. HomeChoice provided the connectivity as part of the consumer proposition and had to pay BT about £350 per year per consumer for connectivity alone. Today the consumer picks up the bill for the broadband.
3. Broadband was only available in about 15,000 homes and BT were in no hurry to speed things up - possibly due to concern about cannibalising telephony revenue.
Intriguingly there is an icon on the Bravia Internet menu for Daily Motion (known for not always carefully monitoring the copyright issues around the content it shows) so pirate material may well now be only a few clicks away from legitimate material on a big screen TV in the main living area. More to follow on this.