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BT TV Becomes First UK Pay TV Service to Offer Netflix in Ultra HD

Monday, December 21st, 2015 (11:24 am) - Score 851
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Telecoms giant BT has announced that customers of their broadband and YouView (IPTV) based television platform will be the first in the Pay TV market to benefit from the ability to view Netflix’s 4K UltraHD video streams.

Admittedly the announcement isn’t as big as they make it sound because Netflix’s independent subscribers have already had the option of taking out a 4K subscription (£8.99 per month) and watching it independently, outside of any Pay TV platforms, for quite a long time now.

Never the less it’s true that many of the big Pay TV providers have yet to get their relevant Netflix support updated to include 4K, which has caused some annoyance for subscribers. Otherwise customers will need to have a compatible 4K TV and sign-up to BT TV’s Total Entertainment package for £15, and new customers will then receive a YouView+ Ultra HD set-top box.

Delia Bushell, MD of BT TV and Sport, said:

This is bringing our BT TV customers the best drama series married with the highest quality viewing experience now available. Our Ultra HD package will enhance the experience and provide unmissable content at great value, including must-see new Netflix shows like Narcos, and original series like Orange Is The New Black available, alongside live action from the Barclays Premier League and UEFA Champions League and Europa League. We’re delighted to be offering our customers a wide range of incredible Ultra HD content with the convenience of a single bill.

At this point we should point out that BT TV’s own 4K content requires an Internet download speed of 44Mbps (may exclude quite a few BTInfinity / VDSL FTTC customers), even though the actual video stream itself may only run at 20-30Mbps (i.e. 44Mbps gives customers some headroom to do other things with their connection). Netflix itself recommends 25Mbps for 4K and you can of course still watch that content without a BT TV subscription.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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7 Responses
  1. jon

    I’ve yet to see a 4k tv that hasn’t already got Netflix as a downloable app,what a strange company announcement!

  2. Andrew

    Would I be correct in calculating that even at 20Mbps that would be 18 Megabytes per 2 hour movie?
    I can now get 30Mbps on EE4G but at the cheapest MB per pound plan 50GB is £50.
    SO that’s going to cost me er, about £25 per movie in data charges.
    Fibre would be nice. No chance though…

    • DTMark

      I make it 13.5GB

      20 / 8 = 2.5MBps
      2.5 * 60 = 150MB per minute
      150 * 90 = 13,500 MB per 90 minutes
      13,500 / 1000 = 13.5 GB per 90 minutes

      Our EE 4G could stream this but it’s too expensive.

      We could get ‘fibre’ but it’s not certain that it would be fast enough, predicted speed anywhere between about 16Mbps and 36Mbps.

      Just an example of how the growth in required data rates will be exponential.

    • Andrew

      Yeah, sorry, I must have been drunk.
      I meant 18GB per two hours (which in indeed 13.5GB per 90 minutes).
      My just activated mast is currently single speed awaiting fibre.
      In march it will be pushing 100Mbps but what is the point of that unless I can buy 200GB per month (for HD viewing) or 0.5TB per month for 4K.
      Problem of course is that 4G can’t handle that if a lots of people started using it for fast video.
      Roll on 5G! : )

  3. If these providers allowed users to pre-load the movies, then it wouldn’t matter too much your broadband speed (load it during lunch and watch after dinner for instance).

    I am not aware of a Good reason why it has to be streaming. Not that I mind faster broadband.

  4. Jonathan Roadley

    Does this mean that BT TV will actually allow me to watch stuff in DD5.1 instead of stereo?
    How about they fix that first.

  5. Duane

    While your all getting lathered up about 4K and streaming the content available is not exactly huge is it?
    Secondly even if you have a 4K TV with Netflix its not love broadcast and is easy to do.
    Thirdly, this insistence on putting the responsibility with broadband providers when the real ‘bottleneck’ is the content delivery network (CDN)providers .
    Just one question, has anyone actually tried watching 4K live premier league on BT sport while watching it on HD on another TV?
    4K streams seriously lag behind the HD live.

    You can have 1gig broadband to your home but if the CDN is poor then kicking the broadband provider is pointless.

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