Bell Canada is on the verge of a major with the introduction of new Internet-based TV services

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BellThe "Bell Entertainment Service" allows the telephone company to compete head-to-head with cable TV providers Rogers Communications Inc. and Vidéotron Ltée by offering television signals over the same fibre-optic lines it uses to provide its new Fibe Internet services, reports the Star Phoenix.

Kevin Crull, Bell's president of residential services, said that company's new TV services will be groundbreaking:

"It's really absolutely the next generation of television.
It's as big a leap as when we went from black and white TV to colour."

What is the content of the Bell Entertainment Service?

The new TV services will bring high-definition (HD) programming and more than 100 channels, to as many as four TVs in a home.

It will also offer customers a "whole-home" personal video recorder (PVR), which will allow viewers to watch programming on all TVs in a house from one DVR, as well as services that have been traditionally offered by cable TV companies, including on-demand programs, online access to schedule the recording of shows and the ability to pause and rewind live television.

For each TV a set-top-box needs to be purchased.

Prices of the service
Customers must also subscribe to Bell's Fibe 6 Internet service.

Prices for the two services bundled together range from around $67 per month, before taxes and other fees, to more than $140 per month depending on the package.

As expressed the financial effects on alternatives of cable in another article on,
also Tony Olvet, vice-president of communications, segments, mobility and client hardware research domains at IDC Canada points out to the challenge:

"That's disruptive to the TV markets and should be something that TV carriers in Canada should be keeping an eye on.
There is a bigger looming issue of eyeballs moving more to web-based services. People, especially younger people, are not subscribing to traditional pay services."

The new Bell service is similar to what AT&T and Verizon now offer in the U.S. and will pose a direct threat to the dominance of Canadian cable TV companies. It could even offer better, and cheaper, services if Bell decides to bundle home phone and other technologies, suggested by Vince Vittore, a principal analyst with research firm the Yankee Group.


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