This month sees the launch of high definition rentals on BT Vision. At last, that HDMI port on the back can be put to good use when paired with your flat screen TV.
BT's high definition movies are encoded at 1080i with Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound. The first films to receive the treatment are The Other Boleyn Girl, The Hulk, and Babe.
New HD movies cost £4.95 per download, while library titles will cost £2.95.
Due to the large file sizes involved (around 8GB), high definition movies are downloaded in full rather than being streamed immediately as per standard definition titles. However, it seems likely that the 24 hour rental period doesn't begin until the film is first watched; fortunately the time taken to download isn't an issue, though it will take quite some time on a broadband line of average speed.
Also, as these movies are being paid for, the download doesn't contribute to any monthly download limits, which is just as well. All current set-top boxes should now have had the necessary software update to play back HD content.