Bell Fibe TV is an IP-based television service offered by Bell Canada in Ontario and Quebec. It is bundled with a FTTN or FTTH Bell Internet service, and uses the Microsoft Mediaroom platform.
Bell Fibe TV officially launched on September 13, 2010 and is currently available only in select areas of Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal & Quebec City, among others. Service will gradually be expanded to cover all parts of Toronto and Montreal and it is expected that Fibe TV will be available to nearly 5 million households by 2015.
Bell began researching for a new television solution in 2004 in order to penetrate into urban markets where building owners restricted the installation of satellite dishes. The launch of Bell ExpressVu for Condos (VDSL service) proved to be ineffective since that service did not allow for customers to benefit from HD programming and PVR options. In 2006, after much research was done, Bell started testing a new technology called IPTV in Toronto, Quebec City and Montreal with Bell employees using the ADSL platform. In October 2007, Bell finally launched a pilot project of IPTV branded as Bell Entertainment Service in select areas and buildings of Toronto. Most of the features that are now available with Fibe TV were offered with Bell Entertainment Service. Some key traits of Bell Entertainment Service were internet and TV charges being billed as one service, "White Glove" customer service, and media sharing. After finalizing testing for the new IPTV service in the following years, Bell finally rolled out a contained launch in Toronto and Montreal under the "Fibe TV" brand name in June 2010 followed by an official launch later that year in September.
Bell Fibe TV receivers are manufactured by Motorola. Two models are currently being offered to subscribers: the Whole Home PVR (VIP1232) and a standalone HD Receiver (VIP1200). Although the standalone receiver on its own can only view programming, it can access a networked PVR's recording features. The PVR includes an internal 320 GB hard disk drive for recording programs. Both models can be connected on the network using a coaxial cable or Category 5 cable. Each can either be purchased outright or on a rent-to-own program, the latter offering a receiver ownership option after 36 consecutive months of rental. Bell sometimes waives the rental fee for the first receiver.
Features found on both receiver include:
Features of Bell Fibe TV include the following:
- Whole Home PVR: a brand name also used by many of Bell's competitors. It describes a system where all receivers in a household are connected together via a local network. This allows viewers to record, pause and playback content from any room in the house. Fibe TV PVR's can store up to 150 hours of HD (300 hours of standard) content.
- Fibe TV On Demand: a VOD service with over 1000 titles, including movies & TV series
- Ability to search for programs by title, cast members, or a simple keyword search. The electronic program guide has 14 days worth of listings and allows viewers to customize the display to show their favourite channels.
- Picture in picture browsing and channel surfing: viewers can watch one channel and browse other channels or channel listings.
- Changing channels happens with virtually no delay compared to satellite service.
- For every standard definition channel subscribed to, customers receive the HD version (when available) at no extra charge in Ontario. Since the programming options are different in Québec, HD Theme packs need to be purchased additionally to have access to some high definition channels.
- TV based apps such as Facebook, Twitter and The Weather Network
Bell Fibe TV provides over 500 channels including all major Canadian & American networks, popular specialty services, PPV, sports packages, over 85 international services and over 115 high-definition channels. Key services include:
- Fibe TV on Demand: TMN, HBO, Treehouse and YTV
- English-language premium movie channels: The Movie Network, Movie Central, Super Channel and HBO Canada
- Super Écran, French-language premium movie service
- Several sport-themed premium services: MLB Extra Innings, NFL Sunday Ticket, NHL Centre Ice, NCAA Season Ticket, NASCAR Hot Pass and Sportsnet World
- Vu!, pay-per-view featuring 50 English-language channels & 22 French-language channels
- Six adult pornography channels (Bell's thirteen Venus pornographic channels are unavailable on Fibe TV)
- Various international channels in at least 18 different languages
- 68 radio channels, including 45 Galaxie digital music stations and 23 Canadian commercial radio stations
Bell Fibe TV requires a Bell Internet subscription. The speed listed for the Internet connection remains unused for the television service. For example, the Fibe 175/175 plan actually has 200 Mbit/s symmetric bandwidth. Of this, 175 is dedicated for Internet usage, while up to 25 is set aside for TV. If the television service is unused at any point, the Internet access speeds can increase by as much as 25 Mbit/s.
With the 25 Mbit/s dedicated bandwidth, it is possible to watch or record up to three HD or seven SD channels simultaneously.
- ^ http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/September2010/13/c9242.html
- ^ http://support.bell.ca/Documents/TV/UserGuide/Receiver/1200/VIP1200HD(en).pdf?ver=7.0
- ^ http://fibetv.bell.ca/en/receivers/
- ^ http://www.motorola.com/staticfiles/Video-Solutions/Products/Video-CPE/IP-Set-Tops/VIP1232/_documents/Static_files/VIP1232-Data-Sheet-US-EN.pdf
- ^ http://fibetv.bell.ca/en/features/
- ^ http://fibetv.bell.ca/global/resources/pdf/fibe-tv-qc-en.pdf
- ^ 
- ^ "What happens when I turn on my TVs?". Bell Canada. http://fibetv.bell.ca/en/internet/. Retrieved 2013-02-06.