Video Networks launches ‘safe for kids’ controller for Home Choice subscribers

Video Networks is launching a handset for children that restricts viewing to what is suitable for children on its video-on-demand and broadcast television service Home Choice.

The MiniMote handset has been developed to meet the concerns of parents worried about their children gaining access to unsuitable content through multi-channel TV.

The device has been designed to be simple for children to use, but also to appeal to them with its use of bright colours.

MiniMote will access only those channels and video-on-demand services suitable for children. Depending on the level of service the household subscribes to, this could include CBBC, Cbeebies, Boomerang, Nickelodeon and Scamp, an on-demand children’s channel. The device only operates in Home Choice households and will be distributed free to customers who subscribe to the company’s children’s package.

Home Choice was relaunched earlier this year, adding broadcast television channels to the video-on-demand services it originally offered. The content is delivered via a BT phone line. The TV channels and on-demand services are sold to consumers in bundles, which include broadband internet services.

Video Networks is also considering offering customers a telephone service, so it will be able to compete with cable’s “triple-play” proposition of internet, TV and telephone. Home Choice is currently available to 1.35 million homes in London and the South-east. It hopes to have signed up 25,000 of these homes by the end of the year.

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