Bell Video Store

Bell Video Store

Bell Video Store (formerly is the Internet video-on-demand service offered by Bell Sympatico. It has a French language equivalent, Boutique video Bell. It started in Beta mode on May 04, 2007 and offers movies, television shows and music videos/concerts for $1.99 and up, with a pricing structure similar to that of iTunes by Apple Computer and Unbox by Amazon. A purchase includes a full resolution video file with the rights to download on up to 4 devices.


The Video Store player is compatible with the Windows XP family of operating systems and Windows Vista. The content can be viewed using the Bell Video Player, Windows Media Player, a Media Centre compatible computer and a PlaysForSure portable device (May 2008). With the Media Centre capability, content can then be streamed to a television using a Windows Media Center Extender such as an Xbox 360 console from a PC running Windows XP Media Center Edition or Windows Vista (Home Premium or Ultimate). Downloaded videos may be burned to a DVD disc for storage purposes, but the resulting DVD will not play on a DVD player.

Social Networking

The Video Store has a social networking component, partnering with Broadband Mechanics to deliver a series of "widgets" that allow users to interact with content on the site. Examples of this include 5-star ratings, reviews, comments, adding friends, sending messages and more.

Video Quality

The content delivered by Bell Video Store is "DVD and above quality". Bit rates range from 1.5 to 2.5. The encoding rate used creates a file size which makes one hour of programming roughly equal to one gigabyte (1 GB) of file space in a computer. In comparison, a typical DVD makes a 2-hour movie about 4.7 GB.

Due to the large size of the files being downloaded, the service requires a broadband internet connection capable of sustaining transfer speeds of 800 kbit/s. A 2-hour movie may take 7 hours and 20 minutes to download using a 750 kbit/s DSL/cable connection or 1 hour and 50 minutes with a 3.0 Mbit/s DSL/cable connection.

For Bell Video Store users with a high speed connection, the service delivers a progressive download feature which aims to have any Bell Video Store files playing within 5 minutes.


For display on a computer or transfer to portable device, the service requires the installation of a client application (Media Player) which manages playback and the transfer of video to devices.


Video Store videos will only play in desktop applications that support Windows Media DRM, of which none exist for Mac OS X and Linux.

When portable capability is launched in May 2008, the Bell Video Store will only support portable devices that support the Microsoft PlaysForSureformat, thereby excluding popular devices such as the Apple iPod.

Bell Launched this service shortly after beginning to throttle the popular bit torrent protocol. Similar services such as Azureus's Vuze & BitTorrent Inc's DNA Platform have been effectively stopped from entering this market in Canada.


* Apple iTunes Store
* Google Video
* Xbox
* Movielink
* CinemaNow
* Vongo
* Walmart Video Download (beta)
* Vuze

External links

* [ REVIEW: of Bell Video Store by Kris Abel of CTV Tech News]
* [ Update: Globe and Mail Article "Half Empty of Half Full]
* [ The Bell Video Store (beta) - formerly VideoPlay]
* []
* [ Bell Introduces as a beta video download service for Canadians]
* [,%202007&clip_id=ctvnews.20071223.00227000-00227676-clip1&subhub=video&no_ads=&sortdate=20070415&slug=webmania_070421&archive=CTVNews Bell Video Store featured on CTV WebMania]

* [ Canadian Film Fest Announces Bell Video Store Award for Best Short]
* [ Bell Video Store Launches in Canada]
* [ Globe And Mail technology: Bell launches video download store]
* [ Online Video Advances, Hurdles Loom - Bell Video Store and Netflix]
* [ Bell's Small Screen Debut!]
* [ Bell Canada Opens Online Video Store as P2p debate rages on]
* [ Bell beats Rogers to the Punch: Launches New Video Store (news article)]

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