Interested in TV from BT? We walk you through YouView from BT, reveal what you get from BT TV, and explain how you sign up to them.
BT (www.BT.com) made a name for itself in digital TV with its web-connected BT Vision service. Last year, however, it shifted its primary focus to the YouView set-top box and introduced a market changing sports option.
YouView is a web-connected digital TV service that combines Freeview television with a range of on-demand and catch-up services, such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5. Live TV is delivered via the aerial like standard Freeview, while the on-demand and other extra services use your broadband connection.
YouView does everything you'd expect from a modern TV service, including enabling you to pause, rewind and record live TV. What makes YouView really interesting, however, is how it manages catch-up TV. Rather than having to manually select a catch-up service, then find what you want to watch, YouView lets you search by scrolling back through the previous seven days of television in the electronic programme guide.
In addition to all the services that come with Freeview, BT offers its own range of on-demand services including BT Film, BT Kids, BT Music and BT Box Office.
BT is busy elbowing itself to the front of the crowd when it comes to televised sports, bringing some much needed competition to the television market. As well as now owning the rights to broadcast 38 Premier League football matches in 2013 / 2014, from 2015 BT Sport will also be home to both the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. This is the first time in 10 years that both European club competitions will found at the same destination. BT has promised that a 'selection' of these matches will be available for free via BT Sport, however the remainder will only be available on either a subscription or pay-per-view basis.
BT Sport also offers a range of other sport coverage, including tennis, golf, cricket, boxing and more. Weekly sports shows are also available, as well as TNA Wrestling.
BT TV customers with Infinity can get BT Sport 1 and 2 at no extra cost, however they are only available to BT broadband customers who have a BT Vision+ box and a £10 viewing card. Alternatively you can watch BT Sport from your smartphone or tablet via your TV using a Chromecast dongle - which costs around £30.
If BT Sport isn't enough, you can also get Sky Sports via BT. However, the Sky Sport service is also only with a BT Vision+ box. Choosing Sky Sports gives you two channels - Sky Sports 1 and 2 - in return for an extra subscription on top of your BT TV package subscription.
BT is now a serious contender for movie fans with the arrival of a Sky Movies bolt-on. BT TV customers on the Entertainment package can add 11 Sky Movies channels and Sky Movies on demand. BT TV Essential customers will not be access the Sky Movies channels, just the on demand films.
Both BT TV customers also have the option to add the BT film and TV box sets, kids channels (Entertainment customers only) and kids on demand options to their package for an extra fee.
- broadbandchoices.co.uk Customer Satisfaction Awards 2013 - Speed of Activation, TV (Overall) and Value for Money winner; highly commended for Customer Service, Range of Channels and Set-top Box
- broadbandchoices.co.uk Customer Satisfaction Awards 2012 - Customer Service winner (for BT Vision); highly commended for Value for Money (for BT Vision)
If you have a YouView box, you can get four high-definition (HD) Freeview channels: BBC One HD, BBC Two HD, ITV HD and Channel 4 HD. To get these channels on a BT Vision+ box, you'll need BT Infinity, and the Extra TV channels add on.
BT Sport 1, 2, and ESPN are also available in HD with BT TV and BT Infinity.
There are also HD movies to watch on the BT BoxOffice rentals service. Bear in mind you'll need to get download speeds of at least 5Mb to watch in HD.
BT TV is available alongside BT's Infinity and BT Broadband packages. The TV service is split into two options: the TV Essential package (available with broaband or Infinity) and the Entertainment package (only available with Infinity).
TV Essential is the basic TV pack. It gives you a YouView box and all the Freeview channels, plus you can bolt-on Film and TV box sets, kids content and music on-demand, as well as Sky Movies on demand and BT Sport 1 & 2 (requires a £10 viewing card).
TV Entertainment also gives you the YouView box, but also includes a range of extra channels, plus the option to add on bolt-ons including Sky Movies and Sky Sports.
BT TV deals
|TV Essentials + Unlimited Broadband and Weekend Calls||TV Entertainment + Unlimited Infinity 2 Broadband and Weekend Calls||TV Essentials + Unlimited Infinity 2 Broadband and Weekend Calls||TV Entertainment + Unlimited Infinity 2 Broadband and Anytime Calls|
|Monthly cost £13.00 (for 6 months) 1st year cost: £210.95||Monthly cost £25.00 (for 3 months) 1st year cost: £394.65||Monthly cost £25.00 (for 3 months) 1st year cost: £379.95||Monthly cost £32.50 (for 3 months) 1st year cost: £484.65|
|Up To 17 Mb||Up To 76 Mb||Up To 76 Mb||Up To 76 Mb|
|Weekend calls inc.||Weekend calls inc.||Weekend calls inc.||Day, eve & wknd calls inc.|
|Channels 77||Channels 98||Channels 80||Channels 98|
YouView is also available from TalkTalk (www.TalkTalk.co.uk). TalkTalk customers can get the service by signing up to a TalkTalk Plus TV, Broadband and Phone package. In addition to the basic YouView functionality, TalkTalk also offers a range of 'boosts', which add extra channels, including Sky Sports 1-4, and other services.
You don't have to sign up to BT or TalkTalk to get YouView. It's also available standalone from most major electronics retailers, including John Lewis, Curry's, Argos and Amazon.co.uk.