ByDuncan Heaney
BT YouView+ box facing left

Interested in getting TV from BT? Then read on to find out what you can do with the BT YouView+ box, what movies and sport channels you can get on BT TV, how many HD channels you can get, what packages there are and how you sign up to them.

BT ( made a name for itself in TV with its internet-connected BT Vision service, which it launched in 2006. In 2012, it shifted focus to YouView, which it had a hand in developing, and in 2013 introduced its own group of game-changing sports channels.

BT TV at our Customer Satisfaction Awards

BT - Winner - broadbandchoices Awards 2013

How do you get BT TV?

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
Monthly cost £13.00 (for 6 months) 1st year cost: £245.95 Monthly cost £25.00 (for 3 months) 1st year cost: £418.00
Up To 17 Mb Up To 76 Mb
Weekend calls inc. Weekend calls inc.
Channels 77 Channels 98

If you've got a BT Broadband or BT Infinity package and you want to add BT TV to it, give BT a bell on 0800 434 6052.

What is BT TV?

BT TV is based on YouView, which is an internet-connected TV service that combines Freeview with on-demand and catch-up TV services, including:

  • 4oD
  • BBC iPlayer
  • Dave On Demand
  • Demand 5
  • ITV Player
  • Milkshake!
  • Netflix
  • NOW TV
  • STV Player (Scotland only)

Freeview channels are delivered via your TV aerial, while extra channels and catch-up and on-demand services use your broadband.

The BT YouView+ box you get with TV Essentials and TV Entertainment packages - more on those later - does everything you'd expect a modern set-top box to, including enabling you to pause, rewind and record live TV.

What makes it 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, the BT YouView+ box lets you search by scrolling back through the previous seven days of television on the on-screen electronic programme guide.

BT TV also offers exclusive on-demand services, including:

  • BT Box Office
  • BT Kids
  • BT Music 
  • Curzon Home Cinema

What sports channels can you get on BT TV?

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.

What movie channels can you get on BT TV?

The Hangover Part III

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.

What HD channels can you get on BT TV?

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 awards and accreditations 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 Customer Satisfaction Awards 2012 - Customer Service winner (for BT Vision); highly commended for Value for Money (for BT Vision)

Click here for the latest BT TV deals

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