BT Vision

ByKelvin Goodson
BT Vision logo

BT Vision was the first TV from BT. Launched in 2006, it offered films, TV shows and music videos on demand via broadband as well as Freeview TV channels and radio stations through your TV aerial, eventually evolving into what is now known as BT TV.

How do I get BT Vision?

BT Vision is no longer available - it was rebranded as BT TV in August 2013, and the original BT Vision service closed down in June, 2014. However, BT TV has most of the channels and features that BT Vision had, and much more besides. It's available with both BT Broadband and BT Infinity.   

BT TV deals

BT
BT
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
Go
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If you've got a BT package already and want to add BT TV to it, you can do that by calling BT on 0800 434 6052.

What is BT Vision?

BT Vision (www.btvision.bt.com) gives you a huge range of films, TV shows, sport and music videos on demand, as well as Freeview television channels and digital radio stations - all through your broadband connection.

Accessed through BT Broadband's (www.bt.com) Vision+ Box, you get access to Freeview channels - as long as you live in a Freeview area - as with any other set-top box, but can also access paid-for services such as movies, sport including Sky Sports 1 & 2, music and digital TV programmes. With BT Vision you can also pause, record and rewind live TV.

These channels were traditionally only available with a Sky Broadband (www.sky.com) or Virgin Media (www.virginmedia.com) cable connection but you can now get them through your broadband connection too.

Does BT Vision need internet?

To get BT Vision, you will need to be a BT broadband customer. Before installing BT Vision in your home, BT will first check whether or not you can get it. To have BT Vision you must be averaging at least a 2Mb broadband connection - anything less than this and it just won't work.

BT has also developed a method to ensure that your kids' downloading won't affect your TV. They will prioritise your bandwidth so that it first goes to your TV, then any internet telephony, and finally to your actual internet use. This sharing of your bandwidth shouldn't be a problem as long as you have fast enough broadband - at least 3Mb-4Mb.

How much does BT Vision cost?

You have two options when it comes to BT Vision (www.btvision.bt.com); both are based on a monthly subscription. The cheaper of the two, the TV Essential package offers freeview and catch-up TV as part of your monthly subscription fee, all other channels are on a pay-per-view basis. Alternatively you can take the TV Unlimited package for a higher monthly fee that includes all five on-demand TV packs. However, Vision Box Office and Sky Sports 1 & 2 are not included in the price.

If you sign up to BT Vision's Essentials or Unlimited TV packages, you get a free Vision+ Box.

Can I get BT Vision?

A number of factors affect whether or not you can get BT Vision. Your distance from the exchange is crucial, and the quality of the wires between your home and the exchange can also affect whether or not you can sign up. A copper shortage in the 1970s meant that some of the "copper wire network" used for delivering broadband internet is actually aluminium, and doesn't work so well.

And, as mentioned before, you'll also have to have BT broadband and will have to use a BT Home Hub - if you're an online gamer or someone who wants a high-end router, this could be a problem for you.

You should note that if you don't live in a Freeview area, then you still won't be able to access Freeview channels using BT Vision, even though it's running through your internet connection. If this is the case, then some of the features on your Vision+ Box, like pausing "live" TV will also become inactive. But you'll still be able to access the paid-for channels and programming.

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