BT Vision 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.
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.
What exactly is BT Vision?
BT Vision is digital television through a broadband connection - but on your TV. 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.
Will it affect my broadband?
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 it 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.
If you think that BT Vision sounds right for you then you can sign up on BT's website (www.btvision.bt.com)