FrequencyCast Radio Show June 2015

FrequencyCast LogoListeners to our online radio show FrequencyCast may be interested to know that we’ve just released our latest episode. This covers TV and Technology news here in the UK.

The latest show, number 112 was released at the start of June 2015, and was the first to be broadcast live using online streaming video service Periscope. Also in FrequencyCast Show 112:

  • News: Windows 10 is coming, the Cortana personal assistant, and trailers on Netflix
  • Focus: We’re live on Periscope
  • Featured: The cost of Smart Energy Meters
  • Hands-on: Augmented reality cards
  • Mentioned: Online amateur radio training courses
  • Interview: Tools for entrepreneurs
  • Feedback: Problems with BBC online radio services
  • Feedback: FM in Norway set to switch off in 18 months

You can download Show 112 to your smartphone, computer or MP3 player, or you can listen to the show online at http://www.frequencycast.co.uk/latest.html , where you will also find instructions on how to subscribe (for free, of course).

Got an iPod, iPhone or iPad? Get shows and updates first via iTunes: http://www.frequencycast.co.uk/redirect.php?id=additunes

FrequencyCast presenters Kelly & Pete

FrequencyCast presenters Kelly & Pete

 

Show Links:

FrequencyCast is a free show that’s available to listen to online or as an audio podcast. It’s brought to you by the team behind Radio & Telly.

We’d love it if you look a listen and perhaps became one of our regular subscribers. Shows are released monthly and feature digital TV and technology topics suggested by our listeners.

Find out more at www.frequencycast.co.uk

 

FrequencyCast March 2015 Show

FrequencyCast LogoOur news section has been very quiet of late, so we thought we’d wake it up with a reminder about our podcast. FrequencyCast is a technology radio show that looks at TV and Technology news here in the UK.

The latest show, show 109, was released at the start of March 2015, and in a busy show, we discuss the recent news story that Samsung TV sets are listening in to our provate conversations and sharing data with third parties. Got a Samsung TV with voice recognition? Time to check the small print.

Also in FrequencyCast Show 109:

  • News: TalkTalk Scammers, Virgin TV network to expand and plans for the TV licence
  • Focus: Voice Recognition – Friend or Foe?
  • First Look: Pebble Time smartwatch
  • Hands-on: Tech Rescue packs
  • Discussed: Osprey portable 4G wi-fi
  • Featured: Linx Windows Tablets
  • Feedback: Connected TV sets and home networking

You can download Show 109 to your smartphone, computer or MP3 player, or you can listen to the show online at http://www.frequencycast.co.uk/latest.html , where you will also find instructions on how to subscribe (for free, of course).

Got an iPod, iPhone or iPad? Get shows and updates first via iTunes: http://www.frequencycast.co.uk/redirect.php?id=additunes

FrequencyCast presenters Kelly & Pete

FrequencyCast presenters Kelly & Pete

 

Show Links:

FrequencyCast is a free show that’s available to listen to online or as an audio podcast. It’s brought to you by the team behind Radio & Telly.

We’d love it if you look a listen and perhaps became one of our regular subscribers. Shows are released monthly and feature digital TV and technology topics suggested by our listeners.

Find out more at www.frequencycast.co.uk

 

Drama TV channel launches

Drama Channel LogoA new TV channel, Drama, has launched today, the 8th of July 2013.

The channel promises to show best of British drama from the last 40 years, including popular UK drama series such as Auf Wiedersehen Pet, Lovejoy, The Bill, Taggart, Cranford, Lark Rise to Candleford, Jonathan Creek, Pride & Prejudice and Sharpe. There’s also comedy in the form of Birds of a Feather and Morecambe & Wise.

The channel, part of the UKTV network, is now available on the following channels:

  • Freeview Channel 20
  • Sky Channel 291

Emma Tennant is the controller for UKTV, and here’s what she had to say about the launch of the new channel:

“Drama is targeted at a different audience demographic than our other highly successful free-to-air channels, Dave, Yesterday and Really. The channel is aimed at people who simply love drama and want to watch critically-acclaimed shows that have absolutely defined the landscape of British television.”

On Freeview, there has been a small channel renumber, with GOLD and Home (part of Top Up TV’s meager offering), having to move to further down the Freeview programme guide.

 

Argos TV Closes Down

Argos TV LogoTV shopping channel Argos TV has closed down.

The TV version of the laminated book of dreams started broadcasting in 2011, showcasing hundreds of products found in Argos catalogues in their high street stores across the county. The channel formerly broadcast 24 hours a day. The reason for the station’s closure is cited as being that the channel no longer formed part of the Argos strategy to target affluent customers, and could be seen as a “barrier to widening the brand appeal”

The last Argos TV show was broadcast on the 12th of May 2013. Until today, the channel was available on Sky, Freesat and Freeview.

Fans of Argos TV might like to take a look at the following YouTube clip, which shows some of the funnier moments Argos TV’s programming.

Argos TV channel Bloopers


“Sky Channel 642, please go to your Collection Point please…”

Going to miss this shopping channel? Please add a comment in the box below.

YouView Box and Broadband for £10 a month

Here at Radio & Telly, we’re seeing increasing interest in the YouView TV offering – the service that combines Freeview, a hard-disc recorder, and extra content on your TV via Broadband. YouView’s available to buy on the high-street, or you can get a free box from BT or TalkTalk

If you’re keen to get hold of a YouView box, but don’t fancy forking out £250 for the set-top box, then it’s worth taking a look at the TalkTalk TV offer that landed in our inbox this morning.

 

YouView and TalkTalk for £10 a month

The offer gives you Phone, Broadband and TV for £10 a month (for the first 6 months, then £15.50 a month) – Check up on the details here: TalkTalk YouView offer

Here’s a summary of the offer that we’ve just been alerted to:

  • Free YouView box (Freeview plus on-demand)
  • Access to channels and shows not available elsewhere without a dish)
  • Unlimited access to 4,000 US & UK shows and films
  • Upgrade to Sky Sports & Sky Movies (not offered on normal YouView boxes)

You’ll also get TalkTalk broadband (offering unlimited downloads), plus unlimited anytime calls to UK landlines. Th eoffer is running for the next few weeks

TalkTalk's YouView Box - available for free with TalkTalk Broadband

TalkTalk’s YouView Box – available for free with TalkTalk Broadband

 

The TalkTalk Plus TV package is normally priced at £15.50 a month – It’s now £10 for 6 months for customers, in addition (of course) to standard phone line rental.

This offer runs until the 19th of June – Check if TalkTalk’s available where you are here: YouView from TalkTalk

We’re hearing surprisingly positive things about the service at the moment, with many seeing YouView as a great alternative to the rather pricey service from Sky. TalkTalk’s offering is a good contender now that it offers a lot of Sky’s content, such as Sky One, Sky Sports and Sky Movies.

If you’re watching YouView via TalkTalk, we’d love to hear from you about your experiences.

More information on YouView here: YouView Explored

Only Fools and Horses Interview with Sue Holderness

In March 2013, our podcast team met up with the lovely Sue Holderness, better known to us all as “Marlene” from Only Fools and Horses.

Here’s our interview with Sue, where she tells us about her experiences on the show, why it’s so fondly remembered, and whether or not Del will be returning to our screens.

Will there ever be another series?

We asked Sue for her thoughts on whether we can expect to ever see more from Del, Rodney, Boycie and Marlene. He’s what she had to say:

“I’ve met up with David Jason a few times recently at various dos, and we always think it would be very nice to work together again. This is the tragedy… it was rumoured that there would be one last episode, a Christmas special, where they would get us all back together. Boycie and Marlene would come up back from the country and there would be a Christmas special reuniting everybody, but the tragedy was in the April two years ago, John Sullivan, a apparently completely healthy 64-year-old, suddenly succumbed to viral pneumonia, and it’s a great tragedy for his family, but it’s a great tragedy for the nation too because I do think there’s nobody like him. It’s still very hard to believe he’s not with us.”

“We carried on genuinely thinking that more episodes could happen because John Sullivan always said he could write Only Fools and Horses until he died, he had enough stories to keep on going forever. Well, he died too soon, and it’s a great tragedy for us all. So there won’t be any more. I can absolutely guarantee there won’t be any more, because nobody would have the heart to try to attempt it without him.”

The Test of Time

Fools and Horses started back in 1981 and over thirty years on, is probably the UK’s most loved comedy. Sue explains why the series is still so popular:

“They do stand the test of time I think. People occasionally grumble about the about shows being repeated again and again, but they wouldn’t be repeated if people didn’t watch them. And I’ve had so many people say to me that bad things have happened in their lives, people have got sick, they’re Particularly tired or upset for something that’s happened at work, and Only Fools and Horses is what people put on to cheer themselves up. They say they say laughter is the best medicine, and so I think that John Sullivan has probably saved the nation a great deal of money. Long may they continue to repeat them”

Thanks very much to Sue Holderness for talking to our podcast team, and long man the series continue to entertain the nation.

BBC News Channel Theme Revamped in March 2013

BBC News Countdown March 2013The BBC News channel “countdown sequence” has this week has a revamp – new graphics, and a change to the iconic BBC countdown theme that rolls in before the hourly news bulletin on the 24 hour rolling news channel.

The change of theme tune and graphics co-incidences with the move of the BBC News Centre from studios in the old Television Centre in West London, to the new studios at Broadcasting House near Oxford Street, which took place on Monday the 18th of March 2013.

Various versions of the BBC news countdown theme have been used on the rolling news channel since 1998 to handle one of the constant problems with a news channel – filling the last 60 seconds of the hour in a way that handles the unpredictable length of reports and weather, whilst still neatly making sure the news starts at exactly the right time at the top of the hour. The countdown used by the BBC, with music created by David Lowe, includes various images of the BBC’s newsgathering organisation, typically showing how the news is brought you, often with camera filming camera.

If you’ve not seen and heard the new theme, here are a couple of clips we found on YouTube:

45 second countdown into a news report on 18th March 2013:

 

BBC News 85 second countdown:

There are a surprisingly high number of fans of the BBC News Countdown theme, including one of the guys here at Radio & Telly, who uses the old one as his ringtone.

Music: Much of the old musical theme is still in there, including the audible marker at -30 seconds, and the ten countdown “GMT” pips. For those accustomed to the old theme, it seems like quite a change. The theme has been around in various guises since 2008, and this change seems to have been the most radical of the various updates over the years to a theme that was once dubbed by comic Bill Bailey as “an apocalyptic rave”. The drumbeats are still there, underscored by a lot of strings. The drumbeats under the headlines seem unchanged, and the end stab after the headlines has undergone a subtle change too.

Images: The visuals have changed too, with new images including the space shuttle on top of a jumbo, use of the BBC’s Quickfire mobile news-gathering package, a BBC news helicopter in action, icebergs, and then shots of various data streams arriving at the new central London Broadcasting House complex. We’ve also noticed a distinct daytime and nighttime ending for the final BBC Broadcasting House shots. The old “data beams” from various satellite dishes have been removed, instead being replaced by datastreams (that can turn corners unlike the old satellite beams). There are also some interesting white tracking beams accompanied by low-level data bleeps (see -31 seconds and -20 seconds on the daytime version)

We’d love to know if you have any thoughts on the new countdown theme tune or sequence. Maybe it’s only us here at Radio & Telly’s that either noticed, or cared enough to write a blog post on the subject.

Happy New Year: 2012 Roundup

Happy 2013 everyone, and welcome to a new year!

2013 promises to be an interesting year for digital TV and radio in the UK, and as it’s the first day of a new year, it’s always good to take stock and see what’s happened in the last twelve months.

Rather than present you with a summary of the stories we’ve covered, we’d like to point you in the direct of our free podcast. In a show released today, Carl, Pete and Kelly look back at an unusual year of TV, Radio and Tech in the UK. The show lasts 30 minutes and includes a summary of what we’ve covered, where we’ve been, and what the future holds

FrequencyCast LogoIf you’re new to our podcast, or maybe you’ve not even dabbled with podcasts before – it’s an online radio show that you can download and listen to at your leisure. We try to make our shows both interesting and informative, and we have a bit of a laugh along the way. Shows are free, and researched by the team here at Radio and Telly, so why not give FrequencyCast a try?

You can listen online, or download our shows onto your computer, tablet, smartphone or mp3 player, and we’re also available on most streaming Internet radios. Check out the show, called FrequencyCast, at www.frequencycast.co.uk/latest.html. If you have an iPod, iPhone or iPad, you can get all of our shows for free from the FrequencyCast Podcast page on iTunes.

Some of the stories covered in 2012:

  • Movie service Netflix launched in the UK
  • On-demand TV service Fetch TV went into administration
  • The threats to Freeview of interference after the 2013 launch of the 4G data networks
  • BBC’s Panorama uncovered an alleged plot to scupper itvDigital
  • BT outbids ESPN for the rights to show Premier League football in 2013
  • YouView finally launches – just two years late!
  • BBC local radio stations switch off AM radio, in preparation for a digital radio switchover
  • The UK Nova filesharing site bites the dust
  • And the big one…. The completion of the Digital Switchover, spelling the end for analogue TV and Ceefax

In our latest show, we also mention some Freesat and YouView news, plus answer questions on BT Vision and look at some stats on how the UK watches TV. In previous shows, we’ve featured interviews and features on a range of topics including YouView, Star Trek, The Gadget Show, Freeview, Sky, amateur radio, sport, smartphones and local radio.

We’d love it if you’d take a listen to Show 83, which is our look back at 2012. We’d love to know what you think, and we’d love it even more if you become one of the show’s regular listeners. Our team works very hard at creating these little radio shows, and we hope you like what you hear.

More details: www.frequencycast.co.uk

Happy New Year, all!

Changes to Freeview Channel 32

Freeview LogoFreeview channel 32 has undergone a change today.

Until today, the channel was labelled Big Deal, but has today has become Movie Mix

The channel seems to have something of a split personality. What we understand is that the channel does the following:

  • Runs the Bid Plus TV shopping channel from 9am to 8pm
  • Runs Speed Auction from 8pm to midnight (for the first time on Freeview)
  • Runs generic Teleshopping from midnight to 3am
  • Runs one movie from 3am to 5am
  • Runs Teleshopping from 5am to 9am

That gives us 22 hours a day of shopping, and one movie between 3 and 5 in the morning – presumably meaning that it’s there so that people can set their Freeview or YouView PVRs to record the movie overnight and watch it the next day.

Films shown as coming up on Movie Mix in the next few days, according to the Freeview EPG are as follows:

  • The Borrowers
  • From Hell to Borneo
  • The Hoax
  • The Brothers O’Toole
  • Cry of the Innocent
  • Ginger in the Morning

A bizarre time to offer a movie service, and a little cheeky to list this as a movie channel when it’s 22 hours of shopping and one movie a day at silly-o-clock.

There’s some discussion of this in our Freeview Help and Advice forum

 

Playboy Chat off-air

We’ve also heard that the Playboy Chat channel is apparently off-air at the moment.  Freeview channel 178 still shows the name “Playboy”, and normally transmits Playboy Chat from midnight to 6am. The EPG still shows a listing, but we’ve not been motivated enough to try watching after midnight. Any info…? Let us know.

Sky’s Christmas 2012 Promotions

Sky Xmas LogoSky has announced details of its annual Christmas offers designed to tempt people to switch over to Sky in time for the festive season.

The headline offer is this: Take out the standard Sky package, and get Sky Movies half-price for 6 months. You can get a free Sky+ recorder, free setup and a Marks and Spencer voucher.

Here’s the offer in more detail:

  • Free Sky+ box and standard set up
  • Free Wireless Connector, for on-demand services via broadband
  • 40 Entertainment channels
  • A £25 M&S voucher (£100 voucher between the 23rd and 29th of November!)
  • Sky Movies Pack – 12 dedicated movies channels (£8 for the first 6 months)
  • Take Sky Movies with you to watch on the move with Sky Go, at no extra cost

The price for this Sky package, plus half-price movies is £29.50 a month for 6 months, which rises to £37.50 a month. The offer ends on the 21st December 2012

More details? To get this offer, go here: Sky Christmas Offer

Sky's 2012 Christmas Campaign

Artwork from Sky’s 2012 Christmas Campaign

Already with Sky?

If you’re already with Sky, but not yet signed up to Movies or Sport, Sky’s also running a half-price offer… Get 3 months of Sky Sport or Sky Movies half price.

  • Hundreds of movies and up to five new Sky Movies premieres every week
  • Watch live coverage of over 100 sports including Barclays Premier League games and coverage of every live F1 race.
  • Take Sky Movies or Sky Sports with you to watch on the move with Sky Go, at no extra cost

Get the six Sky Sports channels for £10.50 a month for 3 months (then £21), or Sky Movies for £8 a month (the £16), here: Sky Upgrade Offer

There you go – a quick summary of Sky’s seasonal Christmas deals. Got a comment or a question? Please add a comment below…

Sky turbo-charges its iPhone app

Sky+ iPhone Application iconThis month, the Sky+ app on the iPhone has undergone a transformation – you can now use it to take control of your Sky box

Here’s what you can now do on an iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch:

  • Change channel
  • Use two fingers to fast forward through the ads (30x speed)
  • Pause and rewind live TV
  • Manage your Sky planner (that’s the clever bit)
  • Search upcoming and recorded programmes

Being able to use your Apple device to control your Sky box is a nice touch, but you’ll probably find changing channels and fast-forwarding is still quicker with your Sky remote. The real power comes in being able to see what shows you have recorded now, and what shows are scheduled for recording. This means you can manage your Sky box without having to be front of the telly, and also you can pick what to watch from a different room.

Sky+ iPhone App Box Recordings

Current and future Sky+ recordings

Sky+ iPhone App Recording

Setting up a recording with Series Link

With the new Sky+ app, you can see what’s recorded and delete any old recordings. You can manage clashes, and start playback of a recording by pressing the ‘Watch’ button, and the show start to play on your telly.

If you’re not sure what you want to watch, you can check out the new ‘recommendations’ feature, which lets you know what Sky thinks you’d like to watch, and tell you when they’re on, so you can set a reminder or record them onto your box.

How to use the new Sky+ app

You can take control of your Sky+HD box from your device by connecting to the box using your home wi-fi network. Assuming your box has an Internet connection, this is a doddle. You’ll need the following:

  • An Apple iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch using iOS5 or iOS6 connected to your home wi-fi system
  • To install the free Sky+ app from the iTunes App Store.
  • A compatible Sky+HD box, with the updated version of the Sky Guide
  • To have your Sky+HD box connected to your broadband network, either via Ethernet or wi-fi (Help: Connecting to the Internet)

Sky+ iPhone App Searching

Searching for shows and recordings

Sky+ iPhone App Grid View

Programme Guide Grid View

Android user?

Not yet, apparently. The new Sky+ app is only available for the iOS platform. A version for Google’s Android OS is on the way, apparently…

 

Other Sky apps?

There are loads of the things now: including Sky Go, Sky Sports, Sky News, Sky Cloud WiFi, Sky Movies, Sky Bet, Now TV (Movies service) and even Sky Pro Cycling. Check them out in the iTunes App Store.

 

In Summary

The updated Sky+ is a nice little app, adding some great additional functionality. Sadly, as the moment, the iPhone app doesn’t seem to display the grid in landscape mode. We’ve also been checking out some of the iTunes reviews, and there’s a sizable number of people not happy with the improvements, or struggling to get things connected. For us, it’s all working, and a nice improvement.

Any comments, add your thoughts below…

BT Vision to offer 11 extra channels

YouView box from BTBT Vision users, or those with new YouView boxes from BT, are in for a bunch of new channels “soon”

Various announcements over the last few weeks have show that BT has been putting in a lot of legwork to increase the number of TV channels available to its customers. The recent deals aren’t just for catch-up and on-demand content, they’re for the actual TV channels, which will be delivered over broadband to a BT Vision or BT YouView box.

TV channel provider Discovery Networks is the latest to add their channels to the line-up, meaning that BT customers will get the following three channels soon:

  • Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Animal Planet
  • Discovery Real Time

Other channels on the way from include:

  • British Eurosport
  • British Eurosport 2
  • GOLD
  • Watch
  • Alibi
  • FX
  • National Geographic
  • National Geographic Wild

Also, it’s planned that Sky Sports channels will be available on the YouView platform for BT customers from 2013.

YouView from BT

This is the new service launched by BT in October, and offers the perks of the new YouView TV service, such as catch-up TV and access to Sky’s movie service Now TV. BT’s deal for YouView is pretty good and worth a look if you’re after getting a TV service that offers more than the standard Freeview channels, without a massive increase on your monthly bills.

YouView from BTHere are the highlights of what BT’s new YouView offering is all about:

  • Free Humax 500GB YouView recorder (saving £299)
  • Watch and record Freeview HD
  • Catch-up from BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5
  • Movies and TV shows from BT Vision and NOW TV
  • Broadband and calls package with free calls for a year and £25 Sainsburys Gift Card (special offer for a limited time!)
  • TV Essentials pack is just £4 a month, rising to £5 a month in January

For more information on this service from BT, or the Humax DTR-T1000 YouView box, see our YouView on BT section, or for the full story, go to youview.bt.com

You might also be interested in the interview our podcast team recorded with team at BT about the new YoyView from BT offering: FrequencyCast BT YouView Interview

Freeview retune after rabbit hops off

Yet another Freeview channel shuffle has taken place today, but this one’s unlikely to be a bother to anyone…

Two text channels have moved from the PSB2 to the COM4 multiplex, meaning that if you’re a dedicated follower of either of these channels, you’ll need to do a rescan:

  • Channel 202 – Rabbit
  • Channel 203 – Gay Rabbit

IN case you’re not familair with either of these channels, they let you chat and flirt by SMS text message at a cost of 60p plus network operator rate per text, and the results look something like this…

Rabbit on Freeview

Screenshot of the TV text service Rabbit

We’ve yet to hear from anyone who watches (or texts) these channels, but for the silent minority out there frantically hunting for their rabbit today, you’ll need to rescan your Freeview box or TV set to re-instate these vital Freeview channels.

Into Rabbit? Do let us know via the comments box below, and let us know you’ve found the channel’s new warren?…

All change for Freeview between 2014 and 2018

Now, we don’t want to worry you, but there’s a danger that there’ll be some Freeview hassle to look forward to in 2018. OK, so this is a long way off, but we thought we’d give you as much advance notice as possible…

More Freeview HD

Freeview HD LogoLet’s soften you up with the good news. Ofcom has announced that we’re in for some more Freeview HD channels. As a result of the digital switchover, some precious space has been freed up. Some is to be used for the upcoming 4G networks, due in 2013, and some is awaiting a purpose.

It looks like that space could well be used for up to 10 additional Freeview HD channels by 2014, if proposals go ahead.

 

Frequency Changes

And now, the bad news. Ofcom has also announced that in 2018, some of the spectrum used for digital TV services, will be hived off for a new mobile data network. Now, we’ve only just got 4G, but plans are afoot for a 5G network, to meet the needs of an increasingly data-hungry UK.

We’ve already warned Freeview viewers that we can expect over a million homes to see interference to Freeview services in 2013 as a result of the new 4G networks – but it looks like 2018 will be another bad year for Freeview viewers.

The proposals outlined by Ofcom call for the existing Freeview channels to move down the UHF band, to free up space in the 700MHz band. This means there will be less space available for Freeview. As well as allowing space for a new 5G mobile data network, the proposed changes are to bring the UK in line with other users of the UHF band around the world.

What does this mean in practice? Potentially fewer Freeview channels in 2018. Either that, or a push to get the UK to shift to the newer and more efficient DVB-T2 format. This format is already in use in the new Freeview HD boxes and TV sets, so a transition should be fairly painless for those with HD kit. here’s a danger that moving to this format could spell the end for the older DVB-T boxes and TVs, potentially making them obsolete. Some Freeview viewers may also need to have their TV aerials replaced, to ensure that they will be able to continue watching Freeview from 2018.

Hopefully, by 2018, many homes in the UK will have switched away from the older Freeview boxes to Freeview HD equipment, and the industry is clearly hoping that by adding up to 10 more HD channels, people will make the transition more quickly. However, there will still be plenty of the older boxes and TV sets out there, and there’s a danger that these will need to be binned in 2018 if the UK switches to the more efficient DVB-T2 format.

So, by 2018, would you rather?

  • Lose some of the existing Freeview channels, or
  • Replace your non-HD Freeview boxes and TV sets

If plans continue as they are, that could be the choice lying ahead for Freeview viewers

Update: Thanks to one site visitor for suggesting this is a cunning plan to push the UK over to satellite TV, removing the need for messy TV aerials!

 

Got a comment, please add it below for all to see…

BT Launches YouView Service

BT LogoBT has today launched its YouView TV service. We take a look at what’s on offer:

The Service

The YouView service combines Freeview with a large library of on-demand content.

With BT, you’ll get the Humax DVR-T1000 YouView box (normally £299) for free, subject to a £6.95 delivery charge and a £49 activation fee.

You’ll get Freeview, Freeview HD, catch-up TV from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, plus a thousands of TV shows and movies “on demand” over your broadband connection.

The Humax T1000 YouView box, available from BT
The Price

Get your phone, Internet and TV from BT, and you’ll get the YouView box thrown in. As mentioned above, a delivery charge and £49 activation fee applies.

In addition, you need to pay for the TV service, which is either £4 a month for Essentials (the basic service), or £12.50 a month which gives you unlimited access to the online TV content as well as the Vision Movies service.

Full details here: youview.bt.com

What you get

Here’s what you get with YouView from BT:

  • Freeview, including the Freeview HD channels
  • Catch-up from BBC, ITV, 4oD and Channel 5
  • The BT Vision library of on-demand content (films, TV series, box sets, music videos, kids shows)
  • On demand services: In addition to the above, there’s also premier movies with Sky’s Now TV, and kids content from Milkshake, with more to follow
  • Scrollback – The YouView programme guide that lets you go back 7 days as well as forward, for ease of finding programmes
  • Advanced search to help track down recorded, on-demand and up-coming TV shows and films
  • Features such as Bookmark (shows you fancy watching one day), and playlists (create your own MTV music video channel)

BT’s take on YouView

Currently you can go to the shops and get a YouView box for £299. Alternatively, if you get your broadband from TalkTalk, you can get a box from them… So why is the BT offering different?

  • It offers access to the BT Vision library, which contains thousands of hours of content
  • It offers more video-on-demand content than the off-the-shelf YouView product or TalkTalk’s YouView offering
  • 1,500 movies, including HD movies not offered by TalkTalk
  • Bookmarks and Playlists
  • Reliable Video On Demand – BT’s broadband is up to 8 times faster than the UK average, and high-speed fibre is available

Sadly, what the service doesn’t yet offer, is Sky Sports, but we understand that’s on the way, along with other TV channels and content.

YouView vs Vision

As you’re probably aware, BT has been offering BT Vision for the last 5 years. Does the new YouView service spell the end for BT Vision? Yes and No.

At the moment, both services are available, and there are two key differences:

  • The BT Vision box offers Sky Sport and ESPN
  • YouView from BT offers Freeview HD and more on-demand content

Both products are available, with sport being the key service that makes the difference.

It’s important to understand that “BT Vision” is now a part of BT’s YouView offering – BT Vision is the content, not the box, and from the YouView menu, you can access the BT Vision Player.

YouView Player screen, showing the BT Vision player

YouView Video On Demand Player screen, showing the BT Vision player

It’s likely that BT YouView will offer Sky Sports content  sooner rather than later, especially given BT’s recent purchase of Barclays and Aviva Premiership football and rugby rights. Once YouView can offers sports, the old BT Vision boxes will be phased out, with future effort being put into the new YouView platform.

 

Availability

The YouView service from BT is available now, and you can get more details here: youview.bt.com

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