BT has today launched its YouView TV service. We take a look at what’s on offer:
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.
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 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.
The YouView service from BT is available now, and you can get more details here: youview.bt.com