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Having had sky for a year but suffering from extremely slow broadband speeds, I opted to change to bt and sign up to an all inclusive, phone, tv and broadband package. The router came quickly and appointment with an installation engineer followed, so I was impressed with the speed of set up. The engineer was courteous and tidy and explained all the features, so again was impressed with this. You can record live tv which was the primary reason I wanted this, as I wanted to be able to series link shows I often miss, record programmes for my son from cbeebies and to be able to pause live tv if I''m watching something and am disturbed. It performs this function well in the main. Sometimes it cuts a programme off prematurely or starts recording a programme too early so you have 10 minutes of something else and then your programme stops mid way and you miss the end, and that is frustrating but I am not sure if that is the fault of the unit or something to do with the programming. You can access on demand services, but they can be prohibitively slow, which I don''t know if is the fault of our broadband or again the unit and service. I player seems to be the most affected. I just don''t use it anymore as it is slow and unresponsive and quite often just reboots. The menus are very slow and unresponsive, you''ll be pressing select and there is a delay which can be really annoying as you may press it several times and then suddenly you''ve activated another menu or deleted something you didn''t want to, lesson to us all, be patient and just press once! The unit is asthetically pleasing, black and shiny, unobtrusive in a cabinet. The remote control is standard, and works ok if it the unit responded quicker. The biggest bugbear is that it resets all the time, which means if you''re recording something, that is interrupted and then it takes ages to reload. I have to keep switching it off as it sometimes just freezes on the menus and you can''t resolve the issue without a reboot. There is a TV guide option which is useful for planning and recording, but again is frustratingly slow.
I moved into my new house in May and spent ages looking around for good deals on utilities, broadband etc and am usually very good and finding a good deal, but when it came to TV choices I was a bit stuck. I didn't think we could afford SKY as it is notoriously expensive so I thought I would go with Virgin as I had read good reviews for them but unfortunatly Virgin wasn't available in my area (on top of a massive hill). So that only left me with BT Vision really as a option, so I looked into it and it looked OK it said it had over 100 channels which sounded a lot and I decided to pay the extra £5 a month for on demand channels. All together with my broadband and phone the package come to £42 a month which was more than I wanted to pay but my other half really wanted a TV package so we went ahead with it. It is also a two year contract which is awful but I had no choice.
Set up was really easy you literally plug it in select a few settings and away you go.
I was really surprised at how bad the choice of channels were although there were indeed 100+ channels this includes loads of radio and shopping channels which lets face it don't count. There is nothing mor on there compared to a standard £20 freeview box.
The on demand service is OK and it does sometimes have some good films on it but I don't think it is worth the £5 a month extra we pay for it as we also pay £6 a month for Netflix and tha has way mroe choice and has TV series on it. The box also comes with all the players (BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 40D etc) which for some people would be really good but we have all these for free on the play-station so it is a bit redundant for us. The most annoying part about the on demand is that it is never really clear weather something is free to watch or from the box office as they are sometimes displayed in the same lists and we have been caught out a few times.
The Box is attractive enough it is shiny glossy black and quite slimline and look nice enough on my TV stand, it has a big circular button on the front that you just touch to turn on, it's orange when on standby and blue when switched on so it's easy to see if you have left it on standby.
The box has an eco mode which means it used less electricity when on standby than in standard mode, this makes it take a lot longer to turn on about 3 minutes. You can switch this off in the settings but I have never done this so I don't know how long it would normally take to turn on. I think this is a good idea as I am a nightmare for remembering to switch things off at the plug.
The Controls are a nice design and easy to use, I have found the batteries die quite quickly though which is a pain but that could be because I bought a rubbish batch of batteries you never know.
Overall I was very disappointed with BT Vision and will definitely be cancelling when my contract is up so I would not recommend to anyone, my advice is just get a freeview box.
This review is also on my Ciao account under shellyjaneo
Basically I got the cheapest bundle Internet and phone line back in nov last year. Someone was meant to come out and set it up for me but I didn't hear nothing till a week ago ( tbh I forgot about it) saying I owe £144! I rang up at first and got told a manager would ring me back. Didn't even bother to get back intouch with me and sort it out. After a couple of days I got a letter of the ballifs. So I rang them back. After a couple of hours on the phone and me constantly saying you can't charge me for something I ain't used or is even set up. They said they would drop the charges. To my totall disbelief the man on the end of the phone said I'm only going to drop the charges if u stay with bt I said are u having a laugh. I'm a single mom I kept asking back in nov if I'm going to end up with extra charges or anything like that and the woman said no until its set up and we've been out to you you will have no charge ( total rubbish) so I asked to speak to the manager right now. After waiting for the manager she told mr her colleague was in the wrong and should have not tried to bribe me I was very pissed off at this point. I told her I'm putting a complaint in she then offered me 6 months free Internet which I gladly turned down I said I am not putting myself in that situation again and ile prob end up getting charged for it anyway. So all ile say is I ignored a lot of bad reviews by going with bt as its the only one that could get signal at my flat. But I've learnt my lesson they sweet talk you then lie through there teeth. I'm very lucky I wrote down names, times, and dates of all the times I've spoke to someone. So if they tried to tell me in wrong I jus say ile get the consumer people to listen to the phone calls ( which they really didn't like) so be very carefull!!!
Having got married in the summer of 2012, there is one huge regret my wife have of the decisions on furnishing our new house together. Everything is pretty much perfect, apart from the service from BT for our vision box. As others have said it crashes almost every day and you have to wait 5 - 10 minutes to resume normal viewing service, which is fine if you are watching something easy to follow, but criminal if it's your favourite programme that you miss crucial minutes of. On the plus side, the recording function on the box is good, the on screen menu's and tv guide are expansive and user friendly. The ability to stream (limited) programmes from the likes of 4od and bbc iplayer is useful but could be a lot better. Which is pretty much what I would say for the whole packege. Could do a whole lot better.
I have had BT Vision for over a year now and it is getting to the stage where I think I will return to SKY. The BT Vision box freezes at least once a day requiring it to be unplugged etc. etc. When it is working it is fine but the un-reliablity of the box is very frustrating. When you talk to BT faults they tell you it is a known software problem and their engineers are working on a solution but they no idea when it will be delivered.My advice is go to SKY and leave BT Vision well alone unless you are a very laid back person who does not get frustrated with bad service.
We got offered BT Vision when we chose to leave BT for TalkTalk (not for there TV service which wasnt available then) BT offered us a very good deal and we decided to take it. After a few technical difficulties getting it working due to living out in the hills in North Wales and not having the fastest interent connection but we got there in the end.
The features i really like with the BT vision are the menu its self is really easy to follow and within seconds of picking up the remote I knew where to go and what to do to record rewind pause etc. One the aspects I feel that BT sets apart from Sky is the fact that i can search what programmes i would like to watch no matter how old they are and usually they have them available. If i missed a programme i can search for it the next day and it is available to watch. Not only TV programmes but you can also search for music videos and they have some of favourites not just modern genres but 60's and 70's. I am aware Sky has an Anytime feature however i feel it doesnt compare to BT. (I have never had Sky however I have used it many times as my friend used it, who is know a BT Vision convert!)
I find picture box where the films are very good and has a good selection of films usually there is atleast 1 I would like to watch right then and there which stretches across many genres of film.
The only downside of it is which is due to my interent not the service itself is if multiple users are on the network using the interent it can cause a lag with the BT vision. However generally all items I have my household due with with streaming online e.g. 40D, ITV Player. Our internet generally runs on 3Mb per second.
Overall i really enjoy BT Vision and find aspects put it ahead of other competators.
BT Vision is an On-Demand TV service from BT. I decided to join them when I moved into a new flat and the landlord was very picky about having holes drilled into his walls. I would have preferred sky, but because of the no holes policy and Virgin not available in the area it was either Freeview or BT Vision. Thinking I would be bored with Freeview I went for the BT Vision option.
When you order the service from BT they send you a set top box (just like Sky and Virgin) which has to be plugged into your router. To have BT Vision you have to have BT Broadband. It will not work with any other broadband service. This isn't too much of a problem as they do packages for the TV, Phone and Broadband and it doesn't work out too expensive, especially if you are a new customer. If your router is not in the same room as your TV (Who does?) and you don't want cables running through your house, the fear not you are supplied with a handy solution. In your package you will receive two devices that plug into your normal wall sockets, one next to your router and one next to your set top box. You then connect your router and set top box to the devices and they wirelessly sent information between themselves, meaning your set top box and router are wirelessly connected.
Once you have the set top box and router connected the rest of the setup is easy, you just follow the onscreen instructions and your done.
The set top box is basically a freeview PVR. You can watch freeview, set up recordings, pause live tv and even rewind it if you were already on that channel. The bit the subscription pays for is the On-Demand service. They currently have 2 different subscriptions. The cheapest one is £4 a month, but you have to pay for each programme you watch. The second one is £12.50 a month but you can watch as many on-demand programmes as you want (except for Box Office films).
There are loads of programmes and films to choose from. They are split into main categories and the sub-categories such as; TV (split into; Drama, Comedy, Documentary etc), Film (also split into Drama, Comedy etc), Kids, Music and Sport. There is also the Box Office which shows newer films but they are Pay per view on all the subscriptions and can vary from £1 to £5 depending on if its HD.
The menu system is easy to use. The freeview part has a onscreen guide where you can see what's on in the future and set up recordings. You just choose what you want to watch and press select on the remote. The on-demand section is also easy to use as it is split into the categories as before. You just find the programme you want to watch and select play.
Even though there is a wide variety to choose from most of the programmes are fairly old. This is one of the downsides of the service. There are a few newer programmes but the majority are a few years old and so you would have probably already seen it.
Another part of the on-demand service is the catch up. You can access the full version of BBC iPlayer and a selection of programmes from ITV Player,4OD and Demand 5. This service is great especially the iPlayer. If you forget to set up a recording you can watch it anyway using the catch up service. The other channels however don't have their full service on here, but I have found that all of the popular programmes from the last week are available, so chances are it will be there.
What I Think
I think that BT Vision is a good cheaper alternative to Sky and Virgin. However it has nowhere near as good selection of programmes, and you are basically just getting a freeview PVR. The catch service is good, but you could just watch it on you computer without paying a subscription.
well after being with sky for a year and having lots of trouble canceling my contract with them which was 78 pound a month!! i decided to leave for good!
we already have bt phone and fiber obtics and have no problems with our service so thought we'd give their tv a go :)
the customer service is brill unlike sky! and they were so helpful, explained everything to me, i did a test on line and we have a good signal strength so will get all the chanels..yay!!
so far waiting for my box and engineer coming on wednesday but their customer service and the information they have given me and the price are all fab right now....im having a much better experience with bt than with sky by far!
if im wrong and the service is rubbish i'll update my review however i have a feeling it will all be fine
I had Sky, i liked it, but by the time i reached the end of my contract I decided i'd try something else out.
We were with Tesco broadband at the time, so it seemed like a good idea to get a package deal, TV, broadband and phone calls all in one.
After debating keeping Sky for another 2 years we eventually went with BT. Unlimited Broadband up to 8mb, phone calls free in the evening, and also this BT Vision chap.
If i'm honest i don't really watch a lot of TV, it isn't my thing, however i figured this would be exciting, and probably get me into tv a little more.
The box is a freeview box, containing a 160gb hard drive. which is enough to store a LOT of content.
if you're in an area with good freeview reception you'll be able to get a lot of channels, and record as you normally would with any other freeview recorder, however there's an added string to this bow.
They put entire series on here, for instance 'The IT Crowd', a favourite of mine, they put series 1, 2 and 3 up.
This saved me going to HMV and paying £20 for the boxset.
There are a few good series on there, however there are some really awful ones, in particular these odd documentaries which appear to be from the 80s. bizarre.
The box comes with these wireless adaptors, called powerline adaptors. you plug them into an electrical socket near your box, and the other in an electrical socket near your router, connect cables to both and you somehow have wireless internet transmitting between the two.
This didn't work for me, it kept disconnecting and annoyed me a lot.
I plugged a physical ethernet cable into the box, and found i had even more errors.
Perhaps i had a duff box. But when you have to get up 4 times in an evening and unplug the box to reset it, wait 5 minutes for it to restart, rescan for all the channels, then finally resume your video, only to have lost your place.
It isn't the best.
Films are available On-Demand as well. at a very fair £4 for SD and i believe £5 for HD quality.
This is good. but when you have to reset the box and lose your place, it quickly feels like you've binned your money, other services like Apple TV doubtless share the same gremlins.
I got very quickly fed up of this service. Since the PS3 has all the major on demand channel's services available, and Play TV, this quickly became useless. I found nothing on the box i couldn't find for free elsewhere, without the headaches, and the monthly fee.
Overall. Avoid this crap, if you're an older person who has to get somebody to set this up for you, definitely avoid, you need to be able to get behind the tv and fix it yourself.
I have previously been a Sky and a Virgin customer, and i did a lot of research and was trying to decide Sky, Virgin, or BT vision.
After much agonising i went with the one that was the unknown option for me. I chose BT vision. I was looking for value for money and a resonable service. I have always found Sky far too expensive - the offers they give you are fine, but so time limited, and only if you live in the right postcode (which surprisingly i didnt!). Then there is Virgin, well their poor customer service and hidden charges meant i would never go there again.
I was a little nervous about signing up with BT Vision, because to get the deal i wanted i had to sign up to 2 years, which i wasnt entirely comfortable with.
Installation went smoothly and all was well. I had some hiccups with what i was promised and what i received but when i raised these, the customer service department were very helpful and gave me £40 credit on my bill and a free second vision box for my sons room.
For me, the excellence of BT Vision is their on Demand service. It has a wealth of different programs and films for you to watch as you wish. We use this more than we watch the TV channels - this way we choose what interests us. I am very impressed. When my grand daughter comes round we can select what we want for her - without have trawl through the kids TV channels to find something.
Its good value for money. TV channels are limited, i would describe them as glorified freeview really, but the on demnad is what sells this package. By the way i do have the Gold package - so have access to everything.
I have no regrets and will be sticking with BT vision. I pay £160 per quarter - this gets me Gold BT vision package, Anytime inclusive telephone package, BT Home hub with internet phone and fast unlimited broadband. A bargain i believe.
Me and my partner moved in to our new flat in feb 2010. We had had ski in our previous flat and had made the decision to switch over to BT Vision, we looked in to this a lot before we made any choices as we knew we would be signing up for a 12 month contract. We already had our Broadband and Telephone through BT so it made sense to combine everything. So we called sky and were quoted an amount or £47 per month for the whole package. That was Line rental, top specification broadband and BT Vision. When we read the adverts online and spoke to the sales agents we were told about the library of films, prgrammes and box sets that were avaliable to watch on BT Vision and that we would never be bored! So we were so excited to sign up. We made our booking which we told we be a 6 week wait. I thought this was a little long to wait but this was the only booking they had. They told us we had to pay £154 for the box but we managed to barter with them and as we had joined them from sky they charged us £45 and this would be added on to our first bill. All we had to pay was £9.99 'processing costs'
Skip forward six weeks lots of freeview tv watching and we had BT Vision installed. It was done very quickly and the engineer was very good. We were given a BT Vision Black box which was about the same size as a VCR or a sky box and a remote control. The Remote signal isnt very strong and unless you are pointing it directly at the box.
Live Pause, Rewind, Fast Forward, Programme Recording and planning
It has a library of Films on a section called BT Vision Club, these are all free films and get changed from time to time, they are are a range of films from british to bollywood, childrens films and teen flicks to Horror movies.
There is also a section of newley released films and films that havent been out long and they are chargeable and the prices range from £1.99 to £3.99 they are all charged straight to your bill.
They have lots of other prgramme sections that are free included the american channels which have prgrammes such as The Ugly betty box sets, freinds, CSI and The Mentalist etc. Note they do only play these a season at a time and you can wait months for the next season to be on.
There are lots of music channels which have a range of music and it also has a karaoke channel and a games section where you can play online games and again these are chargeable.
The films and the programmes were changed every 3-4 weeks and even then most of them still remained the same, so even though the library had lots of films they were films that i either already had or wouldnt have watched.
We decided to have our bills sent to us quarterly and we paid by direct debit, however even though we were receiving our bills quarterley we still recieved a bill every month for at least £50 as we always went over our limit! This is completely insane as we hardly watched any films and didnt really use our phone. we are still contesting this with BT.
bt vision was really good for the first 3 months and then it seemed the novelty wore off. there never seemed to be anything on even though they had so many programmes. They were all repeats and hardly ever changed. we decided to cancel or service when our contract was up and have now gone back to sky. however because we have cancelled before the end of our contract we have had to pay the remaninder of the box which has noe gone up to over £200 which has been added on to our bill!
I am not happy with BT at all the service we have received is so bad and bt vision really is just an expensive, worse version of sky.
I love my TV and have been a reasonably happy Sky customer (though the wallet feels much lighter when you are with them) for the last 4 years. When I moved house I thought it was worth giving BT Vision a go.
The box itself is slightly smaller than a Xbox elite and it has a shiny black front to it. When its on or recording its completely silent. There is a viewing card slot for your ESPN card and there is a HDMI port you can use on the back. I was initially concerned as my router is on the other side of the room and I didn't want to put an ethernet cable down, but BT have managed to allow you to take your broadband to the BT vision box through your current electrical wires (how they manage that I have no idea!). Compare this to Sky where I had trailing wires across a roof top and a big hole made in my lounge for the dish wire to go through and the carpets were pulled up to put a telephone cable down (which was done very badly).
The actual box has an easy to use menu. Its not as beautiful as the Sky Menu but definitely better than the clunky Virgin alternative. Recording is easy and so far it has never missed the start or end of a programme and you can record 2 different channels as the same time.
In terms of the programmes, BT now offer Sky Sports at a cheaper rate that Sky TV. You get iPlayer / ITV PLayer / 4OD / Fiver Reply to use which is a fantastic service (something Sky definitely doesn't have) and gives you access to thousand of programmes. BT also have On Demand where they have several different Box Sets (Prison break and 24 on there) films galore and a host of other programmes (Sports etc).
In summary I do not think that the menu and number of channels is as good as Sky, however for me, having iPLayer and the other alternatives is a much greater plus point and I am certainly enjoying working through the 24 box set with my other half for free at the moment.
Its not Sky, but its one very good cheaper alternative without the messy and ugly Dish install.
Here's the dream....
You know how you can watch recorded programmes on Sky+?
But you can only watch the things you have already recorded... and have to wait for something to come on TV before you can record it?
Well, what if things were different?
What if you could watch anything, at anytime? What if you didn't have to worry about recording things anymore, as they are already there, waiting for you to watch them?
What if you had over 7,200 shows, 1,500 music videos, and 650+ films all there at your fingertips, waiting to be watched?
Well now you can, folks...
Introducing BT Vision - TV of the future!
With BT you get a Vision+ box, which is very similar to Sky in that you can pause, record, rewind and the like. You can then watch Freeview channels through it with the option of either paying for programmes as you view them (paying a basic £6.99 a month, plus whatever you watch). Or you can buy viewing packs and have unlimited access to that particular section.
You choose from:
You can buy:
A single pack for £6.99
2 packs for £14.99 (first 3 months at £7.50)
3 packs for £17.99 per month (first 3 months at £10.50)
4 packs for £19.99 (first 3 months at £12.50).
There is also the 'TV and Replay' pack which costs £9.98 per month, but if you buy two or more packs you get this free (hence why two packs is more than twice the one pack price).
You then have the option of adding extras to this. You can now buy Sky Sports 1 and 2 from £6.99 a month each (depending on your package), Bolly and Beyond for £6.99, and ESPN, which is free once you have bought a viewing card (£9.99).
What do you get in each pack?
Kids - hundreds of shows and films from channels such as: Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, CBBC, and The Disney Channels. This includes shows such as Barney and Winnie the Pooh for younger children, through Ben 10 and Dora, to older kids shows such as Hanna Montana and Drake and Josh.
Music - Over 1,500 music videos to watch when you want. No more watching music channels for three hours in the hope of them playing your favourite song! You can view the top 20, search for songs by artist, view play-lists such as 'songs of the 80's', or 'summer anthems'. You can also view top artists in concert, and view music before it has been released.
Sport - You can watch: TNA Wrestling, Moto GP, weekly sports shows and a huge archive of classic sports including Wimbledon, Open golf, Test cricket, boxing and much more. You can also view weekly shows rounding up the best in motorsport, rugby, boxing and cricket.
Film - BT has recently revamped their film pack, it is known as 'Film Club' and you can watch more than 60 films free a month, with 14 new films added every week from big names such as Warner Films, Film4 and Picturebox. Many new films are shown here before being screened on TV and Freeview.
Along with the film pack, you can have your pick of over 600 pay per view movies such as the latest blockbusters (shown even before Sky box office), Classic and award winning films, independent films and many top foreign films - this means that there is always something to watch, and buying straight through your TV (just click a button to instantly download, the cost is then added to your bill) is a lot easier than having to nip out to rent something. They are also likely to have many more films available than your local rental store would, so you can't lose really!
Films cost between 99p and £3.99 depending on how popular and/or new the film is.
TV and Replay...
Replay is the top pick of the last week's TV, such as documentaries, popular shows, and soaps. They are organised by Channel. For example, BBC shows everything that you will find on BBC iPlayer, and Channel four shows OnDemand programmes. You will find shows from the big 4 channels; BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Five.
TV - This is where you will find the box sets and many well loved programmes all arranged by genre. They have classics and past programmes such as Only Fools and Horses and Sex and The City, newer programmes such as The IT Crowd, documentaries on everything from WW2, and Evolution, to ones on Paranormal Activity, or 'The Girl With Two Heads' (or something along those lines!). They also have box sets of shows such as Prison Break and 24, so you can catch up on shows you may have missed the first time around.
There are over 7,200 shows in total, but it is surprisingly easy to find them as they are very well sectioned. There is also a search function allowing you to find your favourite programmes straight away.
There are then options to view new shows (many shows, films and music videos are added weekly), what's coming soon, and 'last chance to see' programmes, i.e shows that are soon to be deleted (you can find out how long any programme has left by clicking on it).
A great thing about BT Vision is that all on-demand programmes (i.e everything I have just mentioned) are viewed through your broadband connection with adapter plugs. The adapters look a bit like a battery charger and just plug into any electricity socket, you then connect your Vision box to this via a cable. This means that you can connect it up in any room of the house, without having to worry about having an aerial connection.
I only have an aerial in my lounge, and the only way to get one upstairs is to have wire trailing all over the house or spend over £100 to get someone to connect it up for me. Thanks to the Vision box, I now have TV in my bedroom! I can't watch live shows - but you only get standard freeview channels anyway, and anything I do want to watch live I can always view downstairs.
Although it does not come through an aerial, I find the picture quality is amazing, very clear and no jumps or freezes as you sometimes get through a dish or aerial. Obviously, being through your broadband connection your TV is dependant on your broadband working as it should.
My broadband has cut out around three times in the last 6 months but it has just restarted itself within about a minute. The Vision box gives a message telling you that the signal has gone and tries to reconnect. It easily restarts once your broadband is reconnected and does not lose your place, so your viewing is not interrupted too much by this.
I find that I am a lot less tied down to programming now. With Sky+ you only have 40 (or 80 depending on your box) hours of programming that you can save; if you like to save a few films on there, as I did, then you have a lot less than this. With Vision, most programmes you would record are already stored in 'Replay' so you don't have to worry about your box getting full if you are away for a few days.
There are also so many great shows available that I don't watch as much live TV anymore - I can now look for something I actually want to watch, rather than settling for whatever rubbish is on at the time!
I find that BT Vision (I have the whole package with BT, as I previously did with Sky) works out at about the same price as Sky, but you get so much more. I am very pleased with BT Vision, and would highly recommend it.
If you would like to find out more, go to...
If you get BT Broadband option 1 and that is payable in advance and a BT Landline which including phone calls and broadboad come to £51.50 all in per month for cable TV, Internet and phone calls.
BT Vision is delivered in a small box but you do not have to install it all on your own for help is available at the end of the telephone line. They will mostly tell you to turn it on and off. If that does not work you will transfer up the line to someone who may even check your line as it has to be running at a certain strength for the BT Vision to work. Mine has stopped working a lot lately. In three years they have sent engineers around twice but they did not do much. The exchange will some times run down your signal strength and the BT Vision will not work.
When it is set up you get to watch a lot of shows when you want to which is a major improvement on normal TV. You can record normal TV series automatically as well another bonus.
I could run through whole series on one episode a day. Sometimes I watch up to three episodes a day but doing this will leave you bored with nothing left to watch so is not recommended. I went through Lost series 1 through 5 at the rate of 3 episodes a day. I have just been though series one and two of Vincent. I have rented some on Blue Ray only to find them on BT vision a few weeks later.
We have used this service on our main telly for nearly two years now. It suits our family as there are so many extras that you can add into your package.
Cost and Availability
BT Vision is actually free, what's the catch I sense you thinking, well you have to have BT Broadband to qualify for the free telly and we're not talking the cheapest BT Broadband either. We currently pay 18.99 per month for the broadband service which also allows us to get the BT Vision. It is available to anyone with a landline that purchases BT Broadband. Because of the initial package we agreed to, the most expensive, we got our freeview box for free, some cheaper packages mean you have to pay out a little money for the freeview box.
Firstly I'd like to state that I'm not at all technical but I'll do my best to explain. In order to receive BT Vision you need a BT Home Hub. This is basically the control centre for the internet phone which you also receive as part of the package and the transmitter that sends the signals to the freeview box. The Home Hub is plugged into your phone socket and a normal electrical plug. The Home Hub is also connected, by wire to a device plugged directly into the electrical wall socket. This device sends signals to an identical device plugged into another electrical socket near your telly, either wirelessly or through a wire. This second device is connected to the freeview box by a wire. The freeview box needs to also be connected to the telly by SCART, and a power supply, a normal wall socket. The freeview box is controlled with a remote control, supplied with it or if lost, which happens an awful lot in our house, there are basic controls on the box to move the channels up and down and to record etc.
What you get with the BT Vision package varies depending on what you want from it and what you pay for. Everyone gets the basic freeview channels and radio stations, as you would with a typical freeview box, you also get the option to record programmes, you can set it up in advance or record on the spur of the moment, this is done easily by either pressing the record button whilst watching the programme or going into the TV Guide pages and pressing the record button whilst placed over the selected programme. You can set up to record the whole series automatically, which is great for me because I'm very forgetful, the best part about this is that the box automatically record the next series of the programme unless you cancel it, so you don't even have to know there's another series coming on! You can record two different channels at any one time but if recording two you cannot watch another channel. The add on bits, at an extra cost, are Top Up TV which are available on many formats, plus some none-BT channels like ESPN etc. You then have the On Demand Service, you can either pay as you go for each individual programme or film that you view or pay an overall fee which allows you unlimited access to the section you've selected. The sections are Film, Sport, TV (series that have been released on DVD eg Doctor Who Series 1, 2 and 3 or Criminal Minds etc.), Music and Kids. There is also TV replay, this is where you can watch things that have been on TV in the previous week. We pay just less than 7 pounds per month for the TV option. They have various packages for buying a number of sections.
If you have any technical problems at all there are two options for support, you can either access their web pages on the internet or phone a free-phone number and speak to someone. The call centre is abroad so there are occasional communication problems with the people that you speak to but this is occasional as I said. I have only had one problem with my freeview box although I've lost connection with my computer several times because of the children pressing buttons or my husband changing the setting I should add, I've never had a problem with the service itself, a phone call to the call centre has always solved my connection problems by them going through step by step how to restore your computer settings, and that's not even their equipment!
Back to the problem with the box this happened two months ago, a phone call to the call centre, a run through of problem shooting things from the call centre, directing me at every stage, a confirmation that the problem is an equipment one and an appointment with the BT engineer coming out the next day to replace the part, at their cost. Which he did. Brilliant customer service!
Not as cheap as other options but a brilliant service and a just as brilliant customer service as back-up.