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How can I get BT Vision?

Latest news about BT Vision

What is BT Vision? 

BT Vision is a hybrid Freeview and broadband TV service, similar to YouView

This means you get all of the Freeview TV channels available where you live, and your BT Broadband connection supplies extra live TV channels, catch-up TV, and on-demand films, TV shows and music videos.

What’s the difference between BT Vision and YouView on BT Broadband? 

BT Vision has a 14-day ahead programme guide, delivered via broadband, but it unlike YouView it doesn’t come with catch-up services like BBC iPlayer and 4oD integrated into the programme guide. You also can’t get services like Now TV on BT Vision. 

BT Vision in action

BT Vision customers can record live streaming TV channels delivered over broadband, while the YouView box does not allow recording from any of the on-demand TV players.

What is BT Vision 2? 

BT Vision 2 is an upgrade to the BT Vision service which was due to launch this summer, although the BT Vision website has yet to be upgraded with the expected features.

These include new on-demand and live streaming TV channels, including National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, Watch, Gold, Alibi, and FX.

The BT Vision interface will also be updated, and a new BT Vision box introduced which can receive Freeview HD channels.

What do I need to watch BT Vision? 

You’ll need a Vision+ digital box, which is free if you subscribe for a year (£199 if you stop BT Vision it before then).

You’ll also need a BT Total Broadband or BT Infinity broadband subscription, with a BT Home Hub (which you should have anyway). There’s also a 12-month minimum on this contract.

Finally, you’ll need a TV aerial for the Freeview channels.

BT Vision+ box and Home Hub

How much does BT Vision cost?

There are two simple levels of BT Vision: TV Essential and TV Unlimited. There’s a £40 activation fee for both levels, and a £6.95 delivery fee for the Vision+ box.

TV Essential costs £4/month and gives you catch-up TV from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. You can also get pay-as-you-go TV shows from 50p each, and rent films from £2.50 each at Vision Box Office.

TV Unlimited costs £12.50/month and adds unlimited access to the Kids, Film Club, TV, Sport and Music on-demand packages, including ESPN.

Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 can be added as extras via Freeview or if you live in a BT Infinity area (and have BT Infinity).

Until October 4, 2012, you’ll get a £25 Sainsbury’s gift card if you order either TV package online, and there’s also a Free TV Essential Offer until October 4, for new BT Broadband customers.

BT Vision prices will rise on January 5, 2013.

Which entertainment TV channels and on-demand collections are on BT Vision?

In addition to up to 75 Freeview channels and catch-up, BT Vision users can access three on-demand TV libraries:

  • Vision Kids: children’s favourites without advertising
  • Vision Music: videos and live concerts
  • Vision TV: popular shows from the US and UK.

Which film channels and on-demand collections are on BT Vision?

TV Unlimited subscribers can choose from 200 on-demand films in the Vision Film Club. New film releases are also available to rent on-demand through the Vision Box Office. 

Which sports channels and on-demand collections are on BT Vision?

Red Recombu Digital’s guide to BT SportBT Sport, a new sports package has launched. Consisting of BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN, the channels broadcast a range of live sporting action from across the world, including 38 live games from the Barclays Premier League. 

BT Vision customers with BT Infinity fibre-optic broadband can also watch Sky Sports 1 and 2, from £12.90/month, plus a £10 one-off viewing card charge. ESPN is included with the TV Unlimited package for BT Infinity subscribers. 

Which catch-up TV services are on BT Vision?

The Vision Replay is included in all packages and hosts catch-up TV from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

BT Broadband subscribers with a Vision+ box can get BBC iPlayer even if they do not subscribe to BT Vision.

Can I record TV on BT Vision?

The Vision+ box has two Freeview tuners and a 500GB hard disc. It can record two channels at once, or record one while you watch another, with capacity for 250 hours of standard-definition TV.

The new box for BT Vision 2 is expected to upgrade the tuners to Freeview HD, although BT has not released further details on the hard disc capacity or other features.

BT Vision+ box rear

Can I watch BT Vision in HD or 3D?

BT Vision Box Office hosts films on-demand in both HD and 3D. However, the current Vision+ box has no Freeview HD tuners, so it cannot show or record any HD or 3D programmes on Freeview.

Can I watch BT Vision on more than one TV?

BT Vision is currently restricted to viewing on one box and TV per home, but BT has demonstrated research into multi-room viewing for customers with high capacity fibre broadband.

BT’s research has suggested a combination of Powerline and 5GHz WiFi to deliver reliable video streams over a home network.

Can I watch BT Vision online or on mobile devices?

It’s not currently possible to watch BT Vision content online or on your phone or tablet.

What’s new for BT Vision? 

Previous news stories about BT Vision

MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon streaming and on-demand this Spring 

MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon streaming and on-demand this Spring Moron showcase Geordie Shore, Charlie Sheen’s Anger Management and kids’ favourite SpongeBob SquarePants will be available to BT Vision viewers soon.

MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon will be added imminently to the line-up of live streaming channels, with some programmes available on-demand from early 2013 in a deal with owner Viacom.

Marc Watson, BT’s chief executive of TV, said: “We’re really excited about these channels coming to BT Vision – we’re certain our viewers will love them.

MTV is the pioneer in creating innovative programming for young people, with the best in music, celebrity news and reality TV, Comedy Central is cutting edge comedy overflowing with provocative, original programming and Nickelodeon is the number one brand in the world for kids.”

January 9, 2013

Universal Channel, Syfy and E! Entertainment coming live and on-demand

E! Entertainment (pictured), Universal Channel and SyFy coming to BT VisionUniversal Channel, Syfy and E! Entertainment will be added to the BT Vision live line-up by Christmas, with on-demand libraries added in early 2013.

The three live streaming channels will be available through the BT Vision box first, and on the BT Vision Player on YouView in later 2013, which can be accessed by BT Broadband customers.

Marc Watson, BT’s chief executive of TV, promised more high-profile additions to the BT Vision will be announced shortly.

“Universal Channel, Syfy and E! make a fantastic contribution to our channels offering at launch,” he said. “They offer the best quality drama, hit supernatural thrillers and popular entertainment shows that viewers love.

“As we expand the number of channels available soon for BT Vision customers, we hope that there will be something there for everyone.

“We will cater for drama lovers, comedy addicts and sports fans in equal measure. We are not finished yet and we will be announcing some more much-loved channels to complete our roster.”

Universal Channel’s prime properties include US crime franchises Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Criminal Intent, as well as Rookie Blue and Flashpoint.

Syfy’s exclusive content includes dramas Haven and Warehouse 13, futuristic thriller Continuum, and paranormal investigation series, Fact or Faked.

E! is the destination channel for fans of celebrity, entertainment news and popular culture, responsible for Keeping Up With The Kardashians; Joan Rivers’ weekly celebrity fashion report, Fashion Police; and Live from the Red Carpet.

December 5, 2012 

British Museum on-demand channel opens doors on BT Vision

BT Vision has launched a new on-demand channel based on British Museum, the UK’s top visitor attraction.

Showcasing content produced by the Museum including documentaries, short films and lectures, the British Museum channel is available to watch now for free on all BT Vision packages.

How can I get BT Vision? British Museum on-demand channel opens doors

Content is based on past and present exhibition themes and cover subjects from contemporary artists to Shakespeare, Journeys of Faith and Stories of the World.

This marks a first for both BT Vision in terms of art and culture-centric content and for the British Museum, which has until recently hosted its own programmes through its YouTube channel.

Image credit: Trustees of the British Museum

November 27, 2012

How can I get BT Vision? Discovery Channel and Animal Planet incomingDiscovery Channel and Animal Planet incoming

BT Vision has done a deal with Discovery Networks UK which will bring the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Real Time to the BT line up.

The three channels will be arriving on BT Vision within the next few weeks and will rub shoulders with the likes of National Geographic and National Geographic WILD, as well as UKTV channels Gold, Watch and Alibi, FX, British Eurosport and British Eurosport 2.

Launch programmes will include Monster Bug Wars (pictured) How We Invented The World and, er, Cake Boss, available to watch as part of BT Vision Essentials, which costs £4/month.

November 16, 2012

British Eurosport adding live and catch-up sports

British Eurosport joins BT VisionOpen tennis Grand Slams, the Tour de France, and World Snooker are now on BT Vision with the arrival of British Eurosport’s two channels and catch-up library.

British Eurosport and British Eurosport 2 will be streamed to both BT Vision boxes and through the BT Vision player on YouView, both live and through a seven-day catch-up archive.

The sporting line-up includes Open tennis Grand Slams, the Tour de France, World Snooker, the Africa Cup of Nations, MotoGP, World and British Superbikes, the World Touring Car Championship and the FIA European Rally Championship and summer and winter Olympic sports.

Marc Watson, CEO of BT Vision, said: “Eurosport has been a pioneer in providing sports fans with the best in live sports action for the last 20 years and is the number one pan-European sports channel.

“British Eurosport and British Eurosport 2 combine the best of Eurosport’s international sports coverage with a host of UK sports rights, including British Superbikes and snooker.

“We’re really pleased to be able to add them to our line up following on from the Barclays Premier League broadcast rights that we have secured. We think BT Vision is becoming the top value for money TV choice for sports fans.”

November 9, 2012 

Xbox 360 could stream BT’s football channel

BT Vision channels such as the forthcoming football channel could be delivered via Xbox 360 as well as BT-branded set-top boxes.

According to a report in Broadcast [paywall], Microsoft is interested in replicating the relationship it has with the BBC and Sky, whose iPlayer, Sky Go and Now TV services are all accessible to Xbox LIVE Gold members.

Such a move would see Xbox owners able to access live Premier League football via both BT Vision and Sky through their respective apps.

September 19, 2012

Jake Humphrey to anchor BT’s Premier League football

BT has announced that seasoned Formula 1 presenter Jake Humphrey is heading up BT’s forthcoming Barclays Premier League football channel.

The channel will feature 38 live games a season for three seasons and will launch in January next year.

18 of these games will be high profile ‘first pick’ matches – meaning BT gets first dibs along with Sky on who gets to show games like Arsenal vs Manchester United, Chelsea vs Man City and so on.

Jake Humphrey to anchor BTs Premier League football

Humphrey will also be working closely with BT on devising new shows around live football coverage which won’t kick off until August 2013. “My focus from the start of 2013 is on making BT’s coverage of football the best this country has ever seen,” Humphrey said.

“I’ve grown up at the BBC, and whilst I hope to work with them in the future, I’d also like to place on record my thanks to them. I am incredibly grateful to all colleagues, and of course the viewers, for their incredible support from CBBC all the way to Formula 1.”

September 18, 2012

English Premiership Rugby bagged from 2013

BT has signed four-year exclusive deal to show English Premiership Rugby on the sports channel it will launch in 2013.

The deal brings BT all live Aviva Premiership Rugby and JP Morgan Asset Management Sevens matches from the 2013-14 season, and any European matches played by Aviva Premiership clubs from the 2014-15 season.

BT’s sports channel is expected to be available to Sky and Virgin Media subscribers as well as through BT Vision and YouView.

September 12, 2012


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