BT Vision

BT Vision is a digital TV service combining Freeview TV and radio channels, a set-top box with recording and live TV pause functions and on demand TV from your BT broadband connection. You need to be a BT broadband customer to get BT digital TV, but if you are or you’re thinking of switching then it’s a very good option. BBC iPlayer is now available on BT Vision too.


Deal alert Winter Deal – BT Broadband and Evening & Weekend Calls free for 4 months then £16 a month + line rental >>> TV Essential with Broadband and Evening & Weekend Calls with free Vision+ Box £4 a month for 3 months then £20 a month + line rental >>> Only available online! Full details of the deals »

BT Vision Starter Deal
£20 a month

BT TV Essential + Broadband and Anytime Calls

£4 a month first 4 months! > Free Vision+ Box > 20Mb Broadband – 10GB usage > Freeview, Catch-Up & Pay per View > Anytime calls > Online only offer

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Best Value Unlimited TV
£28.50 a month

BT TV Unlimited + Broadband and Anytime Calls

£12.50 a month first 4 months! > Free Vision+ Box > 20Mb/10GB Broadband > Freeview, Catch-Up & On Demand > ESPN > Anytime calls > Online only

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BT Unlimited TV & BB!
£40.50 a month

BT TV Unlimited + Unlimited Broadband and Calls

£32.50 a month first 3 months! > Free Vision+ Box > Unlimited Broadband > Freeview, Catch-Up & unlimited On Demand > Anytime calls > ESPN

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Sky Sports on BT Vision
From £33.30 a month

BT Vision Sky Sports

Add Sky Sports 1 or 2 to any BT TV package for £12.30 a month extra – or Sky Sports 1 & 2 for only £17.40 a month. Go Unlimited and get ESPN included too

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More about BT TV

How does BT Vision work?

BT Vision is a digital TV service combining Freeview TV and radio channels, a set-top box with recording and live TV pause functions and on demand TV from your BT broadband connection. You need to be a BT broadband customer to get BT digital TV, but if you are or you're thinking of switching then it's a very good option. Here's how it works -

BT Vision+ BoxThe Freeview channels come from your aerial into the BT Vision+ Box...

BT Home HubThe box plugs into your BT Broadband Home Hub router (BT broadband is required)...

BT Vision On DemandYou can pause, rewind and record live TV and choose from BT's on demand library of TV, sport and movies!

Why should I get BT Digital TV?

If BT broadband is right for you (you're already with BT or they have a package to suit you) then you're getting the Vision+ Box recorder for either a £60 one-off connection fee or more likely for nothing depending on the package you go for - cheaper than buying a Freeview+ box or other PVR recorder. BBC iPlayer is now included on BT Vision and you also get access to some excellent Pay Per View deals without having to take out a minimum TV contract. These include -

BT Vision+ BoxA huge choice of movies to watch on demand from as little as £1.99...

BT Vision+ Box242 Barclays Premier League matches from 99p per view, plus Moto GP and TNA Wrestling...

BT Vision+ BoxA choice of packages with all the TV, films and sport to suit you from £7.34 a month.

More About BT Vision

BT Vision is easy to install, the lead from your rooftop aerial is plugged into the Vision+ Box to receive Freeview channels, then the box is connected to the Home Hub router supplied with your broadband package. BT offer an installation by engineer for an extra £60 for those who really don't want to do it themselves, but for most people it will present no problems at all. The Vision+ Box can record up to 80 hours of TV on the 160GB hard drive, and has twin tuners so you can record one programme while watching another. It is also HD ready with an HDMI output for connection to an HD TV set, as well as two scarts and stereo audio out to connect to your hi-fi. Here's a cool feature of BT Vision - the set-top box can either be plugged straight into your Home Hub router via ethernet or you can use the pair of Comtrend UPA adaptor plugs that come with it to turn the mains wiring in your house into a network. UPA stands for Universal Powerline Association, and the system works by connecting the router into the mains using one of the adaptors then using the other adaptor to connect to the BT Vision box elsewhere in the house - a really clever way of avoiding extra cables. You can buy extra Comtrend adaptors to extend the broadband network to computers around the house but only one BT Vision box can be run from a single router. For the Freeview channels there's a 14 day Electronic Programme Guide (or EPG), which as well as showing you what's on is an easy way to select a programme for recording.

History of BT Vision

British Telecom was privatised in 1884, around the time that cable TV was starting to develop in the UK (although broadband TV was still a long way off), but because BT already had a huge network of customers - virtually every household in Britain thanks to the monopoly they had on phone lines - they weren't allowed to provide a TV service as it was unfair on the competition. The ban was lifted in January 2001 but it wasn't until December 2006 that BT Vision was launched, with a national advertising campaign kicking in in May 2007. BT's aim was to recruit in the hundreds of thousands in 2007 and then to have 2-3 million users within 3 to 4 years, so how are they doing? Well, The Guardian reported in February 2008 that BT's figures for 2007 were just over 150,000, so a bit less than their target and around half of those customers were recruited in the run-up to Christmas with a free BT Vision box deal with BT broadband. IPTV Watch reported in May 2008 that BT had gained 94,000 subscribers in the first quarter of the year, so it's getting more popular even if it's taking longer than they hoped.