YouView with BT Review: The Best Value Sports Package in Britain


Our Verdict

YouView with BT

With a wide range of TV and great hardware, YouView is the best way to get TV without satellite – though you may need to bundle with broadband.

Overall 88%

BT has improved and expanded upon their offerings in recent years – all while keeping prices reasonable and lower than much of their competition. Their partnership with YouView gets you one of the three famous YouView boxes – along with BT’s excellent broadband – at a competitive rate. It’ll also get you connected to BT Sport.

The Facts

  • YouView box incorporated with BT Broadband
  • Watch TV in standard, high or ultra-high definition
  • Rewind, record and pause freeview and premium channels
  • Top-class sport including Premier League, Champions League and loads more
  • On demand access to new and classic movies and boxsets

BT has strengthened their offerings in recent years, seeking to gain a bigger slice of the burgeoning TV and broadband markets. They’ve invested big bucks in expanding their fibre networks while at the same time improving their BT sport options.

BT is now a market leader when it comes to TV – and particularly when it comes to bundling. They’ve used their experience and pedigree – as well as a willingness to experiment – to re-establish themselves as a big player on the British TV landscape.

BT is also a fair bit cheaper than many of their competitors – i.e. Sky – which is also a big plus, particularly considering they still provide quality programming and some of the best content on British TV. So with convenience, great access to sport and other content as well as a reasonable price, they’re definitely one of the better options out there.

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What makes YouView with BT unique?

YouView itself isn’t particularly unique – it is purchasable outright and can be combined with other providers. YouView with BT, however, combines BT’s broadband service with YouView. This not only gives you great value and convenience, but it ensures that your YouView service is going to run optimally – i.e. without buffering. BT will assess your connection and your location before getting you on a plan which will run your TV optimally, which is a lot harder to do when you set it up yourself.

What are the Key Features of YouView With BT?

  • 3 YouView Boxes that offer several features such as pause and rewind, record, and 4K capabilities
  • All BT TV + Broadband packages come with a YouView Recordable TV Box

YouView box

To view YouView, you’ll need a YouView box. These boxes blend in Freeview with whichever other extra channels you’ll get under your package, in addition to a bunch of other features like recording, rewinding or fast-forwarding, etc. There are three YouView boxes: TV box, Recordable TV box and the 4K Recordable TV box.

The TV box is the standard option, which lets you rewind and pause TV, catch up on TV with a ‘seven-day scroll back’ and search for shows. The Recordable TV box comes with all of those features, plus the ability to record, pause and rewind live TV for up to two hours at a time. The 500GB hard drive also lets you record up to 300 hours of TV to watch later – you can even record remotely with the BT TV app. The 4K box gives you all of the above, but lets you do it in Ultra HD/4K TV.

YouView with BT offerings

YouView with BT is effectively a broadband and television bundle. Each of the packages includes broadband internet, with some packages only available at particular speeds. In effect, there are four different packages: Starter + Sport, Classic/Essential, Entertainment and Max 4K.

The first differential is the speed at which your connection runs. The Starter package is at standard BT broadband speeds. The Classic/Essential is effectively the same package, but while Essential runs on standard BT broadband speeds, the Classic package is on Superfast Fibre – as are the Entertainment and Max 4K packages. The second differential is the amount of programs that are available, while the third differential is the capacity of your YouView box.

The Starter + Sport package gets you all the Freeview stations with a standard YouView TV box. You’ll also get BT Sport in standard definition. If you’re keen on the latest movies and boxsets, these are available on this package but will need to be rented ‘on demand’ from the BT TV Store. There’s also access to what BT calls ‘bolt ons’, which are external streaming apps like Netflix, and specific Music and Kids apps.

The Essential package is basically the above package, but with a Recordable TV box. If you want to upgrade your speed to Fastspeed Fibre, then take the Classic package. This will give you all of the above but at a faster speed.

Want to record, rewind and pause TV? Then the Entertainment package is the one for you. It also comes with what are known as ‘premium bolt ons’, which are apps including Sky Cinema, Netflix, HD Extra, Kids Extra, Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Extra. The final package, the Max 4K, gets you a 4K recordable box – which basically means Ultra High Definition television.

BT perks, deals and upgrades

BT also loves a deal, particularly if you upgrade, so be sure to check what’s going hot at the time you order. They’ve been known to give away fancy new gadgets like a Google Home when you sign up to a Superfast Fibre package, along with reward cards and other perks.

The Best of British?

For those who don’t know, the B in BT stands for British – so you can be confident that there’s a strong British flavour to your programming. Aside from access to Freeview, you can also pause, rewind and record British programming to the moment the kettle’s boiled. You’ve also got access to classic and new release British movies, as well as the best of British boxsets. And that’s not even mentioning British sport. BT Sport gets to the Premier League and Champions League, British cup competitions as well as cricket, rugby union, rugby league, tennis and loads more sport.

BT Customer service and support

Like most big British providers, BT is not available by phone. They do, however, have a live chat function which you can use, as well as a relatively extensive set of FAQs on their site. Other aspects of dealing with the company such as accounts and billing, or making a complaint, can all be done online.

The Good

  • Wide range of content, including live sport
  • Cheaper than main competitors

The Gotchas

  • Only available with broadband bundle
  • 18-month contract only

YouView with BT: View what you want to view with YouView

The YouView box has made a load of positive changes to the British television market. The one issue was that by doing it yourself, you were setting you and your household up for possible problems down the line. With YouView and BT, you’ll get a supercharged system which will run perfectly on your broadband without buffering or other issues. On the whole, while the number of free movies and boxsets is not as high as some of the others out there, the packages are cheaper – and you can always rent these movies on demand if you need to.

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