BT Vision Explained

BT Vision LogoIf you love TV, you may think that Sky’s satellite TV service is the answer for you, but Sky’s not necessarily the best option. Sure, Sky does offer a huge range of channels and a large amount of HD content, but it does come with a price tag, and it’s not uncommon for people in the UK to be paying upwards of £50 a month for Sky TV.

Fortunately, there is an alternative, and that’s the TV service from BT – BT Vision.

What is BT Vision?

With BT Vision, you don’t need to drill holes in your wall and install a satellite TV dish to the side of your house as the service uses your existing TV aerial. As well as the 50 or so live Freeview channels, you can optionally get Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports 2  and ESPN  sport.

BT Vision’s key selling point though, is the on-demand content. Vision supports a wide range of movies for near instant playback on your TV. There’s a wide catalogue of on-demand films, and you can be watching within seconds. You only pay for the films you watch, and unlike some online rental services, you get a 48 hour rental on films.

BT Vision Montage

If you’re considering the service, there are two ways of getting Vision. You can pay for the box and then pay for content as you watch it, but that isn’t necessarily the best option. You’ll get the best value for money by getting a package. Get your broadband, home phone, and TV from BT, and with a combined package, you can get great value for money. You could find that from £20 a month you get high-speed broadband, free weekend calls, and the TV entertainment package.

What you get with the TV Entertainment package:

TV Set with Freeview ChannelsFirst off, you get BT Vision Replay. This gives you access on demand to catch up TV from the last seven days. You can watch shows from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. These are available free as part of the TV Entertainment package. You also get Vision TV, which offers unlimited access to thousands of hours of TV shows, including classic British comedy and drama, plus TV shows from the US.

TV content is available from BBC, ITV, Channel 4, National Geographic, Nickelodeon, ABC, Discovery, History Channel, CBS, Comedy Central, Sony and many more content providers.


The BT Vision box.

At the heart of the BT system is the BT Vision+ box. If you’re familiar with Sky+, then BT’s box is a concept you understand. It’s a hard disk recording box that lets you record live TV as well as access on demand content.

The Vision+ box has two tuners, so is capable of recording one channel, whilst you watch another, or recording two channels at the same time. It also supports live pause, rewind, and best of all, Series Link. Series Link ensures that you don’t miss an episode of your favourite TV show.


The BT Vision+ Box

The BT Vision+ Box


The BT Vision box connects to the Internet for the on-demand and catch up TV service. The box is provided with two special adapters that allow you to connect your Vision box to your BT Home Hub Internet Router without the need to drill through walls or run cable.

The downsides?

It would only be fair to point out that BT Vision does have a couple of shortcomings. First of all the channel choice is less than you’ll find on Sky and Virgin.  Also, BT Vision does not yet support multi-room, and so (unlike Sky) you can’t have two boxes in use at your home at the same time.

Finally, at the time of writing, BT Vision does not support live HD TV. Sure, there are a number of HD movies that you can download to your Vision+ box, but as yet, there is no live BBC, ITV or Channel 4 HD available on the BT Vision service.


Getting BT Vision

BT Vision is a great alternative to sky’s digital TV service. For a start, it’s a lot cheaper than many of the Sky packages, and you still have access to a wide range of recent movies, and if you’re into your sport, you can get Sky Sports and ESPN without being tied into a long contract with Sky.

To get BT Vision, you order online and the Vision+ box is sent to you. Full instructions are provided and setup is fairly straightforward. No engineer needs to call.

BT Vision is available across the UK. Visit their site for the latest prices and to find out if you can get BT Vision:


Your BT Vision Questions

We’re happy to answer your questions. Here’s our list so far: BT Questions Answered

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