A Guide to BT Vision
What You Need to Know
- BT Vision is only available to BT broadband customers.
- BT Vision provides a range of features including 70 Freeview channels, programmes on demand and the ability to record, pause and rewind live TV.
- The ‘Essential’ package costs £4 a month whilst, the ‘Unlimited’ package, which includes ESPN and free on demand TV, costs £12.50 a month.
- Sky Sports channels can be added to either package for an extra charge.
- You can install BT Vision yourself by plugging the Vision+ box into your TV and homehub.
- You may want to consider getting BT Vision in a ‘bundle’ along with your broadband and phone calls, as it could work out cheaper.
- BT Vision is a subscription service and you will be tied to a contract for at least 12 months.
What Is BT Vision?
BT Vision is a digital TV subscription package available exclusively to BT’s broadband customers.
BT Vision gives users;
- 70 Freeview TV channels and radio stations, including those broadcast in HD.
- Access to a range of over 5,500 demand programmes that can be watched anytime, including 3D movies.
- 7 of Vision’s own on demand channels. Catch up TV from Vison Replay and BBC’s Iplayer.
- A Free Vision+ box, which can record and store programmes from the TV guide, as well as pause and rewind live TV.
- The option to add sports channels such as Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports 2 and ESPN to their package.
What Do I Need to Get BT Vision?
You have to be a BT broadband customer in order to receive BT Vision, as the service depends on their phone lines and having a BT Home Hub. (Your line must have a speed of a least 2Mb.)
In addition, you will need to have a TV aerial and your ability to receive certain channels will depend on the digital reception in your area.
If you want to watch programmes in either HD or 3D you will need a TV set that is ready to show footage broadcast in that format. (Your TV will have a HD or 3D logo on it if this is the case.)
Here’s a run down of the many features that come with a BT Vision subscription;
You can receive 70 channels through Freeview, however, you should check how many of those channels are available in your area. You can this check your coverage using this tool.
Channels available include all of the BBC and ITV channels, as well as 4’s other channels, E4, More 4 and Film 4. Comedy broadcaster Dave is also included, as are various news channels, specialist shopping channels and dedicated children's channels.
Catch Up TV
Vision Replay allows you to catch up with programmes broadcast over the last seven days on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, Whilst Iplayer gives you access to a huge range of programmes from all of BBC’s channels and even allows you to view whole series.
On Demand Packs
BT Vision gives users access to seven different on demand packs that allow you to watch programmes whenever you want;
- Vision TV
- Vision Film Club
- Vision Kids
- Vision Sport
- Vision Music
- Vision Box Office
- Vision Adult
Includes the best drama, comedy, reality and documentary programmes from Freeview’s channels. You can even watch episodes of entire series back to back, like a DVD box set.
Features over 75 movies a month from some of the biggest studios in the world.
Includes all your kids favourite shows from Disney, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon.
Includes archive footage of big sporting events, such as The Masters and Wimbledon, as well as weekly sporting round ups.
Includes the best current music videos, as well as classics from the forty years, live concert footage, karaoke and specially tailored playlists.
Features over 600 major titles, from box office smashes to timeless classics. You even watch films in HD and 3D.
3 hour rentals are available from a range of channels at £3.20 each, with discreet, pin protected ordering and billing.
Your set top box allows you to flick though your TV guide select your favourite programmes and record them, meaning you never need to miss your favourite shows. In fact, you can set the box to record a whole series, so you don’t even need to remember to set it to record each week.
You can also pause and rewind live TV, perfect for when you receive a vital phone call just at the wrong moment.
Recorded programmes can also be paused, rewound and even fast forwarded, allowing to skip the adverts and get straight to best bits.
Choosing a Package
There are two BT Vision packages to choose from, ‘Essential’ and ‘Unlimited’. ‘Essential’ can be added to an existing broadband package for just £4 a month, whereas ‘Unlimited’ costs £12.50 a month.
There are only two real differences between the packages. With ‘Unlimited’ ESPN is included and programmes from 5 of Vision’s 7 on demand packs can be watched for free, where as with the ‘Essential’ package these programmes cost between 50p to £3.20 per show.
In both cases Sky Sports 1 and 2 can be added at a cost of £12.30 for one channel or £17.40 for both.
Both packages require a 12 month contract.
Check that you can receive Sky Sports and ESPN in your area before buying and be aware that you need to buy a viewing card for your box in order to view them. This costs £10.
For both packages there is a £30 activation fee.
You can use the below table to compare the two packages;
|Contract||12 Months||12 Months|
|Sky Sports||One Channel for 12.30, Two for £17.40||One Channel for 12.30, Two for £17.40|
|Catch Up TV||Vision Replay, BBC Iplayer||Vision Replay, BBC Iplayer|
|Vision TV||From £1.10 a show||Included|
|Vision Film Club||Not available||Included|
|Vision Kids||From 50p a show||Included|
|Vision Sport||From 50p a show||Included|
|Vision Film Muisc||From 50p a show||Included|
|Vision Box Office||From £2.50 a film||From £2.50 a film|
|Vision Adult||From £3.20 per show||From £3.20 per show|
As getting BT Vision requires you to already be a BT broadband customer you will already be receiving your TV and internet through BT and there’s a good chance you’ll get your phone services through them to.
Depending on how much or each of those 3 components you use it may well be worth taking a ‘bundle’ deal whereby you can save money by taking all of the above utilities in a single deal. You can explore the different BT bundles available here.
Installation is a simple process that you can perform yourself by following the instructions in this video . Alternatively, you can pay for a BT engineer to do it for you.
- Read our guide to Freeview and our guide to Freesat and see if these costless alternatives would suit you better.
- Make sure you’re getting the best deal with our guide to comparing broadband packages.
- Have a problem with your TV, internet or phone supplier. Talk to Ofcom.