A Guide to BT TV
What You Need to Know
- BT TV is only available to BT broadband customers with a BT landline.
- BT TV provides a range of features including 70 Freeview channels, programmes on demand and, with the set top box provided, you can record, pause and rewind live TV.
- The ‘Essential’ package costs £5 a month and a range of extra channels can be added to your package as ‘bolt ons’.
- The Entertainment package comes with 18 extra channels and the opportunity to add ESPN and Sky Sports.
- Both packages include BT’s own sports channels which now show 38 live Premier League games throughout the season.
- You can install BT TV yourself by plugging your set top box into your TV and homehub.
- You may want to consider getting BT TV in a comprehensive ‘bundle’ along with your broadband and phone calls, as it could work out cheaper. As stated you need to have BT broadband either way.
What Is BT TV?
BT TV is a digital TV subscription package available exclusively to BT’s broadband customers.
BT TV 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. Catch up TV from YouView and other popular players such BBC’s Iplayer.
- A set top box, which can record and store programmes from the TV guide, as well as pause and rewind live TV.
What Do I Need to Get BT TV ?
You have to be a BT broadband customer in order to receive BT TV, 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 TV 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
YouView 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.
Even if you only go for the ‘Essential’ package (more on these options later) BT sport is included. You’ll be able to see 38 live Premier League matches, as well as action form the FA cup, Europa League, Scottish and Italian top flight. Rugby Union fans can also the Aviva Premiership as well as a host of other events.
BT TV gives users access to three different on ‘bolt on’ demand packs that allow you to watch programmes whenever you want;
Film and TV Box Sets
Includes the best drama, comedy, reality and documentary programmes allowing you to watch episodes of entire series back to back, like a DVD box set. In addition you get a load of great films to view whenever you fancy, from classics to modern hits.
Includes all your kids favourite shows from Disney, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon.
Includes the best current music videos, as well as classics from the last forty years, live concert footage, karaoke and specially tailored playlists.
Any of these packs can be added to you TV service for a small additional charge.
The Humax DTR-T1000 Set Top Box
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.
The YouView service lets you scroll back through the last seven day of TV from the main terrestrial channels and their offshoots and, if you’re out and about you can even use the YouView app to set your box to record a programme.
Choosing a Package
There are a range of different TV and broadband packages to choose from. If you have BT Infinity broadband you can choose between the TV Essential pack and the TV Entertainment pack. If you just have BT broadband, you will have the Essential pack.
You can use the below table to compare the two packages;
You can use the below table to compare the two packages;
|Set Top Box||Included||Included|
|BT Sport 1+2||Included||Included|
|Sky Sports||Not Available||One Channel for £15.00, Two for £20.00|
|Extra Channels||Not Available||18 extra channels, including Euro Sport, Discovery, Fox and Sport.|
As getting BT TV 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.