What's new for YouView on BT Broadband?
British set-top box maker Pace has stopped working on a YouView box for BT, which will stick with the current Humax-made DTR-T1000 box.
BT stopped buying an advanced box from Pace in September because it wasn’t ready for the launch of YouView.
The Financial Times (paywall) reports BT has now ended the development deal, although Pace remains the world’s largest provider of digital TV boxes, which it designs in the UK but builds overseas.
The move leaves YouView reliant on Humax for retail and BT boxes, while Huawei makes a box for TalkTalk. Pace will continue to produce boxes for BT Vision.
December 10, 2012
- Pace stops developing BT YouView boxes
- No Sky channels on BT YouView til 2013
- Free YouView boxes for BT Infinity upgrades and new BT Vision subscribers
- BT turns to Humax to get YouView boxes for launch
- BT claims Pace's YouView box will outshine Humax and Huawei
What can I watch on BT YouView?
Live streaming channels won’t be available to watch when BT launches its YouView box - BT is waiting on a firmware upgrade that isn’t expected to be ready until after BT YouView launches on October 26.
The BT Player section of the BT YouView box will provide access to what BT claims is the largest on-demand library on YouView, with the same TV shows, Box Office Movies, kids shows and music channels that you can currently access from BT Vision.
The idea is that YouView and BT Vision won’t differ greatly in terms of content, at least for the time being. As the rollout of BT fibre continues, more channels and content are expected to be delivered over broadband connections.
Currently to watch standard definition content on-demand on YouView you’ll need a download speed of at least 3Mbps. To watch any HD content you’ll need to be getting speeds of at least 5Mbps.
BT Vision Player will have two tariffs: pay-as-you-go and Unlimited. Pay-as-you-go costs from 50p to watch a show, and from £3.50 for Box Office films. Unlimited costs £10/month and Box Office films are still extra.
Will I get a free YouView box with BT?
BT Infinity fibre broadband customers can apply for a free YouView box, even if they don't subscribe to BT Vision. Regular BT Broadband customers will get a free box if they subscribe to TV Essential at £4/month.
Existing BT Vision subscribers with more than 12 months on the service can get a YouView box for £49, and there's a £6.95 delivery fee for all YouView boxes.
The product will be a £299 Humax DTR-1000 YouView box, but this will be replaced by a new Pace YouView later this year, which BT claims will be faster than the Humax model.
What is YouView?
YouView combines Freeview HD with a much richer selection of live streaming channels and on-demand TV via your broadband internet connection.
In addition to seven-day catch-up TV from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, it is expected to have offerings from other ad-funded, subscription and pay-per-view film and TV providers.
So far, only Sky has confirmed that Now TV will join YouView in the autumn, but others such as Blinkbox, Netflix and Lovefilm are expected to join as well.
When is YouView launching?
The Humax DTR-1000 went on sale on Thursday, July 26, while both BT and TalkTalk are currently conducting trial with closed groups of their own subscribers before they launch their own versions of the service.
Will YouView replace BT Vision?
No, BT will continue to offer its own-brand BT Vision box with BT YouView existing alongside it. Channel-wise the two services will be similar in what they offer, though channels like Sky Sports won't be available on BT YouView boxes immediately.
Some clarification for BT customers looking to get on board with YouView and who are excited about the prospect of BT’s forthcoming Premier League football channel.
For the time being, BT’s YouView offering will not be capable of broadcasting Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports 2 and ESPN in the same way that BT Vision can. This is because YouView isn’t currently capable of delivering subscription channels in tandem with digital terrestrial broadcast channels - something which BT is keen to push.
A forthcoming update for YouView will fix this. However this isn’t expected for the next few months, with an early 2013 date currently estimated. This, we’re told, will roughly be around the same time that the next generation of YouView boxes from Humax, Pace and Huawei will arrive.
So, football fans who want to stick with BT and get Sky Sports on their TV should therefore stay with a BT Vision box for the time being.
As BT’s forthcoming Premier League channel won’t be launching until next year anyway, ahead of the 2013/2014 season, there’s little to be gained from adopting BT YouView early in October.
As well as this we’re also told that you’ll need to be able to get BT Infinity fibre broadband. Download speeds over 30Mbps-40Mbps will be enough to support three HD streams simultaneously, with speeds of 6Mbps-7Mbps being adequate for streaming HD movies, as is the case with Netflix, Lovefilm and the rest.
Right now, you'll need to be in a BT Infinity-enabled area to get Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports 2 and ESPN through BT Vision. Over 11 million UK homes and premises can order BT Infinity - use this checker on BT's site to see if you can get these channels.
September 26, 2012
BT broadband customers will be able to get a free YouView box if they have BT Infinity fibre or subscribe to BT Vision from October 26.
Pre-registered customers will be able to put in their orders for the Humax YouView box up to a week early, from October 19.
BT Vision subscriptions will start at £4/month for TV Essential or £10/month for BT Vision Unlimited (free for the first 30 days). Watching TV on the Unlimited tariff doesn’t count against your BT Broadband monthly usage allowance, leaving you free to watch whatever you want.
BT broadband or fibre customers without a BT Vision Player subscription can watch pay-as-you-go, and existing BT Vision subscribers can get a YouView box for £49 after their first 12 months.
There’s also a £6.95 delivery charge for every YouView box, but BT isn’t offering an installation option.
September 20, 2012
The first batch of BT-branded YouView boxes will now be Humax-made instead of Pace. The box will be the same Humax DTR-T1000 YouView box which is available in the shops now, but won't come with access to BT Vision content like PictureBox, Sky Sports and ESPN.
Crucially we understand that Humax boxes sold directly by BT will feature pay TV channels like Sky Sports built in to the main programme guide instead of being in a separate on-demand sub menu.
However pending the release of a software update and the next generation of YouView - not expected until 2013 - these channels won't be available on BT YouView.
If you want to access Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports 2 and ESPN with BT then you'll need to have a BT Vision box.
Humax DTR-T1000 YouView boxes bought separately and connected to a BT broadband connection will be able to access the extra content, but won’t feature the pay TV channels built into the programme guide.
Previously Pace were in line to make the first generation of BT YouView boxes. But according to a source speaking to the Financial Times [paywall], “The Pace box has a more up-to-date chip, but the Humax box is ready and Pace is not.”
BT declined to comment. It’s understood that BT will be launching YouView within the next few weeks.
September 14, 2012
Pace will make BT's YouView box and that it’ll be ever so slightly better than either the flagship Humax YouView box and TalkTalk’s Huawei-made box, says BT.
The basic specs of BT's YouView box will be the same as the rest: a 500GB hard drive and the same EPG. But the Pace-made box it will come with a faster processor which should make for a smoother overall experience. Proof of course, will be in the pudding.
As well as this, Recombu Digital was told that the BT intends to offer some pay TV channels - like Sky Sports and ESPN - alongside the regular broadcast channels instead of in a separate on-demand menu. These would be delivered over the air alongside the other channels or over IP (your broadband connection), instead of requiring a viewing card like you do with BT Vision.
Above: Pace's DIP6000-Series Freeview HD box
The BT spokesperson said that this will bring its YouView service more in line with BT Vision and will provide a more integrated service and experience.
By comparison, TalkTalk’s YouView box will provide access to Sky Sports channels and Sky Movies through the TalkTalk Player - the on-demand section that’s separate to the main programme guide.
August 22, 2012