BT is scrapping its old first generation BT Vision boxes and is replacing them with new BT YouView boxes.
The original silver-coloured BT Vision boxes, which provide access to on-demand content and digital terrestrial TV, will not be supported by BT after June 30.
Owners of the older BT Vision boxes will be able to trade in for a new YouView-based BT TV box for free – if they sign up for a new 18-month broadband and TV contract.
After a misleading announcement which suggested that the entire BT Vision service would be shut down at the end of June, BT has since clarified their position, stating that just the older original boxes would cease to be supported.
A BT spokesperson said: “BT is contacting a minority of its TV customers to offer them a new YouView box (worth £199) at no extra cost and to let them know that we are closing down our oldest TV platform which supports their current BT TV service. The affected customers will have our original silver BT Vision box. BT wants to offer these customers, who have an out-dated set top box, the best TV experience the company has to offer.
“The customers who are impacted will be able to enjoy a new YouView box when they renew their TV and BT Broadband contract for 18 months. If they choose to cancel their TV with BT instead, they’ll be able to leave without facing any penalty charges.
“Customers with a silver Vision box should call 0800 432 0016 to see if they’re able to upgrade to YouView.”
Details on a BT customer support page state that any films rented from the Box Office won’t be available once you swap from BT Vision to the YouView+ box.
If you’ve bought any films or TV programmes on BT TV, there will be a 72 hour window before they’ll be available to watch on the new YouView box, after you’ve set it up and connected to the internet.
BT’s new YouView-based box gives you access to all of the standard YouView features including streamlined access BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5 and high definition channels including BBC One HD, BBC Two HD, ITV HD and Channel 4 HD. As well as this, you’ll also be able to get access to BT Sport 1, BT Sport 1 and ESPN in SD and HD through the box.
These channels provide access to Barclays Premier League football, Scottish Premier League football and Aviva Premiership rugby as well as WTA tennis, Moto GP and UFC. BT Sport SD channels are included free with a BT broadband subscription. You can get all three channels in HD for an extra £3/month.
The new BT YouView+ box has a 500GB hard drive which lets you record 300 hours of standard definition TV and 125 hours of HD content. You can record up to two programmes simultaneously while recording a third.