Compare BT Vision Packages
BT Vision buyers guide
BT Vision offers the UK’s cheapest subscription TV package, with prices starting from £5 a month but what exactly do you get for your money? We’ll answer all of this and more in our buyers guide.
Why choose BT Vision?
If you’ve already got BT broadband you can subscribe to Vision TV from £5 a month. This makes it the UK’s cheapest pay-TV option.
When you sign up you'll get a 500GB Vision+ digital TV recorder which can pause and rewind live TV, record up to two channels at a time and access a wide variety of on-demand content.
You’ll have access to free catch-up TV thanks to the full BBC iPlayer and you can watch selected shows from the other main channels with the free VisionReplay service.
What are my options?
There are two core BT Vision digital TV options to choose from: The basic package is BT Vision Essential which includes all of the Freeview and digital radio channels that are broadcast in your area plus access to the BBC iPlayer and VisionReplay. It costs £5 a month on top of your BT broadband and line rental costs.
BT Vision Unlimited includes everything you get in the Essential package plus sporting action from ESPN and unlimited access to all five Vision on-demand packs which features thousands of hours of on-demand entertainment.
Whichever option you choose you can add extra channels including Sky Sports and Bollywood & Beyond.
Six essential questions before you buy
- Can I commit to a 12 month minimum term?
- Can I get at least 2Mbps BT broadband?
- Have I got a suitable digital TV aerial?
- Where will my Vision+ box be located relative to my router?
- Should I pay extra to get the Unlimited option?
- Can I pay by Direct Debit?
What do I need?
- An active BT landline
- At least 2Mbps BT broadband
- A digital-ready TV aerial
- A BT Home Hub
- A Vision+ set-top box
With the exception of a suitable TV aerial, all of the equipment you need will be supplied by BT. However, BT will charge you a small fee towards the cost of delivering your set-top box and router.
Which channels will I get?
The channels you'll receive will depend upon where you live. In an area with full Freeview coverage you'll get over 50 TV channels and over 20 radio stations, while Unlimited customers get ESPN.
One of the best things about BT Vision are the on-demand services. With the Essential package you'll get catch-up TV from VisionReplay and the BBC iPlayer. Other on-demand TV shows can be viewed from 50p each.
TV Unlimited includes access to the UK’s largest on-demand library and all five on-demand packs. These packs, divided into TV, Film, Kids, Sport and Music, feature 5,500 episodes of on-demand TV that are free to watch 24 hours a day when you subscribe to the BT Vision Unlimited service.
Any customer can rent movies for up to 48 hours on a Pay Per View basis, with prices starting at £2.50.
Do I need BT broadband?
Yes, to get BT Vision you’ll need BT Total Broadband or BT Infinity. If you’ve already got BT broadband you can add a Vision package at any time. If you’re not an existing BT customer you can order BT broadband and TV at the same time.
BT Vision on-demand TV only works with broadband connections that can maintain a constant speed of 2Mbps or higher. BT will test your connection for you before you buy so there’s no danger that you'll be sold BT Vision if you're unable to use it.
Issues with availability
You can only sign up if you live in an area with Freeview coverage, and if you have a consistent BT broadband download speed of at least 2Mbps. If you live too far from your local exchange you may be unable to sign up for Vision TV.
Bear in mind that your Vision+ box will only work if you have an active BT Vision subscription and if your box is connected to your router. You cannot use your Vision+ box in another room, even if you just want to watch programmes you recorded previously.
Whether you're new to BT broadband and BT Vision or if you're an existing customer adding Vision you should be able to easily install the equipment yourself.
BT says you should be able to complete the self-setup process in about an hour, but in our experience you can do it all in less than 15 minutes if you're reasonably technically minded.
You’ll need to connect your Vision+ box to your TV using either a SCART or HDMI lead, and connect your box to your router. If your router is in the same room as your TV then you can use a network cable to connect them directly, but if it’s located in a different room you can use Powerline Ethernet adapters.
These are widely available from online electronics retailers, with prices starting at around £20 for a pair of adapters. Bear in mind that if you choose to connect in this way you will need adapters that are rated for data transfer rates of 2Mbps or higher.
HD & 3D
There are currently no HD channels on BT Vision, but you can view some HD and 3D movies on a pay-per-view basis. You can only view HD or 3D content if you have a suitable TV and you use an HDMI lead to connect your box to your TV.
Contracts and payments
When you join you’ll begin a 12 month minimum term contract. If you’re an existing BT broadband customer adding Vision TV you’ll begin a new 12 month contract for all of your services.
Be careful about signing up if you think there’s a chance that you might have to leave early - BT charges up to £199 if you leave before the minimum term is up.
BT requires all customers to use electronic rather than paper billing, and all accounts must be paid by Direct Debit.