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BT TV review 2018

Luke Thompson
Wednesday, November 8th 2017

BT TV comes with the BT Sport Pack for free, and while its channel line-up isn’t as extensive as other TV providers, it’s still a great option for sport fans.

BT is the daddy of the UK phone and broadband industry and provides quality communication services for nearly a third of the population, so its TV deals have a lot to live up to.

Cable.co.uk rating

BT TV review 2018 Luke Thompson – Cable.co.uk
  • TV channels
  • HD content
  • On-demand content
  • Equipment & installation
  • Value for money
  • Overall

Pros and cons

  • Free BT Sport
  • Watch Netflix in UHD
  • Choice of TV bolt-ons
  • BT TV app
  • Free US drama channel
  • Only available with BT broadband
  • Limited choice of channels
  • Multiroom is an expensive option
  • Sky Sports in an expensive add-on

What we like

You can watch BT Sport for free

BT Sport currently offers four standard definition channels – BT Sport 1 and 2, BT Sport Europe, and ESPN – with the option to pay extra for Sky Sports 1 and 2. BT Sport features 38 Premier League matches including 18 ‘top pick’ matches, and other sports such as Aviva rugby and Moto GP.

The BT Sport Europe channel features 351 matches from the UEFA Champions League and Europa League. Users can also get the BT Sport app on laptops, iPhones, iPads and selected Android devices.

Watch Netflix in UHD

Not only can you watch Neflix through the BT YouView+ box (subject to subscribing), but if you purchase the premium Netflix subscription and take out the Total Entertainment BT TV package, you can enjoy the likes of House of Cards, Jessica Jones and Better Call Saul in super-sharp UHD.

Wide choice of TV bolt-ons

BT TV offers much more choice with its TV bolt-ons. If you want to keep the kids entertained you can go for the Kids bolt-on. This comes with nine channels, including Nickelodeon, Disney channel and Cartoon Network.

You also get on demand content so the kids can watch their favourite shows without any adverts. Plus, you can subscribe to Netflix, which lets you watch TV shows and films whenever you like for a monthly fee.

BT TV app means you can watch your favourite TV anywhere

Not only can you watch TV when you're out and about - on 3G/4G as well as on wifi - but you can also use the app to set recordings and pick up watching shows you started at home. If you are watching it over 3G/4G, BT advises that you will use round 100Mb of data for every 10 minutes of streaming, so keep an eye on your usage to avoid going over your allowance limit.

Enjoy top-notch US drama on AMC

All BT TV packages come with exclusive access to the US TV channel AMC – an equivalent to Sky Atlantic. The schedule includes a wide range of top quality US dramas to keep you entertained.

Visit BT for more info

What we don’t like

BT TV is only available with BT broadband

Before you even think of signing up for BT TV, you need to know that you also have to take BT broadband or BT Infinity to get it. BT TV is not available on its own, so if you are looking for a standalone service, you might want to consider Sky TV or Virgin Media TV instead.

Limited choice of channels

The choice of BT TV channels falls someway behind Virgin Media and Sky, with around 70 standard definition channels depending on your package, compared with the hundreds of channels available through Sky or Virgin Media. You also get fewer high definition (HD) channels too.

Multiroom is an expensive option

BT has rolled out its very own multiroom service, called Extra Box. With Extra Box, you can have an additional YouView or YouView+ box set up in another room of your house, so you don’t have to watch what everyone else is watching in the living room. BT Extra Box is a subscription service, and costs an additional £5 per month.

You also need to buy an additional BT Mini YouView or YouView+ box. The Mini YouView box costs £49, however the YouView+ box is pricer (£99) as it allows you to record TV content.

BT recommends a minimum broadband speed of 23Mbps to use the second YouView+ box – which seems a little excessive – so this option is purely for BT Infinity customers (and even then, it’s unlikely that you will get a download speed this fast unless you’re on the faster Infinity 2 service).

Sky Sports is an expensive add-on

Sky Sports is available as an add-on if you purchase one of the Entertainment packs. However it costs £27.50 for Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2. But they still only account for a portion of Sky’s total sports offering, which is available in full – direct from Sky – for £20.

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BT TV is a good option for those who want a well-rounded selection of channels without splashing out too much on their entertainment fix. The BT Sport Pack is a major move for the provider and will be a big pull for fans who want to watch coverage from the UEFA Champions League and Europa League.

However, those serious about their telly time may find it lacking in certain areas, such as the lack of channel choice in comparison to the competition.


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