We really like the core YouView service. But because of the non-obvious way to access the BT content, it can be hard to remember the on-demand films and TV is actually there. It is a subsidised way to get hold of the YouView box and BT is banking on you using the pay-as-you-go programming or subscribing to the £12.50 package.
We love the Humax box. It's a real bonus for BT that it has chosen to use the launch YouView box rather than try and specify something different. The recording, pause and resume all work excellently. The remote is great to use and the overall quality of the programming guide and interface is decent. The selection of BT Vision on-demand content will only improve as we move towards BT offering more channels over the service.
We weren't phenomenally impressed with the quality of service on our network, with the on demand players even seeming to have issues connecting at times. The BT Vision on demand service is also a little sluggish to load at first. The selection of on-demand content isn't great at the moment but, as we said, it will improve.
YouView from BT is a good way to get yourself an otherwise pricey YouView box – providing you already have a BT line and BT Broadband already which many of us don't. For the raw price it should be commended. BT knows work needs to be done on content, but for us there is a bigger problem – visibility of that content. It's so hard to get at it!
That aside, there are also issues with YouView as a whole, primarily that many much cheaper Freeview HD recorders are now offering access to on-demand content, while many smart TVs also do it out of the box. On demand is YouView's big sell, but those foundations are being undermined constantly by such alternatives. But that's almost a side issue for BT.
The company needs to make its on demand programming truly tempting. The launch of channels in the new year will be make or break for its TV offering.