BT Vision VOD package review

BT's on-demand service has flexible pricing, but is it good value?

TODO alt text

Our Verdict

BT's VoD service is simple, and the Freeview recording is very useful, but it's not at the level of some services


  • HD movies on-demand


  • Glitchy film downloads
  • Limited HD selection

BT Vision's VoD offering isn't as comprehensive as Virgin Media's, aimed as it is at the casual user. TV programmes and music videos can be bought individually – shows cost from 77p to download. The choice is reasonably varied, including dramas like US imports Californication, The Wire and CSI, UK shows including Shameless and Secret Diary Of A Call Girl, and documentaries from History and Nat Geo. BT Vision's 'Replay' service offers terrestrial TV highlights (from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five) from the past seven days; pay for individual shows or get a TV Replay pack for £2.93 a month.

Snazzy box

Customers can also subscribe to one or more packs offering unlimited downloads from Kids, Music, Sport and TV. They cost either £4.89 or £6.85 a month, and can be bundled in Bronze, Silver or Gold 'Value Packs' – these include the TV and TV Replay packs for free.

The pay-per-view film offering features SD and HD films. SD rentals cost £1.94, new HD releases cost £4.84 and library HD titles cost £2.88. There's also a Film subscription package from PictureBox, priced at £4.89 a month. HD film rentals can't be streamed, and take a few hours to download before they're available to view.

The Vision+ box itself is snazzy – a twin-tuner Freeview PVR which uses a dedicated chunk of the broadband connection to stream on-demand programming, so BT Vision downloads won't count towards your bandwidth allocation. BT also includes a set of Powerline adapters with the Vision+ box, so you can connect it to your home network through the mains.

But the box can be temperamental. When Wotsat tested it a few months ago, flicking through menus too fast on the remote caused the system to hang. The streaming VoD often halted, too – a more recent test of the HD offering foundered when the download failed.

Follow TechRadar Reviews on Twitter: