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BT Vision VOD package review

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

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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.

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