YouView from BT review

BT's take on YouView now features a new, smaller box

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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 extra channels.

We liked

As with the original Humax box, we love this new BT version. The recording, pause and resume all work excellently. The remote is great to use and the overall quality of the programming guide and the improved interface speed is noticeable. We were impressed with the reliability of the on-demand players, which are also improved.

We disliked

We still aren't that impressed with the start-up time of this new box. It's better. But it's not that much better and bet that many people won't even realise the eco mode is there, so they won't know they can even reduce that time.

The big elephant in the room with YouView is 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 as you can scroll back within the guide, but those foundations are being undermined constantly by such alternatives. But that's almost a side issue for BT.

Final verdict

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. If you don't already have those services, you can find that signing up will cost you more than you want because of the options available.

Price up the package you want before deciding to switch. You may find you're better off just going to buy the standard YouView box. Or going the Freeview HD+ route if you're not that bothered about scrolling back in the planner.

But as a device and service for those who have a BT phone line and broadband already, BT's take on YouView doesn't disappoint.