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BT YouView+ TV review

David Ludlow
27 Mar 2014
Our Rating 

Smaller, quieter and faster, the new BT YouView+ box is a big improvement over the old one and still the same massive bargain

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Specifications

BT YOUVIEW ON-DEMAND

As well as being able to access on-demand programming through the main interface, you can also use the dedicated section in the YouView menu to launch the players individually, such as BBC iPlayer.

The benefit of doing this is that you get access to the full catalogue of content available online, rather than just what was on in the last seven days. It's up to each media partner to control their apps, which means that interfaces are inconsistent between each one.

BBC iPlayer, for example, has a full search to help you find content you want to watch; ITV Player just has an A-to-Z list of programmes. Things do change, though. 4oD launched as with only an A-to-Z view, but now has a full search option built in.

BT YouView+
BT YouView+ 4oD

On-demand players have inconsistent interfaces. For example, ITV Player (top) only lets you browse A-to-Z; 4oD (bottom) and iPlayer have full search

It's a little frustrating that there's not just a single interface, but the important thing is that all the terrestrial services are here for you. Besides, there's a good chance that you won't have to jump directly into any of the players, as there's a universal search menu built in. This lets you search for on-demand and live TV shows all from a single menu. It's considerably easier and quicker going this route.

BT YouView+ search menu

The universal search menu is a great way to find new content

One of the main points of YouView is that it was designed to be extendable, with new on-demand services being added. These include free catch-up services, such as Dave, but also paid-for services giving you premium content.

For example, you can now sign up for Sky Now using YouView. You pay monthly, with no fixed contract, to access a selection of Sky channels, with individual packages available for Movies (£8.99 a month), Sports (£9.99 for a day pass) and Entertainment, which includes Sky One and Sky Atlantic (£4.99 a month).

BT YouView+ players

YouView has a range of other services available, including premium content through Sky's Now TV

It might seem strange that BT, a paid-for TV service, would allow these other paid-for services to appear on the same box, but it's rather a clever move. It means you can sign up with BT for a reasonable fee, yet use the same box to access the premium content you want from other providers. Overall, this huge choice is likely to mean that people won't want to fully switch to another service, such as Sky, which is more restrictive. Continues on Page 3

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