BT TV packages: get the best deal
BT TV can pause, rewind, record, catch up and offers on demand and exclusive sport content, as well as Netflix, Sky Sports and Sky Cinema.
To get the most from a BT TV package customers need to take BT's Infinity fibre broadband service, although as we'll cover standard broadband customers can still get a simplified version of BT TV.
Infinity customers can receive a Youview+ box along with the option of at least 30 extra channels and add-on packs for Sky Sports, Sky Cinema and HD viewing.
In this guide we'll look at how much BT TV packages cost, what they offer and whether BT TV stands up against pay TV competition from Virgin and Sky.
Because BT Infinity is a requirement for the full BT TV service, let's take a quick look at the special offers available to new customers taking BT's fibre broadband to help cut the cost.
Can I get BT TV?
As we've mentioned, BT TV works best when paired with Infinity fibre broadband.
The reason behind this is how BT TV works: the TV content is streamed over the broadband connection - and so a faster fibre connection means better quality content can be delivered.
If you're not sure whether you're in a BT Infinity enabled area, you can check using our postcode checker below:
Enter your postcode above to check availability in your area.
BT TV uses Youview as it's main set top box platform.
Youview is largely a smart viewing platform for freeview channels, offering customers the ability to pause, rewind and record TV, as well as providing on demand and catch up services.
It also offers some additional channels, and namely access to apps such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Now TV - Sky's on-demand service.
There are three different Youview boxes available to BT TV customers depending on the package they choose and whether they have Infinity broadband.
|Youview||Youview+||Youview Ultra HD|
|4K UHD ready|
The standard Youview "mini" box can pause and rewind live TV for up to 30 minutes but can't record TV.
It does support HD content but as the box only comes with the Starter package, only the HD channels available on Freeview are available to watch.
Customers who take Starter with Infinity broadband of course, will also be able to add the BT Sports pack in HD.
The Youview+ box also allows customers to pause and rewind live TV, but comes with a 500GB hard drive that can store up to 300 hours of standard definition programs.
This box also has dual tuners so customers can record one channel at the same time at watching another.
Youview Ultra HD box
The Youview Ultra HD box offers the same features as the Youview+ box but comes with a larger hard drive and the ability to watch Ultra HD content.
This box can record up to 600 hours of standard definition programs, 250 hours of HD content or 60 hours of Ultra HD.
BT TV Packages with Infinity broadband
BT TV offers three package choices for those who also take BT Infinity broadband.
The TV Starter package offers:
- Pause and rewind up to 30 minutes of live TV
- 80 Freeview channels including 21 channels in HD
- Catch up TV with BBC iPlayer and All 4
- On demand content from the BT TV Store including the latest movies and box sets
- The BT Sports pack including ESPN
- AMC a drama show channel
This packages comes with the standard Youview 'mini' box so customers can pause and rewind up to 30 minutes of TV, but they can't record it.
The TV Entertainment package offers the same features as TV Starter, but with the addition of:
- Record up to 300 hours of standard definition TV
- 29 premium channels
- The BT TV App so you can watch your subscribed channels on your mobile, tablet or laptop.
TV Entertainment comes with the upgraded Youview+ box which has a 500GB hard drive capable of storing up to 300 hours of TV.
BT's top TV package Max offers the same features as TV Entertainment, as well as including:
- Ultra HD enabled box
- Record up to 600 hours of standard definition TV
- 60 premium channels with 21 in HD and 9 kids channels
- BT Sports pack in 4K Ultra HD (a 4K TV is needed)
TV Max comes with the Youview Ultra HD box which is capable of showing content in 4K picture quality, although customers will also need a 4K compatible TV to enjoy the difference.
The Youview Ultra HD box has a larger hard drive than the Youview+ box, doubling storage to 1TB that can record up to 600 hours of SD content.
What channels come with BT TV?
As mentioned above, it depends which package you choose, with Entertainment and Max offering the most additional premium channels.
Starter channels include:
- BT Sports Pack
Entertainment channels include all the Starter channels, plus:
- Animal Planet
- Comedy Central
- Comedy Extra
- Discovery Channel
- Eurosport 1
- Eurosport 2
- Investigation Discovery
- Movies 24
- MTV Music
- National Geographic Wild
- National Geographic
- Sony Channel
- Good Food
- Turner Classic Movies
- Discovery Turbo
- Discovery Science
Max channels include all the Starter and Entertainment channels, plus 21 channels in HD and 9 kids channels.
- Eurosport HD
- Eurosport 2 HD
- Discovery HD
- History HD
- TLC HD
- National Geographic Wild HD
- Animal Planet HD
- Syfy HD
- CI HD
- H2 HD
- Dave HD
- Good Food HD
- Eden HD
- MTV HD
- National Geographic HD
- Comedy HD
- W HD
- Lifetime HD
- Alibi HD
- E! HD
- Universal Channel HD
- Nick Junior
- Nick Toons
- Disney Channel
- Disney Junior
- Disney XD
- Cartoon Network
BT TV Packages with standard broadband
As we've mentioned, while BT TV is better suited to customers who can and are willing to also take Infinity fibre, it is also available to customers on BT's standard broadband package.
|Package||Broadband||Contract term||Upfront price||Monthly price|
|BT||TV Starter + Unlimited Broadband + BT Sport + Weekend calls||Up to 17Mb
for 18 mths,
BT broadband customers can only choose BT TV Starter and some content may not be available due to limited broadband speeds, such as the AMC channel.
Customers should be able to add the BT Sports channel pack to their TV plan, depending on what services are available in the local area.
They'll also be able to add additional packs of on-demand content including from Sky Cinema, a kids pack and a music pack.
Watch Sky Sports or Sky Cinema on BT TV
BT Sports 1 and 2, BT Sport Europe, and ESPN, are no longer free for all BT TV customers, or BT Broadband and Mobile customers. As of August 2017 the channel pack now costs £3.50 a month.
People who only take broadband can watch online or through the app - for £5 a month.
A temporary ruling made in 2014 means Youview customers have been able to get Sky Sports 1 and 2 on their existing boxes - although a later decision from Ofcom could have some impact on that access as time goes on.
In the meantime, however, there are a couple of options available for those who want to add Sky Sports to their package:
- Add Sky Sports Main Event and Extra in SD for £27.50 extra a month
- Add Sky Sports Main Event and Extra in HD for £33.50 extra a month
Sky Cinema, previously known as Sky Movies, is available for £13.50 a month.
That's cheaper than over at Sky, and depending on whether we have standard or fibre broadband, it's one of the better price options available.
That's because while fibre broadband customers get all 11 live movie channels plus the on demand channel, those with standard broadband only get the Sky Cinema on demand channel - which isn't quite such a bargain.
Pay as you watch movies - including Curzon Home Cinema movies - are available on demand in the BT Store from £2 a pop, while there's also the option to buy movies to keep - and download to another device - from £3.99 a go.
This add-on is £4 a month for all TV subscribers. For customers with the Starter or Essential pack, it includes thousands of episodes of on demand children's shows.
Those with one of the Entertainment deals also get Kids Extra, which includes nine channels:
- Disney Channel
- Disney Junior
- Disney XD
- Cartoon Network
While MTV and MTV Music are only available to Infinity customers, anyone can add the Music bolt-on for £4 a month, giving them access to music videos, recordings of concerts, and complete albums - with extra features - on demand.
Available from £5.99 a month for an SD subscription viewable on one screen at a time, up to £8.99 a month for Netflix's Ultra HD / four screen service.
It's worth noting that when BT's Ultra HD service was revealed in mid-2015, it wasn't compatible with Netflix - but those wrinkles have been ironed out, meaning the streaming service is now available to everyone from Starter subscribers up to those with Total Entertainment.
Existing subscribers simply log on via the app to watch on their TV; new users can sign up via their TV.
People who want to watch BT TV in more than one room are catered for via the catchily named "TV Everywhere with Extra Box" subscription.
For £5 a month, plus a one-off fee of either £49 or £99, Infinity customers can watch BT TV in another room with another Youview box. The £49 fee gets customers a basic, non-recording mini box; for £99 they'll get another Youview+ box.
The TV Everywhere component of the package allows customers to stream their subscription services to up to four different devices, and use two of those devices to remotely control their Youview+ boxes.
The downside of BT's Extra Box service is that anyone interested in taking it must go without Sky Sports and Sky Cinema, as likely due to licensing issues the two are not mutually compatible.
Verdict: Is BT TV worth signing up for?
BT TV offers a great additional service to BT broadband especially customers who take the Infinity fibre service and certainly for sports fans who want to watch BT Sport.
The very low cost of BT's TV packages - from just £3.50 a month - is what gives BT the edge over the much more comprehensive but more expensive TV packages from Sky and Virgin Media, which start at £20 and £22 respectively.
Customers can easily add more content including Netflix from £5.99 a month as well as movies from Sky Cinema and the latest box sets, and Sky Sports, and so customers don't have to miss out on premium viewing if they don't want to.
Compare all of BT's broadband and TV bundles here.