BT TV logo since May 2013
|Founded||December 2006 (BT Vision)
October 2012 (BT YouView)
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Area served||United Kingdom|
BT TV is a subscription IPTV service offered by BT Group in the United Kingdom, originally launched as BT Vision in December 2006. As of July 2013, BT TV (Vision and BT YouView) had an estimated 833,000 subscribers.
BT TV provides on-demand content, 18 extra channels, and four live sport channels through IPTV signals. There are also two channels, BT Sport 1 and 2, on the digital terrestrial (DTT) platform, where over 50 Freeview channels are also accessible. As BT TV transmits channels and content through IPTV, BT requires customers to sign up to the BT Broadband internet and phone service in order to use BT TV, with connection via BT's official router, BT Home Hub.
- 1 History
- 2 YouView from BT
- 3 Vision+ PVR
- 4 Packages
- 5 References
- 6 External links
When British Telecom (BT) was privatised in 1984, it was barred from providing television broadcasts over its telecommunication network, which meant that it was not possible for BT to provide a cable television service. The ban was designed to protect the new smaller telecommunications companies and the small cable television networks in the United Kingdom as it was felt that BT had an unfair advantage because its pre-privatisation monopoly meant that its equipment was already installed in virtually every home and business in the country. In January 2001, the ban was lifted.
BT Vision was launched on 5 December 2006, competing with Sky, Virgin Media (then known as NTL:Telewest) and TalkTalk TV (then known as Tiscali TV). Initial industry reaction was positive although there was some criticism that set up costs were expensive and it was noted that BT Group were entering a competitive market. In May 2007, BT Group launched a national advertising campaign for BT Vision. BT Vision was the second IPTV television platform in the UK, after Homechoice TV.
The aim was to attract "hundreds of thousands" of customers by the end of 2007 and 2–3 million in the medium-term. However, adoption was slow and by February 2008 BT Vision had just 150,000 customers.
Premium sport deal
BT acquired the rights to carry 242 same-day (but not live) Premier League football matches per season in a three-year deal covering the 2007-08, 2008–09 and 2009–10 seasons in a joint bid with BSkyB on 25 May 2006, prior to BT Vision's launch. BT Vision also have the right to offer on demand coverage of 125 matches each season from the Football League and League Cup. This service ceased prior to the start of the 2010–11 season.
Between August 2007 and June 2009, Setanta Sports was available through BT Vision, via DTT and a smart card, offering Live Barclays Premiership and Clydesdale Bank Premier League games, as well as other sporting events such as US PGA Tour Golf and Magners League Rugby. BT Vision made a deal with American sports TV company ESPN for carriage of its new channel which replaced Setanta on DTT.
The company announced the pricing of their Sky Sports packages in July 2010, following the outcome of Ofcom's review into pay-TV pricing in March, which directed Sky to reduce the wholesale price it charges for the Sky Sports channels. The price charged to customers signing up for broadband, calls and TV with BT for a two-year contract results in the organisation making a "significant loss on the service", allowing them to undercut the price charged by Sky to its own customers.
Sky Sports deal
On 28 June 2010, BT and Sky signed an agreement where Sky Sports 1 and 2 will be available for BT Vision customers. This came a year after BT stopped offering Setanta Sports 1 & 2 on Vision after Setanta lost the rights to broadcast Premier League football.
On 22 March 2012, it was announced that BT would offer UKTV original content on-demand from later in the day. Featured programmes include, James Martin's Mediterranean (Good Food), Choccywoccydoodah (Good Food), Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (Home), Celebrity Fantasy Homes (Home), Tool Academy (Really), Bridezillas (Really), Amazing Planet (Eden) and Life on Fire (Eden).
As part of the deal, UKTV will start streaming linear channels to BT Vision set top boxes later in 2012. The first three will be Watch, Gold and Alibi and it intents to launch further channels, such as Good Food, Eden and Home. Dave, Really and Yesterday will likely not launch on the service as they are already available on Freeview, which is available through the BT set-top boxes.
On 11 April 2012, BT and Fox International Channels announced that from late 2012, BT Vision customers will be able to watch FX (now known as Fox) as a linear channel. BT Vision customers will also be able to watch many of the top shows, up to seven days after transmission on-demand. They will also be able to watch library programmes on-demand.
National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Wild deal
On 12 June 2012, BT announced that National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Wild will be coming to BT Vision as linear channels in late 2012. The deal also includes a seven-day on demand catch up of programmes.
Premier League football rights
On 13 June 2012, it was announced that BT had acquired a share of the rights to Premier League football television coverage for the 2013-14 to 2015-16 seasons. As part of the deal, BT acquired the live rights to 38 games, including 18 of the 38 "first pick" games, for a total of £738 million. BT simultaneously announced plans to launch a Sports Channel on all platforms, including BT Vision.
Premiership Rugby rights
On 12 September 2012, BT agreed a £152 million four-year exclusive rights deal for the broadcast of Premiership Rugby from the 2013/14 season.
British Eurosport deal
On 8 November 2012, BT signed a contract with British Eurosport to add British Eurosport and British Eurosport 2 to its line-up of linear TV channels. The deal also includes sporting content to watch on demand. 
Sky Movies deal
YouView from BT
On 21 September 2012, BT, one of the partners of YouView, announced that they would provide a free YouView box to its broadband subscribers. This new service will allow customers to access BT Vision's on demand content, YouView's EPG technologies such as 'scrollback', and Now TV. This came weeks after TalkTalk launched its new YouView-based TV service TalkTalk Plus TV. YouView from BT launched on 26 October 2012.
On 27 June 2013, the CEO of BT's TV division, Marc Watson, said that BT Vision will be rebranded as 'BT TV', together with the YouView service under an umbrella brand. BT aimed to offer sports on the YouView service. However, on 1 August 2013, BT was refused by rival BSkyB to broadcast Sky Sports on BT's YouView service. This meant that the Vision+ box would continue to be distributed for the purpose of Sky Sports and the extra linear channels (as of 27 June), as long until these features would be finally available on BT YouView.
On 9 August 2013, the 18 extra linear channels from BT Vision were successfully added to the BT YouView EPG and ready for streaming. Just two days prior to this, both BT and TalkTalk asked Digital UK to expand the streamed IP channel range from 400-499 to 400-599, as they both claim to launch over a hundred new streamed channels via YouView.
The Vision+ is a set-top box, similar to Sky+ and V+, that enables 100 hours of television programmes to be recorded while watching other live programmes. The service is described as providing a range of on-demand content without compulsory subscriptions. However, a BT broadband connection with a guaranteed line speed is required. A self-install version and a technician install version of BT Vision are available.
The original silver Vision+ box is a Philips DIT9719 running Microsoft Mediaroom software for the IPTV signals. The OS is Windows CE. The next generation Vision+ box was made by Motorola from 2008. The new black Vision+ box is made by Pace. Only one Vision+ can be used at a time to connect to the BT Vision service using a single Home Hub Broadband Connection.
The newly rebranded BT TV has three packages as of 10 August 2013: TV Essential, Essential Extra, and Unlimited Extra. All packages will come with a YouView box which will have all Freeview television & radio channels, Catch Up TV and the ability to pause, record and rewind live TV. A Vision+ box is provided for Sky Sports customers.
Vision TV, Music, Kids and Sport are on-demand. All will cost 50p a show with TV Essential, and all will be free and unlimited with TV Unlimited. Vision Filmclub is available for free with TV Unlimited, and is not available for TV Essential.
Vision Box Office and Vision Adult are on a pay per view basis, available with both TV Essential and TV Unlimited. Vision Adult is available for a 3 hour rental.
BT Sport and ESPN channels are available free of charge for customers with BT Infinity fibre-optic broadband. For customers who don't have access to BT's fibre-optic network, these can watch BT Sport via DTT on a Vision+ box.
The following is a list of live TV channels on the BT TV platforms with their EPG numbers, correct as of 9 August 2013. All channels are transmitted using IPTV signals:
- 407: Watch
- 408: Gold
- 409: Alibi
- 413: TLC
- 414: Discovery Channel
- 415: Animal Planet
- 417: Comedy Central
- 419: Syfy
- 420: Universal Channel
- 421: E!
- 422: Fox
- 423: National Geographic Channel
- 424: Nat Geo Wild
- 425: MTV
- 432: History
- 433: Crime & Investigation Network
- 446: Comedy Central HD
- 447: MTV HD
- 448: Syfy HD
- 449: Fox HD
- 450: National Geographic Channel HD
- 451: Nat Geo Wild HD
- 452: History HD
- 453: CI HD
- Sport channels
- 507: BT Sport 1 (also on DTT 58)
- 508: BT Sport 2 (also on DTT 59)
- 509: ESPN
- 510: BT Sport 1 HD
- 511: BT Sport 2 HD
- 512: ESPN HD
- 513: British Eurosport
- 514: British Eurosport 2
- Movie channels
- 530: Sky Movies Premiere
- 531: Sky Movies Action and Adventure
- 532: Sky Movies Disney
- 533: Sky Movies Showcase
- 534: Sky Movies Family
- 535: Sky Movies Comedy
- 536: Sky Movies Sci Fi and Horror
- 537: Sky Movies Greats
- 538: Sky Movies Crime and Thriller
- 539: Sky Movies Select
- 540: Sky Movies Drama and Romance
- Children's channels
- 555: Disney
- 556: Disney Junior
- 557: Disney XD
- 558: Nickelodeon
- 559: Nick Jr.
- 560: Boomerang
- 561: Cartoon Network
These linear channels are only available to customers who have access to BT's Infinity fibre-optic broadband. BT Sport and ESPN are free for all customers. Customers who do not have access to Infinity can receive BT Sport 1 and 2 via DTT, on a dedicated Vision+ box. The channels became available on BT's YouView service in August 2013, with new EPG numbers in the 4xx and 5xx ranges, instead of the odd 8xx and 9xx ranges which BT Vision had before. The EPG numbers are the same on rival TalkTalk Plus TV, as both run on (and are maintained by) YouView.
The Sky Movies and IP children's channels are due to be launched during the Autumn/Winter of 2013. These are likely not to be free or part of the Essentials package from BT.
Vision Catch-up, formerly Vision Replay, is the name of the Catch Up TV services, which is available free of charge on any package.
- BBC iPlayer
- ITV Player
- STV Player (Scotland only)
- Demand 5
- Milkshake! (Channel 5's children's programmes)
From late May 2008, BT discontinued free access to BBC TV replay, instead requiring Vision users to take out a monthly subscription. However, In November 2010, BT announced that BT Vision subscribers would be able to access the BBC iPlayer from the end of June 2011. This service was built by Pushbutton for Microsoft Mediaroom.
- Vision TV on-demand
Content is provided by:
- The Biography Channel
- Crime & Investigation Network
- Comedy Central
- CBS Television Studios
- Military Channel
- Military History
- National Geographic Channel
- Channel 4
- Channel 5
- Warner Bros. Television
- Adult Swim
- Sony Pictures Television
- Discovery Channel
- ABC Studios
- Vision Sport on-demand
In addition to the Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports 2 and ESPN sport channels, Vision Sport is an archive of football, wrestling boxing, martial arts, motorsports and extreme sports matches available on-demand, with a few on a pay per view basis.
- Vision Kids on-demand
BT has agreed deals with:
- BBC Worldwide
- Disney Channel
- Disney Cinemagic
- Disney XD
- Disney Junior
- Cartoon Network
- HIT Entertainment
- Entertainment Rights
- Baby TV
who provide hundreds of children's programs on-demand.
- Vision Filmclub on-demand
BT Vision has signed deals with the following studios to provide classic and new films:
- Vision Box Office on-demand
Vision Box Office provides a library of the latest blockbuster films on a pay per view basis.
Films on Vision Box Office mainly come from the following content providers
- Paramount Pictures
- Lionsgate films
- Buena Vista International (Disney)
- Warner Bros.
- Momentum Pictures
- Artificial Eye
- Vision Music on-demand
BT has agreed deals with:
who provide over 1,500 music videos, concerts and music documentaries, on-demand. The concert programming covers a wide variety of genres including rock, pop, urban and alternative, jazz and opera.
- Vision Adult on-demand
There is also some adult on-demand content. This is from the following suppliers:
A special PIN called (Adult PIN) is required to access content on Vision Adult as a security proaction so that children cannot access the adult content.
- BT Vision and BT YouView grow slightly ahead of BT Sport kick off
- BT Vision+ box – digibox, PVR, digital TV recorder. Productsandservices.bt.com. Retrieved on 2012-02-03.
- Rebranded BT TV will deliver Sport over YouView boxes
- BT to begin broadcasting, BBC news report, 27/5/2001, retrieved on 2 June 2007.
- BT Vision – passing you the control, BT Group news release, 4 December 2006, retrieved on 2 June 2007
- Hi-tech world assesses BT Vision, BBC new report, 6 December 2006, retrieved on 2 June 2007.
- BT Vision unveils national advertising campaign, BT Group news release, 10 May 2007, retrieved on 2 June 2007.
- BT profits hit by restructuring - BBC News
- BT and BSkyB win football rights - BBC News
- Setanta. BT Vision. Retrieved on 2012-02-03.
- Sweney, Mark (31 March 2010). "Ofcom orders Sky Sports price cut". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
- Wray, Richard (1 July 2010). "War breaks out between BT and Sky over pricing of Sky Sports channels". London: The Guardian. Archived from the original on 4 July 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
- "BT Vision to offer cut price deal on Sky Sports channels". Daily Record. 2 July 2010. Archived from the original on 4 July 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
- Sky Sports 1 and 2 available to BT Vision customers - BBC News
- BT Vision stops selling Setanta - BBC News
- "UKTV creates its first IPTV content deal - first linear channel deal for BT Vision". UKTV. 22 March 2012.
- "UKTV agrees on-demand, channels deal with BT Vision". Digital Spy. 22 March 2012.
- BT Vision signs popular FXUK to build linear offering
- "Premier League lands £3bn TV rights bonanza from Sky and BT". The Guardian. 13 June 2012. Retrieved 14 June 2012.
- "ESPN lose out to BT in bidding for Premier League broadcast rights in £3 billion deal". The Telegraph. 13 June 2012. Retrieved 14 June 2012.
- "BT lands exclusive UK television rights to show live rugby union". The Guardian. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- "BT Vision signs linear channel deal with British Eurosport". cable.co.uk. 9 November 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
- Clover, Julian (2013-10-14). "BT reaches Sky Movies carriage agreement". Broadband TV News. Retrieved 2013-10-19.
- Williams, Christopher (2013-08-01). "BT loses battle over Sky Sports wholesale deal". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-08-11.
- Farber, Alex (2013-08-09). "YouView's IP channels go live in EPG". Broadcast. Retrieved 2013-08-11.
- "BBC iPlayer on TV in your living room: update". BBC. 2011-04-05.