The best YouView deals

by , Technology Researcher PVRs 21/10/2012
YouView

Following the long-awaited, oft-delayed, and drawn-out launch of YouView at the end of July, we finally got our hands on the Humax DTR-T1000 YouView box.

For more information read our YouView explained guide, but for a look at the best way of getting YouView carry on reading.

YouView’s here, but it’s a work in progress

Overall, the YouView EPG (electronic program guide) does a good job of bringing together the live Freeview and Freeview HD channels, catch-up TV and on-demand services (such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD, and Demand 5). The Humax YouView box is a well-made piece of kit too, something we’ve generally come to expect from Humax, but both the box and the interface are not without its faults as we covered in our YouView review.

BT, which offers the Humax box, has informed us that updates are planned over the next few weeks and in early 2013 to address some of these niggles, such as needing fewer clicks to access library recordings, reducing the boot time, and adding a skip function for jumping through a recording.

YouView options compared

While you can buy the Humax YouView box on its own it is pricey – costing at least £279.95. BT and TalkTalk are offering it free as part of their broadband, phone and TV packages – but you will have to sign up to at least an 18 month contract.

The difference between the cheapest 500GB Humax YouView box and the cheapest total cost of a TV bundle that includes a free YouView box is around £292. This means to use the YouView box you would need to get a broadband and line rental package that costs less than £16.25 a month to save money. We would also recommend that you get a package with unlimited downloads to avoid any nasty surprises on your bill, as the catch-up TV and on-demand services will use your internet connection and a lot of data.

It’s worth calculating your ongoing broadband and line rental and comparing the costs and benefits with those packages offered by BT and TalkTalk. One benefit of a provider is the added exclusive content from BT Vision or TalkTalk Player and YouView usage is also included in their broadband packages.

YouView: Other costs and considerations

As well as the box and broadband connection – which is recommended to be at least 3Mb/s (megabits per second) – you will also need a strong digital signal from your aerial and a cable connection to your broadband connection. If your TV is within 2 metres of your broadband connection this won’t be a problem and you will be able to easily hook it up to the internet using the supplied ethernet cable – but if its further you may have to invest in a longer cable or power line adaptors (PLA) to get it connected.

You can buy a set of PLAs bundled with the box direct from Humax, or if you’re buying it through BT you get a pair free. TalkTalk on the other hand sell them at a reduced price.

If you’re worried your internet connection won’t be fast enough read our  guide on increasing your broadband speed.

If you want one in time for Christmas, you’ll have to wait a few weeks for it to be setup with a TV provider. However, there’s no delay if you buy the box outright, it’s subscription-free without a new long contract, and there’s no mucking about with switching providers.

For a run-down of all the details of each option see the table below.

Standalone box – no TV subscription BT TalkTalk
Cost:* RRP £279.95 (500GB) RRP £329.95 (1TB) £628.05 (over 18 months).
Reduced to £571.05 if you choose BT’s ‘Line Rental Saver’
(£129 for 12 months, doesn’t include paying line rental in advance again after 12 months.)
£572 (over 18 months)
Reduced to £482 if you choose TalkTalk’s ‘Value Line rental’
(£114 for 12 months, doesn’t include paying line rental in advance again after 12 months).
Other cost and package details:* Does not include the cost of a broadband package (requiring a landline) which is required to access the service. £49 activation fee, £6.95 delivery charge, TV Essentials package (£5 pm, minimum 12 months), Standard broadband (£13 pm), Standard line rental, Evening & Weekend Calls, (£15.45pm). Plus TV, Broadband and Telephone package (£14.50 pm),
line rental (£14.50 pm),
£50 one-off setup fee.
Minimum contract required:* n/a 18 months
(12 months for TV Essentials)
18 months
Set-top-box provided: Humax DTR-T1000 (500GB) Humax DTR-T1000 (1TB) Humax DTR-T1000 (500GB) (free) Huawei DN370T (320GB) (free)
Recording capacity (SD-quality Freeview TV): Humax state upto 300 hours
(approx 125 hrs of HD)
Humax state upto 500 hours
(approx 250 hrs of HD)
BT state upto 250 hours TalkTalk state 200+ hours
Additional details: n/a It’s the same as the Humax box, but has access to exclusive BT Vision player content via BT broadband connection. Smaller and quieter box. Access to TalkTalk Player. No HD content or on-demand content for Sky channels. Free 12 month subscription to LOVEFiLM Instant for unlimited films and TV streaming.
Powerline adapters (PLA) included?* Not as standard – available as a separate purchase (RRP £80) or as a bundle from Humax direct (£319 for DTR-T1000 + 2xPLAs) Not as standard – available as a separate purchase (RRP £80) or as a bundle from Humax direct (£339 for DTR-T1000 + 2xPLAs) Yes (included with ‘activation fee’) No (available from TalkTalk for £35)
Requirements:* Active broadband connection, and must be in an area that can receive a connection speed of 3Mbps or more. Must be in an area that can receive a broadband connection speed of 3Mbps or more. Requires a BT Vision TV package, which also requires a BT Broadband and Telephone package. Must be in an area that can receive a broadband connection speed of 5Mbps or more. Requires a TalkTalk Plus TV, Broadband and Telephone package.
Available to existing customers? : n/a Existing BT Vision customers out of contract are subject to renewing their contract and must pay £49 for the box + £6.95 delivery fee (no activation charge). Those still in a BT Vision contract can get a YouView box for £299. Existing Plus customers can get a YouView box, but they’re subject to 24 month contract.

*Table notes

  • Based on standard advertised prices.
    TalkTalk: from 17/10/2012.
    BT: from 05/01/2013 when BT increases its prices. Prices before then are £4 TV Essentials, £13 Standard broadband, £14.60 Standard line rental.
  • Assumes you are a new customer and does not include any introductory offers, line rental discount, other activation/installation fees not stated, or call charges. See bt.com and talktalk.co.uk for full pricing information.
  • Based on provider’s minimum requirements:
    BT: 18 month Broadband & Calls contract, 12 month TV contract, and assumes you do not subscribe to a TV service after 12 months.
    TalkTalk: 18 months and assumes you do not subscribe to a TV Boosts service during that time, a £200 charge applies for your YouView TV box if you leave in your minimum term.
  • Requires a broadband connection and landline.
  • Prices correct as of October 2012.

What makes a Best Buy PVR?

We’ve tested the Humax box hot off the shelves before any updates and only have initial impressions of the Huawei DN370T box offered by TalkTalk.

Before Which? can recommend any product we have to put it through our rigorous test program. For more information read our how we test PVRs page or watch the video below.

More on this…

 

6 comments

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avatar

matthew major

The TalkTalk package £50.00 setup fee gets you an engineer to install the box and provide cabling made to length or the setup of PLAs for an extra £35.00. There are two different tv packages from TalkTalk. One for lines over 3meg, and one for lines over 5meg with additional premium content.

avatar

Which Doctor

The TalkTalk box also supports live TV Channels over the internet such as Sky 1, Sky Sports and Sky Movies, these are available at additional cost (from £5 a month, on a monthly basis) see their web site for full info – https://sales.talktalk.co.uk/info/tv/channels). BT have said that the Humax YouView box does not yet support additional channels but may in the future. If you are after additional Pay TV channels and wish to steer clear of the monthly cost of Sky then the TT box could be the way to go….

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Clive

All well and good with the extra SKY channels on Talk Talk, however, you cannot pause, rewind or record them.
It’s like going back in time with old fashioned linear TV.
The offer and service sounds really good, but if you do your homework, it’s not half as good as it’s advertised to be.
Who would want to pay talk talk all that money for SKY Sports, when they cannot be paused recorded or rewound?

avatar

johnhh

Our experience with TalkTalk and Youview was very bad and one that I would not want to repeat.

Go for Youview ONLY if you have good signal strength and broadband in excess of 10Mbps because TalkTalk’s technology will not work if your signal strength is less than 50% and broadband is slowed down to give TV priority over internet.

TalkTalk helpline lacked understanding and was most unhelpful.

avatar

Clive

With BTs version of Youview, your download usage is NOT affected in ANY way when watching “Catch up” or “On Demand” services. You can watch as much as you like, and you will not use up any of your monthly download allowance.
It’s not the same with SKY’s On Demand – which DOES affect your usage. Not sure about Talk Talk version.

Therefore with BTs, version of Youview, a 10 gig monthly usage allowance is absolutely fine. You don’t need unlimited broadband to watch their TV service.

avatar

Musse Pigg

Talktalk reluctantly told me that their Huawei box has an US port, but could/would not tell me what it’s function is. Does anyone know whether one is able to download data from the box to, say, a PC? Further, if that is possile, does anyone know in which media format the data will be. I ask because one is able to record to disk via the USB port on some Tecknika t.vs, but in a very strange format. (This is a matter which Which? does NOT address in any of their reviews.)

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