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on 4 February 2014
Been a Sky customer for 10 years, with all but Sky sports. Became sick of paying £51 a month for basically around 2-300 channels of endless repeats and absolute rubbish.
When I discovered that some of my most watched favourite channels such as Eurosport, a at Geo, Discovery etc were avaliable via youview from BT, I reluctantly gave up my all singing and dancing Sky Hd, helped in no small part by Sky offering me an insulting 5% discount in an attempt to keep a long standing customer !
I was reluctant to give up all the HD channels as there's very little currently avaliable on Youview but I soon got used to it and those channels that are streamed via the net are almost as good as HD without actually being so.
I've found the Youview box frustrating to use however, perhaps it's just me but compared to a Sky HD box, it's very slow and ponderous, with an irritating delay to every command that will send you skatty. I don't understand why, if Sky can make a responsive box, Youview can't, it's certainly something that needs work.
Also I've found navigating around the programme menu somewhat confusing, it appears to have a mind of it's own, not at all logically set out and jumps from one catergory to another without any sense, again, poor compared to the Sky EPG.
Don't think though that I'm trying put you off Youview, it's just that it all needs a bit of work to make it as easy and fast to use as a Sky box. I don't miss the channels I've lost from Sky at all and the real clincher for me is, it's £500 a year cheaper !
I was a staunch advocate of Sky who was incredibly reluctant to part with all those HD channels, movies etc but I have to say I'm glad I did. Try Youview, stick with it for a few weeks as it may seem like you've made a mistake at first but you'll soon get used to it and wonder why you paid Sky so much money !
*the ads telling you you can scroll back 7 days and watch anything are slightly misleading, you can only watch programmes that have a dedicated player, it's just a short cut to finding what you want and also don't pay extra for BT sport Hd, it's streamed, if you have BT broadband and the quality is excellent so save yourself £3 !

*Update, Now They have now added Europsort HD whooohoo ! Also seems to have speeded up slightly, possibly a software update (?)although the on demand players seem to be decidedly hit and miss, sometimes won't even start and on other occassions, they freeze mid way through and I have to unplug the box to get it working again ! This may be a player problem though and not that of the bos/youview ? The main thing is, despite the problemsthat still need ironing out, I have 99% of the channels I watched most on Sky but it's £500 a year cheaper, sorry Sky but you can keep your 5% discount !*

*Updated update ! Had the misfortune to deal with BT's customer service, which it has to be said is appauling ! Disconnected my broadband without any communication because a direct debit didn't go out ! Couldn't get to speak to a human being because customer services were shut ! Finally got through to a human who was utterly useless and despite paying the alleged bill, which I didn't even realise hadn't been paid, I was told that I would have to wait 24-48 hrs to be reconnected and had the cheek to charge me for reconnecting ! Lost all internet channels from the box as a result and wasted 45 mins (added to the 1.5 hrs earlier) on the phone whilst they tried and failed to work out what was wrong. Two minutes on Google and I managed to fix it myself! BT's customer service is just dreadfull, if you have problems don't phone them, just try to search for an answer and fix it yourself !"

*Updated update of the update!*

Just about given up trying to record anything now. Nine times out of ten, it cuts off before the programme has finished and more often than not misses the start too !! Great watch a programme or film, then miss the ending AAARRRGGGHHH ! Sky always used to record about 5 minutes before the programme started and 5 minutes after it finished !? Come on Youview, sort it out !
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I bought this player as the freeview box was getting a little long in the tooth and being a big MotoGP fan this seemed like a great way to get set up for BT Sport on the TV. How wrong was I?

Very as it turns out, don't get me wrong, the box is brilliant, its a HUMAX and the interfaces, remote and everything else seems to be spot on, iPlayer works like a charm, the channels were found quickly and the picture quality seems sharper than our old Humax. Great, until you contact BT.

Then it all goes very horribly wrong, we have spent 5 hours on the phone with BT, I am an exisiting infinity customer and all I wanted to do was add BTvision to my package, apparently I can't everyone and I do mean everyone from BT support to supervisors to the BT Player sales people can not or will not allow you to connect up to BT Vision without a BT supplied BTvision box, well just send yours back they said repeatedly, no we don't want to we said, well we can't complete the order without sending you a box, and you'll have to pay a £35 connection fee. Ok we'll pay the fee and subscribe to some extra channels, you can't without a BTvision box, I have one, says BT on the front even has a BTvision button on the remote, oh well i can't do that I'll pass you on to.... 5 hours later several laps around the BT system later, we are subscribed to BTvision, and our free Youview box will be here on Tuesday! There is no solution, madness lies this way if you try it. by the way to throw a further spanner in the works and being told to return our box to the seller one person said "you can watch BT sport on the internet you know" like we were being difficult.

The BT site states "BT Sport is now available on YouView boxes not bought directly from BT. To enjoy BT Sport you'll need our new BT Player Essential package below and BT Infinity.

Please call us on 0800 085 2795 to place your order." Don't believe it for a moment.

If you want a freeview box though its brilliant, all the catch up TV is independant from BT and all that is really good and easy to use, however if BT sport is your thing unless you get counseling before trying to get it sorted I wouldn't.

UPDATE: - Well we are connected to BT TV, it all works like a charm, BT Sport, Eurosport it all works great. At some point we will have to go and get our BT Supplied box from the post office, but yes you can watch BT TV on one of these provided you can convince BT to supply it without a box. If you do please let me know how LOL
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on 2 January 2014
...but then you didn't think it would be did you?

Bought this in its BT YouView guise from Currys for £159.99.

Yes, it's a re-badged Humax DTR T1000, which is good. It would appear though that issue of software updates is still controlled by BT not Humax - this is evidenced by the fact that the December 2013 Humax 'retail' update added the ability to use a USB keyboard, whereas BT for some reason have chosen to hold this one back for future release. This may have something to do with the need to check that software upgrades work with their premium BT Vision services too, unlike the Humax retail version. You also end up with a mauve BT Vision button on the remote that does nothing. However, these are about the only downsides for buying at such a low price compared to the Humax offering.

As the owner of a Humax HDR-Fox T2 also with which it shares 'dead ringer' physical attributes, it's interesting to make comparisons, not all of them in the YouView kit's favour. The good news is that you can correct any clashes of remote controls by altering the codes used by the T2.

The Youview box has far and away the best EPG to date - imagine being able to scroll 7 days backwards from now as well as the customary 8 days forwards. Well, thanks to its 'full set of catch-ups', including not only the 'big four' networks, but also UKTV (Dave, Yesterday, Really), you can do just that on an impressively long list of channels. Very useful if you learn that you've just missed something. There's also a more conventional route to the 'catch-ups' by pressing 'YouView>On Demand'. This then allows you to search by name, rather than having to scroll back through the EPG to find programmes, the precise details of which are lost to you. The On-Demand route also gives you access to S4C catch-ups even if you don't live near a Welsh transmitter.

Ordinary recordings both in SD and HD are a doddle to set up, either singly or as part of a series - finding them and playing them is equally easy. Usefully, any serial recordings are filed in sub-directories which keeps your list of recordings agreeably short. Watch out for the default setting that deletes the oldest recordings should the disc space near full.

My initial set-up went without a hitch. Bear in mind that I have an optimum "75% strength, 100% quality picture" from Crystal Palace and 100 mbyte cable broadband - you'll need a steady 3mbytes for streaming SD and more like 5mbytes for HD.

You'll also need a means of getting an Ethernet connection to your box if you want it to be anything other than a Freeview PVR (which would be a shame), as this box has no wi-fi capability at all, unlike the T2.

You CAN at a pinch buy an Ethernet/wifi box that you programme up on a PC with your wi-fi encryption code and then plug it into the Ethernet socket for around £20 if you really can't get a hard wired circuit to it (For myself, I'm using HomePlugs via the mains).

There are other defaults to look out for and change as need be.

A) The high-eco mode, means a standby power drain of only one watt - laudable but this leaves the TV pass-through switched off too, leaving many a new user wondering why their telly won't work without the box turned on. You can tweak this to remain as 'eco' as possible but with the pass-through active.

B) The high-eco mode also means what is practically a cold reboot time of over 100 seconds.

C) However if you choose 'low-eco', expect that drain to soar to 20 watts or so, especially with the pass-through switched on. That's practically the same as being left on 24/7 - you can tell because the box feels warm. The boot-up period is now very short, like bringing a PC out of 'hibernation' though.

D) You need these 'gas-guzzling' settings unfortunately not just to speed up the boot process, but if you want to use the otherwise excellent smart phone apps (iPhone and Android) to set timers whilst anywhere else in the world. It can't be spotted by the app if it isn't to all intents and purposes turned on. Even then, it can't be relied upon to programme a recording due to start within 15 minutes - I assume the machine polls (or is polled by) a server somewhere at 15 minute intervals.

Other bad news?

It can't be used as a media server. It will not work as DNLA, or allow FTP access. There are no plans to change this. The USB ports, up to now useless, have at least in theory sprouted the ability to register a standard keyboard/mousepad device - still waiting for BT to add this facility to their next download. (Update: As of April 10th 2014, this download has occurred with the expected USB access for keyboard and mouse, plus 'accessibility options' like being able to change the contrast of menus for the visually-impaired by changing them to black and white from blue and white)

The USB port still can't be used to load or save files, unlike the T2.

Glad I got it? Yes, especially for £160, which is less than some of the used ones go for on e-bay.

Would I want it as my only PVR? No so sure about that one. There are too many tricks missing from its repertoire compared to the T2 that I've gotten used to using like transferring files to my PC to make DVDs of them.

Do they look good side by side? Yes, like identical twins with different tattoos.

I'd have given it 5 stars if it wasn't for the profligate stand-by power use when set to anything useful, and its refusal to have anything to do with USB sticks/drives, home media networks and wi-fi.

Other niggles? Yes, the 'Genre Search' for say, movies, is way too keen to list everything on the Sky paid-for apps in the On Demand section to the exclusion of anything else. Having said that, the Sky Store (PAYG movies) app works rather well (I was paid by a market research group to hire one!) although hell will freeze over before I subscribe to Sky Go!

Note: The On Demand services I speak of work on anyone's broadband not just BT's.
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on 3 March 2014
Having had this box for a week, now I think it's fair to say that I've found it to be a disappointment.

I have 70mb BT Infinity broadband, so was hoping to be able to access BT Sport and the BT on demand libraries. This has not proved to be the case. The BT On Demand section just brings up an error message and fails to load. Same for BT Sport channels. Support calls to BT have proved to be a complete waste of time. I even offered to pay for BT Player at £5 a month in order to get the additional content but it seems that was also beyond the abilities of the support team.

As other reviews have mentioned, BT are unwilling/unable to connect this box to BT services. Apparently, they 'don't have the button on their system' to enable it. Despite what it says on their website:
[...]

"BT Sport is now available on YouView boxes not bought directly from BT. To enjoy BT Sport you'll need our new BT Player Essential package below and BT Infinity. Please call us on 0800 085 2795 to place your order."

Unfortunately, calling that number just leads to a long wait and a pointless conversation with a BT employee who, having checked with his manager, confirmed that it's not possible for them to implement this. Unless you order a YouView box from them...

The reception on the box seems poor. Using the same aerial that was previously plugged directly into my TV, the YouView box seems to get poor reception on some channels (Dave etc, seemingly anything other than BBC, ITV or Channel 4 etc) making them unwatchable. Running an aerial cable from the aerial out on the YouView box to the TV, the TV gets perfect reception for all of those channels, only channels missing are the Freeview HD channels which disappeared several months ago.

The On Demand for 4OD and Channel 5 have problems with the adverts. Specifically, if you try and watch something on either of those on demand services you get nothing back a black screen. Sometimes after 10 minutes of waiting, the program will start but the problem will reoccur at the next advertising break. It's just not usable.

The box also takes a fair amount of time to start up if it's not in 'maximum' eco mode (the box can't be in max eco mode if you want to use the mobile app functionality)/

The two star rating is given because the recording functionality (for the channels that are viewable), EPG, menus etc are all very good and function well.

So for £175 we've got recording functionality for the main channels (BBC, ITV and Four) with very little else. If this box actually delivered what it claimed it would be a good buy, but given it's many faults it's something of a waste of money.
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VINE VOICEon 17 June 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have a very old TV that doesn't connect to the internet, and so I was excited to receive this box which brings me a lot more up to date. I had it set up in less than half an hour and was soon happily watching shows from the on-demand players. The ability to watch those players on the TV rather than on my little laptop screen is really useful to me, and the ability to record all the films that I quite fancy watching one day on to the harddrive is also great.

That said, there are a fair number of issues with this product, the most obvious one being the inexcusable lack of wi-fi. You will need either a long (and annoying) ethernet cable if your internet socket is in the same room as the TV like me, or adapters if it's in a different room which will set you back quite a few quid. There are a few other problems with the box too, so I've made a list for ease of viewing:

PROS
- Easy to set up
- Fairly simple to find your way around the remote and the menus
- Easy to access all the on-demand players
- Recordings are easy to set with just one click, seem to work reliably and are simple to access, and you can see a list of scheduled recordings as well as ones that have completed
- You can record two shows at the same time and watch a previous recording, or record one show and watch something else on live TV
- You can start to watch a show whilst it's still recording (this is useful for shows with loads of adverts like The X Factor, so you can start watching it half an hour late and wind through all the adverts!)
- Has an excellent signal and the picture looks clearer than it did with my old freesat box

CONS
- No wi-fi means unnecessary hassle and/or expense
- It takes at least a minute to start the box even when not on eco-save mode
- The TV guide can be quite slow to load when you're trying to look at what's coming up in the next few hours
- When you press the button to delete a recording, there's no `confirm' question - the recording gets deleted with just one click and I can imagine a lot of people doing this accidentally
- The promotional blurb is somewhat misleading; when it says you can watch TV from the last 7 days it doesn't mean you can watch all the shows from all the channels - it just means that you can watch the ones that are on the on-demand players like 4OD and iplayer. It's not really an extra feature, it just means you can access the shows from the TV guide rather than searching for them on the players.
- The price is quite high, and if you can find a good offer then you can actually get an identical box free from TalkTalk or BT providing you subscribe to their services, and that will work out cheaper in the long run (plus provide you with the extra paid-for features).

Despite these issues, I'm really pleased to have the box.
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VINE VOICEon 20 May 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
In this video, I have tried to show the experience of setting the machine up.

As mentioned here and elsewhere, it is a slightly pimped Humax DTR 1000. However it wouldn't be fair to say it is identical, as it integrates the BT Vision service into the box, with a button just for the job.

Many reviews have alluded to the fact that you will need Powerline adaptors to get the most out of this machine, and unless you happen to have structured cabling already, or you have your router right by your TV, you will need some. There are plenty to choose from on Amazon. It will work in its own right as a freeview HD box, but the network connection allows all the additional on-demand players such as iPlayer, ITV Player, 4OD and Demand 5. It also lets you set the recorder remotely, very handy if you go out for the day and forget to record Doctor Who.

Despite usually having a hard time getting used to new remotes, this one hasn't been so tricky. The buttons are in sensible places, and are very clearly laid out. The menu structure is very intuitive, and seems to borrow quite heavily from the iPlayer interface. Search by name of programme, or go to a particular on-demand-player, or search by genre, and it will tell you which player your programme is on.

It really ought to have a wi-fi feature, and of course the speed of download is only ever going to be as good as the broadband provider will allow. However if you've invested in BT Infinity and you want to benefit from all that "free" football coming up, this is a great machine to keep up.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have been a SKY customer for 3 years but after a recent altercation with their customer support department and upon realising that I was paying them £1000 a year for the pleasure (or rather dis-pleasure) I sought an alternative.

Freeview is great but limited but with TV catchup and other add-on services it makes it a whole lot more appealing. So, I have now switched to BT who provide my phone line, broadband and BT Vision for a few extra channels. upon doing a bit of Internet research it seemed that this box was the 'standard' for offering the services I needed. It has an even bigger HDD capacity than my SKY box so recording programs that I can watch when I like and not have to delete to make space is better and easier. So long as you have it connected to the internet you can access this box and control it from elsewhere.

I think another reviewer stated that the remote is nice and has far less buttons than most and I would agree. Most of the buttons provided on a SKY remote are redundant anyway. This remote is nice and ergonomic. The on-screen menu is easy to navigate and visually pleasant to use and read. If anything, it is better because you actually get the channel logos rather than just text so it is quicker to scroll and choose.

It was easy to set up, easy to use and actually saves me about £600 a year. I do have a netflix account for movies rather than buying from BT but this box is a godsend. Yes, the initial outlay was around £500 (the box and a good Broadband freeview aerial) but I have saved that in reducing payments to SKY. Considering, the basic SKY package is about 90% freeview channels anyway, switching is no big deal and this box is a dream to use.

It would be nice if it had Wifi capability but otherwise I cannot really fault it. I don't think I will ever switch back to a cable or satellite provider when YouView is so good and I can imagine they will extend and improve it in time.
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on 17 March 2014
Did not consider the handset ergonomical as it slid about on the tabletop when operating the sound on/off and subtitle controls and the positioning of the on/off control is not ideal.
Also I agree that the long delay on start-up is annoying. Otherwise it's OK.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 26 May 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I decided to try this BT Freeview Recorder as we had been looking to update our previous Freeview Recorder which we've had for several years.

Firstly, I will admit that I am not technically minded so things like this must be quite easy for me to connect up. This has a "four" steps:-

- connect the aerial cable,
- connect the hdmi cable from TV to box,
- connect the Ethernet cable from box to internet hub, and finally
- plug in and switch on.

Easy, except why should I have to connect an Ethernet cable to run the internet to the box? This would be the only item in the house that requires a wired connection to the hub (which is in the hall). Surely, the way to go with items like this is Wi-Fi. My friend, who was helping me set this up, couldn't believe that there was no way to set it up for Wi-Fi at all - he said that there is no way of plugging in a Wi-Fi aerial because the USB ports are deliberately disconnected (it took several phone called to the "helpline" to confirm this discovery and that it was deliberate and not a fault with the machine).

You need to be internet connected to use the on-demand (BBC i-player, etc) so we would have to go out and buy a long Ethernet connection cable to equip this function.

With my previous Freeview recorder I could record a programme and then transfer it off the hard drive, via USB, and onto my computer or to my dvd recorder and then onto disc, unfortunately there is no way to transfer a programme from this machine due to the disconnected USB connectors. This means that if you want to save a programme to watch at a later date or to watch again at another time you will have to ensure that you don't accidentally delete it from the hard drive.

As a general Freeview box it is as good as its predecessor, and records ok but the inability to transfer recorded programmes is a disappointment - add to that the fact that the last person we spoke to on the BT "helpline" told us that we'd have been better off with Virgin makes me glad that we didn't throw the old Freeview recorder away.
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VINE VOICEon 17 July 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I already have a Humax so was keen to try this Youview box as it is based on the same machine. As with my Humax it was simple to set up, you can easily scroll through channels and using the guide set up reminders and schedule recordings. It has been a little confusing to start with as the screens are all different and the remote is of a completely different lay out so takes a bit of getting used to. However, I have quickly got the hang of how to access everything and most things are straightforward. I only have an indoor aerial attached to the box but even with this I am getting lots of channels of a good standard. The main advantage of the Youview box is the ability to access the on-demand channels via the TV guide which allows you to select programmes from the last 7 days very easily from most channels. The main disadvantage of the box is the lack of WiFi, the box has to be connected via an Ethernet cable which has involved the purchase of TP Link TL-PA251KIT AV200+ Multi-Streaming Powerline Starter Kit with AC Pass Through (UK Plug Only), this works very well but I have found it frustrating as I have a WiFi adaptor for my Humax but it won't work with the Youview box. Overall I am pleased with the recorder and just hope they will bring out a WiFi adaptor soon.
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