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Best PVR and set-top box brands: which should you buy?

BT TV PVRs and set-top boxes: Should you buy one?

By Lewis Skinner

Article 5 of 6

BT TV packages are available as part of BT's phone, broadband and TV bundles. Discover if BT TV is right for you with our expert guide. 

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BT TV set-top box and PVR ranges

BT TV is the name of BT's digital television service (formally known as BT Vision). Like Sky and Virgin Media, BT TV is a subscription-based service offering a mixture of live, catch-up, on-demand and premium channels. Depending on the specific package you select, BT will provide you with either a YouView set-top box or a YouView+ PVR.

Unlike its competitors, however, BT TV uses a combination of Freeview broadcasts and broadband-based services to deliver its full range of TV offerings, rather than cable or satellite. The type of box you get as part of the deal depends on the package you choose - some come with a set-top box and others with a PVR, which adds recording functionality.

BT TV YouView set-top boxes

Opt for the TV Starter package with BT Infinity broadband and you'll be sent a BT-branded YouView set-top box. It uses the Freeview TV service so gives you access to up to 70 TV and radio channels. 

Catch-up TV from the likes of BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and 4oD can be found by scrolling back in the electronic programme guide and sports fans can add BT Sport as well as Sky Sports 1 and 2, for a fee. It is possible to pause and rewind live TV, however, there's no option to record and store any programmes.

BT TV YouView+ PVRs

If you sign up to the TV Essential package, with standard BT Broadband, or the TV Entertainment package with BT Infinity broadband, you'll get the BT-branded YouView+ PVR, rather than its set-top box. It has the same selection of Freeview channels, catch-up TV services and sports offerings, however it also has a built-in 500GB hard drive. 

That means that not only can you pause and rewind live TV, you can also record it, perfect if you are often out when your favourite shows are on.