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Wandering lonely as a clown...

BT Vision!

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by , 16th April 2008 at 06:28 PM (2428 Views)
A week or so ago I got a call from BT offering me their BT Value pack, which equates to getting the BT V-Box (A Phillips DIT9719 HD DVR, worth £200), an on demand pack (worth £6 a month) for free for 6 months and a pair of 200MB powerline network adapters.

The only issue was that I had to renew my BT Broadband subscription for another 18 months (and considering I'd only been with them for a couple of months, it only means I've extended by a couple of months).

The service offered by BT, it has to be said, is excellent. The on demand service works like a charm, with the quality of the video being dvd quality (I don't have an HD TV so can't check if anything works well with HD stuff). I've watched about a dozen shows and a movie via the on demand service and there was never a single artifact or pause due to buffering. (I live very close to an exchange by the way... So my connection speed is superb).

So, if there is anyone who is considering the BT Vision service, but isn't sure, or if you want to know anything else about it, just gimme a shout.


  1. Domino's Avatar
    so which broadband package are you on? and how much is it costing you all-in all?
  2. localzuk's Avatar
    I'm on BT Total Broadband Option 3, £24.99 a month. And after the 6 month period the BT Vision will cost me £6 a month for the TV pack + any movie rentals.

    Oh and I signed up for the service when they were giving out the colour phones rather than the new cheaper black and white phones.
  3. mark's Avatar
    Just got a customer who's ordered this and want's me to go round and install it for them this week - so any tips gratefully received!
    It's a teacher, and they have little clue about what they've actually signed up for. They wanted to connect 2 PCs and a wireless laptop so I advised to wait for the kit to see what it came with. So they went and bought some wireless PCI cards! The kit arrived with a pair of Powerline adaptors like you got. I read you can get matching ones from eBay cheapest.

    We're not in a freeview area (until late next year - no signal at all now), so on BT-Vision they'll only be able to download content. So is all that free for 6 months? Do you have to pay for any programs? I thought not all were free? /even on the trial?

    Their maximum broadband speed is 3Mb so not as good as yours. They're getting the VIOP phone tho' are very confused about what it does - BT-India aren't alot of help either - he asked a 'technical' person if he would be able to call America for free, and they said they didn't know!

    People on the Digital Spy forums have posted conflicting information about how the VOIP phone works. Some say that phone only works with incoming broadband calls, and your land line with regular calls, and every other permutation from that.

    The guy already has Sky, and would've been far better off with Sky+ with their new £26 all inclusive deal IMHO - rather than this deal @ £28cpm plus Sky @ £18cpm -- the guys a real scrooge normally.

    I've no idea which package he has, if there are choices. It's hard enough trying to work out the basics.

    I'm off to his house in the next couple of nights so wish me luck!!
  4. localzuk's Avatar
    Right, each point in order:

    The box arrives simply with the powerline adapters. You plug them in, and the cat5 into each end (one into the vbox and one into the hub). The V-Box takes about 15 minutes to set itself up, restarting a few times.

    The programs available are in packs, namely TV, Music, Kids and Sport. Each one costs £6 or the full pack is £14. (I believe). I chose just the TV pack, which allows free access to the full range of tv shows in the On demand TV menu. You can also pay for movies simply by selecting them in the movies section. Transformers cost me £2.99 for 24 hours. A bit pricey I'll admit.

    The VOIP phone simply is a second line. No fancy costs etc... Just free evening and weekend calls to national and local numbers. It works just like a normal line - the phone defaults to calling out via the VOIP line AFAIK.

    Without being in a digital TV area, the box is kinda wasted. And it is doubly pointless if you have sky.
  5. mark's Avatar
    Cheers dude that's a great help. The guy just called and i'm gonna do it sunday morning - that's the broadband, wireless, TV and anything else that's to be done.
  6. mark's Avatar
    Installed *whew!*

    I'm concerned after returning from the job that we never entered a username/ password & that we just set up as guest users into broadband - is that the case???

    Broadband setup was very simple - liked the clean & simple GUI to the web management. Very lacking in some respects, even in advanced management there's no configuration of the firewall for example. The GUI said the speed was 7.6Mb but Speedtest wouldn't measure it over 1.9Mb. He's also next to an exchange.

    VOIP phone was a doddle, easier that a dect phone I'd say. Couldn't call it via Skype tho' as it wanted a payment!

    Would love to know how the billing works for the VOIP phone. He was saying you get free W/E and evening calls - just like a regular phone. He had a second local number, but you couldn't call it locally without the full area code.

    You could choose any ringing combination - both phones ring for any incoming call, each ring for their own calls, or any variation it seemed. Personally I would set it up with both phones ringing for either line, that way people wouldn't get an engaged tone.

    TV/ Vision setup was equally easy. Shame about the end result! The actual online TV menu (no freeview) seems pathetic next to Sky. Impossible to navigate, equally impossible to know what was free or included in the TV pack. He has kids like me, didn't see anywhere to set up parental controls, but I guess there must be some?

    TV playback seemed fine - no noticeable buffering effects.
    Updated 20th April 2008 at 10:40 PM by mark
  7. localzuk's Avatar
    There is no password entry - as it simply goes off the fact your line is enabled, so you don't need a username/password.

    The speed it says the user is connected at is the theoretical top speed of the line. The actual speed varies a lot.

    You can't call it with skype for free as it isn't a skype line, it is a BT line. And you do have to use the full area code now, as the second lines are being given out with 05 area codes. I signed up when they were just giving out lines with local area codes, so this isn't a problem for me.

    The Vision stuff - the way to tell what is included is when you go into a menu each item will either say 'FREE' or 'Rented' if you have it via a pack or if it is on offer as free. If it isn't, it will tell you how much it will cost.

    Parental controls are available via the BT Vision button under settings. The default pin is 1234.

    You will only notice buffering effects rarely, if your connection speed drops below a certain level (not sure what that level is yet). Then you will get things like a c04 or v04 error.
  8. mark's Avatar
    Thankz localzuk

    So can you call the VOIP line for free at all over broadand?

    I've read that you're always using the VOIP line to dial out unless you dial 5 first - do you know if that's true?

    His 2nd number starts with 44 - 441686 - looks like our normal area code - no menition of the '05' ?

    Thanks for the other info - i'll pass that on.
  9. localzuk's Avatar
    The line is simply a normal line, it just gets routed via the internet instead. Anything like calling it for free depends entirely on the person who is calling it.

    It is true that you use the VOIP line unless you dial 5.

    It seems they have assigned a number in Newtown, is this right? Most new lines are now assigned an 05xxx number, as these are just for VOIP lines. The 44 is just the UK country code.
  10. mark's Avatar
    Whadduya mean the person calling it?!? Me here now on my laptop - how do I call you for free?

    Yes it's a Newtown number. Odd he didn't get 05 then.
  11. localzuk's Avatar
    You can't call it for free, unless your own phone provider (be that BT, Skype, Vonage etc...) offer a 'call national/local numbers for free' package on your line/accounts that you use.

    If you were with BT, your line would have at least free evening and weekend calls to national and local rate numbers, so you'd be able to call my normal or BT VOIP line for free.
  12. mark's Avatar
    Ah I see.. thanks for bearing with me! You said already.. it's simply a normal line.

    I just had in my head that this was a web phone/ could be used web to web.

    So what are the advantages to VOIP? Is it really just a second line? Do you pay 2x line rental and 2 bills then I presume??
  13. localzuk's Avatar
    The advantage of VOIP is that the infrastructure for running it is much cheaper for BT to manage. No need for the PSTN switching nonsense - just route the traffic over the net like everything else.

    On a business scale, VOIP adds in huge advantages due to the ability to easily integrate it with systems throughout every aspect of the business.

    In this case, the BT VOIP line rental is free with the Homehub/Broadband package, and you simply pay for it on your normal bill if you make chargeable calls via it.


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