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BT offers “free” YouView boxes

UK telco BT has finally confirmed its commercial offers for the YouView platform: the company is offering a Humax-built box worth GB£ 299 (US$ 480) at heavily discounted prices to customers on its higher-rate broadband plans.

The new packages will become available on October 26th, and interested customers can also place their order in advance during an exclusive window between October 19th-26th here.

New customers for its super-fast broadband service ‘BT Infinity’ are eligible for a free YouView box (subject to a GB£ 49 activation charge) and existing BT Infinity customers can get one for GB£ 49 (plus GB£ 6.95 for delivery).

YouView bundles will be available with all of BT’s TV and broadband packages, and those customers who are outside an Infinity-enabled area can get a “free” YouView box (again, subject to a GB£ 49 activation charge) when they subscribe to the telco’s ‘TV Essential’ package, which starts at GB£ 4 per month.

No word was given on how these packages fit in with the ‘BT Vision’ service, and it appears that BT is going to offer both YouView and BT Vision-based TV packages, for now at least.

BT has lagged behind the other ISP involved in the YouView project – TalkTalk – which has already started offering its own packages, albeit available on a small scale.

BT’s Humax-built boxes will feature 500 GB hard drives, and feature the same backwards-looking EPG offered by TalkTalk’s Huawei-made models.

Recent reports in the Financial Times suggested that BT has been forced to offer the Humax-built YouView boxes as its go-to box supplier Pace could not meet the delivery schedule required.

YouView boxes combine ‘Freeview’ DTT broadcast signals with catch-up TV and online video services from the likes of the BBC, Channel 4 and Sky, and are the result of a joint venture set up over two years ago by some of the biggest names in the UK’s telecoms and media scene (BT, TalkTalk, the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five and Arqiva).

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