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No More BT Sport Channels via Aerial for Some BTVision TV Customers

Friday, October 10th, 2014 (2:30 pm) - Score 5,755

Customers of the BT TV (IPTV) service, specifically those with legacy BTVision+ set-top-boxes, will from 20th October 2014 no longer be able to access the operators BTSport channels via the encrypted digital terrestrial transmission using a supplied viewing card. But there is a small caveat.

In fairness the writing for this move has been on the wall since earlier this year when BT stopped selling its sport channels via the aerial to new customers, preferring instead to push them via IPTV to set-top-boxes alongside their superfast broadband (FTTC) BTInfinity connections. But not everybody can get FTTC and so until now the terrestrial TV method has continued to be available to legacy BTVision+ users.

According to SEENIT, customers are now starting to receive letters that say the channels will no longer be available to them if their copper line broadband speeds are above 5Mbps and thus able to make use of receiving the content via IPTV (Internet) connectivity. But the good news is that those in sub-5Mbps areas will continue to get the channels.

No doubt the move will annoy some customers, especially families, where it’s already very easy to gobble up the often limited performance of standard copper broadband.

A BT Spokesperson said:

We have written to customers with a fast enough line speed on traditional copper broadband about an exciting new development that launched in May.

We are now able to deliver BT Sport live over copper lines with a speed above 5Mbps for the first time. Customers just need to make sure their BT Vision + set top box has a direct ethernet connection to their BT Home Hub.

These customers will also be offered either free Broadband Extenders or a free 10m Ethernet cable if their set top box is not already connected to their hub. Customers can take the new option immediately or BT will automatically upgrade these customers to the new service later this year.

These customers will also benefit from free ESPN on their TV, previously only available to them via the BT Sport App or at btsport.com. Customers in non-fibre areas who have a line speed slower than 5Mbps will continue to be able to watch BT Sport via the aerial.”

Looking at BT’s website, the BTSport + ESPN on BT TV with BT Broadband product states that it’s available in standard definition on BT TV for new and existing BT broadband customers who can’t get Infinity, although it points to the “sufficient line quality and speed” requirement as being at least 5.25Mbps for existing customers and 6.5Mbps for new subscribers.

It’s worth pointing out that BT broadband customers can also watch BTSport online for free, using the app, with a minimum line speed of just 400Kbps. Never the less all these little caveats can make their TV service seem more confusing than it should be, making the service harder to sell and customers less sure about what they can actually receive or via which platform and in what way.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. Avatar adslmax says:

    BT Sports are useless and load of crap on it. It’s more of chatterbox sport TV.

    1. Avatar Raindrops says:

      Yep agreed 110%

    2. Avatar onephat says:

      I don’t agree. It depends what sports you want. If you like European football its great. I watch a fair bit on it such as Baker and Baker,

  2. Avatar Matthew Williams says:

    Apart from Moto GP I don’t think I watch anything on BT Sports.

  3. Avatar dadey says:

    BT stick your channels where the sun don’t shine

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