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BT Open Remote Record Feature for All YouView TV Box Owners

Monday, Mar 16th, 2020 (11:55 am) - Score 31,361
youview mobile app

Broadband ISP BT has kindly decided to open up the remote record functionality within their TV app so that all users with a UK YouView (IPTV) set-top-box, even if they don’t have a Pay TV subscription with the operator, can access it once support for YouView’s own app is removed at the end of March 2020.

The YouView platform, which develops hardware and software to support the broadband-based TV (IPTV) services supplied via UK ISPs BT, TalkTalk and some independent retail set-top-boxes (STB), announced last month that it would be “refocusing development away from ‘direct to consumer’ products.” As part of that they also scrapped support for their own mobile app on Android and iOS (Apple) devices (here).

The decision didn’t really impact BT TV too much because they already have their own dedicated app with similar capabilities, although sadly TalkTalk confirmed that their related TV Planner App would be “phased out” at the same time. Likewise this left owners of retail YouView STBs with no free alternative to use.

However, in a surprise twist, the TV platform developer has today confirmed that BT will be “opening up” the remote record functionality within their own app for all YouView users to use (no subscription required).

YouView Statement – 16th March 2020

YouView will be phasing out support for the YouView mobile app with final support ending on the 31st March 2020. The YouView mobile app will then be removed from the App Store and Google Play.

From the end of March, BT will be opening up the remote record functionality within the BT TV app for all YouView users. This means that users will be able to book recordings remotely to their YouView box using the BT TV app even if they do not have a BT TV subscription.

The BT TV app currently requires users to log-in with a BT TV account to use the remote record feature – from the end of March it will no longer be necessary to sign in to use this feature.

BT’s move will no doubt be welcomed by some of those left frustrated by the loss of support for YouView’s old app and at the same time it could also be perceived as a cunning piece of marketing by the telecoms giant (we’ll be interested to see BT’s app and remote record works on TalkTalk’s STBs too). The one technical caveat here is that BT’s app is not compatible with older 1st generation STBs (e.g. Humax T1000) or Sony TVs.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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27 Responses
  1. Avatar photo a welshman says:

    good news for a change but i have two boxes i use bt for one and youview for the other .will we be able to use the bt app for more that one box , i doubt it

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Good question, I guess it would depend on how they handle the access. I imagine you may just be able to setup two logins or something like that, unless they somehow filter the connection itself to restrict use.

  2. Avatar photo Mr Simon Parker says:

    Presumably trying to stem flow of c customers switching to cheaper streaming services

  3. Avatar photo John Stephens says:

    I’m a BT (broadband only) customer so really happy they’ve come to our rescue with the youview 2000t. Not too happy with Humax though, they’d washed their hands of this model even though their name is on the front panel. A missed opportunity to get some good publicity Humax. Thanks BT!

    1. Avatar photo Tom says:

      It’s not Humax who have anything to do with it, it’s YouView themselves. Humax just make the box but it’s YouView that run all the services. If I’m not wrong YouView is a joint venture between some big names such as BT, maybe BBC and ITV plus some others. It’s them to blame, but BT are being very good in this situation by opening their own app.

    2. Avatar photo Pete Shephard says:

      Is it known for sure that the t2000 will be supported by BT’s app (i.e. that just the t1000 is unsupported), or will we have to wait and see? Thanks!

  4. Avatar photo Paul Zaneli says:

    Great news. I don’t think this is about BT being nice. BT have identified a great business opportunity. Loads of non BT TV customer will use the BT app every day. For virtually no cost BT have created a great marketing channel.

  5. Avatar photo James Band says:

    Wouldn’t BT do much better in the TV space, if they offered Freesat instead of Freeview? Or else offered IPTV? E.g.

    1. BT TV could be Freesat. You get a set of Multiroom “BT TV boxes” which connect to each other via BT Home Wifi to view recordings, display all available Freesat HD channels via a Satellite and have the whole offering of free TV players (iPlayer etc) via BT’s Fibre connection.

    2. Same as (1) except BT could offer boxes which connect to a remote BT server which stores all your TV recordings to view from any room with a BT Freesat box

    3. Same thing, but instead of Freesat, BT offer TV over the internet using their Full Fibre connection.

    That seems better than paying for Freeview!

    1. Avatar photo John says:

      More people have TV aerials than have satellite dishes.

      A Youview box is basically a Freeview HD box with ISP subscription channels.

      All the subscription channels are already IPTV.

      They could do exactly as you described using Freeview, no need for Freesat.

      Not sure where the paying for Freeview comment comes from.
      Do you think Freesat is free and Freeview isn’t?

      What’s the obsession with delivery of this having to be over full fibre?
      It’s a long way away until everyone has full fibre, probably never.
      BT’s TV service does and should continue to work over both xDSL and FTTP.

    2. Avatar photo Mel says:

      What advantage would BT gain from switching from a terrestrial platform that they are part owner of and are, or were keen to buy the other parties out for well below their combined investment.

      BT already provide some IPTV channels via their versions of the Youview box for their BT TV customers, I think Youview also has more on demand apps than the other platforms, and I’ve read than the broadcast quality on terrestrial freeview/youview is higher than freesat.

      I’m not sure if any of the free to air platforms permit features like streaming between boxes, if they were sole owner of one, that might change. You can stream recordings using an enigma type (linux) box, but those just use unlicensed plugins to read the TV guides, so doesn’t have to comply with any of each platforms restrictions, so you can customise the guide and even add back Channel 4 HD, copy off recordings and could even plug in a usb freeview receiver to support both freeview and freesat at the same time.

    3. Avatar photo 125us says:

      What benefit, commercial or technical, do they get from switching to terrestrial to satellite, while having to change out every single customer’s box along the way and arranging for the installation of untold thousands of dishes?

    4. Avatar photo James Band says:


      Why would people pay for a box to get Freeview, when they already get that for FREE?

      If BT offered Freesat via a Satellite installation (included in an installation price) and offered additional channels via the internet, then they could challenge Sky. Marketing selling Freesat with a more reliable connection nationwide than Freeview (which is not consistent nationally, more dependent on weather/air pressure and old technology) would do them much better. Who the hell would pay for BT TV unless you want to add on BT Sports? It seems bizarre. I was under the impression that ALL televisions in the UK can receive Freeview already. So why pay BT for a box to do what your TV does already which you’ve already paid for?

      Might as well market BT Air whilst you’re at it with a “Box” that you can use in your home. You get to breathe in the air in your home that’s already there, but you get the privilege to pay for it too. Versus if you sold a humidifier which actually does something, or air conditioner.

    5. Avatar photo James Band says:


      I was under the impression that virtually all TVs can receive Freeview already – i.e. for free. You don’t need a box to actually be able to receive the signal from your preexisting aerial. So it seems completely pointless to have “BT TV” or any box just to receive the signal which your TV does for you for free.

      The difference of selling a Satellite option would be the fact that the Freeview reception is not universal nation-wide and is older technology than a satellite which can be more reliable (not perfect, but more consistent) and less dependent on air pressure etc. It would also look like BT are actually doing something versus the fact you are paying for BT TV when you can watch TV without a box.

      Selling BT Sports is totally separate from the notion of selling a box to watch Freeview on. Surely you could just have a BT App in any case which can be accessed from a Smart TV, or Firestick or whatever. If the Box was PURELY being sold to let you access BT Sports etc on the internet, then you’re actually paying for something, versus watching BBC One or ITV which you can watch without it.

      It’s the difference between selling you the “BT Air Box” which sits on your kitchen worktop and allows you to breathe air already in your home and pay them £10 a month for the privilege. Compare that to selling a BT Air Conditioner, which actually DOES something with the air and justifies you paying for it.

      I’m suggesting that by selling a satellite product, there’s actually a potential reason for people to opt for that over standard Freeview (signal reliability). Might also be able to sway customers from Sky if they offered a cheap “Freesat” option with BT Channels (if people are interested). Just seems pointless to sell “BT TV” as basically just Freeview.

    6. Avatar photo James Band says:


      I’m not trying to promote Freesat over anything else. I’m just saying – if you get Freeview via an aerial already and most TVs (certainly all new televisions sold) can receive Freeview without a box, why on Earth would you pay anyone for a box to watch Freeview?

      I mean if BT TV (without paying the additional sums for BT Sport, Sky Sports etc) is just Freeview via a box…that your TV already receives on its own, then at this rate we’ll be encouraged to pay for BT Breathe – a box that sits in your home that you pay £10 a month for to breathe the air that you already had in your house to begin with.

      Just seems pointless. Selling BT Sports is one thing (using a box, or an app on a TV/phone/whatever), but why would you need a box just to watch the same TV you already watch? It’s still using your aerial. I suggested the satellite option because it would allow them to say – “more reliable signal whatever the weather” or some spiel like that. It might also allow them to market themselves as a competitor to Sky.

      I hope you understand my point. I’m not advocating Freesat over Freeview, or Freesat over anything. Just saying, it’s a gap in the market. I don’t think anyone on Free to air television has marketed a multi room box set up that shares recordings yet.

      Out of interest does anyone know if BT Premium Home Wifi is good? It appears to have bad reviews versus BT Home Wifi.

    7. Avatar photo Mel says:

      The whole point of Youview is to provide an integrated system with the freeview and IPTV subscription channels, plus the time-shifted on demand content and local recordings, where appropriate, being listed in a unified programme guide.

      One box, one programme guide, one user interface.

      No switching between box and tuner.

      If you are not interested in the subscription channels BT offer, then yes, there is no point getting it, but the exact same point applies with Sky. Just get freeview play or one of the third party boxes that let you combine freeview and freesat and the other free to air satellite channels in an integrated programme guide.

      Many TVs now do come with both a freeview and freesat tuner built in.

      BT would be daft to get into the satellite dish installing business, making customers pay for it would be a barrier to them joining and offering it free would be costly.

      I suspect if fibre broadband was being widely rolled out when Sky was founded, even they might have gone down the terrestrial TV plus IPTV route for their subscription channels, as it would probably be cheaper.

    8. Avatar photo Mel says:

      As for sharing recordings, I’m not sure if Freesat or Freeview would allow that, and if they won’t you can not use their guide on your box.

  6. Avatar photo Christopher satow says:

    Be good if you could add time to record programmes like the v6 box virgin have many times the program records after it has started and cuts off at the end so nota very good box really come on bt get a box that can add extra time to

    1. Avatar photo The Facts says:

      YouView uses actual start and finish times.

    2. Avatar photo Mel says:

      @the facts,

      The broadcasters sometimes mess up, so the box stops recording before the programme actually finishes, or starts recording after the programme has already begun. Very common on some channels, so you need to be able to add extra time, even my old super VHS video recorder could do that with the videoplus scheduling, so it is about time Youview caught up with 90’s technology.

  7. Avatar photo John Clark says:

    Hi, I travel a lot, or at least used to!, and frequently used the youview app on my phone to set recordings whilst away.
    It seems although the new BT app is free it requires to know your location when using. It says it will only work in the UK who his useless if true.
    Does anyone on here know if I can use my phone app whilst abroad to set a recording on my box which is in the UK?

    Thanks, John

  8. Avatar photo Rod C says:

    Any idea when the BT app will support this for non BT customers? It’s still asking me for my BT account no. To register.

  9. Avatar photo Steve says:

    @Rod C – I have a TalkTalk branded Huawei DN372T. In the app if you click the menu button (three horizonal lines / burger), click Settings, TV box – you should see it is not paired. When I go through this process it finds my box, but when I click next I get the message:
    It’s time to upgrade. You need to upgrade the software on your TV box to complete pairing. (GY182)
    I presume GY182 is the error code, I have googled this with no luck.
    Hopefully you and other people will have more luck with their boxes. Also the app is only partly usable to non BT account holders to set and cancel recordings.

  10. Avatar photo alan says:

    I also have the talk talk Huawei box I managed to pair up but when you try to record a programme it says GY182 erroer code time to update the boxes software but mine is running the latest version. Whats the fix if there is one

  11. Avatar photo David says:

    I get an AY 180 error code when I try to pair my YouView box from TalkTalk with the BTTV app. Any idea what that means.

  12. Avatar photo Paul Cooper says:

    So i have a perfectly good youview T1000 that I now can’t use as originally specced.
    Nice to have (in this case) a completely unnecessary obsolescence forced on me, I assume to make me buy yet another device.
    Does any one know of any alternative app I can use to manage my T1000?
    Cheers Paul

  13. Avatar photo mikeyranson says:

    I am not registered with BT TV but registered as a BT broadband user. I downloaded the BT app and it says to sign in to use the app but from what i see on BT website, i have to have a bt tv package. I understand that i dont need a BT package to use the app.

  14. Avatar photo Geoff Lawn says:

    What an absolute messy situation. I have the latest Talktalk TV box with the latest software but can no longer remotely set recordings as the app. no longer exists. Trying to get the BT TV app. to do the same job is hopeless – it tells me I have to get a software update (error GY283) but I already have the latest software. Will the BT app. ever work with Talktalk and others? Why on earth did Talktalk scrap an app. that worked brilliantly?

Comments are closed

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