The design of the YouView + takes its inspiration from BT’s Home Hub routers. It looks like a modem from the 1990s with a bunch of flashing lights, and is about the size of a hardback book.
BT has stamped their logo on it, too, yet this is a Humax box; in terms of functionality, it is almost identical to the Humax DTR-T2000.
In case you haven’t tried it yet, YouView is a free service that uses the internet to bring Freeview and on-demand services to one place.
You can pause, rewind and record from more than 70 live TV and radio channels. The electronic programme guide (EPG) can scroll forwards seven days, so you can set recordings for when you’re not around.
It’s also possible to roll back seven days and see what you missed. Here’s the clever bit; some programmes are tied to the main on-demand services: BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5. Spot something you missed? Click on it, and the appropriate catch-up app will open, and the programme will play.
The chronological EPG is a neat way of showing what you missed. It’s easier than opening up each catch-up app individually, although you can do that too.
Other apps include Sky’s Now TV (subscription film and TV streaming), Sky Store (pay-as-you-go films), Milkshake! (for kids), S4C (in Wales), STV (in Scotland) and UKTV (content from Dave, Really and Yesterday).
Don’t worry if you don’t know which channel or app is custodian of a particular programme. The search function is universal, and applies to all sources.
Just type in the name of the programme you want to watch and you’ll be told which service offers it. There’s a good amount of information for programmes, and it’s nice to see related programmes, in case you need advice.
That’s what you get from the vanilla YouView service. What else does the BT YouView+ box offer? That depends if you’re a BT customer. If not, you’re essentially getting a Humax DTR-T2000.
More after the break
Build and design
There’s a 500GB hard disk, which can store up to 300 hours in standard definition, or 125 hours in Full HD. Twin DVB T2 HD tuners mean you can record one channel while watching another, or record two at the same time.
Picture and sound performance is on par with the Humax: clean, sharp, punchy, and entirely at the mercy of your reception. If you get good TV reception normally, you’ll do well here.
At the back, there are connections for aerial pass-through. Outputs include one each of HDMI, digital optical, scart and RCA. Internet is through a single ethernet socket: there’s still no wi-fi.
There’s a USB port, but it doesn’t seem to serve any particular function. The system interface, as expected, is what as you’d get on the Humax, and just as speedy.
It’s a neat, intuitively laid out system menu that shows you the settings, recordings, and apps.
So, the BT difference: if you’re on BT Broadband and BT Infinity, you get the BT Sport app. That gets you live streams of BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2, and ESPN, as well as BT Sport on-demand video.
You also get the BT Player app for on-demand movies and TV shows. There are also various options you can subscribe to: BT Sports in HD, Sky Sports, Sky Movies, and extra channels like Discovery and Fox.
You have to pay extra for these, with prices starting at £3-per-month, but there’s no annual contract. Is it worth it? We think so, especially if you’re a sports fan. You get the box for free on contract.
At the time of writing, prices start from £10-per -month, plus £15.99 monthly line rental and £30 activation charge. If you’re already on a BT landline, upgrading is a no-brainer.
If you’re not with BT, it’s still a good offering. You can get the box on its own for around £175, which is a great price for the core YouView experience.