Sky vs YouView

What is YouView?

“YouView is an Internet TV service in the UK. Formally launched on 4 July 2012, it is a partnership between three telecommunications operators and four broadcasters (BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5). YouView provides access to Freeview television and TV on demand (catch-up TV) services via a ‘hybrid’ set-top box, connected with a broadband connection and a television antenna. There is no contract and no subscription for accessing catch-up and Freeview content; there is just a one-off payment for the set-top box, similar to the Now TV box from BSkyB.”

YouView TVYouview’s main selling feature is that it lets you rewind television for up to 7 days. So if you’ve missed your favourite programme you can watch it instantly. This works instantly with scheduled programmes but those recorded live take a while to appear.

First a bit of background… I had been with Sky for a good number of years and for a while had felt like I was paying a lot for very little. My monthly bill was just under £50 (£49) to be exact which was for the basic Sky tv package, broadband (if you could call it internet but I will get onto that later) and telephone. I had heard about YouView and decided to look into this as an option as I’d heard great things about this new up and coming service. After searching around I decided that BT offered the best service which would cost me £20 per month for fibre optic broadband and YouView, this was broken down into £15 for the fibre and £5 for YouView. £5 per month seems pretty decent to get a free YouView box which would normally cost nearly £300 and could be cancelled after 12 months so in theory the box costs £60. I’m sure you’ll agree here a much nicer figure to pay for much after internet (38mb compared to Sky’s 4Mb quoted) and tv, the only channel I will not receive is Sky One… but this really isn’t worth £30 per month. Sky did inform me upon cancelled that my Sky HD box would continue to work as a free view box but this is a bit of a stretched truth. I can still view channels but because I no longer have a Sky account I can’t pause, rewind or record… so it’s a bit pointless. I can pay £10.50 per month to be able to use these features… cheeky of Sky if you ask me considering I own the box!

The YouView box arrived. First impression of it is it’s quite pretty and certainly doesn’t look cheap. It’s not quite as aesthetic as Sky’s HD box which currently sits underneath it. The setup is easy to follow and you’re up and running in no time at all. The picture quality is good and the HD channels are no different to Sky’s offering. My biggest issue is the menu… it’s not quite there. It’s usable, but it’s no intuitive. I don’t know if this is because they’ve tried very hard not to copy Sky’s very good menu system or they just haven’t thought it through. It takes a bit of getting used to and I am finding my way around things easier. The other drawback of the YouView box is it’s a bit laggy (buttons can take a while to respond). Some times it’s super fast and other times it just takes that bit of time to react. As a cost exercise though I am more than happy to persevere for the savings each month… and honestly it’s not that bad!

Sky and YouView Boxes

With my package I also get BT Sport HD free which is an added bonus with Premier League fixtures. At the moment these channels can’t be paused, rewinded or recorded as they are internet channels but apparently these features are “coming soon”. My Sky broadband would not have been able to support this as it was truly terrible. It was slow and dropped connection so many times I sometimes turned my wifi off at home and used 3G on my mobile, and no, I don’t live in the middle of nowhere.

On summary YouView is great when used with a fast internet connection especially for the low cost. If you’re happy with paying a lot each month stick with Sky… I have to admit it is still the best. However, I think YouView will very quickly adapt and update to compete at a higher level. For me I was tired of paying the high direct debit each month and receiving little for it. With some of my spare £30 I have purchased a NetFlix account to really make the most of my fast fibre broadband which I would highly recommend… so I now have movies too! I like YouView, I don’t love it yet but I can see it moving forward very fast, very soon!

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *