BT has confirmed that its broadband customers will be able to purchase their own YouView boxes from retailers and still access any BT exclusive content.
Due to launch at the end of this month, YouView combines broadcast channels with broadband delivered content from catch-up services such as the BBC’s iPlayer and premium content from Sky’s NOW TV service. This content will be available by branded “players” accessible within YouView’s menu.
Other features include a backwards EPG and a powerful search facility which searches by actors, titles and keywords.
In addition ISPs BT and TalkTalk will be offering broadband customers additional content via their own players.
Both companies will be offering their own boxes as part of a bundle and are expected to announce pricing in the coming weeks.
BT has confirmed to seenit.co.uk that customers who opt to buy a box from a high street retailer will still be able to access “all the BT content” once their box is connected to a BT broadband connection.
In addition the telecoms giant has confirmed the boxes it supplies as part of a bundle will continue to work if customers later switch broadband providers.
The company told us in such a situations “all the players will work apart from the BT player offering all of our BT content. All other features like the backwards EPG and catch-up players will continue to work.”
TalkTalk has already confirmed the same applies to the boxes they will provide and that customers will be able to buy their own box from a retailer if they prefer.
As previously commented on, the ability to keep the same YouView set top box while switching broadband providers could bring extra competition to the UK’s pay-TV sector.
In much the same way as mobile phone companies offer SIM only pans for customers who wish to bring their existing mobile to a network, broadband providers will be able to offer bundled content without incurring the costs of providing, installing or supporting expensive set top boxes.