Good news for YouView customers: Following the withdrawal of the official YouView mobile app, and the outrage on social media, BT will now open their BT TV’s YouView functionality to ALL users, whether BT customers or not.
YouView, which launched back in 2012, is an “improved” Freeview of sorts, that offers free over-the-air channels, a broadband-based catch-up service, and the ability to pay for TV “add-ons”. (And yes, it’s a lot like FreeviewPlay, as the two services are pretty similar.)
YouView offers access to most of the Freeview channels and radio stations (BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and many others), as well as the main internet-based catch-up apps. It is used either with a stand-alone dedicated YouView set-top box, or via boxes from BT TV and TalkTalk, which use YouView as their TV interface for subscribers.
Last month, many YouView customers (There were 2 million of them in 2019) were disappointed when YouView announced that they will be “phasing out” support for their mobile app, removing it completely on March 31.
The app was used to check the programme guide, but also to set recordings remotely and control the set-top box. YouView users who were also BT customers, were told they would be able to continue controlling the box via the BT TV app – but TalkTalk YouView customers, and those with stand-alone boxes, were left stranded.
Today, YouView announced that following the user feedback, “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.”
At this point, the BT TV app requires users to login with their BT credentials. But from the end of March, YouView users will be able to use the recording function within the BT app without having to log in.
However, while this will work for some YouView customers, the BT TV app will not work with older, 1st generation boxes (such as the Humax T1000), or Sony TVs.