Are you constantly bogged down by stressful days at work or school? Are you struggling to keep your kids entertained during long periods indoors? Don’t know what to do on weekends? Easy. Invest in your home entertainment setup. Consider buying a YouView box, for example, to improve your days off. Bring back the late Saturday mornings while eating your breakfast in front of the TV. Relive movie nights with family and friends during long breaks. Relaxing in front of the TV can bring you back to the simpler days of your childhood. Sometimes, all we need is to destress for a couple of hours to replenish your energy.
Before purchasing a YouView box, it is best to learn about the nitty-gritty details to see if it fits with your current or future lifestyle. This list is your friendly guide to understanding everything about the YouView box before your purchase.
What Does A YouView Box Do?
A YouView box is a set-top box, a device which converts the signals into something that your TV can read and display. Unlike the set-top box of old, YouView tries to give you the best of both worlds: digital and IP TV. The box can connect to your aerial for free digital channels, your broadband for IP TV and other subscription-based programs. It is TV on-demand in every sense of the word.
On your YouView box, you can pause, rewind, fast forward, record and save shows. Say good-bye to missing parts of your show because you had to take a call or go to the bathroom. No more waiting for scheduled recaps, you can catch up when you are free. This way, you don’t go missing grand reveals because you have work on their regular timeslot.
You can also create a customised library and add personal touches like reminders for things you watch for a better viewing experience. The YouView Box has features that people who solely use online streaming platforms are used to enjoying. It is definitely a step-up from what you grew up with.
What Are The Different Types Of YouView Boxes?
YouView has three main types of boxes: YouView, YouView+, and YouView+ Ultra HD. With these three boxes, there are two manufacturers: Humax and Huawei. The quality and features are the same across the board for these two manufacturers. It is a matter of company partnerships. Humax models are usually for BT, and Huawei models are for TalkTalk. The only difference would be the company logos and add-ons that comes with the box.
When deciding between the different types of YouView boxes, the best version depends on your setup. While the YouView+ Ultra HD has the most power to accommodate your viewing needs, you cannot enjoy the HD channels without an HD TV. The YouView box is the most affordable among the three. However, it lacks some of the features that people have become accustomed to using like recording live shows. In conclusion, it’s really a matter of preference and your budget.
Is YouView The Same As Freeview?
YouView and Freeview are similar, but not the same. Youview has access to Freeview, but not vice versa. The initial Freeview model focuses on free digital channels without any other hook-ups. Its access depends on aerial connection. You can check what is available in your area with Freeview’s online TV guide. You can get channels like BBC, ITV Channel, Channel 4, Channel 5, and other live TV broadcasts.
YouView, on the other hand, has access to all of these Freeview channels and can be plugged to broadbands for IP TV services like BT TV and TalkTalk TV, and other subscription services. YouView depends on decent aerial signals and internet service to deliver its wide range of features.
Can You Get The YouView Box Without A Subscription?
You can buy a YouView box on its own without any accompanying subscriptions from BT, TalkTalk, and Plusnet. It would mean very limited services though. However, you can use it with your regular aerial set up. If you have a limited budget for home entertainment, buying the YouView box on its own might be best. However, this goes back to the question of what you want from your entertainment set up and how you use it.
Pros For No Subscription
The thing that works in your favour when you opt for no subscription is that you don’t have to deal with a contract. When you find yourself busy at work, and you do not get a chance to watch TV, you cannot opt-out of paying your monthly fee just because you did not use it. It might be the choice to make if you, or the people you live with, have busy schedules.
Cons For No Subscription
However, if you do not opt for any subscription, you are under utilising your YouView box. If the YouView+ or YouView+ Ultra HD appeal to you, their recording and storage memory is wasted. While free digital channels have a lot to offer, it cannot satisfy the pop culture nerd or film buff in you. Original content from Netflix and similar platforms are becoming more and more popular. Those shows will never pop up on regular channels.
What Are The Subscriptions Available With The YouView Box?
Your YouView box can get subscriptions from TV on-demand services. They have services like Netflix and Amazon Prime that have a mix of shows with rights reserved and original content. You can also have access to subscriptions to Now TV, UKTV Play, STV player, S4C, ITV Hub, and BBC iPlayer where you can catch up to tv shows you might have missed. Even the young ones in your family have a place with subscriptions. Pop, milkshake!, Ketchup TV, and Disney+ are examples of what you can get for your kids.
Most of these online subscriptions have apps and websites that you can access on other devices. By getting these subscriptions, you not only expand your home entertainment but also your viewing experience on the go.
How Can I Buy A YouView Box?
There are three ways on how you can get a YouView Box.
The first is purchasing it directly from different retailers like Amazon, Argos, Currys, John Lewis, Richer Sounds, and Humax, among many others. You can also find second-hand YouView boxes at half the retail price, but that comes with risks.
Purchase As A Bundle With A TV
The second is purchasing it with a range of Sony Android TVs that you can buy from Currys, John Lewis, and Richer Sounds. You have to double-check if the TV is compatible with the box, you can discuss this with your local sales representative.
Purchase As A Bundle With A Broadband
The third is to buy it in a bundle with broadbands like BT, TalkTalk, and Plusnet. There are different bundles, and the prices and models vary depending on how much internet you plan to get with it. HD channels and heavy recording require more from your broadband, so plan your purchase accordingly.
How much is a YouView Box?
It is difficult to give exact numbers since there are different ways to get it, and they come with promotions that are subject to change. For the basic YouView box model without the recording feature, the average cost is around £62-100. Advanced models can range from £150-£170. When purchasing it along with a broadband bundle, monthly payments without the setup fee can vary from £22-£58.
These numbers are estimates, it’s best to consult their websites for more information.
How do I Set Up A YouView box?
To set up your YouView box, you need the following materials: a YouView box, remote control, AAA batteries, power lead, HDMI cable, aerial cable, and an ethernet cable. When you buy your YouView box, it includes the remote control, power lead/ power supply cord, HDMI cable, and ethernet cable. However, you may opt to buy the cables on your own if it does not fit your setup. Try not to force the configuration, play around with it and see what best suits your space.
Also, don’t forget that YouView uses Freeview and not Freesat channels. You need an aerial instead of a satellite dish. If you have an indoor or outdoor aerial, you can proceed, if not, have an aerial installed—select indoor aerials for flats and houses that prohibit outdoor aerials. If you have decent reception, a properly installed indoor aerial will work just fine. However, if you live in an area with rough terrain, lots of buildings, and the TV transmitter is too far–an outdoor aerial will work better.
Insert the aerial cable to the TV box, then connect the HDMI cable between the box and the TV. Afterwards, you can join the ethernet cable between the box and your internet router. Insert the power lead to the back of the YouView box and the socket, and then you are good to go.
YouView can be an excellent investment for your home entertainment setup. You can have general access to Freeview channels like BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, and Dave. While you can enjoy these free features, you can upgrade with different subscriptions like BT TV, Netflix, and BBC iPlayer.
During dull afternoons with nothing to do, you can sit back, relax, and watch your favourite shows. It provides a flexible and enjoyable viewing experience. If you have aerial problems, you can depend on the broadband connection. If you have internet problems, you can switch over to the free channels. Channels cater to different kinds of people. From educational cartoons and children’s programs to reality TV and action movies, YouView provides entertainment for everyone in the household.