First of all, thanks for your question - it's something lots of people are unsure about. In response, I have both good and bad news for you. The good news is that you can watch BT Vision (www.btvision.bt.com) in more than one room, provided you have at least two TVs. The bad news is that, unfortunately, BT Vision is not a multiroom service, meaning you can't watch different channels on separate televisions at the same time.
The guide below looks at what you get with BT Vision, as well as some alternatives to consider for watching different channels on more than one television at the same time.
Can I have BT Vision in more than one room?
BT Vision is not a multiroom service, which means you won't be able to watch different channels in different rooms at the same time. The set-top box requires its own broadband connection to access web-enabled content, like on-demand television shows and movies. There’s little point having more than one BT Vision box - a single unit can be used to connect up to four TV sets.
For more information on what you get, read our complete guide to BT Vision channels.
How do I get BT Vision on two or more TVs?
While BT Vision is not strictly a multiroom platform, you can connect up to four TVs at the same time to show the same channel. The outputs on the Vision+ box are:
- 2x SCART sockets
- 1x HDMI output
- 1x S-Video (requires separate cable for audio)
These outputs can be used, together with an appropriate cable, to send your BT Vision to other screens around the home. The usefulness of this is limited, as it won't allow two people to watch different shows in separate rooms.
If that’s what you're looking for, it might be worth considering other TV providers before choosing BT Vision. Multiroom options available include Sky (www.sky.com), Virgin Media (www.virginmedia.com), Freeview and Freesat.
What are the alternatives?
Besides BT Vision there are several digital TV providers that do provide a multiroom solution. You may find they cost a little more each month, but if the service better meets the needs of your household, they may be more value for money. Use our free and impartial price calculator to compare TV packages available in your area.
One of the most popular multiroom options is Sky, which allows its customers to have up to eight set-top boxes installed in their home. Of course, the cost of installation will vary depending on the number you want and what types of box you choose.
You'll also pay around £10 extra each month to receive a multiroom service. But getting Sky TV in several rooms is really quite straightforward. Just compare deals online to get started.
You might also consider the multiroom service available from Virgin Media. Before pursuing this option, you should use the postcode checker on Digitalchoices.co.uk to make sure you live in a cable area. Then compare deals and packages to find one that suits your needs.
With Virgin Media, you can choose to have between one and four boxes installed - with a flat installation cost, irrespective of how many you take.
However, you may need to pay an activation fee for each additional set-top box, and will be charged around £5.50 a month extra for each, on top of your monthly subscription.
It's very easy to get Freeview on multiple TVs around your house. Since the service itself is subscription-free, a multiroom set-up won't cost any extra once you've bought the set-top boxes you need - one for each TV.
It is possible to have only one Freeview box for two televisions, but you would only be able to watch the same channel on each. You may find that a signal splitter, which allows you to use a second set-top box on the same aerial, is a more flexible option.
However, this is only suitable if your Freeview signal is strong enough. Your signal may also be weakened by the number of TVs using it. Freeview recommends fitting amplifiers to your system which boost signal strength around the house.
Before going ahead with this kind of installation, you may want to contact Registered Digital Installers (RDI), which can give you details of reputable engineers working in your area.
Freesat is the satellite alternative to Freeview, making it a good option for people with poor aerial reception. It’s another digital TV service that's easy to set-up on more than one TV in your home, as it's possible to attach several set-top boxes to a single satellite dish.
In order to support more than one box, your dish may need to be upgraded, so it's worth discussing installation options with your local Freesat approved retailer before making a decision. To see what channels you can get, click any package in our price calculator.
Having digital TV in more than one room will usually cost you extra, whether it's just the additional set-top box you need or the additional charge for a multiroom service from Sky or Virgin Media. But it's worth remembering you can also save money when you compare packages online, particularly if you bundle your TV, phone and broadband services with one provider.
Digitalchoices.co.uk is approved by Ofcom for price comparison you can trust.
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