YouView from TalkTalk review – pictures and hands-on

Talk Talk YouView Set-top box

When TalkTalk announced its offering, we weren’t sure whether it was more of the same but with a TalkTalk logo on the front. However since, we have been encouraged and it seems this isn’t the case, and the company has come up with a very interesting offering which we believe takes YouView to the next level. As a side note, with any YouView offering, you still need an aerial to receive the normal Freeview channels.

First, TalkTalk has gone with a box from Huawei. The free version (normally £299) they are giving out has a 320GB hard drive and a custom design, with TalkTalk’s own remote design (below).

 

Talk Talk YouView Remote

 

As HDD’s (hard drives) are still very expensive they have admittedly gone for a lower cost option here. They are confident there will be bigger storage capacity options later. The TalkTalk box is also fan-free, which means minimal operating noise something the normal YouView Humax box does not offer, +1 TalkTalk.

 

Youview TV Guide Talk Talk

As you would expect, there are the usual on-demand options from the likes of BBC, ITV and channels 4 and 5. As with all YouView boxes, you can scroll through the EPG backwards to find catch-up TV to watch, or go forward to set recordings in the future.There seems to be no performance difference between the TalkTalk version and the normal Humax box.

So why go for TalkTalk?
We think TalkTalk is a good option because the company is building on expertise and technology that it has acquired from the days of HomeChoice and Tiscali TV. So its own TalkTalk player offers access to lots of unique content. But TalkTalk is also the first to offer linear streaming TV through your broadband connection. So it’s possible to subscribe to Sky1 through your YouView box, or to pay for the latest on-demand movies.

They also offer films through LoveFilm though it has to be noted this will vary from the subscription service LoveFilm offer directly. When you enter the portal, you’re shown a rolling trailer loop, with the new releases, and as with HomeChoice, you can opt to buy a film based on this trailer, and simply press green to start the rental process.

 

TalkTalk YouView Channel Guide

Pricing is designed to be flexible. You’ll get your box included in an 18-month contract on TalkTalk Plus TV – 24 months for existing customers. Your basic service costs £15.50 + £14.95 line rental per month. You can add Sky’s entertainment channels for £5 a month – which includes Sky 1, Sky 2, Sky Sports News, Sky Arts 1 and 2 and Sky Living. There are also kids’ and music packages, which are £5 each: you get 13 kids’ channels, and the usual music suspects. For all the latest information visit the YouView website directly.