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Aspiring Expert
2,622 Views
Message 1 of 22

Extra Box (Multiroom) - No more than 2 boxes?

For some time I've had 3 youview boxes running, 1 downstairs and 2 in the bedrooms. This all worked perfectly well although Bt did not officially support this. I was very happy with this system and one of the main reasons I chose over $ky and Virgin.  

 

Then for commercial reasons, BT jumped on the multiroom bandwagon and charged £99 for a new box (tho I didn't need it) and a fiver a month to switch on multiroom. Ok I thought, no problem and I understand the charging and if my setup of 3 boxes continues to work then I'll go for it.

 

However what really disappoints is that my 3rd box can no longer get the extra IP channels that I pay for!!! It's clear that BT check how many boxes you are using. Why? If I accept that more than 2 boxes is not officially supported but know that it works perfectly well, why impose a 2 box hard stop when I pay for multiroom? This now effectively kills the point of multiroom, more like dual room which I can get with Sky or Virgin with more choice and faster broadband.

 

Why BT can I not use my third box? This kind of forces me to assess my TV and broadband options whereas I WAS perfectly happy with BT!

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Aspiring Expert
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Message 2 of 22

Re: Extra Box (Multiroom) - No more than 2 boxes?

I see from the BT Hepl that it now states:

 

Your BT TV services are delivered through your broadband connection, so additional boxes increase the reliance on broadband speed. We have limited Extra Box to two boxes to ensure you get the best possible experience.

 

However my connection speeds and 500AV adapters were just fine for 3 boxes, so is there any way to allow 3? perhaps a MOD can answer this pls?

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Guru
2,504 Views
Message 3 of 22

Re: Extra Box (Multiroom) - No more than 2 boxes?

Good question. I presume it is purely a commercial decision rather than a technical one.

 

Stew

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Aspiring Expert
2,458 Views
Message 4 of 22

Re: Extra Box (Multiroom) - No more than 2 boxes?

I would have to guess so as I know my particular setup works very well (or did) with 3 boxes streaming HD.

 

Perhaps BT should allow the additional boxes but make it perfectly clear that they accept no responsibilty for issues relating to a 3rd box.

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Distinguished Guru
2,436 Views
Message 5 of 22

Re: Extra Box (Multiroom) - No more than 2 boxes?

Possibly it is due to way BT Retail are being charged by BT Wholesale for the TV Connect multicast TV service.

 

However, the update at the bottom of this article suggests to me that the costs are determined by the number of channels available and the channel format rather than how many streamed copies are being fed to boxes? How do you read it?

 

Also, do BT Retail pay BT Wholesale exactly the same for an FTTC broadband connection regardless of how much data passes through it, or is there also a usage charge?

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Aspiring Expert
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Message 6 of 22

Re: Extra Box (Multiroom) - No more than 2 boxes?

From what I remember, the requirement for two boxes was a minimum connection speed of 34 mbs, I assume this was to allow for upto 4 simultaneous HD channels (2 per box) and doing the sums this works out at 8.5 mbs per HD channel,

 

Which may be a bit on the generous side, but if it was much lower, complaints would be forthcoming if problems occur, and it also probably includes an allowance for normal Internet use, browsing, games etc. 

 

Presumably if the number boxes were to be increased, a higher minimum connection speed will be required. 

 

 

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Distinguished Guru
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Message 7 of 22

Re: Extra Box (Multiroom) - No more than 2 boxes?

If I remember rightly a TV Connect document posted on the web listed the following four example channel formats.

  • SD normal - 2.5Mbps
  • SD premium - 3.0Mbps
  • HD normal - 7.5Mbps
  • HD premium - 10.0Mbps

If BT TV used HD normal then two HD channels would match up with the minimum for Infinity connections (15Mbps). Add in a bit of contingency for other usage and you get the 17Mbps per box?

 

However you could in theory record two multicast HD channels simultaneously and also watch an on-demand unicast HD stream via say BBC iPlayer at the same time. 17Mbps might struggle to support that, though the streams might be variable rate and running at well below the maximum rate required much of the time?

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Aspiring Expert
2,386 Views
Message 8 of 22

Re: Extra Box (Multiroom) - No more than 2 boxes?

This provides a business opportunity for BT, if they produced a dumb box,  ie a single HD IP channel with freeview and possibly a bit of ram for pausing etc, three rooms could be catered for, one main youview+ box and two rooms with single channel terminals, all within the 34 mbs constraint.

 

 

 

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Distinguished Guru
2,377 Views
Message 9 of 22

Re: Extra Box (Multiroom) - No more than 2 boxes?


@davidb00 wrote:

This provides a business opportunity for BT, if they produced a dumb box,  ie a single HD IP channel with freeview and possibly a bit of ram for pausing etc, three rooms could be catered for, one main youview+ box and two rooms with single channel terminals, all within the 34 mbs constraint.


A sound idea, but in practice BT/Youview haven't exactly proved themselves to be great at developing and maintaining PVR software. I've been on the BT Vision+ box for many years and the New Look software in place most of the last two years has been poor quality from the start. Going by this forum the BT Youview+ software also seems to have its fair share of faults, bugs, annoyances, oversights, etc. The all too familiar phrase of 'let's hope this is fixed in the next release' keeps popping up!

 

If they brought out a lower spec 'dumb' box (and I'm aware BT management have hinted at this in the past) then that would mean yet another hardware variant that the developers would have to cater for. Yet more scope for inconsistencies and faults. I say get rid of the BT Vision+ platform and try and get just one version of the software working well on one version of hardware first rather than adding more complexity. Smiley LOL

 

Could they easily just limit the multicast streams to one on the existing box when used as a second box? It would still cost £99 though.

Aspiring Expert
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Message 10 of 22

Re: Extra Box (Multiroom) - No more than 2 boxes?

For what is allegedly one of BTs flagship projects , it us unfortunate, to say the least, that sufficient resources cannot be found/allocated to sort out the existing problems.   

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