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Aspiring Contributor
Message 1 of 13

BT Sport and Smart TV

You will gather from my question that I'm no computer/technology expert!


I'm a BT Broadband customer with superfast broadband.  Currently I watch BT Sport on my monitor connected to my desktop PC.  However I wondered if it was possible to watch BT Sport on my Samsung Smart TV.  My set up is via Freesat since I cannot get a good TV signal via an aerial in my locality so can't use Freeview and a BT TV set top box.


The idea I had was that either I might be able to hook up my laptop to the TV and get BT Sport on the laptop and then connect a suitable cable from this to the TV against a background where my TV has HDMI ports but my laptop doesn't.  I can buy some sort of cable say from my laptop VGA port to the TV's HDMI port using a suitable adaptor.  Alternatively I can buy a Tablet with an HDMI port which I can then connect directly to the TV.


If none of this will work because of differing operating systems then I'll have to give up of course.  However I wondered if anyone had any ideas?



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Message 2 of 13

Re: BT Sport and Smart TV

@Woodford wrote:


Alternatively I can buy a Tablet with an HDMI port which I can then connect directly to the TV

This is the option I use with my cheap Hudl tablet and can recommend it not only for BT Sport but for any other catch up services and internet TV services you wish to use.

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Message 3 of 13

Re: BT Sport and Smart TV

If you have a look on say Amazon UK you'll see that you can buy VGA to HDMI adapters/cables. You need to be a bit careful though.

VGA is normally used for an analogue signal and HDMI is for a digital signal. Only buy a simple VGA to HDMI cable if you are 100% sure your PC is able to send out a digital signal over VGA.

If the VGA is the normal analogue signal then a box of tricks with attached cables is required to convert it to digital HDMI. You can get pretty small ones that are powered by USB (either a PC USB port or a mains to USB transformer).

The VGA signal doesn't contain sound. So an additional sound output from the PC to the adapter is also required. Some will even take the sound from a USB port along with the power.

The adapter may only support certain VGA resolutions so check what your PC is set to send out over VGA.

If your TV has spare RCA type analogue inputs then a simple VGA to RCA (composite) cable might suffice. This is just analogue to analogue.

As ever be careful of buying any really cheap rubbish from China. It's really cheap for a reason. 🙂

P.s. I haven't tried one of these adapters myself so can't speak from experience.
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Message 4 of 13

Re: BT Sport and Smart TV

Are you aware that as a BT Broadband customer you can watch BT Sport for free on 'Freesat from Sky'?

You would need a Sky box with a feed from your satellite dish and an active Freesat from Sky card (one-off £25 from Sky). Also Sky charge £10 per month if you want to record programmes on it.

So a bit messy with extra equipment required. Unfortunately your normal Freesat box is not compatible with the BT Sport satellite service.
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Message 5 of 13

Re: BT Sport and Smart TV

If your broadband connection is up to it you could rig up a BT Youview box alongside your Freesat box and only use it for the free BT Sport multicast channels over broadband.

The BT TV Starter package comes with the very small mini BT Youview box (you can't record on it) and is £0 for the first 12 months (£4 from month 13). There may also be an activation fee, check the BT TV product web pages.
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Message 6 of 13

Re: BT Sport and Smart TV

Another possibility might be an Android TV stick that just plugs directly into a TV HDMI port. Probably needs a USB power source as well.

If that device is capable of running the BT Sport app and being controlled from your sofa then it would seem to be a nice simple solution?

The question is whether anyone knows of such a device that definitely works with the Android BT Sport app?
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Message 7 of 13

Re: BT Sport and Smart TV

Or use a chromecast

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Message 8 of 13

Re: BT Sport and Smart TV

Yes Chromecast is another option, but it doesn't run the BT Sport app itself. It needs to be used in conjunction with an Android tablet or smartphone. It generally won't work in full screen mode if trying to cast from the BT Sport web browser player running on a desktop or laptop PC. Google Chromecast and Microsoft Silverlight are not friends!

I also very much doubt any Android TV stick or TV box (such as Amazon Fire TV) will run the BT Sport app. BT don't list any as supported as far as I know. They only support tablets and smartphones. A stick or box that plugs into an HDMI port on the TV would probably need to pretend it's an Android tablet.

Maybe BT purposely don't support those Android devices as they know it would remove the reason for many customers to subscribe to BT TV and use a 'proper' BT Youview box.

Not sure about the Apple TV box though. Can that run the iOS BT Sport app as normally used on iPhones and IPads? It's not a really cheap TV stick/box though.

If you thought quantum physics was complicated you should try understanding BT TV and BT Sport. 🙂
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Message 9 of 13

Re: BT Sport and Smart TV

To answer my own question about Apple TV.
I think similar to Chromecast you can only cast the BT Sport app picture to it from another Apple phone or tablet using Apple Airplay.
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Message 10 of 13

Re: BT Sport and Smart TV

Something I am qualified to comment on…

I’ve tried various things with a view to losing my BT TV Essential package which gives me the BT Sport channels in SD through copper multicast on my Youview box (12 month period expires this month) – essentially paying £5 per month for TV access to BT Sport which rankles only slightly. None have quite given me the level of quality & convenience that I am looking for (and ability to record!) so I will be sticking with the Youview box, provided it has good Champions League options in SD and these aren’t reserved for Infinity customers (which I can’t get):

- Hudl (original 2013 version) plugged directly into TV using mini-USB to HDMI cable – passable in emergencies but a “judder” every 15-20 seconds and not great picture quality. Has improved since about a year ago when an issue with the app meant it only took up about two thirds of the screen.


- Chromecast – definitely the best “non-box” solution as the BT Sport app is completely optimised for use with it. As umpire says you do need the Android tablet or smartphone to control it. Once its up and running picture quality is excellent, although still ever so slightly “streamy” as opposed to the multicast “same as broadcast TV” picture you’d get through the Youview box.


- PC connected directly to TV by HDMI – I just bought an Alienware Alpha gaming PC (for £560! A once every 7-8 year purchase) to replace my PS3 and tried (for curiosity) running the BT Sport app through Chrome browser/Silverlight – good picture quality (equivalent to Chromecast), effectively just the same as watching on the PC though.


- Amazon Fire TV stick – although its not advertised in the Amazon ”walled garden” and appstore, you ARE able to side-load the BT sport app to the stick – I managed this the past weekend (again just out of curiosity) but its quite a technical workaround. Once the app is sideloaded you need something to act as a mouse for the app, which basically behaves as if it’s a tablet (unlike the superior Chromecast version which is optimised) I have found a free Android app “WuKong” which does this, but its not too user friendly (and again you need the Android phone!) Picture quality is OK, not as good as Chromecast or PC but better than Hudl.


(for avoidance of doubt I already owned the Chromecast, Hudl, Fire TV stick and Android phone so these weren’t additional purchases whereas you will need to weigh up the cost of these)


Woodford – you haven’t mentioned what mobile you have. Depending on this I believe your best option may be to go down the Chromecast /Android phone option (at a cost of £30 + £70-80) OR alternatively just go with the TV Starter package from BT that Umpire mentioned. Looks like this is “free” for 12 months with a £35 activation fee as aan existing BT Broadband customer. Plus this box will have full Yourview on demand functionality... not sure how Freesat compares


Hope this helps!