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BT Vision - Are they watching what we're recording?


Standard Member
We had a replacement BTVision silver box on Friday (they'd promised a black one for the inconvenience but that's a different story). It had been having problems recording and stuttering on playback. As I'd set the Humax downstairs to record the programs we normally watch in bed I didn't get to set up all the recordings again till Sunday.

I was somewhat surprised to see that the regular recordings had in fact recorded, and the schedule was intact - it even recorded the first episode Garrows Law which was a series setting from almost a year ago.

So my question is how is this possible? The only possibility that occurs to me is that BT keep a copy of everything you put into the box and it gets downloaded if required. I already knew they kept a record of what you watch on demand which is fair enough, but keeping an eye on what you are recording from terresteral sources? Hmmmmmmmmmmm

Unlike PC applications, I've not found a section where you can opt out of sending info back to them to monitor nor anywhere where it tells you that they are doing this.

Luckily I've not been recording anything smutty :laugh:.


I raised this issue about two or three years back.

Easiest if you read what I discovered on that occasion. Thread here.


Standard Member
Thanks for that Gavtech - I did a quick search but didn't go back that far!

It seems they were and still are, but exactly what they want or will do with the information isn't obvious. Maybe they're linked in with the collection of viewing figures perhaps? I seem to recall that a recorded program generates an extra viewer, albeit not live.

Which opens a whole new can of worms. Is, for example. watching a program when transmitted and in real time registered and somehow sent back? Can they tell when you are channel hopping during ad breaks? Don't get me wrong, I'm not paranoid - I'd just like to know and have the option to opt in or not.

It makes me wonder now because I'm eagerly waiting for the Humax TV portal to come on-line. Could and will viewing and recording information be transmitted back to them? I'd guess the information would be invaluable to the TV companies and they would pay for it.


It seems they were and still are, but exactly what they want or will do with the information isn't obvious.

It may not be for any purpose than to provide them with a control on the box's use.

When they first launched BTV, they were giving the boxes away for free as part of internet packages so people were selling them on.
It would obviously be a way of getting a very cheap dual tuner Freeview PVR... which it would be - if it would work without the internet connection.... which it wont.

Whatever is at the bottom of it, it strikes me as likely that it will be a condition of using the platform and as such it is probably not an option to opt out.

So far I have seen no evidence emerging of this data being collected or used in any way...but of course that does not mean they are not.


Established Member
any piece of machinery that has an ip allocated will have all data stored somewhere. that's just part of modern world we live in. it could very well be mentioned in the TOC but how many people read that?

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