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BT offers free YouView box with broadband packages

BT is offering the YouView box, which normally costs £299, for free with any of its Infinity broadband packages.

If you like the look of Lord Alan Sugar's better-late-than-never on-demand TV service but don't fancy laying down a cool £299 for the YouView box, then BT might have a solution for you. It's offering the box for free when you sign up to one of its Infinity broadband packages.

The cheapest BT Infinity package is £18 per month -- plus a £10.75 per month line rental -- which comes to £566.50 over the course of the 18-month minimum contract (including the £49 'activation charge').

If you're not in an area that supports BT's Infinity service, you can opt for the standard broadband package -- starting at £13 per month -- and you'll need to add on its TV Essential package for £4 per month, going up to £5 per month in January, which also works out at £566.50 over the same period.

While that might seem pretty pricey, when you knock off the three hundred quid for the YouView box, it suddenly seems a lot more reasonable -- especially if you need a new broadband contract anyway. The YouView service is subscription-free too, so there's no hidden service costs to add on to BT's charges.

With the YouView box hooked up to your telly, you can take advantage of all the Freeview channels -- including the various HD channels -- as well as catch up on the past week's television using on-demand services like BBC iPlayer and 4oD.

Unlike other boxes though, the on-demand content is seamlessly woven into the programme guide, so you don't have to jump out into different menus all the time -- something that our very own Rich Trenholm was very keen on when he tried it out.

It also packs in a 500GB hard drive for you to record your favourite shows to watch back at your pleasure, perhaps with a big cup of tea and several of your favourite biscuits in hand.

What do you make of YouView? Are you keen on the service or do you get all your on-demand hits straight from the Internet now? Let me know in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.