Subscription TV packages
If you are planning to expand your current TV viewing options and go for a TV subscription service, you can use our comparison chart above to see what’s on offer. You can sort the list according to your priorities, for example by monthly price, contract length or number of channels. If you click on the name of an offer, all the information you need will be displayed to decide if it’s the right one for you.
Before choosing a plan, make sure the service is available where you live. The easiest way to do this is to type your zip code into the availability checker at the top of the page. This will then display a list of all available packages to choose from.
Check the detail
When you consider that most TV packages put you on a contract of at least 12-18 months, you need to make sure that you are completely satisfied before committing. Once you’ve chosen an offer, read the terms and conditions to make sure there aren’t any hidden nasties, such as additional fees or limitations in the service.
Why choose subscription television?
A wider choice of channels than standard digital TV
If you have had enough of the standard digital TV offerings, then the greater choice offered by a subscription TV service might be the answer. Whether you want to watch the latest movies, have access to a wider selection, or want more entertainment for the kids, subscription TV ticks all the boxes.
Different ways to enjoy all the content on offer
With a subscription service, you’re not limited to watching TV on your TV. If you also have broadband service, you can watch it on your computer, or, thanks to the Sky Go and Virgin TV Go apps, even on your tablet or smartphone when you’re on the go.
The possibility of combining with broadband and telephone
Most TV subscription services have the advantage of being combined with a broadband and phone package, as this also allows you to take advantage of the various on-demand and catch-up TV services offered. So if you want to binge on box sets, or enjoy a movie you recently missed at the movies, you can.
Advantages and disadvantages
- Possibility to receive more channels
- Different ways of looking at your content
- Possibility to combine telephone and broadband
- Not all services are available everywhere
- Services offer a diverse range of channel choices
- More expensive than standard digital TV
Which package is right for me?
There are several providers offering subscription TV packages, but the offer in terms of content varies considerably between them. With all TV packages, a high-speed connection is essential if you want to watch catch-up services or TV on demand.
Still the market leader in subscription TV, Sky offers a range of options. Starting with the Entertainment pack, you can then add additional channel packs like Sky Sports or Sky Cinema. It should also be borne in mind that if you are looking for Sky Atlantic, Sky still owns the exclusive rights to this channel – you cannot watch it with any other provider.
As Sky’s closest competitor, Virgin Media also offers a huge range of content, again with the ability to add additional channels, such as movies and sports. However, due to the fact that it operates on its own network of fiber optic cables, the service is not yet available everywhere, so check to see if Virgin’s cables are in your area before jumping into a plan.
BT TV is only offered as part of a package with BT broadband and telephone services. There are four packages to choose from (Starter + BT Sport, Classic, Entertainment and Max) and the channel selection is quite limited compared to Sky and Virgin, although you can add extras and boxes to increase your package. . Most BT TV customers (except Classic) also benefit from BT Sport channels at no additional cost. However, be aware that if you live in a BT Superfast fiber area, you will need to take fiber service to receive BT Sport, but if it has not yet rolled out in your area, you may be able to get the channels. with standard broadband if your connection is fast enough.
Like BT, you need to get a triple plan from TalkTalk, which means you need to have a broadband and phone plan to also receive TalkTalk TV. You can choose between standard or fiber services (depending on the area) and two television levels – TV or TV Plus. The basic TV package offers fewer channels than TV Plus and has no recording option. Both packages offer the option of adding TV boosts, such as Sky Sports, Sky Cinema and children’s channels, at an additional cost.
What will I need?
The requirements for your TV subscription service will vary depending on the provider you go with.
If you decide to go with Sky, you will need to have a satellite dish and receiver installed by a Sky engineer. If you want Sky broadband so you can watch TV on demand and use catch-up services, you’ll also need a router, which will be included in your package for free. However, it is possible to take Sky TV as a standalone product without broadband.
If you choose a Virgin plan, you will need to have a Virgin fiber connection installed. It is possible to take Virgin Media TV as a stand-alone service, but with a broadband connection you will be able to take advantage of the various on-demand and catch-up services available. You will receive a V6 TV box.
You will need to have a TalkTalk broadband connection if you choose TalkTalk TV, as it is not available as a standalone product. You will receive a YouView box and a router as part of your package. You can choose to add a Calling plan at any time.
BT TV is also part of a broadband and phone plan, so you will need a BT broadband connection. BT offers the choice between standard broadband of 11 Mbps on average, available almost everywhere, or fiber optic services of 36 Mbps, 50 Mbps or 67 Mbps, which are not yet available everywhere. You will receive a YouView box as part of your package, along with a BT Smart Hub router.
How can I change?
Decide on the right package
Once you’ve established what’s available where you are and how much you can afford, you should be able to choose a TV package that’s right for you. Before committing to a start date, check the status of your current contracts and make sure you’re free to change. If you are still in a minimum contract period and cancel earlier, you will be subject to a termination fee.
Click on the offer
Finally, you can click on the “See offer” button which will direct you to the supplier’s site where you can complete your purchase. Your new provider will organize the cancellation of your existing service. If you are moving to or from Virgin Media, you will need to contact both providers yourself.
Six essential questions before buying
- Do I want broadband as well as a TV subscription?
- Do I want a satellite dish at home?
- Do I want to have Sky Atlantic?
- What is my budget?
- What is available in my area?
- How many channels do I want?
If you are looking for a wide selection of television, with the option of catch-up and on-demand television services, then a Sky or Virgin package is your best bet. If you are looking for just a little more than your basic Freeview channels and are on a budget, then BT or TalkTalk will give you the option of a larger choice of channels without a huge bill, but keep in mind that you have to take broadband and phone. too much.
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