TV packages are a subscription service that grants households access to a number of additional channels and services for a set monthly fee. While some providers, like Virgin Media, offer standalone television packages, many require customers to take out a television, landline and broadband bundle. The following Consumer Adviser guide is designed to highlight some of the best digital television subscription service providers in the UK and offer impartial advice.
The Benefits of TV and Broadband Bundles
TV and broadband bundles allow you to combine costs of digital television and broadband into a single monthly fee which, more often than not, works out cheaper than taking out separate contracts from different providers. In addition, using the same provider makes it easier to pay your bills at the end of the month.
Things to Look Out For
If you plan on taking out a bundle TV package, it is important that you check up on whether the company offers service in your area. Indeed, advertised broadband speeds are not reliable as they may only be true for as little as 10% of the customer base. The best way to check this is to use an online postcode checker (these are usually clearly labelled on the company website).
Be wary of lower introductory rates. In order to entice new customers, many providers will offer discounted rates for the preliminary months of the contract and prices go up to full price at the end of this period. In order to account for these low rates, when comparing TV package deals be sure to compare the overall contract costs, not simply the monthly fees.
Popular TV Package Providers
Sky is one of the most popular television package providers in the UK and the main supplier of satellite television. They offer a good variety of television packages which are classified according to the number of channels that they include. All of the packages are well-thought-out and have a variety of channels. Sky is particularly popular with movie lovers as the Sky Movies package has a great selection of films and Sky shows many films one year before they appear on other subscription services.
BT Vision is a popular choice when it comes to digital television subscriptions. They offer two basic packages which bundle digital television with line rental and broadband. Their most basic package Is TV Essential which offers a great selection of Freeview channels and on-demand content. TV Entertainment is their more premium television package and offers viewers 20 additional channels and speedier internet. Both packages can be complemented with one of BT’s ‘bolt ons’ these are channels and on-demand content categorized into thematic groups.
Virgin Media is another major player in the television package market. Virgin Media have 5 television packages which offer a great collection of HD and regular channels. There are also a range of add-on packages which allow you to add extra channels to your subscription service such as Sky Movies and Sky Sports. Virgin Media customers are given a TiVo box which allows them to take advantage of catch-up television and a whole range of on-demand content.
Top UK TV Package Providers
|Provider||TV-Only packages?||HD Channels||Record TV|
|Virgin Media||Yes||Up to 11||Yes|
|Sky||Yes||Up to 11||Yes|
|BT||No||Up to 11||Yes|
|TalkTalk||No||Up to 11||Yes|
*Rates verified at time of publishing, but may be subject to change.