On demand TV

ByKim Staples
On demand TV

On-demand TV is a offered by all of the major broadcasters, letting you watch whatever you like, whenever you like, via the internet. We're no longer slaves to the TV schedule and can watch content for free at a time convenient to us...

The way we watch TV is changing. We want to be more in control over what we watch, not slaves to the TV schedules. 'On demand' means exactly what it sounds like: TV programmes that are available to watch when you want to watch them. Just click play and go - no set timetables and sometimes not even any adverts.

It can come in the form of catch up TV, which lets you watch episodes that aired in the last seven days; it can be box sets, which give you instant access to full series with continuous playback; or it could be movies to rent at the click of a button. Think 4OD, Netflix, Sky Go, and so on.

Read on and we'll take a look at what kind of on demand TV you can get with the major TV providers in the UK.

Virgin Media TV on demand

Catch up TV is available with all of Virgin Media's (www.virginmedia.com) TV packages. You'll get the four main catch up services - BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4OD and Demand 5 - to go back seven days and catch those shows you missed. That's up to 700 hours of TV at any given time.

But if it's box sets you're after, you need Virgin TV On Demand -and depending on what you want to watch, you may need a better package. Unlike other on demand services, Virgin TV doesn't require a broadband connection or access to your router - you can hook up to full seasons of your favourite shows through just your TV cable.

  • TV M+ - offers 1500 hours of on demand TV from Sky On Demand, Sky 1, Sky News, Sky Living, Sky Arts, BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4OD, and Discovery Channel
  • TV L - offers 1700 hours from all the above plus MTV, E!, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and Boomerang
  • TV XL - offers a whopping 2200 hours of on demand TV, including everything in TV L plus FOX, Sky 1 HD, Sky Living HD, and Sky Arts 1 HD.

TV L and TV XL also include Kids TV on demand  - 200 hours with TV L or 300 hours with TV XL - which adds a bunch of box sets of kids' shows. Perfect for keeping the little tykes occupied in the summer holidays.

Virgin Media TV deals

Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Big Easy Big Bang Big Kahuna Big Daddy
Monthly cost £10.00 (for 9 months, then £22.00 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £156.00 Monthly cost £16.00 (for 6 months, then £32.00 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £288.00 Monthly cost £26.00 (for 6 months, then £52.00 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £468.00 Monthly cost £52.25 (for 6 months, then £104.50 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £940.50
Up To 50 Mb Up To 100 Mb Up To 152 Mb Up To 152 Mb
Weekend calls inc. Weekend calls inc. Weekend calls inc. Day, eve & wknd calls inc.
Channels 84 Channels 154 Channels 213 Channels 230
Go
Call Virgin Media on 0808 168 6088
Open 24/7
Go
Call Virgin Media on 0808 168 6088
Open 24/7
Go
Call Virgin Media on 0808 168 6088
Open 24/7
Go
Call Virgin Media on 0808 168 6088
Open 24/7

Music On Demand, included only in the TV XL package, is brilliant for music lovers. Over 5000 music videos are available to watch whenever you want.

You can also log into your Netflix account (or sign up if you don't have one) with any Virgin Media TV package that includes a TiVo box.

All their TV packages let you use Virgin TV Anywhere too, so you can watch TV anywhere from any device - and that includes the on demand services you have access to.

Check out our full guide to Virgin TV

Sky TV on demand

Catch up TV is included in all three TV packages from Sky (www.sky.com) as well, provided you have a Sky+ box and a broadband connection. That's four catch up services - BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4OD, and Demand 5 - that you can scroll back for up to seven days.

As well as that, you can catch up with your favourite Sky TV channels with Sky On Demand. Different Sky TV bundles come with different channels, some of which are included in the catch up range too.

If you add a Sky Movies or Sky Sports subscription to your package, you'll get those on demand as well. That means you can watch movies instantly or replay that stunning goal whenever you want.

Sky TV deals

Sky
Sky
Sky
Sky
The Original + Broadband Unlimited The Variety Bundle + Broadband Unlimited The Movies Bundle + Broadband Unlimited The Family Bundle + Broadband Unlimited
Monthly cost £14.00 (for 12 months, then £30.00 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £109.95 Monthly cost £21.00 (for 12 months, then £40.00 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £193.95 Monthly cost £25.90 (for 12 months, then £47.00 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £252.75 Monthly cost £25.20 (for 12 months, then £46.00 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £244.35
Up To 17 Mb Up To 17 Mb Up To 17 Mb Up To 17 Mb
Pay as you go Pay as you go Pay as you go Pay as you go
Channels 113 Channels 155 Channels 124 Channels 162
Go
Call Sky on 0844 241 1407
Mon to Sun 8am-10pm
Go
Call Sky on 0844 241 1407
Mon to Sun 8am-10pm
Go
Call Sky on 0844 241 1407
Mon to Sun 8am-10pm
Go
Call Sky on 0844 241 1407
Mon to Sun 8am-10pm

You can also watch exclusive box sets with Sky TV that you won't find anywhere else, available with the Family Bundle. In fact, Sky offers the UK's widest selection of on demand TV - and it's the only place where you can get up to date with Game of Thrones. Along with that, you've got award-winning shows like Broadchurch, Mad Men, and 24 to sink your teeth into. You'll even get some shows in HD and 3D.

Sky Go is included in all three of Sky's TV packages. That's the service that lets you watch Sky TV anywhere from any device, and it includes catch up, box sets if you have the Family Bundle, and movies if you have Sky Movies. And if that's not enough, you can upgrade it to Sky Go Extra, which allows you to download shows via Wi-Fi to watch later.

Check out our full guide to Sky TV

BT TV on demand

Both BT (www.bt.com) TV packages include a YouView box, and that means you automatically get catch up TV. Go back seven days on four catch up services - BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4OD, Demand 5 - and get up to date with your favourite programmes. Remember that for all YouView on demand services you'll need a broadband connection with a minimum line speed of 2Mb.

BT TV's on demand services include a little extra. You can watch box sets from all the above channels, plus Milkshake!, STV (Scotland only), Dave OD, Now TV (with a separate subscription), and some exclusive BT channels: BT Box Office, BT Kids, and BT Music.

It's all integrated neatly into YouView, so you needn't get stressed out trying to find last week's Doctor Who. Simply scroll back in time on the TV guide and YouView will do the rest for you. Or search by genre to find something great to watch right now.

BT TV deals

BT
BT
BT
BT
TV Starter + Broadband & weekend calls TV Starter + Unlimited Broadband + weekend calls TV Starter + BT Infinity 1 & Weekend calls Entertainment Ultra HD + Unlimited Infinity 1 + Weekend Calls
Monthly cost £5.00 (for 12 months, then £17.50 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £115.95 Monthly cost £7.50 (for 12 months, then £18.00 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £145.95 Monthly cost £10.00 (for 12 months, then £24.50 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £175.95 Monthly cost £25.00 (for 12 months, then £45.00 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £385.95
Up To 17 Mb Up To 17 Mb Up To 38 Mb Up To 38 Mb
Weekend calls inc. Weekend calls inc. Pay as you go Weekend calls inc.
Channels 80 Channels 80 Channels 80 Channels 98
Go
Call BT on 0800 783 5390
Mon to Sun 8am-6.30pm
Go
Call BT on 0800 783 5390
Mon to Sun 8am-6.30pm
Go
Call BT on 0800 783 5390
Mon to Sun 8am-6.30pm
Go
Call BT on 0800 783 5390
Mon to Sun 8am-6.30pm

Another on demand service is Curzon Home Cinema. With Curzon you can watch the latest cinema releases right from your home TV, including arthouse, independent, and world films whenever you want.

In fact, BT has a lot to offer in the way of movies. With BT Box Office, included in all BT TV packages, you can rent films instantly, or even buy them to download and keep from as little as £3.99.

There's a Sky Movies bolt-on available too - a rolling subscription to 11 Sky Movies channels that you can add and remove whenever you like. And with it comes Sky On Demand to watch all those movies instantly.

And if all that isn't enough, you can add a Netflix subscription to your BT bill too, and watch it right there through your BT box.

BT TV Everywhere comes with both BT TV packages too, so you can watch TV from any device - including catch up and on demand services.

Check out our full guide to BT TV 

TalkTalk on demand

TalkTalk (www.talktalk.co.uk) TV includes a YouView box too, so you'll get access to basic catch up TV with both TalkTalk TV packages. So once again, that's seven days of programmes to catch up on from BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4OD, and Demand 5.

Other on demand services can be added on as part of TalkTalk TV's 'Boosts'. These are bundles of channels that you can add on a monthly rolling subscription. That means you can start or stop subscribing to them from month-to-month on a wonderfully flexible basis.

One of these, the TVBox Boost, is totally dedicated to box sets of the best TV from across the Atlantic. You'll get access to full seasons of some of your favourite US shows, such as Heroes, 30 Rock, Suits, or Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Another is Sky Movies On Demand, which comes with the Sky Movies Boost and lets you watch movies instantly - including some of the latest blockbusters. 

TalkTalk TV deals

TalkTalk
TalkTalk
TalkTalk
TalkTalk
Essentials TV Plus TV Fibre Medium + Essentials TV Fibre Medium & Plus TV
Monthly cost £7.50 (for 6 months, then £10.00 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £111.75 Monthly cost £15.00 (for 12 months, then £20.00 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £186.75 Monthly cost £17.50 (for 6 months, then £20.00 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £231.75 Monthly cost £25.00 (for 12 months, then £30.00 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £306.75
Up To 17 Mb Up To 17 Mb Up To 38 Mb Up To 38 Mb
Eve & wknd calls inc. Day, eve & wknd calls inc. Eve & wknd calls inc. Day, eve & wknd calls inc.
Channels 76 Channels 83 Channels 76 Channels 83
Go
Call TalkTalk on 0800 049 7843
Mon to Thurs 8am-10pmFri to Sun 8am-9pm
Go
Call TalkTalk on 0800 049 7843
Mon to Thurs 8am-10pmFri to Sun 8am-9pm
Go
Call TalkTalk on 0800 049 7843
Mon to Thurs 8am-10pmFri to Sun 8am-9pm
Go
Call TalkTalk on 0800 049 7843
Mon to Thurs 8am-10pmFri to Sun 8am-9pm

And speaking of movies, TalkTalk Box Office is an on demand movie service that comes as standard with both TalkTalk TV packages. You can 'rent' movies for 48 hours, letting you watch them instantly (and as many times as you can squeeze in in two days).

The Netflix application is included with YouView as well. Log in to your account or sign up for a new one - you can even add the subscription to your TalkTalk bill if you want.

And don't forget the TV2Go app that you can download to all your devices, so you can access catch up and on demand services wherever you are.

Check out our full guide to TalkTalk TV  

Freeview on demand

The great thing about Freeview is that it only requires a one-off payment - there are no subscription fees. And if you splash out on a Smart TV with a Freeview+ box and a broadband connection you can access catch up TV as well from the four main catch up services. Plus there are apps for NetflixAmazon Prime Instant Video, or Blinkbox if you have a subscription.

Freesat on demand

Freesat is another option if you want subscription-free TV. With Freesat you'll have access to catch up TV from BBC iPlayer and ITV Player - or upgrade to Freetime and you'll get 4OD, Demand 5, YouTube, Curzon Home Cinema, and Hopster as well.

 

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