Cable TV

ByDuncan Heaney

Cable TV from Virgin Media offers more channels than the free-to-view TV services like Freeview, but is cable TV the right option for you? Read our guide and find out more about cable TV.

If you're looking for a fully-featured digital TV service, you might consider looking at cable TV. But what exactly is it, and how does it differ from other services like Sky (www.Sky.co.uk), YouView, Freeview and Freesat? We explain more below...

What is cable TV?

Cable TV is a type of digital television service. Different from Freeview, which requires a roof-top aerial, cable TV is delivered to via a fibre optic cable underground.

The digital signal is unscrambled by a cable set-top box, allowing you to watch all the Freeview channels, as well as all the channels within your subscription package, and a host of free and pay-per-view on-demand TV programmes and films.

Cable TV also offers loads of digital-only radio stations and interactive services, such as game show voting and TV competitions.

If you have a web connected set top box, you can also access a range of on demand films and TV shows, and catch-up from services like BBC iPlayer.

 

 Cable TV providers

Virgin Media (www.virginmedia.com), is the UK's biggest cable TV provider, and the only one that operates nationwide.

Its TV packages give you up to 200 channels, and a TiVo set top box - which lets you pause, rewind and record live TV, and access on-demand TV, films, music and more.

A number of TV-only packages are available from the provider, but you could save more money by bundling Virgin Media superfast broadband, homephone and TV togethether:

Virgin Media TV deals

Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Player Bundle Mix Bundle Full House Bundle Fun Bundle
Monthly cost £12.00 (for 12 months, then £26.00 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £158.99 Monthly cost £18.00 (for 12 months, then £31.00 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £230.99 Monthly cost £35.00 (for 12 months, then £57.00 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £434.99 Monthly cost £26.00 (for 12 months, then £41.00 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £326.99
Up To 50 Mb Up To 50 Mb Up To 200 Mb Up To 100 Mb
Weekend calls inc. Weekend calls inc. Weekend calls inc. Weekend calls inc.
Channels 95 Channels 197 Channels 259 Channels 220
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

 For more about Virgin Media, check out our full guide.

Any drawbacks to cable TV?

Because it's delivered via cables that run underground into your home, you need to live in a cable area. Check with Virgin Media first to find out if you can receive its services.

What's more, to get Virgin Media TV, a technician will have to visit your home to install the equipment. There could be a charge for this - again, check with Virgin Media first.

It's also important to bear in mind that if you do switch to cable but then decide to switch back to ADSL broadband, you may be charged a reconnection fee.

Compare cable TV deals

If you think that a cable connection would suit you, use our  to compare the options in your area to find the best possible price.

Interested in other TV services? Read more guides

 

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