TalkTalk launch UK's cheapest TV bundle

If you watch TV with Freeview, TalkTalk is looking to tempt you with a bundle that gives you YouView, broadband and calls for just over £20 a month all in. But is it a genuine alternative to BT, Sky or Virgin Media TV?

TalkTalk has launched the cheapest broadband, phone and TV bundle available from any major UK provider, which costs just £22.90 a month, including line rental.

The TalkTalk Essentials TV package includes a YouView+ box, totally unlimited broadband, evening and weekend calls to UK landlines and new phone line installation.

With the YouView box - worth £149, according to TalkTalk - you get the 70-plus TV channels and radio stations you get with Freeview, but you can also pause live TV and rewind it by up to 30 minutes.

It also allows you to catch up on programmes and films from the last seven days by scrolling back through the electronic programme guide (EPG). However, unlike the standard YouView box that comes with the pricier TalkTalk Plus TV package, the YouView+ box doesn't include a record function, so it is far smaller.

However, as with Plus TV, you can add Sky Movies and Sky Sports, and a host of other channels in packs called 'TV Boosts', to Essentials TV, as well as rent hundreds of films from the TalkTalk Box Office on-demand service on a pay-per-view basis.

If you watch TV using a standard telly and/or Freeview box, Essentials TV, unveiled at a hands-on event in Soho last week, is aimed at you. It's a way of getting catch-up and on-demand TV without having to splash out on a smart TV or pay a massive monthly fee for channels you won't want.

The nearest equivalent to it in terms of monthly packages from the three other major providers in the UK costs £36.45 a month and £41.95 in one-off charges with BT, £40.99 a month with Virgin Media and almost double at £43.50 a month with £15 in one-off charges from Sky.

However, Essentials TV shouldn't be considered a direct alternative to these pricier packages, as they all provide extra bang for your extra buck. The BT package includes BT Sport and a YouView box with recording function for example, while both the Sky and Virgin Media packages come with more advanced boxes, many more channels and online TV services that can be accessed from anywhere.

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