About TalkTalk TV
Want a straightforward TV package that doesn’t cost a bomb? TalkTalk (www.talktalk.co.uk) keeps things simple and affordable, making them one of the least expensive providers in the UK. There’s a smaller number of channels available in their TV bundles compared with other providers, but they’re impressively customisable and come with a bunch of extra features - including all your favourite catch-up apps.
What can I get from TalkTalk TV?
With TalkTalk TV, you have two packages to choose from: Essentials TV and Plus TV.
- TV: This is the basic TalkTalk TV package. You get a free YouView box with around 80 free-to-air channels, and you can pause and rewind live TV (for up to 30 minutes), and access catch-up or on-demand services (for up to seven days). It’s all fully integrated to the TV interface so it’s very user-friendly. There’s also a free TV2Go app you can download to your phone or tablet that lets you watch on-demand TV - and some live channels - whenever you’re connected to Wi-Fi; and the TalkTalk TV Planner app, so you can set reminders and recordings from anywhere.
- TV Plus: As its name suggests, TV Plus has everything in the basic TV package plus a little bit more. The main difference is that with TV Plus is that you get a superior YouView box, which lets you record up to 185 hours of live TV, and get 30+ extra entertainment channels - including some from Sky - included as standard.
If you change your mind about which TV service you'd prefer - or which broadband package you've picked alongside it - that's no problem. TalkTalk lets you upgrade or downgrade your bundle whenever you want. Watch out though, as this means you'll have to re-sign your contract for another 18 months.
A huge benefit of TalkTalk TV is that both packages can have collections of extra channels or on-demand services. TalkTalk calls these ‘Boosts’.
Each Boost package includes a bundle of channels - whether it’s a set of entertainment, sports, kids, or movie channels - on a rolling monthly contract that you can add on or cancel whenever you like. It’s the most flexible subscription TV service you’ll find in the UK and really lets you make your TV your own.
What channels can I get?
TalkTalk TV has a pretty unique system when it comes to TV channels.
The YouView box that comes free with either package lets you watch around 70 basic Freeview channels - all the old terrestrials are in there (plus BBC3, ITV2, E4, and the like), as well as entertainment, music, and news, and radio stations. The TV Plus package comes with the TV Starter and Entertainment boosts ready-included too, which give you over 30 extra channels including Sky 1, GOLD, National Geographic, Comedy Central, and the whole MTV suite.
For more, you’ll need to add a Boost package - and there are plenty to choose from. Whether you want blockbuster movies or kids TV, the option’s there for a little extra each month.
Each has a super-flexible rolling monthly subscription, so it’s easy to add some on for a month or two - perfect for football season, for example - and cancel anytime if you don’t want them anymore. Available Boost packages include:
- Entertainment Boost - 30 more entertainment and factual channels, including Comedy Central, Fox, Watch, GOLD, Sky One, Sky Living and Sky Arts. This is included as standard with the TV Plus package.
- Kids Boost - extra children’s channels, including Disney Channel, Cartoon Network and Nicktoons
- Sky Sports - ten dedicated sports channels, covering Premier League football, international cricket, F1 and loads more sports
- Sky Cinema - 11 Sky Cinema channels, showing the latest blockbuster premieres, Hollywood classics, family favourites and tons more
- Asian Boost - gives you Bollywood movies and some of India’s best TV shows
All the basic on-demand services like iPlayer and 4OD are available too, as is Netflix if you have an account - and if you don’t, you can set one up and add the cost to your monthly TalkTalk bill.
What’s good about TalkTalk TV?
- Affordable - TalkTalk’s one of the cheapest TV providers in the UK and provides a good basic service
- It’s simple, with straightforward packages that are easy to get your head around
- Free YouView set-top box with all packages
- Very flexible, with loads of Boosts that let you customise your TV channels month-to-month
- Sky channels are available, such as Sky Cinema, Sky Sports, and Sky 1, and some are even included as standard if you choose TV Plus
- Watch catch-up TV from BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and more directly through the electronic guide
- Lets you change your package at any point - though you'll have to sign a brand new contract
- Can access Netflix through your TV, and include your subscription in your TalkTalk bill if you wish
- TV2Go app is included, letting you watch TV on iOS or Android at no extra cost
- TalkTalk TV Planner app lets you set reminders and manage your recordings on your smartphone
- Deals on Boost packages are often available, letting you save even more money
- A TalkTalk subscription includes a free mobile SIM
What’s bad about TalkTalk TV?
- TV is only available as part of a phone and broadband package
- Not as many channels are included (or even available) as Sky (www.sky.com) or Virgin Media, (www.virginmedia.com) and adding a lot of Boosts can drive up your monthly bill
- There are limits - catch-up only goes back seven days, which doesn’t always reflect the online version of the on-demand services, and you can’t record live TV with the basic package
- Not all Boost packages support recording or series link
- TalkTalk has weaker customer service than some providers according to Ofcom
- Can't get Sky Atlantic
- Some users note hidden costs - cancelling before your contract is up incurs a charge for the YouView box, for instance, and since Boost subscriptions are rolling, you’ll get charged for them again too if you don’t cancel in time