Confused by the amount of different TV packages available? Not to worry – on this page we have all the information you need, including what providers have to offer and how to get the best deals…
What TV packages can I get with BT?
BT's (www.bt.com) cheapest TV package is dubbed Classic and teams a YouView box with space to record 300 hours of TV with BT Sport, AMC and Freeview. There's also the Starter package that comes with up to 80 Freeview TV channels and allows you to pause and rewind live TV with YouView.
Spend a bit more and you can get BT's Entertainment pack. This is broadly the same as the Starter package, but adds 21 premium channels. And at the top of the range is BT's Max 4K, which comes with 55 premium channels, a 4K YouView box and multi-room viewing.
You can add Sky Sports, Sky Movies, Netflix, extra HD channels, BT Kids and BT Music to any package.
However, you need BT Superfast Fibre to be able to get Sky Sports and the extra HD channels as they’re delivered via the internet rather than through your TV aerial.
What TV packages can I get with EE?
EE TV offers a single TV package, which gets you an Apple TV set top box, with iPlayer, ITV Hub and the option to add Amazon Video and NOW TV.
For an additional £5 per month, EE phone customers can add BT Sport to your EE phone plan and watch it on their TV.
What TV packages can I get with Sky?
There's also Sky TV & Netflix, which includes the same 300 channels, 500 box sets and a Netflix subscription, with easy access through Sky Q.
For movie fans, there's Sky Cinema that offers more than 1,000 movies on-demand, as well as HD and Kids add-ons.
What TV packages can I get with TalkTalk?
TalkTalk's (www.talktalk.co.uk) standard TV package comes with over 80 Freeview TV channels and a YouView bx allows you to pause and rewind live TV. TV Plus includes 13 extra entertainment channels - not Sky Atlantic though - and allows you to record live TV too.
You can add a variety of extras to either package, including all 11 Sky Movies channels, every Sky Sports channel, Netflix and a bunch of other extra channel and on-demand packages. These are called TV Boosts.
Things are a little more complicated with Virgin Media (www.virginmedia.com), as Virgin Media TV comes in five varieties. Player TV comes with over 70 channels, Mix TV with over 150 channels, Fun TV with over 190 channels, and Full House TV with over 245 channels, including BT Sport. You can also upgrade Full House TV to VIP, which adds on Sky Sports and Sky Cinema too.
You can add all three BT Sport channels, all Sky Sports channels bar Sky Sports News HQ (which comes included as standard with most packages), all 11 Sky Movies channels and Netflix to any package. You can also add other sports channels, an extra children’s channel, international channels, and adult channels.
And, unlike most TV packages, you can sign up to Virgin Media without any commitment - all its services are available on a rolling 30-day basis.
What TV packages are available in my area?
The most widely available TV packages are those done by BT and Sky. BT is the biggest broadband provider in the country, and anywhere you can get BT Broadband with a minimum download speed of 2Mb or BT Superfast Fibre, you can get BT TV. You don’t even need a Freeview signal to be able to get it, although without it you can only get channels delivered via internet and on-demand TV.
Because Sky TV is satellite TV, you can get it just about anywhere, provided you’re allowed to stick a dish on your home. However, if you want to get a Sky TV, broadband and phone package, availability is a bit more limited, as you’ll need to live in an area where you can get Sky Broadband.
As with BT TV, TalkTalk TV is available anywhere you can get its Fast Broadband with a minimum download speed of 3Mb or Faster Fibre Broadband, and a Freeview signal. Ditto EE TV and EE Broadband with a minimum download speed of 4Mb or EE Fibre Broadband.
You’re least likely to be able to get a Virgin Media TV package, due to it using the same cable network as Virgin Media broadband, which only covers around half the country. It’s expanding though, so if you can’t get one now, you may be able to within the next few years.
Who does the best TV packages?
Well, there’s a question. When it comes to price, you’re looking at either BT TV or TalkTalk TV, which you can get with broadband and phone rather cheaply. In comparison, Sky TV, broadband and phone will set you back quite a bit more.
However, when it comes to range of channels, Sky is the top dog for sheer number, while Virgin Media’s the best for getting almost any channel you could want from one provider on one bill. The set-top boxes you get with Sky and Virgin Media TV are far better than those you get with BT and TalkTalk TV too, and when it comes to slickness, Sky’s got things sewn up.
EE TV comes somewhere in between price-wise, and bottom of the pile in terms of channel range, because it doesn’t offer owt extra. However, in Multiscreen and Flick it at least has two features that no other TV package offers.
To help you decide what the best TV package for you is, work out how much you want to spend, then the things you have to have, such as particular channels or features, and then the things it’d be nice to have but ain’t a deal-breaker, like being able to access certain film streaming services. Finally, find out what’s available where you live by chucking your postcode into our checker.
What is a TV package?
Essentially, a TV package is a subscription TV service you pay for on a monthly basis, and which can be bundled with broadband and home phone, and even mobile phones. With a TV package you can get a host of premium channels, catch-up and on-demand services, and features you can’t get with non-subscription TV services like Freeview and Freesat.
How much are TV packages?
Probably not as much as you think - a basic BT TV, broadband and phone package will cost you around £25 a month all in. How much you pay totally depends on what you want though - throw the likes of Sky Sports into the mix and it rapidly rises. The trick is to work out what you can afford, what you want and what’s available, and then look for the package that best covers all three bases.
Which TV packages include Sky Atlantic?
Sky Atlantic, which is where you can watch the biggest TV series from across the pond, Game Of Thrones being an obvious example, comes as standard with all Sky TV packages. It isn’t included with TV packages from any other provider, but you can get it on a pay-as-you-play basis through NOW TV. You can’t do this through BT TV or TalkTalk TV though - while NOW TV is available on YouView boxes, Sky Atlantic isn’t.