With hundreds of digital TV deals out there, it’s easy to be sucked into getting the wrong package. Our comprehensive guide of the 5 big market players will help to determine which deal is right for you and your family.
Today’s TV packages give you a far greater choice of shows, often including exclusive sports events and the latest movies, though prices can be eye-wateringly high. In order to find the deal that works for you it is more important than ever to think before you buy, ask yourself a few simple questions to determine what you want to get out of your TV provider.
- What’s your Priority viewing? Are you a film buff or sports fan, or perhaps you can’t be without your weekly fix of Game of Thrones? With so many deals out there prioritise what is most important to you.
- How much are you willing to pay a month?
- Would a bundle work best for you? Combining TV, Broadband and landline into one.
The TV giant has over 12 million customers across the UK and last year made an annual profit of 678m. The company gives viewers the largest choice of channels above all its competitors. However, SKY now has a lot of competition snapping at its heels.
- Original – £22.00pm for 270 channels
- Variety – £32.00pm for 300 channels
- Box sets – £38.0 for 350 channels and over 350 box sets.
All packages can store up to 1000hrs of recorded programming, record 6 shows at once whilst watching a seventh. Sky store is available to all customers to buy and rent premier movie releases. To add a multiple boxes onto the main SKY Q box costs £20.00 per edition.
Exclusives- As exclusives go SKY is still way ahead of its competition. Game of thrones on Sky Atlantic saw viewing figures of 2.8mil for the season 7 premiere. Plus exclusives such as Formula 1 and the Premier League, plus original programming such as A League of their own, Nashville and Ross Kemp Extreme World.
Contract – 12 months
Service and Set up – Set up of SKY does require an engineer to install the dish and provide training. Their Customer service department has lots of ways of getting in touch, you can call, Facebook, text or use their simple to use online guides to try and fix the problem yourself. However, sky boxes do have a tendency to fail and need replacing more regularly than one would hope. As around 95% of Majik House customers subscribe to SKY we have seen the negative effects that a faulty box can have interfering with other technologies around the home.
Trust Pilot Rating = 2.2*
Owned by the Sky Cooperation, NOW TV seems to be the ‘little brother’ to the TV giant. Giving customers the freedom to create their own packages and control their payments. The TV Box costs £14.99 which gives live and on demand viewing, all dependant on Wi-Fi connection. A Pick and mix of sky’s best bits.
- Entertainment: £7.99: gives you access to 250 Box Sets, plus some of the best channels sky has to offer such as Sky 1, Atlantic and FOX.
- Sky Cinema: £9.99: Enjoy a new premiere every day with more blockbusters closer to the cinema release than any other online subscription service.
- Kids Pass: £2.99, including Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network
- Sky Sports: £6.99, 10 Sky Sports Channels which gives you all the live sport exclusives available with SKY
Contract – The USP of Now TV is that there are No contracts. Allowing customers to pay for movies one month, then cancel it the next. This flexible system has become very popular amongst Millennials, especially those who are first time buyers.
Service and Set up – No installation and instant assess, so long as the box is connected to a Wi-Fi connection.
Trust Pilot Rating = 6.3*
Another string to the multinational conglomerates bow, Virgin Media is one of the group’s newest ventures, adding to its reported £19.5 billion revenue. The company sets itself aside from its competition (including BT) with its superfast broadband. However, the supply of the fibre is also beginning to act against them.
- Mix: £39.00 for first 12 months, then increases to £52. Includes fibre broadband with speeds up to 100mb and 150 channels.
- Full House: £55.00, which then increases to £73 after 12 month. Includes 200mb broadband and up to 245 channels (50 HD)
- VIP: £85.00 for the initial 12 months which then goes up to £120 per month. Packages give customers access to 200mb unlimited broadband, 245 channels plus sky sports and sky cinema.
Contract – fixed yearly contract with large price increase after first year.
Service and Set up – Self install is possible however the option to hire an engineer is available, there is also a £20 activation fee. The availability of Virgin Media is dependant entirely on where you live. As the service is accessed via the home Wi-Fi (supplied by Virgin) a lot of places are still not eligible for this service. As with most technological advances Inner cities seem to be prioritized. You will struggle to get the service anywhere north of Preston, or anywhere south of Bristol.
Trust Pilot Rating = 1.1*
The company currently has 1.4million subscribers to its TV services. However, subscribers can only assess the TV packages in a bundle with Broadband and phone. The packages on offer are priced very fairly in the current market, however BT has some of the worst customer service reviews amongst its competitors.
- Starter: £38.49, with a £25 activation fee. 80 channels with pause and rewind feature. Includes 52mb broadband
- Entertainment: £44.99 with a £34.99 upfront cost and activation fee. 110 channels with pause and rewind feature. Includes 52mb broadband
- Unlimited: £53.49 plus standard activation fee. There are 80 channels however the increase in price is due to the 76mb infinity broadband available.
Exclusives- BT Sport channels which include exclusive Boxing, motor sport and cricket.
Contract – 12 month contracts are standard on all packages, which include line rental costs. The pricing structures seem to be more complex than other companies and therefore more time consuming to devise which package will be most suited. With a total of 6 package (the top 3 are the most popular amongst customers).
Service and Set up – In 2016 BT were ranked the worst company in the UK for customer service by Ofcom. They’re also the most complained about broadband provider. However, with the farthest reaching fibre network they do monopolise the market and seem in some areas the only option for high speed broadband.
Trust Pilot Rating = 0.4*
The telecoms group is a subsidiary of Carphone warehouse and has struggled in recent years to gain back trust from its customers after major data leaks and malware router infections. To put themselves back amongst the big plays the company are delivering very competitive prices and seem to be working hard to improve their customer service.
- Sport – £28.45 including Line rental and free set up
- Cinema: £27.95 including free line rental and 11 Sky Cinema Channels
- Entertainment: £24.95 including line rental and 6 Sky entertainment channels.
All package also give customers the option of adding Blockbuster rentals and Netflix.
Contract – all package come with an 18 month contract
Service and Set up – UK based call centres and Live Chat feature on website for both prospective and existing customers. in 2016 Talk Talk won the USwitch ‘TV Provider of the Year in the Award’.
Trust Pilot Rating = 3.1*