TV providers are companies that bring us a deluge of digital, cable, internet and satellite TV services in both paid and free-to-watch options. The number of TV providers has been on the rise since the advent of HD and 3D technologies and the UK’s recent digital switchover.
Currently the main TV providers in the UK are Sky, Virgin Media, BT and TalkTalk, which offer a wealth of packaged and premium content aimed at quenching the nation’s growing thirst for quality entertainment.
Below is a summary about the aforementioned TV providers what each offers, to help you compare them and pick the one that’s right one for your needs.
Sky (formally known as BskyB) is the UK’s most popular paid-TV provider with 11 million subscribers and counting. The Sky+ set-top box is home to hundreds of satellite TV channels, including dozens of its own, many of which are available in a range of packages such as Sports, Movies and Entertainment and Entertainment Extra (includes kids’ television).
It also offers extensive on-demand programming via Sky Anytime+, Sky Now TV, which is an online-based service and a Sky Go application to watch Sky TV on the move on a laptop, tablet or smartphone.
Virgin Media TV customers can enjoy a selection of 179 channels, many of which include HD and 3D programming. Its TiVo digital video recorder (DVR) enables you to access on-demand content instantly and allows you to record up to three programmes simultaneously, pause and rewind live television.
Virgin TV subscribers also have the option to subscribe to Sky packages, including Sports and Movies, thus enjoying the best of both worlds.
BT is best known for its affordable TV options that span from access to 75 Freeview channels to a variety of paid-TV packages such as Sport, Music, Film and Kids.
Like Sky and Virgin, BT also offers a set-top box BT Vision, the ability to pause and rewind live TV and record up to 250 hours of TV to watch at your convenience. You can also access an array of catch-up TV services such as the BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and 4oD, plus on-demand content in both free and pay per view basis.
TalkTalk Plus TV subscribers benefit from a free YouView set-top box that connects over broadband to their TV for instant access to 74 Freeview channels, the ability to record more than 200 hours of shows, catch-up content from the last seven days and heaps of pay per view on-demand programming on the TalkTalk Player.
Those looking to expand their collection can also add TV ‘Boosts’ to their YouView box, covering a range of genres, including sports, lifestyle and kids programming.