closedownarrowexternal-linklogo-verticalmenu-barsearch Skip to main content
Comparing basic TV packages

Comparing basic TV packages

With more and more providers and streaming services offering customisable options or add-ons, some viewers are finding they only need basic Freeview packages. Here’s a rundown of the basic packages TV providers offer.

Netflix. Amazon Prime. NOW TV. As more streaming services start producing their own programmes and as their customer bases grow, it’s no wonder people are considering cutting their TV bills by switching to basic Freeview plans instead of packages offering dozens — if not hundreds — of channels they’re not watching.

Most providers are taking note of this trend and offering more scaled back packages, but there are still some differences from plan to plan. Here’s the basic options each provider offers.

Freeview only

Freeview UK TV

If you’re only after Freeview TV — which includes over 70 free-to-air channels plus 15 HD channels —you have a few options.

Virgin Media: Player bundle

Virgin’s Player bundle combines Freeview and TV apps (like iPlayer and Netflix), weekend calls and cable broadband with speeds of up to 100Mbps. It comes with a 500GB TiVo set-top box, which lets you pause, rewind and record live TV.

Compare uSwitch's top Virgin Media deals

Compare all of our packages from Virgin Media

Compare now

TalkTalk: TV

With TalkTalk’s basic TV package, TV with Fast Broadband, you get Freeview channels and ADSL broadband with speeds of up to 17Mbps, although you can swap this for fibre broadband that offers higher speeds. Sign up for this plan and you’ll get TalkTalk’s TV box so you can pause and rewind live TV and watch on-demand apps.

Compare uSwitch's top TalkTalk deals

Compare all of our packages from TalkTalk

Compare now

EE TV

All of EE’s TV plans only come with Freeview TV. You can sign up for EE TV and pair it with either ADSL broadband (with speeds of up to 17Mbps) or fibre broadband (with speeds of up to 38Mbps or 76Mbps, depending upon the package you choose). Regardless of what internet speed you choose, you’ll also get weekend calls included and an EE TV box so you can pause, rewind and record live TV.

Compare uSwitch's top EE deals

Compare all of our packages from EE

Compare now

Freeview and some extras

Couple watching TV

If you want more channels than basic Freeview but don’t need a ton of options, most providers offer mid-range packages for a little bit extra.

BT: Starter and Entertainment

BT’s most basic package, Starter + BT Sport, includes Freeview channels and BT Sport channels bundled together with any of BT’s fibre Infinity broadband deals. This package comes with a standard YouView box that lets you pause and rewind live TV.

A step up from the Starter package is the Entertainment package, which gives you Freeview and 30 additional channels, including Comedy Central, Nat Geo Wild, Eurosport and Discovery. Entertainment also comes with a YouView+, which lets you record live TV, too.

Compare uSwitch's top BT deals

Compare all of our packages from BT

Compare now

Virgin Media: Mix bundle

The Mix bundle is similar to the Player bundle; however, in addition to Freeview, you’ll get 80 other channels, including Sky 1, Fox, Cartoon Network and Syfy. This package also comes with cable broadband offering speeds of up to 100Mbps. You'll also get Virgin's newer set-top box, the V6, instead of a TiVo.

Compare uSwitch's top Virgin Media deals

Compare all of our packages from Virgin Media

Compare now

TalkTalk: TV Plus

TalkTalk’s TV Plus package is the same as their TV package with the addition of an Entertainment TV Boost, giving you an additional 32 pay TV channels like Sky 1, Comedy Central, Sky Sports News HQ and Fox. You’ll also get the TalkTalk TV Plus Box, which lets you pause, rewind and record live TV. TV Plus can be combined with any of TalkTalk’s ADSL or fibre broadband packages.

Compare uSwitch's top TalkTalk deals

Compare all of our packages from TalkTalk

Compare now

NOW TV: TV Combos

If you sign up for broadband and a NOW TV Pass, you’ll get the NOW TV Smart Box, which lets you pause and rewind live TV across Freeview channels while enjoying programmes or films from your NOW TV Pass through your telly.

NOW TV offers four themed TV passes: Sky Cinema, Kids, Sky Sports and Entertainment, which includes Sky Atlantic. You can pick and mix TV passes as you like to customise your package.

Learn more about NOW TV passes in our NOW TV guide.

Compare uSwitch's top NOW TV deals

Compare all of our packages from NOW TV

Compare now

Sky: Original

Although calling a bundle that includes over 270 channels ‘basic’ sounds laughable, Sky’s most basic option is comparably priced to those from other providers. The Original bundle includes Freeview channels plus pay TV channels like Comedy Central, Fox, Viceland and Sky’s own channels: Sky 1, Sky 2, Sky Living, Sky Arts and, most importantly, Sky Atlantic.

All of Sky’s packages come with the Sky Q set-top box, which lets you pause, rewind and record live TV. The Original bundle can be combined with any of Sky’s ADSL or fibre broadband options.

Compare uSwitch's top Sky deals

Compare all of our packages from Sky

Compare now

Mid-range and top-tier packages

Friends watching Sky Sports

Although most providers offer options for customisation and add-ons to their basic packages, opting into these individually can add up. Chances are if you’re subscribing to one or more monthly add-ons, you might actually be able to save money by switching to a mid-range or top-tier package.

Sky and Virgin Media in particular offer a number of plans with channels numbering in the hundreds, something other providers can’t touch.

Compare uSwitch's top TV packages

Compare all of uSwitch's TV packages to find your perfect plan

Compare now