Not too long ago, there was just one way to watch TV in the UK – through your aerial. Nowadays, there’s not only a plethora of different channels broadcasting shows from all different walks of life, there’s also a multitude of broadcasters.
As a result, it can be tough to figure out exactly which TV package you should go for. Should you choose a pay TV service or stick with Freeview? And what about streaming? Our Connections Experts are here to answer any questions you might have about your TV and to help you get it set up.
Freeview is a way to watch digital TV without a subscription. All TVs since 2010 come with Freeview built in, so as long as you have an aerial you should be able to pick up Freeview channels.
With over 60 TV channels and 15 HD channels, Freeview gives all households in the UK access to multi-channel entertainment.
Paying for a TV subscription service offers a much greater range of channels than standard Freeview. For instance, even the most basic Sky package offers around 280 TV channels. Depending on what you’re looking for, you can then add on various entertainment, sport, movie and box sets to your basic TV package.
Sky is the UK’s biggest pay TV broadcaster, and you can either get their channels directly through a Sky package or through other TV providers such as Virgin Media and BT TV.
Sky offers a huge range of channels that cater for all tastes. They have a large selection of movie channels plus a huge on-demand movie library. Sky also has exclusive rights to show some of the biggest TV shows around. How can you watch Game of Thrones in the UK? Sky is your answer on their Sky Atlantic channel, which also shows a range of other blockbusting TV shows, mostly from the US.
If you want to watch live sport in the UK then pay TV is the place to go, as it has monopolised the market for live sports. Until recently, Sky Sports had dominated in this area, but the recent emergence of BT Sport has created a rival. Sky Sports still holds the edge in terms of the sheer amount of content, but the presence of BT Sport has meant that there is now a tough choice to make for hardcore sports fans.
Pay TV packages also come with set-top boxes to enhance your viewing experience. These allow you to record, pause and rewind live TV. Different providers have their own unique boxes, and while they currently all offer roughly the same functionality, stand by – there’s a bit of an arms race with some awesome new technology coming out soon. Not just in the set-top boxes either – remote controls are going through a technology revolution as well.
The last few years has seen huge growth of online streaming services such as Netflix, Now TV and Amazon Prime. These allow you to stream content from their vast libraries of movies and TV shows. If you have a smart TV or a Wi-Fi enabled set-top box, then you can stream shows on TV using your broadband connection.
So what should I go for?
Is it worth getting a pay TV subscription? This really depends on what you’re looking for from your TV package. If you’re happy just to enjoy the regular free-to-air channels and aren’t too fussed about having a large choice of channels, then standard Freeview may be best for you.
However, if you want more from your TV, such as dedicated sports and movie channels, and don’t mind paying a monthly subscription, then a pay TV package might be best for you.
We keep up-to-date with all TV offers, and even get discounts for some packages ourselves.
So, if you are thinking of getting a pay TV package, don’t hesitate to get in touch and use our free service. You will get straight through to one of our Connections Experts who can give you advice on what your best option is – we may even be able to save you some money as well!