Looking for a digital TV service? Confused, perhaps? Whether you want to switch, upgrade or even downgrade you can find all the info here, from Sky to Virgin, BT to Freeview plus the latest vouchers and deals, helping you to save money too.
Find out more about...
More about Sky TV
How does Sky Digital TV work?
In order to get Sky TV you need to have a mini-dish installed somewhere on your property which receives the TV service from satellite transmitters over 22,000 miles above the earth. You will also be given a Sky+HD box, and depending which of the Sky packages you've gone for you will use that to receive standard definition Sky+ or high definition Sky+HD - the box is what lets you select which channel you want to watch, as well as record, pause and rewind TV.
What's on Sky TV?
Sky has a huge range of content - known for the market-leading Sky Sports and Sky Movies collections they also offer more of their own branded channels in the arts and entertainment as well as the basic terrestrials like BBC1, 2, 3 and 4. If you opt for the HD Pack you will have the largest choice of HD channels in the UK by a long way, dependent on your TV package channels - Sky is a leader in 3D TV too. More about Sky TV »
More about Virgin TV
How does Virgin Media TV work?
To receive cable TV you have to live in a street where fibre-optic cables have been laid, so availability isn't quite as good as the other providers. Virgin Media connect the cabling in your street to the V-Box which then connects to your TV, so there's no need for a dish to receive the signal. Cable TV can be better than satellite in built-up areas where a signal sent over the air could be obstructed by buildings or bad weather - Virgin Media is unaffected by these.
What's on Virgin TV?
Virgin Media boasts up to 179 digital TV channels including ESPN, MTV, Nickelodeon and Sky 1, plus a massive library of films, TV, music available on demand. Catch-up is good too, with the BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and 4OD all available through the TiVo box. The Virgin TiVo box integrates your channels package with extra content on the web and enables intelligent automatic recording of programmes based on your viewing history. The box has up to 1 terabyte of storage and its own 10Mb broadband connection. More about Virgin TV »
More about BT TV
How does BT TV work?
BT are one of the companies behind YouView, which is a Freeview service based around the YouView box, a 500GB capacity box that will record, pause and rewind the Freeview channels and connect to your BT broadband to let you watch catch-up TV and more on demand content from the BT Vision library. So you need to be a BT broadband customer and the YouView box can be added for a small extra monthly fee (depending on how much access to on demand TV you want) and a £49 activation fee plus £6.95 postage.
What's on BT TV?
As live TV channels come from Freeview the availability of these depends entirely where you live so you should check first, especially if you're in a rural area. YouView lets you watch catch-up TV from the BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5 and has 4 HD channels too - BBC 1 HD, ITV 1 HD, Channel 4 HD and BBC HD. One of the nice features about it is the ability to scroll back through the last 7 days in the EPG, like Virgin's TiVo service can do. Sky Sports and ESPN are not available on YouView as they don't have extra channels for it but BT customers can get these channels through the BT Vision with Sport service instead. More about BT TV »
More about Freeview
How does Freeview work?
Freeview is the UK's free-to-air digital TV service, run on a non-profit basis by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and a transmitter company Arqiva. The channels are received through a normal TV aerial and a Freeview receiver is required - either a stand-alone box or one built in to a TV or DVD recorder.
What's on Freeview?
The Freeview content depends on where you live but there are over 50 free-to-air channels available plus 5 free HD channels as well as adult content, subscription services, text and radio stations. Some paid services like BT Vision and Top Up TV are based on Freeview channels. More about Freeview »
More about Top Up TV
How does Top Up TV work?
Top Up TV is a Freeview-based service with the option to add extra channels for a monthly fee but without a long contract. You buy a Top Up TV box, from £39.99 depending on storage capacity plus £20 set-up fee, and then choose any extras you want - currently the only way to get Sky Sports without a bundle and contract.
What's on Top Up TV?
The Freeview content depends on where you live and the channels available in the area and the Top Up box enables you to pause, rewind and record. The main optional packages are TV Favourites for general on-demand telly, Picture Box for movies and ESPN for sport. Sky Sports is available from £23.99 a month. More about Top Up TV »