Many broadband providers also offer packages which include digital TV, yet these can amount to £1,000+ over the course of the contract so can be far from MoneySaving - especially if you're paying for channels you don't need. Our tool lets you build the broadband and TV package you want, and shows you the cheapest way to get it - even if they are from different providers. That's why we've called it Broadband Unbundled.
What are the options for watching the shows I want?
When it comes to watching the biggest TV shows and box sets via a TV package, you've a number of different options. You can opt for a satellite or cable TV service which includes channels showing the series you want, buy a special add-on giving you box sets on demand or opt for a streaming package such as Netflix.
What do the main digital TV services offer?
What you'll be able to watch if you subscribe to a digital TV service depends on what package you get. As a general rule, you'll be able to watch some big series if you subscribe to the right channels but will have to pay extra to have full on-demand access to box sets. Here's a quick overview:
- Sky TV offers a wide range of packages, all of which include Sky Atlantic and Sky One. Depending on your subscription, its Sky Box Sets option offers a massive 350 box sets to work your way through.
- BT TV has three main packages, all of which include AMC, a channel exclusive to BT in the UK which has earned it box-set bragging rights. If you want more, Netflix is available as a bolt-on to BT TV.
- Virgin Media offers a big choice of TV packages. Its mid-level option Mix TV includes Sky One and Fox, while the Full House package gives you access to a library of box sets and 230 channels. You can also get Netflix on your Virgin Media box if you have a subscription.
- TalkTalk TV has a fairly limited box set offering in its basic packages, though its TV Plus Box comes with Sky One and Fox and allows you to record up to 180 hours of programming. But its add-on Boosts, available on a rolling monthly contract, offer more, in particular its Sky Cinema boost which includes over 1,200 films on demand. TalkTalk TV boxes also let you access your Netflix subscription if you have one.
What do the main streaming services offer?
If you're mainly after box sets, then online streaming offers a very cost-effective alternative to pay TV - you can access a huge library of TV shows, often for a fraction of the price.
Here are some of the main options:
- Netflix is the granddaddy of streaming services, and the one which has done most to establish streaming in popular culture. Netflix boasts an impressive TV back-catalogue though its film selection is a little more limited.
- Now TV is owned by Sky. Its Entertainment package gives you access to 250+ box sets plus access to 11 live channels including Sky Atlantic.
- Amazon Prime Video has 1,000s of films and TV shows to choose from, though it's less hot on new releases though.
What about Sport?
When it comes to watching sport on TV, finding the right package will largely depend on what you want to watch.
The two big players, Sky Sports and BT Sport, boast live Premier League football and lots more high profile events. But there are other options - if you just want to watch the occasional football match, a pay-as-you-go package on Now TV may be cheaper, while 'crown jewel' events such as the World Cup, FA Cup Final, Olympics and Wimbledon are available on free TV channels.