Sky Original Bundle, Broadband & Talk£45.99 a month + Line Rental & Talk included. £20 install fee
Virgin Media Full House Bundle£55/m for 12 months + £14.99 activation fee
TalkTalk TV with Fast Broadband£20 a month, includes line rental
BT TV Essential & Unlimited Broadband£30.49 a month for 12 months
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In a process that was 5 years in the making, at midnight the morning of October 24th 2012, Britain's switch from analogue broadcasting to Digital TV came into effect. Costing £1 billion, it signalled the end of the traditional broadcasting method which roots can be traced back to November 1936. This event was a step into the fast growing digital age.
Digital TV in the UK
According to ofcom.org the number of homes in the UK with a working TV in 2016 was 96%, this is a huge number of the ever growing population and shows why so many companies have been involved and invested in the development of new technologies.
In 2014, the amount of homes that owned a TV set fell for the first time in history, this is accredited to the rise in people watching TV on their smartphone, laptops and tablet devices. This coincided with the growth of internet TV as well as catch up TV services such as BBC iplayer, and therefore was centered around a trend in convenience where certain programs are available for anyone to watch at a time that is better for them.
The evolution of digital TV has seen the quality of visual and sound grow significantly, yet the standard transmission of signals sent by the NTSC method was largely unchanged from 1941. One of the biggest adaptions to come to the TV was the introduction of color in 1953 and it wasn't until the early 1990s that digital TV as standard was a possibility.
In the 1980s Japanese company NHK were leading the development of Digital TVs progress. Their success was becoming more apparent to companies in the U.S who switched their focus from improving analogue TV to developing Digital alternatives. One of the objectives of these companies was to deliver a Digital version whilst also also supporting analog TV.
Between 2007 -2012, the whole of the UK went from a traditional analogue TV set up to Digital TV. The first benefit of this for consumers was the increase in channels made available for terrestrial TV users from 5 to many more channels that were previously only available to paid subscription services like Sky TV and Virgin Media. Some of the initial channels made available were ITV2, Film4 and E4 to name a few. The process was described in the press as the ‘’digital switchover’’ and once implemented it meant that any users with an analogue TV would not be able to watch their favourite shows without a Freeview box, or by upgrading to a new digital TV.
DTV is a technology that transmits and receives television signals for broadcasting. Part of the reason the transfer from analog has been so beneficial is that the transmissions are superior in terms of accuracy meaning the quality of signal and viewing is better and also the signal cannot be interrupted, an issue that occurred with analog due to the use of aerials.
Whilst every year a new TV comes onto the market offering better quality HD and increasingly larger screen size without compromising quality, this is made possible by the switchover to digital TV broadcasting. HDTV is one of the most significant changes that viewers benefitted from when switching from analog, it manages to offer a much better picture quality through the transmission - at least 2x the resolution.
It is now hard to imagine turning on your TV and being restricted to 5 terrestrial channels with a dodgy picture quality that flickers on occasion and sub par sound quality. The switchover to digital TV has not only allowed people to watch cinema quality pictures in the comfort of their own home it has also helped in the advancement of the whole industry. There is a constant increase in available channels and quality of shows that doesn't look like changing anytime soon. The question is, if digital TV has meant that we benefit from all these incredible advantages, what does the future of TV at home hold?
With the Digital TV industry in the UK growing at an incredible rate, it is no surprise that it is such a competitive marketplace. Professional Services company pwc state on their website in a report for the next 5 years for the UK entertainment and media industry ‘’we predict the UK sector will grow at a compound rate of 3% per annum over the next 5 years to be worth £72 billion by 2021. Digital services will account for over 60% of all spend in the sector’’ This is good news for consumers as the price and service wars that ensue mean the options and value are greater than ever.
Overview of Digital TV providers in the UK
With the greatest reach of all providers due to its use of Satellites, Sky can reach even some of the remotest areas of the UK and provide an excellent service. With a variety of unique and tailored packages, Sky can offer customers access to Sky Sports, Sky Movies as well as a full range of broadband services, you can even create a broadband and TV package that suits you. The introduction of Sky Q is a bonus for consumers as it is possible to record up to 3 programs whilst watching a 4th, you can also store up to 500 hours of TV. Sky TV even gives anyone the chance to use Now TV, a service that allows you to pay a one off fee for a variety of pre selected channels such as a Sky Sports day pass, or watch TV and movies whilst not being tied into a contract.
Virgin Media offers subscribers Fibre broadband, digital TV and a lot more. One of the largest Digital TV providers they now offer a Full House Bundle in which you can view over 245 channels, all BT sport in HD, Virgins TV box sets, catch up TV and receive Vivid 200Mbps fibre broadband - the UK's fastest widely available broadband. They also have special sports bundles in which you can view both Sky Sports and BT Sports channels as part of one package - enough to keep you entertained all week!
One of the better companies if you prefer a package that includes mobile phone services as well as TV and internet TalkTalk include calls in some of their packages. Offering unlimited broadband they have made their packages simple, and it appears they like to include as much value as possible. Some packages still include access to Sky Sports and Sky Cinema where TalkTalk claim to be very competitive on price.
BT rival Sky in that they too have their in house dedicated sports channels. They even have Ultra HD channels and their own TV app which performs well with its competitors offerings. Like many of the other prominent paid Digital TV providers you can get Sky Cinema as part of some of the packages so you have access to an incredible library of films to entertain you and the family. BT also allows users to view Netflix in 4K which gives viewers 4x the detail of HD.
There are so many options and packages to choose from in this ultra competitive market. The above is a list of the major players for you to compare. It is best to decide on what type of package you want and then look into which of the providers offers the best value and quality for what you are looking for. You really are spoilt for choice!
Internet TV Providers Overview
With the advancement of paid for streaming services and quality of internet service, there has been an influx in recent years of Internet TV providers. This added competition has meant a better service and selection for customers as the industry continues to flourish. Below are just a few of the services available online today.
A great place to start is Sky’s Now TV. Launched in July 2012, in its early days it only offered Films for customers, overtime it has added sports and entertainment channels. There is even an app allowing customers to watch via their tablet or mobile device. Now TV even has offers where you can get a Free Sky Sports Day Pass although this is a limited time offer it does run from time to time. A great feature of Now TV is that you do not have to pay monthly subscription fee. Just choose a day you would like to watch Sky Sports - maybe your favourite football team is playing or there is a boxing event you can't miss? Also available is the Sky Cinema pass where you can watch movies online, there is a monthly subscription fee, making it a similar model to Netflix.
With Amazon Prime you buy a one year membership but also start with a free 30-day trial so you can see if it works for you. It also boasts some of the most popular TV shows for streaming, these include some of Amazon's own original series. You can also watch the popular Poldark series, and some of the latest movies to be available to streaming. There is also the option with some of the media to download a program so you can watch it anytime on your device. This is as well as over 20 million songs with ad-free streaming, this is included in an amazon prime membership at no additional cost.
Claiming to be the best TV all in one place, live streaming TV website TV player has 98 channels including 29 premium channels that are not available on Freeview. It is easy to use since it is available to stream online on your laptop, tablet or mobile and even your TV. Many of the channels are Free and you only pay for the Plus channels which can be cancelled at any time so you are not tied into any contract. The channels can also be sorted by genre so if you want to watch comedy, drama, sport and more you can filter to find a program that you are in the mood for.
Founded back in 1997, its fortunes have gone from strength to strength as its popularity has grown and it is now the internet's 9th largest company by revenue. This explains how they manage to find so many original programs such as the popular Orange is the new Black and Stranger Things. Some might find the choice of movies quite limited but the TV series are the strength of this service. You can also cancel your subscription at any time, maybe just to take a break as they update their library and rejoin at a later date.
So, those are your options for the internet TV providers. Most of these products are around the same price bracket and with so much choice and a variety of products available you can find an option that suits you.
Since the switchover from analogue to Digital TV that completed nationwide in the UK in 2012 there there has been an influx in the amount of services available. The switch to Digital meant the whole industry exploded and money has been poured into different areas which has only benefited the consumer. The picture quality we have all experienced at home, also due to the advancements of technology and the volume of channels available is constantly rising. As a result the Digital TV market and who will provide the service that we view the channels through has become more and more competitive. Here we will take a look at the different types of Digital TV available today.
Using radio frequency signals sent through cables this version of digital TV has simple origins. It stems from users placing long cables from antennas and connecting them to their TV. Some of the more popular providers of Cable TV in the UK offer other services, many providing internet broadband and phone packages as well as TV. Some of the main companies to provide this are Sky, BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk to name a few. More popular in the USA, one of the main benefits of cable TV is that you do not need a satellite dish outside your house, this saves on installation time and cost as well as the appearance of your home. Currently Virgin Media are the most prominent Cable TV provider in the UK. Having invested a lot of money into their services, they boast the ‘’next generation optical fibre’’ and have download speeds of up to 300Mbps meaning your internet TV experience will be far superior as well as your home broadband. They state that their broadband speed delivery enables users to download a movie in just five minutes - very impressive.
The digital service that is literally out of this world! Sending the signal from your dish to satellites in orbit via the broadcast station before ending up at your TV. The only mainstream paid satellite TV service in the UK is currently Sky. One of the reasons Sky is so popular is that because it uses Satellite dishes, therefore its reach is so wide it can service virtually all of the UK, one of the issues that affects cable TV is coverage, although it is getting wider reception. If you live in a remote area then Satelite TV is likely to be your best option if you wish to experience a full service in your area. With sky you have the choice of various packages which include access to Sky Sports, Sky Cinema and many others. Sky Sports is also available on Now TV. Driven by Sky this offers viewers the chance to pay a one off fee to access Sky Sports or other pre selected channels for a day without having to pay the ongoing monthly subscription fee for the channel. Another advantage is it is often said that when compared to Cable TV, Satellite TV offers a sharper image because of its direct signal.
IPTV or Internet Protocol Television is a way of providing TV through the internet. This method of streaming TV has grown in popularity through the mass production and demand of set up boxes such as Kodi boxes. Kodi boxes were not created for streaming TV or Movies and Sports but they have been modified to do so, although the legalities of Kodi boxes are under constant scrutiny. Other versions of IPTV are the BBC iplayer, any technology that offers users the chance to watch ‘’on demand’’ television is a form of IPTV. Also, Video on Demand (VOD) services are increasing in popularity, Netflix is one example where you pay to be able to watch movies and TV programs and stream them. Sky+ is one of the biggest services in the UK of IPTV, the wide range of popular TV shows and Movies available at the click of a button is a service that many Sky customers enjoy as part of their subscription. The advancements in broadband packages and speeds means that users can enjoy IPTV at a better quality than ever.
Digital Terrestrial TV
Digital Terrestrial TV has come a long way since the £1 billion switchover from analogue TV to Digital. Offering more choice for viewers than ever, even the switch from analogue meant the available channels increased from 5 to over 60. Now there are over 100 available and even numerous radio stations that can be played through your TV. Freeview is the Digital Terrestrial TV platform provider for the UK, launched in 2002 it is available directly through your TV if it was purchased after 2008 (modern TVs have built in freeview ready to tune in) or through a set-top box.
OTT or Over The Top content is any video or audio that is delivered over the internet, without the user needing to subscribe to a traditional paid TV service. In order to use this service, users will still need an internet connection to do so, therefore the TV companies aren't necessarily at a disadvantage since most of them have services in this sector. Companies such as Netflix and Amazon Prime are two of the most popular and widely known in OTT industry in the UK. Others have changed with the times to ensure they take advantage of the popularity of this form of broadcasting, HBO for example launched HBO Now in the USA when the success of Netflix started to show.
Clearly there are many options when considering you Digital TV provider and type. The amount of channels on Digital Terrestrial alone is staggering when considering not so long ago viewers only had access to 5 channels. With this in mind there are now hundreds of channels available on Satellite and cable TV and the reach of these services are ever increasing in line with technological advances. As with most industries in the modern age there are so many different choices one can make when it comes to Digital TV, think about what it is you want in terms of picture quality, channel variation and cost and you will find the right one for you.
Television channels to households throughout the nation. Now, UK homes wishing to enjoy entertainment on their TV must be connected to a digital TV provider. This means that companies such as Sky, BT, Virgin Media, Freeview, Top Up TV and others are the best way to keep up to date with all of your favourite programmes.
First of all, your television must be compatible with a digital service. This means you will be able to access a satellite or a cable provider. Certain channels, such as BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, and Channel 4 are readily accessible. If, however, you would like to regularly view other channels such as ESPN or Sky Atlantic then you must take out a subscription with a provider. This will usually be a monthly subscription, and contracts will usually last for a year if not more.
It is important to do your research when you are in the market for a new TV provider. You need to know that you are entering into a contract that you can afford and that is giving you a good return on your money. It is also key to learn about the reputation of each potential provider, such as their reliability, experience, products and features, add-ons and where possible it’s worth learning if there are any additional costs. Some will charge a set up fee, whereas others only require a ‘plug in and play’ installation.
DigitalTVSignup can help you to find out which provider is offering the best deal for the type of service that you would like. In some cases, this might include broadband and phone services too, or you may simply want to know where you can get the most channels for the least money each month. No matter what you want from your TV, we can help!elevision channels to households throughout the nation. Now, UK homes wishing to enjoy entertainment on their TV must be connected to a digital TV provider. This means that companies such as Sky, BT, Virgin Media, Freeview, Top Up TV and others are the best way to keep up to date with all of your favourite programmes.
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