Can I get Sky, Virgin TV, BT TV or TalkTalk TV without a subscription?
No. You can access a lot of Sky’s content through Now TV if you have access to the internet and a device such as a smart TV or games console onto which to download the app and play the content. Now TV is cheap and quite an effective means to access Sky content if you don’t want to go the whole hog and subscribe. You cannot access Virgin TV, BT TV or TalkTalk TV without a subscription. At all.
Can I record TV and movies on Sky, Virgin, BT or TalkTalk TV?
Yes in all cases. However, BT and TalkTalk’s most basic packages come with the basic YouView box, which doesn’t offer recording. So you’ll have to get the next package up in both cases.
Can I watch digital TV on my laptop?
Absolutely. If it has an app, it’ll be available on Windows or Apple operating systems. For which apps do what with what provider, check out the question and answer directly above this one.
Can I watch my subscription TV service on my mobile or tablet?
Sky offers both Sky Go and Sky Go Extra apps, the former free, the latter for a small additional charge. With Sky Go you can’t download content in advance and watch it later (useful to save on mobile data), with Sky Go Extra you can. Sky Go Extra is also free if you subscribe to Sky Multiroom.
BT TV offers the BT TV app. On it you can watch anything you could watch on your BT TV subscription, including BT Sport.
Virgin Media offers its Virgin TV Go app. It provides access instantly, anywhere, to all content you subscribe to. Virgin TV Go, however, does not allow you to download content in advance in order to watch it later, so could prove very costly if you have a restrictive data tariff on your device.
TalkTalk TV Store has an app. Remember this is pay-per-view content only and does not allow you to watch channels offered in your TalkTalk TV contract. It does, however, allow you to download over wi-fi and watch while on the move – probably the most important feature there is.
Can I watch Netflix on Virgin Media, Sky, BT or TalkTalk?
You can watch Netflix on all subscription TV set-top boxes. Netflix is available in the ‘On Demand’ menu on YouView and YouView+ (BT TV or TalkTalk TV) and on channel 204 on Virgin’s V6 box. You will need a Netflix subscription to watch it in all cases.
Do I need a broadband connection to watch digital TV?
Not necessarily. With Sky and Virgin you can get ‘TV-only’ packages (without broadband or home phone). However, you won’t get the full benefit without a broadband connection since on-demand programming tends to rely on it.
With TalkTalk TV and BT TV, you do need an internet connection, though not because the boxes themselves require it, but because in both cases you cannot sign up to these services without being a BT or TalkTalk broadband customerser.
Do I need a satellite dish to get Sky, Virgin, BT and TalkTalk TV?
Only Sky requires a satellite dish. Services from BT TV, TalkTalk TV and Virgin TV require only the set-top box supplied when you sign up and an internet connection to deliver up everything they have to offer.
Do I still need a TV license to watch digital TV?
Yes, you do. It is an offence to watch or record programmes as they're shown live on TV or online without a TV licence, and it is an offence to watch or download catch up TV or on demand services on TV or online without a TV licence.