Do adjust your set
Fromlive sports and hitmovies to catch-up services and box-set binges, there aremore home entertainment options today than ever before. Here, tech guru Tombailey explains how to get exactly what you want without paying for services you don’t need
What do I get formymoney with expensive packages from Sky and Virgin?
Essentially, you are paying for access to the latest films and exclusive live sports coverage such as Premier League football matches. In return for signing up to a pricey annual contract, the provider will install a fancy set-top box with access to 250+ channels and 50+ Hdchannels. You will be able to store, pause and rewind TV, and watch your favourite shows on mobile devices. The most advanced paid-for package, Sky Q (from £22 a month), adds next-generation features such as 4K Ultra-hd broadcasts and touchscreen remote controls. What if I don’t need all that? If watching the season premiere of Game of Thrones is not a matter of life and death, there’s no need to fork out costlymonthly fees. Freeview, the replacement for the UK’S old analogue TV service, offers up to 70 channels and 15Hdchannels through a TV aerial. There are no contracts or fees ( besides a TV Licence). All TVS made after 2010 have a Freeview tuner built-in; older TV sets may require the addition of a plug-in Freeview box (£50 for a no-frills model). What in heaven’s name are BT TV and EE TV? When you sign up to a broadband contract with BT, EE or Talktalk, you can add in a TV service. You get a set-top box that combines Freeview channels through a TV aerial with on-demand TV through broadband. BT TV and Talk Talk are perfect for sports fans, as both offer Sky channels (£22 extra permonth for BT; £16 extra on Talk Talk). EE TV offers pay-per-view access to Sky.
What if I don’t want to bolt an aerial/dish to the side ofmy beautiful home?
Thanks to the magic of technology, you can opt to watch TV online via apps such as BBC iplayer and ITV Hub. Smart TVS – by that we mean TV sets that connect to the internet – offer seamless access to most popular catch-up services. They also act as a portal for on-demand subscription services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. ➤