This page is relevant for Londoners that want the full package from one supplier; you love TV, you need a good decent broadband connection and you still require a phone line. If you need advice on switching providers, check this out. We’re looking at the services available in London, using a Brixton property as an example.
Best on broadband: Virgin Media
Best on TV: Sky
Best for BT Sport: BT
Sky has been the leader in paid TV for decades and so when you buy your TV package from them, you know that you will be accessing a comprehensive service. The TV is, as the name suggests, delivered via a Satellite dish that is attached to your property. The broadband and phone line come via more traditional means. The phone line is the same as any other phone line, and the broadband is delivered on this phone line. It is branded fibre, but is really a VDSL2 line (see here for an explanation of this).
You will receive a Sky Q box no matter which package you chose. This is a good solid offering which lets you record, pause and rewind TV and catch all of your on-demand binge watching! When you add a broadband package it also acts as your router, so that you don’t have multiple boxes taking over your living room.
The entry level TV package gives you over 270 channels and access to Sky Go (Sky’s mobile player so you can watch TV on your phone or tablet). You can step this up to £38 a month for all of the boxsets you desire, 350+ channels and 50 HD channels. Film fans can add Sky Cinema for £18 a month and sports fans can pick up Sky Sports for £27.50/month.
The entry level broadband package gives you a basic broadband line for £27.40 a month (including phone line), however you can scale this up to a 76mb fibre (VDSL2) line for £42.40 a month.
The final cost
To get a basic phone line, broadband internet and entry level Sky TV you would pay £47.40/month with £44.95 up front. Sky have a very comprehensive set of options however, so if you really want to dig into the TV options you can do – it will just cost you though.
Click here to check out your Sky options.
Virgin Media deliver their broadband and TV differently to others. They both run down dedicated coaxial cables the run into your property. They do not come over the phone line, although here we will be looking at packages that also give you a telephone line.
Virgin Media’s packages tend to be better value than Sky’s if not always as comprehensive. However, they have the fastest broadband that is generally available to this may be appealing to some.
TV wise, you will be given a Tivo box which allows you to pause, rewind and record live TV, and you will be offered 70+ channels. On the broadband side of things you get a 50mb broadband line (which is more than capable) and plenty of free weekend calls over you phone line.
There are some immediate differences in the entry level packages to Sky here, whilst Virgin gives you fewer channels you get a much better broadband connection. As with any TV supplier you can crank this up. At the other end of the scale Virgin Media will give you 245+ channels including all of the Sky Sports and Sky Cinema channels in HD, a second box for another room and a 200mb unlimited use broadband line. This will cost you £85.
The final cost
To take a comparison of entry level packages with Sky. For £29/month with £14.99 activation fee you get a much faster broadband connection but a more limited TV selection. This is clearly the cheaper yet sufficient option.
At our Brixton (Lambeth) flat in London, BT can deliver a fibre (VDSL) broadband line.
On the TV front, BT offer a simple YouView box which gives access to 100 free to air channels, but importantly means that you can add BT Sport for free. This costs only £3/month. The box doesn’t allow you to record, but you can pause and rewind TV. If you want to step up to HD and add more functionality BT have packages that enable you to do that. For £10/month BT offer a package that includes the ability to record live TV with some extra channels. For comparison with our other suppliers we will go with this one.
The TV is delivered over your broadband so you can only get TV packages when you get a broadband package and most packages will require a fibre broadband line.
The cheapest unlimited broadband line available with our TV selection is £39.99/month for a 52mb/line, which is comparable in speed to Virgin Media’s entry level broadband.
The final cost
Once all of this is totalled up, the cost comes to £49.99 a month with a £59.99 upfront fee. This includes BT Sport, so if you are a sports fan then this is the package for you.