Your handy guide to comparing TV and broadband deals
When it comes to entertainment, we’ve never had it so good. Whether you’re a movie buff or a dedicated footie fan (or both), there’s a TV package out there for you. And if you live for YouTube. Netflix or the latest games there’s a variety of broadband options available including fibre optic, adsl and cable.
However, some people may be paying more than they need to by having separate TV and broadband providers. With competition so fierce, there are plenty of tailor-made packages to choose from (many of which can also include your home phone and mobile). Our handy guide will help you weigh up your options and find a deal for you and your family.
Let's compare TV and broadband deals
Did you know that by switching to a single broadband, phone and TV provider, you could potentially save money on your bills?
The range of TV and broadband packages out there is increasingly flexible, with the best deals often available to customers who sign up for both services from the same provider.
Our guide covers the basics you need to know before searching for TV and broadband packages, and some important things to consider before signing up for a contract
Which companies offer broadband and TV packages?
The three most common TV and broadband providers in the UK are BT, Sky and Virgin Media.
The packages each company offers will vary depending on your location – and of course, how much you’re willing to spend. They can include everything from basic to unlimited broadband, access to exclusive sports channels, the latest movies, TV on demand, and more.
Better yet, sign up to a bundle of channels, and you may find additional rewards coming your way. These could include extra TV channels, free wireless routers, anti-virus software or even high-street gift vouchers.
Which home broadband packages should I consider?
The broadband offers open to you will depend mainly on three things: your usage, your preferred speed and your location.
‘Usage’ refers to the amount of data you download or upload in a given period. And by ‘speed’, we mean how quickly internet data can be sent to you across your local network. If a provider promises speeds of ‘up to 30Mbit/s’, that means you’ll receive 30 megabits of data at best every second.
But what does all this mean for you? Well, if you don’t use your internet for much more than web browsing, you may prefer a lower-speed broadband connection with a monthly data limit – which may be cheaper. However, if you tend to download lots of music, or are a keen online gamer, you might want high-speed broadband and unlimited data.
To check your current internet speed, you can run a broadband speed check online. But remember that the speed you can access will depend on the quality of the fibre optic broadband cables in your area. Superfast broadband availability is better where the network has been upgraded, but maximum speeds may be slower in other parts of the country – rural areas, for example.
But don’t fret. You can use comparethemarket.com to narrow your search. Simply enter your postcode to ensure you only see the packages on offer where you live.
What different TV packages can I get?
These days, you can tailor your TV package to your tastes. Whether you’re hooked on US dramas, mad for movies or can’t get enough sport, there are options available for every kind of viewer.
Though the different providers all offer broadly comparable deals, each one also has some unique tricks up its sleeve.
For example, BT Sport has the rights to broadcast European Champions League football matches live. Sky TV offers a number of exclusive sports channels, as well as Sky Movies. Virgin Media, meanwhile, is the only one to offer a TiVo digital recording box.
Packages might also include access to Netflix, TV on demand (such as 4OD or BBC iPlayer), or the ability to watch channels directly on your computer or mobile device, as well as your TV (another benefit to bundling your TV in with your broadband).
But if you don’t want to choose between the different providers, you can have your cake and eat it – pay extra, and you can bolt on channels from different providers.
Or at the other end of the price scale, some deals offer affordable ‘Freeview’ bundles – Freeview being free-to-air digital TV. These could be useful if you’re looking to spend a little less.
What combined broadband and TV contracts are there?
Most combined TV and broadband or Phone and broadband deals run for 12 to 18 months. Once you’ve signed on the dotted line, you’ll need to see out your minimum term, or pay a cancellation fee to opt out earlier. Be careful: these charges can be pretty high.
Another thing to look out for is introductory rates. The price you pay initially may not apply for the whole contract – it could increase at the end of your minimum term. You’ll need to add up the cost over the entire period when doing your comparisons.
You should also check costs. Line rental is a big one. Not all contracts charge this, but if yours does, it could add a significant sum to your monthly bill.
How do I switch?
When it comes to changing provider, many people worry that it’ll be too stressful, so they don’t bother looking for a cheaper alternative.
Luckily, new Ofcom regulations mean it’s now your new provider’s responsibility to make the switch happen. Depending on the network in your area, you might need to call your existing supplier for a cancellation code, but that’s pretty easy to do. The rest is then done for you. Before you know it, you could be downloading away and watching brand new TV channels – all for less than you’re paying now.
How can I find cheap broadband and TV offers?
We can’t promise you’ll find the exact channels and internet speeds you want, but we can guarantee one thing that’s superfast: running a comparison with comparethemarket.com.
Simply click the green button above, pop in your postcode, and see if you can save money with a TV and broadband bundle.