We've come a long way from the dark days of television, when there were only five free channels. Nowadays, you just need a Freeview box to access hundreds of channels. If you're not getting enough satisfaction from Freeview, though, you can top up your telly with a subscription package.
We've already told you how to save money on your TV package, but if you're wondering which company to go with, you need to find out whether you're a Big Spender, a Prudent Saver, or a Flexible Financier...
Sky: Big Spender
Sky is the perfect package for serious telly addicts, with plenty of disposable income. You might be happy to make cutbacks and save money in other areas (like food and fashion), but entertainment is your number one priority. Even the basic bundle offers plenty, with critically acclaimed HBO shows galore on Sky Atlantic: you'll never have to worry about Game of Thrones spoilers again. You can also add premium film and sports channels for an extra monthly fee.
Sky's basic bundle starts from £32.25 a month for the first six months, rising to £36.90 for the remainder of the 12 month contract. This includes a broadband connection and telephone line rental.
Virgin: Prudent Saver
Virgin Media is a good option for Prudent Savers: you don't want to splash too much cash on your subscription package, but you still want to access great TV. Your schedule doesn't always match up with what you want to watch, so you'll appreciate the 4,000 hours of On-Demand telly that Virgin offers in comparison to Sky's 40. It's also the only TV service that offers 4OD, iPlayer, and ITV Player, as well as picks from all the free channels.
With Virgin, you can even add Sky's premium channels to your package (for a fee) and you can also access Netflix through Virgin Media's TiVo box. Of course, you have to pay for a Netflix subscription too: although Virgin has recently been offering it as a freebie for six months to their new customers.
Virgin's basic collection starts at £20.99 for the first six months, then rises to £28.99 (this includes telephone line rental, but not their lauded broadband service) for the remainder of the 18 month contract.
Netflix: Flexible Financier
With Netflix, there's no long-term contract: you can cancel whenever you like. That's perfect if you're a Flexible Financier and want the ability to make cut-backs when it suits you, not when it suits your TV provider. Of course, you aren't just flexible when it comes to your finances: you're also flexible in your viewing habits. You like picking and choosing what to watch at times that suit you, and you don't watch much telly during the week - you prefer the occasional TV binge at the weekend.
Like Sky, Netflix is famous for playing host to critically acclaimed shows. Some favourites include Breaking Bad and Arrested Development, as well as a few exclusive shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. There's also a good selection of films: the majority are back catalogue, but there are a few hidden gems if you don't mind browsing. At £6.99 a month, it's also a lot cheaper than both Sky and Virgin's basic packages.
Of course, the package you choose isn't just dependent on your personality. Whether you opt for Sky's premium options or a cheap Netflix subscription will depend on the rest of your monthly outgoings. Our free Money Dashboard budgeting software can give you a far better idea of what you can afford each month, helping you to make the right choice.
Posted by Money Dashboard