Updated: Tuesday 9 October, 2012
By Anthony Hill - email@example.com
If you’re looking to save money on your monthly household bills, it may be worth bundling your TV, broadband and phone services with one provider to get a cheaper deal.
The massive growth in the digital TV market, along with decreasing home phone and broadband costs, has led to many companies offering money-saving "bundles", or all-in-one packages, allowing customers to take all their home entertainment and telecoms services from the same provider.
This guide will help you through the minefield of choosing a digital TV bundle, so you can make sure you’re getting the best deal for you.
Virgin Media - Virgin Media (www.virginmedia.com) offers the ultimate bundled package, with what it calls a “quad-play” of services. You can combine not just your digital TV, broadband and home phone services, but also a mobile broadband subscription. You can also get a discounted deal on your mobile contract if you’re a Virgin Media Mobile customer.
If you just want to take Virgin Media’s TV service though, it is possible to get cable TV without a Virgin phone line - however it is considerably more expensive than subscribing to a bundled package.
Sky - Sky (www.sky.com) offers a “triple-play” bundled deal, which gives you Sky digital TV, broadband and home phone all for less than £20, although this doesn’t include line rental. Its digital TV service is also available on its own, for customers looking for an unbundled package.
BT Vision - BT Vision (www.bt.com), the internet TV (IPTV) service from telecoms giant BT, is available to all BT Total Broadband customers. Its TV, broadband and calls package costs just £22.90 a month, and gives subscribers up to 20Mb broadband with a 10GB download limit, free weekend calls and a pay-per-view BT Vision deal. This doesn’t include line rental, however, an extra £14.60 a month.
TalkTalk - TalkTalk TV also offers a triple-play bundle. TalkTalk have joined forces with BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 to deliver YouView TV. Triple-play subscribers will receive a free YouView set top TV box that allows you to catch up on the last seven days of television. It also offers a number of other features including: BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5; a personal video recorder; and a range of HD channels.
There are several reasons why bundling your TV, phone and broadband services is a good idea:
There are also a few disadvantages of bundling, that you should be aware of before signing up:
If you want high-quality broadband and cheap calls, you might want to consider getting your services from separate suppliers or going for one of the more expensive packages.
Prices of bundled packages vary between providers, but here’s a brief overview: