Why choose Sky?
It’s fair to say Sky has the biggest and best TV offering of any UK provider, while its reputation for customer service is up there with the best.
- The UK’s best pay-TV service
- The only place to watch Sky Atlantic
- Sky Q box
- Watch on the move with Sky Go
- Voice control
- UK’s least complained-about broadband provider
- Loyalty scheme
- Broadband speeds can’t match Virgin Media
- Watch out for extra costs
- You will need a satellite dish for Sky TV
The UK’s best pay-TV service
Sky TV offers more than 300 channels as standard and if you go for the 2TB Sky Q box you’ll also be able to watch content – including Premier League football – in 4K.
The only provider that really gets anywhere Sky’s TV offering is Virgin Media but it’s missing a few of the channels that Sky has including one key ingredient – Sky Atlantic.
The only place to watch Sky Atlantic
It’s only one channel, but it’s the place to catch some of the most talked-about US TV shows including Game of Thrones, Westworld and Billions. It’s also become home to an increasing number of Sky originals such as Tin Star, Riviera, Save Me and Patrick Melrose.
Sky Q box
The standard Sky Q box offers 1TB of storage space – enough for 500 hours of TV – and allows you to record three channels simultaneously while watching a fourth.
The 2TB version of the Sky Q box will store 1,000 hours of telly and can record six shows while your watching a seventh. It also allows you to watch TV in Ultra HD and with Dolby Atmos sound.
Watch on the move with Sky Go
Sky Go lets you watch your favourite shows live or on demand on a compatible tablet, laptop or mobile and it’s available free to all Sky TV customers. You can also use the app to set a recording on your Sky Q box so you never need to miss the TV you love.
Get yourself a Sky Q touch remote and you’ll be able to search, change channels or even jump to a specific section of the Sky TV guide using your voice. Whether you think this is extremely cool or just a gimmick, it’s a feature none of Sky’s rivals have introduced just yet.
UK’s least complained-about broadband provider
Sky is consistently the provider responsible for the fewest complaints made to Ofcom of any broadband provider – in the three months up to July 2018 it had attracted just five complaints per 100,000 customers, compared to an industry average of 16.
Sky is also the least complained-about provider of pay TV and landline services.
The Sky VIP loyalty scheme offers exclusive rewards for Sky customers. You get a Buy & Keep movie as a welcome gift for joining, you then move up through different membership tiers the longer you stay with Sky, with rewards such as free event tickets and early access to new tech becoming available.
Downsides to choosing Sky
Broadband speeds can’t match Virgin Media
Sky provides broadband using the same Openreach network used by BT, TalkTalk, Plusnet etc, which is why the top speed offered by Sky is 63Mbps. This is more than enough for most households, but if you’re looking at pure speed it’s blown out of the water by Virgin, which promises speeds of 362Mbps on its top fibre package.
Watch out for extra costs
While you get more than 300 channels with Sky Entertainment, you will have to pay an extra monthly fee to enjoy features like Sky Multiscreen, Box Sets or even just to get a full complement of HD channels. You’ll also have to pay an additional one-off fee to upgrade the standard Sky Q box to the 2TB version, which you’ll need if you want to watch in 4K.
You will need a satellite dish for Sky TV
While Sky has talked about making its TV service available without the need for a satellite, at the moment you will still need to get a dish bolted onto the side of your house. Right now, the only way to access Sky TV content without a dish is via NOW TV.
Availability: Can I get Sky?
If you own your own home, the chances are you’ll be ok to put a satellite dish on it. If you live in shared accomodation or in a block of flats this could be more difficult and answer is likely to be: Talk to your landlord.
What does Sky offer?
Sky is a quad-play provider, offering broadband, TV, home phone and mobile services.
Sky offers more than 300 channels as standard with the option to add Sky Sports, Sky Cinema, kids channels, HD channels, additional set top boxes or box sets, each for an additional monthly fee.
Sky has a reputation for offering reliable broadband backed up by good customer service. There are two speeds of fibre package to choose from as well as a standard unlimited broadband option.
Sky is a relatively new entrant to the mobile market but offers a good range of Apple, Samsung and Sony phones and tariffs that include innovative features like the Sky Piggybank, which lets you save up your unused data to use whenever you like.
What packages and bundles does Sky offer?
Sky has dispensed with having ‘named’ bundles that come with a set number of channels, specified broadband speed and call package. Instead, it offers a standard TV package with the option to add broadband and as many additional TV features as you wish.
This is the TV package onto which all other TV features and broadband services can be added. It would be unfair to describe it as basic, however, as it gives you more than 300 TV channels including Sky Atlantic, more than 60 catch up TV channels and a Sky Q box that can record three shows while you watch a fourth.
A popular addition to Sky Entertainment, there are 11 Sky Sports channels including dedicated Premier League, football, cricket, F1 and golf channels. Pretty much any other sport you care to mention will be covered across Sky Sports Action, Sky Sports Arena, Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2.
This gives you the Sky Cinema channels as well as more than 1,000 movies available on demand. It’s all shown in HD at no extra cost and there’s a premiere every day so you’ll never be short of a new film to watch.
Sky Broadband Unlimited
Sky’s standard broadband package offers average speeds of 11Mbps and the Sky Q Hub, a wi-fi router that Sky says delivers speeds three times faster than its previous generation of tech. You also get Sky Talk, which includes line rental but no inclusive calls – you pay for the calls you make, and a 12-month trial of McAfee Internet Security Suite.
Sky Fibre Unlimited
This basic fibre package offers speeds up to 36Mbps, which is comparable to every other provider that uses the Openreach network (all of the big players other than Virgin Media).
Sky Fibre Max
Sky’s top package promises average download speeds of 63Mbps and, like Sky’s other broadband packages, usage is unlimited.
Frequently asked questions
How long are Sky contracts?
Sky Entertainment and both of Sky’s fibre broadband packages come with 18-month contracts, while Sky Broadband Unlimited comes with a 12-month contract. Bear in mind that both Sky Sports and Sky Cinema come with their own 18-month contracts.
Are there any set-up/activation fees?
Yes. There’s a £20 set-up fee for Sky Entertainment and all of Sky’s broadband packages carry an upfront fee of at least £9.95.
Do you need a satellite dish with Sky TV?
Sky has announced plans to make Sky Q available without the need for a dish, but unfortunately we don’t yet know when this might happen. Until then, yes, you’ll need a dish in order to watch Sky TV.
Do you need Sky broadband to have Sky Q?
No. Some providers (BT, TalkTalk, EE, Plusnet) only make their TV services available to broadband customers, but anyone with a broadband connection can get Sky Q.
Can I get out of my contract if I’m not happy?
You can cancel within the 14-day cooling-off period without having to give a reason. You’ll also be able to get out of your contract without incurring additional charges if the service isn’t up to scratch and Sky has had every chance to sort it. Other than that, if you’re within your minimum term contract you will be charged an early termination fee to leave.
Can I get BT Sport on Sky?
Yes. It’s not cheap but if you want to watch the Champions League on your Sky Q box you can add the BT Sport channels for an additional monthly fee.
Can I watch Netflix on Sky?
You will soon. The Netflix app will soon be available on Sky Q and a new package will be launched bundling Netflix and Sky Entertainment together. Spotify is also coming to Sky Q soon, allowing you to play your music through your set top box.