Dan Howdle | September 15th, 2023
Sky Stream is slowly eating into the decades-long dominance of satellite as the primary means to receive Sky TV. Receiving Sky TV over the internet is just less fuss, less mess, far easier to install, will take up less space wherever you watch TV, and you won't need a (some would say) ugly satellite dish on the side of your home.
But Sky being Sky, it is less than clear about exactly what you get with Sky Stream. The channels you get, the channels you don't get and what, if anything, is missing when compared alongside Sky TV via a satellite dish (Sky Q). The truth is, Sky Stream is the future, and it does a heck of a lot very well and maybe one or two things not too well. Let's take a closer look at what you get.
As of fairly recently, providers who offer both broadband and TV have started bundling Netflix into their packages as an additional sweetener to the deal. You could argue whether this is a good or bad thing with equal justification. Yes, you get something extra, but it's still a far cry from a more ideal situation where you can bundle up the biggest streaming services (Netflix, Disney+, Paramount+, Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video) for a reduced/reasonable price.
That will happen eventually, but for now we have Netflix thrown in with your TV subscription with Sky, Virgin Media or BT. And that's great. However, the problem comes when you're already subscribed to Netflix and you want to sign up with Sky, say. What happens to that free subscription? Is it of benefit? Will you need a new account? Will it count as money off you're existing Netflix subscription?
These are questions these providers do a surprisingly poor job of answering through the normal process of signing up. So, without further ado, here's how Netflix works with each of these TV providers.
Here's one of the big sticking points a lot of people face when trying to figure out how Netflix works on Sky, BT or Virgin Media: Which tier of Netflix subscription do you actually get? And we wish the answer were simpler, but it's actually an entirely new tier that you can't subscribe to directly from Netflix called Netflix Basic.
Netflix itself offers three subscription tiers: Standard with ads, Standard, and Premium. Here's a full breakdown of all of those tiers, with the Sky, BT or Virgin Media bundle-exclusive Netflix Basic alongside them for comparison:
The Netflix package included with Sky TV packages is Netflix Basic (see above). Remember, if you already subscribe to Netflix, you will still be able to take good advantage of Sky's bundled Netflix subscription. Here's how it works:
Call now and switch to a better Sky deal. We're open Monday to Friday 9am-6:30pm.Call now on 0333 210 1128
The Netflix package included with Sky TV packages is Netflix Standard (see table above), but you won't get Netflix included with just any old Virgin TV bundle. Actually, only the highest-tier Virgin Media TV bundles offer it – I.E. the Biggest Bundles and Ultimate Volt Bundles. If you already subscribe to Netflix, you will still be able to take good advantage of Virgin Media's bundled Netflix subscription. Here's how it works:
BT does things differently to both the other providers. The Netflix subscription you'll get with Entertainment or Big Entertainment is Netflix Basic, and for VIP bundles it's Netflix Standard. The same story applies in essence beyond that, though. If you're already subscribed to Netflix you'll be able to match your current tier during the account linking process, or upgrade and pay less per month for the higher tier. Clear as mud, right?
Beyond what we've outlined in this guide we do have a few more things to say that you should be made aware of.
Since striking a deal with Netflix, some of these TV providers are including all Netflix content when counting the number of streamable TV shows on their service. Naming no names, but when you see something along the lines of '30,000 TV shows!', take it with a pinch of salt as they're including the entirety of Netflix in that number.
Yes, you can subscribe to one of these bundles and watch Netflix on whatever set-top box they provide, but you don't have to. You can still watch your Netflix shows on whatever device or devices you prefer, be that a tablet, laptop, other streaming device or multimedia player, or whatever you're used to.
But only if you genuinely want everything else being offered by the TV bundle. It's not going to save you money if you subscribe to the bundle just to get either free or cheaper Netflix obviously. So just be sure that bundle is something you want for you and your household.