Dan Howdle | September 23rd, 2022
TalkTalk’s big selling point for TV is simplicity and flexibility. You can pick and mix streaming services to bolt on each month without committing to lengthy contracts. But before you read any further, it’s important to note that TalkTalk TV is not a standalone product. It’s only available to households with TalkTalk fibre broadband. That said, let's take a look.
Here’s a quick look at what you can expect to find in a TalkTalk TV package.
|Internet and aerial
|£23 per month
TalkTalk’s latest TV offering is in the form of a Netgem box with over 70 Freeview channels, including at least 15 in HD. Freeview channels are subject to location and you will need a roof aerial in order to be able to receive them. Along with BBC, ITV and Channels 4 and 5, Freeview also includes the Horror Channel, Food Network, Great Hits Radio, Kiss, PBS America, and QVC. It also includes a number of +1 channels.
When it comes to Freeview, the precise availability of channels will depend on where you live, how fast your broadband is where you live, and the quality of your TV aerial reception.
Customers can choose to watch content on 30 streaming apps, including those requiring an additional subscription, such as NOW TV Cinema, NOW TV Sports, NOW TV Cinema, Amazon Prime and Netflix as well as free apps including BBC iPlayer and the ITV Hub. TalkTalk is also the first UK TV service to provide access to TikTok via its TV box.
Until recently, TalkTalk supplied customers with a fairly standard YouView box for its TV services, but now offers its TalkTalk TV 4K Box, powered by Netgem. As the name suggests, this box automatically plays any 4K-ready content in 4K, subject to your TV also being 4K-ready.
Although there is no option to record your favourite shows, it doesn’t really matter as you can watch anything you’ve missed on catch up (available for the past seven days). You can also pause and rewind live TV so there is no need to miss a moment.
The Netgem box is voice-activated and works with both Alexa and Amazon Echo to make it easy to find the shows you want quickly without typing into the search bar using a fiddly remote control.
To watch both Freeview channels and on demand TV, you will need to connect your Netgem box both to an external aerial and your internet connection. On demand services such as NOW TV and Netflix are provided via an internet connection, whereas Freeview channels require an aerial.
You can take advantage of a number of free apps on the Netgem box including BBC iPlayer, All4, YouTube, and even TikTok, all of which come pre-installed, although you will need to sign up before you can watch.
TalkTalk offers customers the option to bundle up NOW TV and Netflix with a TalkTalk TV subscription. Doing this rather subscribing separately won’t save you any money, but it does mean you will just get one bill each month for all your home entertainment.
NOW TV Entertainment – NOW Entertainment comes with 17 premium channels, including the ever-desirable Sky Atlantic, along with Comedy Central, Sky Arts, Peacock, GOLD, and Sky Sci-Fi, offering a fantastic selection of viewing, from HBO masterpieces, such as Succession to the entertaining The Afterparty. NOWTV Entertainment also includes what was Sky Kids, and provides access to six channels including Cartoon Network, Nick Jr and Boomerang.
NOW TV Cinema – From classic golden oldies to the latest Hollywood releases, NOW TV Cinema has over 1000 films available to watch on demand across 11 categorized channels, with seasonally inspired channels such as Christmas and Halloween providing additional entertainment. From horror and sci-fi to the latest thrillers and rom-coms, along with a scattering of Sky Cinema originals, you will never be short of something to watch.
NOW TV Sports – A must for any sports fan, a NOW TV Sports Membership gives you access to the 11 Sky Sports channels where you can catch the latest Premier League matches, enjoy the thrills of F1 or get absorbed in the cricket. Plus, with American NFL games, rugby, golf, boxing and more, there is something for every sports fan.
Netflix – Still the leader in the streaming app race, Netflix offers a vast amount of TV, from international drama series to Hollywood blockbusters. There are also kids shows, family films and classic British comedies such as Paddington and Dolittle to enjoy, along with a large number of Netflix originals, such as The Crown, Better Call Saul and Stranger Things.
TalkTalk offers fibre customers the option to add on the Amazon Tech Pack. This includes Supersafe Security software, an Amazon Echo Dot, an Amazon Smart Plug, and also guarantees no mid-contract price rises. The Echo Dot will work with your Netgem TV box when you plug it into the Amazon Smart Plug to provide voice command capability.
TalkTalk’s Supersafe Security package protects against viruses, spyware and other online attacks. It also includes parental control software, which allows you to control what your children can get access to online.
TalkTalk TV is only available to customers with TalkTalk fibre broadband, so depending on what is available where you live, you can choose between the widely available 38Mbps or 67Mbps download speeds, or Ultrafast speeds of up to 900Mbps. You can use the availability checker on the TalkTalk website to see which broadband speeds are on offer where you live.
As TalkTalk TV requires a fibre connection, existing TalkTalk broadband customers can choose to upgrade their broadband service to fibre and then add TalkTalk TV to their package. Existing TalkTalk fibre customers can add TalkTalk TV without needing to make any changes to their broadband service.
Having scaled back its TV service for some time, TalkTalk has come back with a bounce with its 4K Netgem TV box. As customers increasingly look for entertainment via streaming services, TalkTalk has provided the ideal compromise of a high quality box that offers the regular Freeview channels as well as the option to access the major streaming services, either in a bundle with a TalkTalk TV package or simply by subscribing to them separately yourself.
On the downside, the Netgem box does not, as yet, offer Apple TV+ or Disney+ on its platform, nor is it available as a multiroom option. In addition, TalkTalk only offers its TV service to customers who subscribe to its fibre broadband service. However, if none of these things are an issue for you, then the new and improved TalkTalk TV service offers a great value way to access some top-notch telly.