Sky customers may be tempted to switch to Freeview as bills are going up
If you are a Sky TV customer, your bills will almost certainly rise next month. The satellite TV giant recently revealed that it will be raising its prices by an average of 8.1 percent from April 1. Due to the way Sky calculates its yearly increases, each customer will face a unique amount being added to their bill. For example, Sky Entertainment is going up by £2, Sky HD rising by £1 and Sky Sports by £2.
Explaining more about the hikes, Sky said: “At Sky, we’re all about bringing you the unmissable entertainment you love. We know that reliability is important. That’s why we continually invest in making our services even better.
“We understand that things are tough right now, and alongside investing in improvements, we’re committed to keeping our prices as low as we can.
“The costs of providing services have however increased significantly, and it is affecting the entire industry.”
This looming price hike could tempt millions to switch to another provider. But before swapping out your award-winning Sky Q box, you may want to consider what the Sky TV lineup has to offer compared to Freeview or Freesat, which are completely free.
SKY Q has at least 250 Freeview channels, but on top of there are 100 channels not on Freeview such as Sky Atlantic, Sky Max, Sky Witness, Sky replay and more.
It also has more than 500 Box Sets on offer and 200 Sky Originals series such as The Last Of Us and Gangs of London.
Most Sky Q plans also comes with Netflix included, letting you watch unlimited shows on the streaming service from any device without paying the usual £6.99 fee.
And if you are a sports fan, you can add Sky Sports to your package to gain access to 128 Premier League matches, as well as Golf, Rugby, Cricket, F1, Boxing, NFL and NBA.
Sky Q offers hundreds of channels not on Freeview
If that doesn’t satiate your sporting needs enough, BT sport is available for Sky customers to add on as well.
Movie fans can add Sky Cinema to get access to over 1,000 films on demand with more blockbusters than anywhere else, plus 20 percent off when you rent a film on the Sky store.
And if you want, you can watch Sky on different TV channels in multiple rooms in your house with Sky multiscreen. All you have to do is plug a Sky Mini Box into one of your TVs and connect to your WiFi. According to Sky, these can even act like WiFi hotspots by boosting your broadband signal and speeds. The box will give you access to all your recordings and recommendations as well as your channels and apps.
Sky Q also offers voice search, the ability to record shows onto its built-in hard disk and users can also watch some content in full 4K.
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Sadly, although the starting price of around £26 is good value, add-ons can get expensive when you customise your package, and many of the channels available on Sky can be viewed elsewhere for free.
For instance, if you don’t already have the add-on, it costs Sky customers an extra £20 a month for Sky Sports. And adding on BT Sports costs an extra £28 a month.
With an 8 percent rise slapped onto your package, this means you could be spending a lot more each month.
Of course, you may also want to consider ringing Sky up if you are worried about the rise to your bills to see if you can negotiate a better deal.
But if you can’t wrangle yourself a better deal, there are other options.
The subscription-free TV-watching service offers more than 60,000 hours of TV and over 1,500 boxsets across on-demand players at no cost at all. This means you get a ton of the channels you would be paying for with Sky for free.
You can watch also watch shows on streaming platforms like BBC iPlayer and ITVX, All 4, My5 and UKTV Play on your mobile or tablet with Freeview Play.
Freeview customers also recently got a host of award-winning blockbuster movies added for free on the GREAT! Channel. The service is broadcasting critically acclaimed movies throughout March.
Freeview comes built-in to most TVs
This week, Freeview customers can watch Emma staring Anya Taylor-Joy if they tune into GREAT! Movies on Sunday March 12 at 2pm.
It also comes built-in free with most TVs.
But it is important to remember you are missing out on hundreds of channels you get with Sky Q, as well as the other added benefits.
Freeview is only available through an aerial, not a satellite dish and most TVs can’t record shows without buying a separate set-top box.
Freesat boxes can be picked up from £229.99
If you already have dish on your wall then Freesat is a subscription-free TV service offering up over 170 TV and radio channels. This means no monthly bills and no contracts.
It also has 100 percent channel coverage and a number of On Demand players.
And switching to Freesat is as simple as it gets as all you have to do is plug in your Freesat 4K TV box to existing satellite cabling.
Freesat’s non-recordable box will set you back £145.00, while its recordable 4K TV box can be bought for £229.99 for 500GB of space. The price goes up to £259.99 for 1TB and £299.99 for 2TB.
This is despite most TVs already coming with Freeview built-in, offering free services for customers.
You can also only watch Freesat if you have a satellite dish.