For hundreds of thousands of TalkTalk customers, TalkTalk TV is their primary way of enjoying great TV content from the comfort of their home. It brings us wonderful FreeView programming, HD channels and even the ability to pause, rewind and fast forward live television.
But for many customers and those interested in joining, how much they know about the service can be a surprise. With so much competition in the TV sector thanks to Virgin, Sky and BT all crowding the sector. So, what do you need to know about TalkTalk TV? We’re going to share with you its history, its features and how you can sign up for it.
A History of TalkTalk TV
TalkTalk TV, like so many TV services in the UK, began life under an entirely different name and a rather different offering. Originally launched September 2000 as Homechoice. It was a product from Video Networks Limited, a company based in London’s Shepherd’s Bush. Enjoying modest success, it added a range of new channels to its service, adding a limited number of premium channels alongside the standard range of Freeview channels.
In August 2006, Homechoice was purchased by Tiscali UK and was quickly rebranded as Tiscali TV – the first time it would be named after its owner.
Almost three years later in July 2009, a deal for Carphone Warehouse to purchase the assets of Tiscali UK for its young TalkTalk division. Originally pushed back by the regulators, the deal was eventually greenlit by the European Union and Tiscali TV became TalkTalk TV as of the 14th of July 2009.
TalkTalk TV, however, entered a market with a huge amount of competition. Sky, Virgin and BT all having strong and established services. With just over 50,000 subscribers, TalkTalk TV was small time and needed a serious and significant revamp in order to compete.
That revamp came in 2011 when Ofcom greenlit a partnership with the newly formed YouView. Behind the scenes, TalkTalk would work on a YouView powered TV service to launch in September 2012. Its official launch hit that date and offered a free YouView box for fixed-term TalkTalk customers, who could then either enjoy FreeView television or pay-TV on a rolling 30-day contract.
The YouView platform meant that for the first time, TalkTalk had a compelling service to offer to customers. Being able to scroll back to previous dates and instantly start streaming missed programming was a huge improvement over old systems like those operated by Sky and Virgin, plus the ability to record, pause, rewind and fast-forward meant that TalkTalk customers could enjoy all the benefits of expensive Virgin or Sky systems without the cost.
What extra channels can I get on TalkTalk TV?
Aside from the full range of FreeView channels, once set up with an aerial TalkTalk TV lets customers sign up for various packages which enhance your viewing experience. Here’s just a selection:
TV Starter Boost – £5 for Essential TV customers, included with Plus TV
- 301: Sky 1
- 302: Sky 2
- 303: Sky Living
- 304: Real Lives
- 305: Sky Arts
- 401: Sky Sports News HQ
- Sky Entertainment on Demand
Sky Sports – £32
Sky Cinema – £15
Entertainment Boost – £10 with all ‘TV Starter Boost’ channels plus:
- 307: Comedy Central
- 308: Comedy Central Extra
- Comedy Central on Demand
- 309: MTV
- MTV on Demand
- 310: Gold
- 311: W
- 312: Alibi
- 313: Good Food
- Good Food on Demand
- 315: Eden
- Eden on Demand
- 316: FOX
- 317: National Geographic Channel
- 318: National Geographic Wild
- Nat Geo on Demand
- 319: SyFy
- 320: Universal Channel
- 321: E!
- 327: History
- 328: Crime & Investigation
- 329: Lifetime
- Lifetime On Demand
- 331: Sony Channel
- 512: TCM
What are the features of TalkTalk TV?
TalkTalk TV offers many of the features you’d find in services like Sky and Virgin, without the prohibitive cost. That means HD programming, the ability to record anything to your YouView box, the ability to rent or buy blockbuster movies or even set programmes to record when you’re away from your home, thanks to their dedicated mobile app.
With catch-up TV built directly into the system, you can scroll back through previous days and start playing programmes instantly – no more digging through dedicated catch up apps in order to find something to watch!
Put simply, TalkTalk TV offers most of the benefits of a Sky, Virgin or BT system without the cost or hassle. Enjoy fantastic Freeview TV and add whichever packages appeal to you – no pressure, no long contracts and no startling bills.
How can you sign up for TalkTalk TV?
Singing up for TalkTalk TV is as simple as taking a TalkTalk broadband package. TV is offered as a free extra for all broadband customers. Unfortunately, at this time you can’t take TalkTalk TV on its own. This article will be updated if that changes, however.