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On-Demand TV: Your Guide to the Best Providers

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If you are looking for a broadband package, then you may find that you’d like it to include a TV service as well. You can access normal Freeview channels with this service, but you can also access the main broadcasters’ on-demand players. This means you can ditch the Radio Times, go out on a Saturday night, and watch X-Factor the next day when your hangover has glued you to the sofa.

In this article, Broadband Compare UK takes a look at what on-demand services come as standard with the broadband packages from the ‘Big Four,' so we’ll be looking at Virgin Media, Sky, BT, and TalkTalk, as they all have pretty comprehensive on-demand services bundled with their TV packages.

The advantage of these on-demand services is that you can access your favourite show at times that are convenient for you, so you won’t have to stay in and wait for things to start so you can watch them, you can view them the next day on catch-up!

You can even sit and binge on a whole series if it is available as a box set, which is excellent in the UK given our prolonged periods of rainy and cold days. They’re also equally useful if you are housebound due to something like an operation recovery – you can just relax on the sofa and vegetate to the entire seven series’ of Walking Dead if you wish.

If you do plan to stream on-demand TV, don’t forget this uses your internet connection, so make sure that you have an unlimited data package and a high-speed connection.

Virgin Media

You can access catch-up TV with any package in Virgin Media’s broad range. You automatically receive BBC iPlayer, 4OD, Demand 5 and ITV Hub. You will also benefit from any additional catch-up services included in your specific package, such as Dave of UKTV Play. If you have a full TV package, then you’ll get the full range of on-demand services.

The advantage of Virgin Media’s on demand service is that you don’t have to access it through your broadband connection – it works directly through your TV line.

Virgin Media has three tiers of on-demand TV. These are:

Sky TV

You get catch-up with all of Sky’s packages, but you need a broadband connection in conjunction with your Sky box. You get all the basics such as iPlayer etc. and you can watch the last 30 days of TV on all of these.

Sky offers several bundles, which gives you a total of 60 channels to choose from. You can also get the Sky Cinema bundle if you subscribe to their cinema package so that you can watch movies on demand too. There is a range of packages that cater for different tastes so that you can have sports, entertainment, kids TV, and movies.

The Sky Go app is available to Sky customers too. You just have to opt for the service via your account page. This service is upgradeable to Sky Go Extra – which means that you can download the shows through your broadband connection to watch later, or on the go.


The BT TV service comes with a YouView box, so you can watch normal Freeview channels, plus any others that you add to the subscription. You have automatic access to the usual stuff like ITV Hub and 4OD, but you get some extra little bits and bobs as well.

Alongside the basics, you’ll also receive Milkshake!, UKTV Play, Quest, and AMC. You can also access Now TV movies and Netflix if you subscribe to them. Everything is already available when you start your box up, so go ahead and enjoy all the on-demand services you like until your eyes turn into rectangles.


As with BT TV, TalkTalk comes with a YouView box, so you get everything above. However, you can also boost your TV package with…well…boosts. These are 30-day subscriptions which are added to your existing package, and you can get a whole heap of Sky Channels on top of the Freeview ones. These come via your internet connection, which is great if you live in an area where a digital signal is pretty poor.

If you have TalkTalk, then you can use the TV2Go application on your smart device, and watch catch-up and on-demand services on the move.


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