Cable TV

Cable TVUK cable TV networks are not nearly as widespread as those in other parts of the world. It is also quite a small market in terms of competition with only three cable TV companies existing:

Virgin Media is far and away number one amongst UK cable TV providers. Roughly half of all UK homes fall within the catchment area of Virgin’s fibre optic network and this figure is set to rise continually as a result of Virgin Media’s ongoing cable rollout programme. Virgin Media cable TV packages can be taken on their own or in bundles with broadband and phone services.

WightFibre is a cable TV, broadband and phone provider with a fibre optic network that serves customers on the Isle of Wight.

BT TV is not a cable TV provider in the strictest sense of the term although all of BT TV’s on-demand content is delivered into consumers’ homes via their broadband connection so this aspect is cable-related. is an advice service dedicated to delivering to you the most up-to-date information on UK broadband, TV, phone and mobile providers in the form of guides, news, reviews, as well as the tools to compare services.
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BT TV is a subscription IPTV service offered by BT Consumer; a division of United Kingdom telecommunications company BT Group. As of the end of 2015, BT TV has 1.4 million customers.

BT TV provides on-demand content, 25 extra entertainment channels (14 of which are available in HD), 9 extra children’s channels, 11 Movie channels (Sky Movies) and 5 live sports channels (BT Sport & Sky Sports). BT Sport channels are available in SD and HD through IPTV signals. BT Sport, ESPN and AMC from BT are now available in non-fibre areas over IPTV using copper multicast where available.

As BT TV transmits channels and content through IPTV, BT requires customers to sign up to the BT Broadband internet and phone service to use BT TV, with connection via BT’s official router, BT Home Hub.

BT TV currently offera the following packages:

  • Starter – Freeview, Catch Up TV, BT Sport, AMC, Pause & Rewind (Set Top Box supplied does not record)
  • Entertainment Plus – As per Starter plus with ability to Record TV, 28 linear IPTV channels and Mobile App access to IPTV
  • Total Entertainment – As per Entertainment Plus with inclusive Ultra HD, HD Extra and Kids Extra bolt ons

BT customers without Infinity broadband can only obtain the Starter package, with BT Sport only available on Starter via IPTV in certain areas. Entertainment packages are only available to those with Infinity broadband.

Unicast IPTV streaming bolt-ons for Netflix, BT Kids (Children’s Content) or BT Music content can be added to all packages. Multicast IPTV Bolt-ons for Sky Sports 1 & 2, Sky Movies and HD channels can only be added to Entertainment packages.

BT Sport, ESPN and AMC channels are available free of charge for customers with BT Infinity fibre-optic broadband. For customers who don’t have access to BT’s fibre-optic network, these can watch these channels via DTT on a Vision+ box. On 24 January 2014 BT ceased to sell BT Sport via DTT, and subsequently ceased provision of BT Sport 2 via DTT on 1 January 2015. BT Sport 1 ended on DTT on 2 June 2015.



Virgin Media

virgin-mediaVirgin Media plc provides fixed and mobile telephone, television and broadband internet services to businesses and consumers in the United Kingdom. Its headquarters are in Hook, Hampshire, United Kingdom. The company has been a subsidiary of Liberty Global plc, an international television and telecommunications company headquartered in London, since June 2013.

Virgin Media owns and operates its own fibre-optic cable network in the United Kingdom, although currently their optical fibre network does not reach the customer premises but rather a street cabinet. Virgin Media competes primarily with BSkyB, BT Group, EE, O2, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Three.

Virgin TV is a cable television service, Currently 55% of UK households potentially have access to Virgin’s network.



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