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Best Alternative to Sky TV

If you're a Sky customer, you may be looking for ways to cut down on the cost of your TV package. 


Sky offers a range of packages, starting from £14 for three months then £40 a month for the next 17 months, but with the option to customize with additional channels, the cost can quickly add up.

 

That's why we've put together a list of the best alternatives to Sky for live TV, entertainment, sports, and the whole family, to help you get more bang for your buck.

Key Takeaways

  • There are cheaper alternatives to Sky for live TV, entertainment, sports, and the whole family.

  • With a Sky TV package, you get a Sky Q box as standard, but extras can quickly add up.

  • Look at different providers to find the best deal for you.


Best Sky TV Alternatives: Top Picks for Streaming and Cable Services

With a Sky TV package, you get a Sky Q box as standard, which combines your usual telly with on-demand and catch-up services, like All 4, ITV Hub, and BBC iPlayer, and apps, such as YouTube, Spotify, and Netflix.


However, it's an extra £12 per month to watch these services in HD and an extra £15 a month to watch TV in more than one room. If you're already a Sky TV customer, you'll be aware that these extras quickly add up. So, if you're thinking about changing providers, keep reading to find out what the best alternatives to Sky are.


Best alternatives to Sky for live TV

If you're looking for alternatives to Sky TV, there are several options available that offer live TV. Two of the best alternatives to Sky TV for live TV are Virgin Media and Freeview.


Virgin Media

Virgin Media offers a bundle package that includes TV, broadband, and home phone. The cheapest bundle is the 'Big bundle' which includes M250 Fibre Broadband, Weekend Chatter, and 100+ TV channels for £31.99 a month on an 18-month contract, with no set-up fee.


If you're looking to move these three things over from Sky, then this bundle is a good deal. However, after the initial 18-month period, the price jumps up to £72 per month.


Virgin Media is a British telecommunications company that provides television, broadband, and mobile services. It is owned by Virgin Media O2, a 50:50 joint venture between Liberty Global and Telefónica. Find your contract terms in your welcome pack or by logging into your Virgin Media account. This will tell you how long your minimum term is and whether you'll be charged an early termination fee if you cancel before the end of your contract.

You can cancel Virgin Media and your other unused Subscriptions fast


Freeview

Freeview is a great option for those who don't want to pay a monthly fee for live TV. It offers over 70 channels, as well as 15 HD channels. If you have the internet, you can include Freeview Play to watch on-demand shows from places like My5, BBC iPlayer, and All 4. Freeview Play is built-in to the majority of new TVs, so chances are, you already have it!


Overall, Virgin Media and Freeview are two great alternatives to Sky TV for live TV. Virgin Media offers a bundle package that includes TV, broadband, and home phone, while Freeview is a free option that offers over 70 channels.


Best Alternatives to Sky for Entertainment


BT/EE

If you're looking for a comprehensive entertainment option, BT and EE offer competitive broadband and TV packages that can be combined to meet your needs. With packages starting at £20, you can access a variety of entertainment options. For sports enthusiasts, there's an £18 package tailored to your interests. Additionally, joint BT and EE packages currently come with three months of free Apple TV+ as an added incentive. Keep in mind that all packages come with a 24-month contract and a £30 activation fee.

Apple TV+

Apple TV+ stands out with its focus on original content, offering shows and films such as Slow Horses, Ted Lasso, and Cherry starring Tom Holland. Priced at £8.99 a month, it is compatible with smart TVs, fire sticks, and gaming consoles.

With Apple TV Subscription: Exploring the Top Shows.


If you purchase selected Apple products, you can enjoy three months free, and there's also a seven-day free trial available. Enjoy a variety of Apple Originals, including shows, movies, and documentaries, with new releases every month Apple TV+ provides subscribers with an opportunity to explore exclusive shows, movies, and documentaries that cannot be found on any other streaming service.



Hayu

For fans of reality TV, Hayu is a top choice, offering over 300 reality shows, including favorites like Keeping Up With The Kardashians and The Real Housewives franchise. Priced at £4.99 a month, or £43.99 for 12 months, Hayu is a great option for reality TV enthusiasts. It also offers a seven-day free trial.


BritBox

BritBox, a collaboration between ITV and BBC, provides access to almost 300 television box sets and over 65 films for just £5.99 a month. It quickly became a viable alternative to paying for a TV licence, offering a convenient all-in-one platform for British TV shows and films. Additionally, BritBox offers a seven-day free trial, allowing you to explore its content before committing. If you're not Satisfied with your Britbox Subscription you can cancel Britbox


Best alternatives to Sky for sports

NOW TV

If you're looking for an alternative to Sky Sports, NOW TV's Sports Membership is a great option. For £34.99 per month, you get access to 11 Sky Sports channels, including HD ones, as well as over 1,000 hours of highlights and sports documentaries on demand. You can also connect up to six devices, making it a great option for families or groups of friends.


One of the best things about NOW TV is the flexibility it offers. If you only want to watch sports for a particular game or match, you can purchase a 24-hour pass for all 11 Sky Sports channels for just £11.99. This is a great option if you're not a regular sports viewer but want to catch a big game or event.

If you're a die-hard sports fan, you can also sign up for a free seven-day trial of Boost. This upgrade lets you watch sports on three devices at once, so you can keep up with all the action no matter where you are.

Overall, NOW TV is a great alternative to Sky Sports, offering a range of options to suit different needs and budgets.

Best alternatives to Sky for the whole family

Looking for the best alternatives to Sky TV that offer great value for money and a wide range of family-friendly content? Here are some of the best options to consider:

Disney Plus

Disney Plus is a fantastic option for families with young children. With a vast library of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars content, as well as National Geographic documentaries and original series, there's something for everyone on this streaming service. Disney Plus offers several membership tiers with differing prices, starting from just £4.99 a month.


The price of a Disney+ subscription varies depending on the country or region. In the United States, the prices are as follows:

  • Disney+ Basic: This plan costs \$7.99 per month or \$79.99 per year. It includes ads before and during some content.

  • Disney+ Premium: This plan costs \$10.99 per month or \$109.99 per year. It includes no ads.

  • Disney+ Bundle: This bundle includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ for \$13.99 per month. This bundle is a great value if you want access to all three streaming services.


Some of the highlights of Disney Plus include family favorites such as Frozen, The Lion King, and Moana, as well as hit TV shows like The Simpsons and original series like The Mandalorian and WandaVision. If you're a fan of Marvel movies, you'll find plenty to enjoy on Disney Plus, including Avengers: Endgame, Black Widow, and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.


Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video is another excellent alternative to Sky TV. With a vast library of movies, TV shows, and original content, there's something for everyone on this streaming service. If you already have an Amazon Prime membership, you'll have access to Amazon Prime Video along with other great benefits like free next-day delivery and access to events like Prime Day. If not, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial to see if the service is right for you.


Some of the highlights of Amazon Prime Video include hit TV shows like The Grand Tour, The Boys, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, as well as movies like Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Sound of Metal, and Coming 2 America.


Netflix

Netflix is one of the most popular streaming services in the world and for good reason. With a vast library of movies, TV shows, and original content, there's always something new to discover on this platform. Plans start from just £4.99 a month, making it an affordable alternative to Sky TV.


Some of the highlights of Netflix Subscription include hit TV shows like Stranger Things, The Crown, and Bridgerton, as well as movies like The Irishman, Marriage Story, and The Trial of the Chicago 7. If you're a fan of documentaries, you'll find plenty to enjoy on Netflix, including popular series like Making a Murderer and Tiger King.


Overall, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix are all excellent alternatives to Sky TV that offer a wide range of family-friendly content at affordable prices. Whether you're a fan of Disney classics, action-packed Marvel movies, or binge-worthy TV shows, you're sure to find something to enjoy on these streaming services.


What are the Best Alternatives to Sky TV?

If you're looking to replace Sky TV, several alternatives offer a range of entertainment options. Here are some of the best alternatives to Sky TV:



Best Sky TV Alternatives Top Picks for Streaming and Cable Services
Best Sky TV Alternatives


Freeview

Freeview is a free-to-air digital TV service that offers over 70 channels, including BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5. It also offers a range of radio stations and on-demand content. You can access Freeview with a TV aerial and a Freeview box or TV with Freeview built-in.


Freesat

Freesat is a subscription-free satellite TV service that offers over 200 channels, including HD channels, and on-demand content. You can access Freesat with a satellite dish and a Freesat box or TV with Freesat built-in.


Now TV

Now TV is a subscription-based streaming service that offers a range of entertainment options, including movies, TV shows, and live sports. You can subscribe to Now TV on a monthly basis and cancel anytime. You can access Now TV on a range of devices, including smart TVs, games consoles, and mobile devices.


Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video is a subscription-based streaming service that offers a range of movies, TV shows, and original content. You can subscribe to Amazon Prime Video on a monthly basis and cancel anytime. You can access Amazon Prime Video on a range of devices, including smart TVs, games consoles, and mobile devices.


Netflix

Netflix is a subscription-based streaming service that offers a range of movies, TV shows, and original content. You can subscribe to Netflix on a monthly basis and cancel anytime. You can access Netflix on a range of devices, including smart TVs, games consoles, and mobile devices.


Disney+

Disney+ is a subscription-based streaming service that offers a range of movies and TV shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. You can subscribe to Disney+ on a monthly basis and cancel anytime. You can access Disney+ on a range of devices, including smart TVs, games consoles, and mobile devices.


BritBox

BritBox is a subscription-based streaming service that offers a range of British TV shows and movies from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5. You can subscribe to BritBox on a monthly basis and cancel anytime. You can access BritBox on a range of devices, including smart TVs, games consoles, and mobile devices.


Sky Go

If you're looking for a way to access Sky TV content without a Sky subscription, you can use Sky Go. Sky Go is a streaming service that allows you to watch Sky TV content on a range of devices, including smart TVs, games consoles, and mobile devices. You can access Sky Go with a Sky ID and a Sky subscription.


Overall, there are many alternatives to Sky TV that offer a range of entertainment options. Whether you're looking for free-to-air TV, subscription-based streaming services, or a way to access Sky TV content without a Sky subscription, there are plenty of options to choose from.


Can I Watch TV Without Sky?

Yes, you can definitely watch TV without Sky. Cord cutting is one of the biggest TV buzzwords in recent times, and it is a great way to watch great programmes on your telly at a lower cost, without the need for a cable subscription. In this section, we will discuss the things you need to watch TV without Sky.


What Do You Need for TV Cord Cutting?

To watch TV without Sky, you will need three things:

  1. Fast Broadband

  2. A Streaming Device

  3. Streaming Services

Let's discuss each of these in detail.


1. Fast Broadband

Once you cut the cable/satellite cord, most of your TV programmes will be streamed to you via the internet. And for that, you need broadband at a decent speed. The faster broadband you get, the more streaming you can do – and on more devices at the same time.


Netflix's official "speed recommendations" list a minimum of 5 Megabits per second for HD quality streaming, and 15 Megabits for 4K streaming. However, in the real world, that's usually not enough. For HD streaming on ONE DEVICE at a time and no one else at your house doing anything "heavy" on the internet, the common 17Mb broadband package is usually enough.


If you have a bigger household, with more than one person intending to watch streaming TV simultaneously (or use the internet for other heavy needs such as gaming or video calls), you should get a speed of at least 38Mb. For 4K streaming on one device (and the possibility of HD streaming on other devices simultaneously), we recommend a speed of at least 50Mb.


It's important to get a broadband package with no monthly limits. Streaming TV downloads a lot of data via your internet connection. For example, an hour of HD content on Netflix will download up to 3GB of data. An hour of 4K content is up to 7GB of data. That means that even if you watch only 3 hours of HD TV a day, you will download 279GBs of data over a month. So skip those broadband packages that limit your monthly data usage. As a cord cutter, you would reach those data caps pretty quickly.


2. A Streaming Device

So you have a fast enough broadband connection, you have a TV, now you need a device that will stream the programmes and movies you want to watch from the internet to your telly. You can, of course, settle for watching everything on your computer, your smartphone or your tablet – if you have any children at home, you know that's what many of them do these days. But most cord cutters still want to watch at least some of the content on their TV, while sitting on the sofa with a bag of crisps. For that, you need a streaming device connected to your TV.


There are many devices out there – from small ones that hide behind your TV (such as the Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV Stick or the Roku 4K Stick), to full-featured set-top boxes like the Roku Express 4K, or gaming consoles (PS4/5, Xbox) that also function as TV streamers. All these devices have pros and cons, but if you want to jump right in, our recommendation for an all-around good streamer is the Amazon Fire TV 4K Stick, with the Roku Streaming Stick 4K being another great option.


3. Streaming Services

Before you cancel your current pay-TV package (assuming you're not under contract), you need to subscribe to a video streaming service that offers content on demand. The main paid options in the UK are:

  • Netflix, at £10.99/month for the HD package with up to two simultaneous streams (to separate devices), or £17.99/month for the 4K package with up to four simultaneous streams.

  • Amazon Prime Video, at £7.99/month or £79/year (which works out at £6.58/month) for the full Prime package, which includes free next-day delivery on Amazon purchases, access to Amazon Music, and other benefits.

  • Disney+, at £7.99/month or £79.90/year (which works out at £6.66/month).

There are also free services like BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, and My5, which are available on most streaming devices. These services offer a mix of live and on-demand content from UK broadcasters.


What's Freeview and How Can You Watch It?

Freeview is the UK's digital terrestrial TV service. It provides access to over 70 standard TV channels and 15 HD channels, as well as more than 30 radio stations, all for free. To watch Freeview, you need a TV with a built-in Freeview tuner or a Freeview


Can You Watch Sky Without Sky?

Yes, you can watch Sky without Sky by cord cutting and using alternative streaming services. Cord cutting is the process of cancelling your traditional pay-TV subscription and instead opting for streaming services that offer content on demand. This can save you hundreds of pounds a year and eliminate the need for annoying 12-18 month contracts.

To watch TV without Sky, you will need three things:

  1. Fast broadband

  2. A streaming device

  3. Streaming services


Fast Broadband

Once you cut the cable/satellite cord, most of your TV programmes will be streamed to you via the internet. And for that, you need broadband at a decent speed. The faster broadband you get, the more streaming you can do – and on more devices at the same time.


Netflix’s official “speed recommendations” list a minimum of 5 Megabits per second for HD quality streaming, and 15 Megabits for 4K streaming. However, in the real world, that’s usually not enough. For HD streaming on one device at a time and no one else at your house doing anything “heavy” on the internet, the common 17Mb broadband package is usually enough. If you have a bigger household, with more than one person intending to watch streaming TV simultaneously (or use the internet for other heavy needs such as gaming or video calls), you should get a speed of at least 38Mb. For 4K streaming on one device (and the possibility of HD streaming on other devices simultaneously), a speed of at least 50Mb is recommended.


It’s important to get a broadband package with no monthly limits. Streaming TV downloads a lot of data via your internet connection. For example, an hour of HD content on Netflix will download up to 3GB of data. An hour of 4K content is up to 7GB of data. That means that even if you watch only 3 hours of HD TV a day, you will download 279GBs of data over a month. So skip those broadband packages that limit your monthly data usage. As a cord cutter, you would reach those data caps pretty quickly.


A Streaming Device

So you have a fast enough broadband connection, you have a TV, now you need a device that will stream the programmes and movies you want to watch from the internet to your telly. You can, of course, settle for watching everything on your computer, your smartphone or your tablet – if you have any children at home, you know that’s what many of them do these days. But most cord-cutters still want to watch at least some of the content on their TV, while sitting on the sofa with a bag of crisps. For that, you need a streaming device connected to your TV.


Best Sky TV Alternatives A Streaming Device


There are many devices out there – from small ones that hide behind your TV (such as the Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV Stick or the Roku 4K Stick), to full-featured set-top boxes like the Roku Express 4K, or gaming consoles (PS4/5, Xbox) that also function as TV streamers. All these devices have pros and cons, but if you want to jump right in, our recommendation for an all-around good streamer is the Amazon Fire TV 4K Stick, with the Roku Streaming Stick 4K being another great option. For a detailed comparison, see our Best TV Streaming Device In The UK.


Streaming Services

Before you cancel your current pay-TV package (assuming you’re not under contract), you need to subscribe to a video streaming service that offers content on demand. The main paid options in the UK are:

  • Netflix, at £10.99/month for the HD package with up to two simultaneous streams (to separate devices), or £17.99/month for the 4K package with up to four simultaneous streams.

  • Amazon Prime Video, at £7.99/month or £79/year, with access to a wide range of movies, TV shows and Amazon Originals.

  • Disney+, at £7.99/month or £79.90/year, with access to Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic content.

  • Apple TV+, at £4.99/month, with access to Apple Originals.

There are also free streaming services, such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and My5, which allow you to watch live and on-demand content from the UK’s main free-to-air channels.


In addition to these paid and free services, you can also purchase individual TV shows and movies from digital retailers such as Google Play, iTunes, and Amazon Video.

By cord cutting and using alternative streaming services, you can watch Sky without Sky and save money in the process.


How do I watch live TV without Sky?

If you're looking for ways to cut the cord and watch live TV without paying for a Sky subscription, there are several options available to you. Here are some of the things you'll need to get started:

Fast Broadband

One of the most important things you'll need to watch live TV without Sky is a fast broadband connection. This is because most of the TV programmes you'll be streaming will be delivered over the internet. The faster your broadband connection, the better the quality of the stream and the more devices you can use at the same time.


To stream content in HD quality, Netflix recommends a minimum broadband speed of 5 megabits per second (Mbps), while 4K streaming requires at least 15Mbps. However, in reality, you'll need a faster broadband connection to avoid buffering issues. For HD streaming on one device, a 17Mbps broadband package is usually sufficient. If you have a larger household with multiple people streaming TV simultaneously, you should consider a broadband speed of at least 38Mbps. For 4K streaming on one device, a speed of at least 50Mbps is recommended.


It's also important to choose a broadband package with no monthly data limits. Streaming TV downloads a lot of data via your internet connection, and you could easily exceed your monthly data allowance if you have a cap on your usage.


A Streaming Device

Once you have a fast broadband connection, you'll need a device to stream the content to your TV. There are several options available, including standalone streaming devices like the Amazon Fire TV 4K Stick, Google Chromecast, and Roku 4K Stick. Alternatively, you could use a gaming console like the PS4/5 or Xbox, which also function as TV streamers.


Most modern TVs are "Smart TVs" that come with built-in streaming apps, but standalone streaming devices are usually faster and offer a better user interface and more options.


Streaming Services

To watch live TV without Sky, you'll need to subscribe to a video streaming service that offers live TV channels. There are several options available in the UK, including:

  • Netflix: Starting from £10.99/month for the HD package with up to two simultaneous streams, or £17.99/month for the 4K package with up to four simultaneous streams.

  • Amazon Prime Video: Included with an Amazon Prime subscription, which costs £7.99/month or £79/year.

  • Disney+: £7.99/month or £79.90/year.

  • Now TV: Offers several packages, including an Entertainment Pass with live TV channels for £9.99/month or a Sky Sports Pass for £33.99/month.

In addition to these paid options, there are also several free streaming services available in the UK, including Freeview, which offers over 70 live TV channels and on-demand content.


How to Watch Free Channels

If you're looking to watch free channels like BBC One and Channel 4, you can do so using Freeview. Freeview is a free-to-air digital TV service that offers over 70 TV channels and 15 HD channels, as well as on-demand content. To watch Freeview, you'll need a TV with a built-in Freeview tuner or a Freeview set-top box.


How Much Money Can You Save?

One of the biggest advantages of cutting the cord and watching live TV without Sky is the amount of money you can save. With Sky subscriptions costing anywhere from £30 to £60 a month, you could save hundreds of pounds a year by switching to a streaming service.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • My favourite series isn’t on a subscription service – what can I do? You can rent or buy individual episodes or seasons from services like Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, or iTunes.

  • Can I watch sports as a cord cutter? Yes, several streaming services offer live sports, including Now TV, Sky Sports, and BT Sport.

  • Do I need to pay a TV licence fee? Yes, if you're watching live TV or using BBC iPlayer, you'll need to pay the TV licence fee.

  • Can’t I just Torrent/download everything I want to watch, for free? No, downloading copyrighted content without permission is illegal and could result in fines or legal action.

  • I’m still under contract with my cable TV. Can I cut the cord? You'll need to check the terms of your contract to see if there are any penalties for cancelling early.

Can You Watch Sky TV with Internet Only?

Yes, you can watch Sky TV with internet only. Sky offers a streaming service called Sky Stream that allows you to watch Sky TV without a satellite dish or cable subscription. This service is available to anyone in the UK with a fast and stable internet connection.


Sky Stream offers over 120 channels, including Sky Atlantic and Sky Max, as well as Netflix's basic subscription, which allows you to stream the service on one device at a time, as standard under your subscription. You can watch Sky Stream in standard HD and ultra HD. Sky Stream is the cheapest way to get the full Sky TV service. It offers more TV channels than NOW TV, which is a cut-down version of Sky Stream, and is of far lower quality in pure audiovisual terms .



If you don't want to pay for Sky Stream, you can also watch Sky TV without a Sky subscription by using NOW (formerly known as Now TV), which is an internet TV streaming service powered by Sky. It offers live streaming and on-demand content from popular Sky channels. You can watch Sky shows as they're going out live, or catch up on them at a later date. Crucially, you don't have to be a Sky subscriber to use NOW TV .


Another alternative to Sky TV is Freeview, which is a digital terrestrial television service that provides access to over 70 standard TV channels and 15 HD channels, as well as on-demand content from BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, and My5. Freeview is free to use, but you will need a Freeview-compatible TV or set-top box. You can also access Freeview using a streaming device, such as a Google Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV Stick, which will allow you to watch Freeview channels on your TV .


In summary, you can watch Sky TV with the internet only by using Sky Stream or NOW TV, or you can watch Freeview for free using a Freeview-compatible TV or set-top box, or a streaming device.



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