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Why access to TV from BT, Virgin, and Sky doesn't matter anymore

Published date: April 2016

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Cable and Satellite TV are disappearing, being replaced by TV streaming boxes and online streaming options. Like all other independent Internet and phone providers, The Phone Co-op does not provide TV content ourselves, but this no longer means our customers cannot access television content.

Our customers are using the Internet, streaming boxes, and terrestrial broadcasts to access a large and growing portion of the content previously available only on cable and satellite TV, from the likes of BT, Sky, and Virgin. The content available online now ranges from BBC to Netflix, NowTV to Sky Sports News, and hundreds more options, all accessible via streaming boxes like the Roku Player, smart TVs, and terrestrial broadcasts.

There is one major content genre these streaming services still cannot provide - and every sports fan knows it. We cannot provide regular access to BT Sport or Sky Sports, two of the dominant sports content providers. Due to their content contracts, only BT, Virgin, and Sky have regular access to BT Sport and/or Sky Sports. If a customer of ours wants regular access to BT Sport or Sky Sports, then we unfortunately cannot help them - for now. There is one option for sports fans to rent temporary access to Sky Sports: they can use a streaming box to access NowTV, where they can rent day, week, or month-long access passes to Sky Sports. Our service is best for customers who are satisfied with the coverage provided by alternatives such as BBC Sport, Sky Sports News, and the many sport-specific channels they can access via the Internet.

Read on to learn about television options available to our customers.

The Future of TV: Television alternatives available to customers of The Phone Co-op

We decided to make a list of channels and services you can access via various streaming services and terrestrial broadcast. Here is a selection of popular channels and services available at this time:

NowTV, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, Sling, HBO Go, Google Play, Acorn TV, CBS, BBC iPlayer, Demand5, Channel 4, BBC Sport, Sky News, Sky Sports News, VEVO, PBS, Youtube, Bloomberg TV, BBC One, BBC Two, UTV (NI only), STV (Scotland only), ITV (England & Wales only), Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV2, BBC Three, BBC Four, ITV3, Pick TV, Film4, VIVA, ITV4, E4, Quest, Travel Channel, BBC News, BBC Parliament, Sky News, Al Jazeera English, BBC One HD, BBC Two HD, ITV HD, and many more.

 

We surveyed the market to find top examples of TV Streaming Boxes. Here are some top TV Streaming Boxes we found available right now:

- Streaming box and stick

- Widest selection of streaming channels

  • Pay channels including NowTV, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, Sling, HBO Go, Google Play, Acorn TV, CBS,
  • Free channels including BBC iPlayer, Demand5, Channel 4, BBC Sport, Sky News, Sky Sports News, VEVO, PBS, Youtube,
  • Youview box - from multiple retailers - http://www.youview.com/whats-on/

- Streaming box

- Stream, save, pause, and rewind video

- Lots of streaming options

  • Netflix, NowTV, BBC One, BBC Two, UTV (NI only), STV (Scotland only), ITV (England & Wales only), Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV2, BBC Three, BBC Four, ITV3, Pick TV, Film4, VIVA, ITV4, E4, Quest, Travel Channel, BBC News, BBC Parliament, Sky News, Al Jazeera English, BBC One HD, BBC Two HD, ITV HD

- Streaming box: can stream content from online services, your phone, or your computer

- Access to several streaming apps

  • NowTV, Netflix, Sky News, Bloomberg TV, Youtube, Apple’s own service, and more

- New Apple TV allows you to run apps and games

  • Amazon Fire TV - http://www.amazon.co.uk/All-New-Amazon-Fire-TV-Ultra/dp/B00UH2O6T2 

- Streaming box can stream content from online services or your own computer

- Access to several streaming apps - Prime Video, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Sky news

- Allows you to run apps and games

- Streaming stick: can stream content from online services, your phone, or your computer

- Access to several streaming apps

  • BBC iPlayer, NowTV, Netflix, Youtube, Google Play Movies, and more

- Allows you to run apps and games from your smartphone

  • Games consoles - Xbox, Playstation, Wii

- Each has its own range of streaming options

  • Smart TVs

- Each has its own range of streaming options

 

Terrestrial TV Broadcasts and Freeview

A wide range of TV channels can be accessed across the UK via terrestrial broadcast. You can use a Freeview box to record, save, pause, and rewind broadcasts, giving functionality somewhat similar to streaming boxes. In fact, Freeview boxes can now stream content and channels over your internet connection. Content includes BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, and Channel 4. Find out more about Freeview here.

 

Because content is broadcast over the air, access to any given channel depends on the customer’s proximity to a broadcast tower and their home antenna setup. Here is a list of all channels available. 

Our customers have lots of options

As you see above, our customers have many high-quality options to access television content without ever having to pay for cable or satellite TV again. To find out more about our home phone, broadband, and superfast broadband service, click here.

 

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