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They will all give you a nice box to plug into your TV and the run of hundreds of channels of TV and film content, but there are still plenty of differences that are worth weighing up before you decide to buy or switch.
Here's a breakdown of all the major areas of these TV packages, which will help you to figure that out. Channels and Content The stuff you can watch once you've paid for one of these services, and of course depends on which one you subscribe to, of course, but know that Virgin Media does not make any TV channels itself, while BT produces a few, and Sky has a huge stable of its own channels.
BT's offering is far less impressive, at only channels on its top-of-the-range Max package, though it does include BT Sport. You can add Sky Sports and Sky Cinema channels for a monthly fee.
Sky has by far the most channels, with the maximum. So which one is best? That entirely depends on what you want to watch. However, if you want to watch drama such as Game of Thrones and a lot of first-run premium US drama on Sky Atlantic — which is exclusive to Sky — it's got to be Sky.
Ditto for Formula 1 motor racing fans, because from March the only place to watch live races will be on Sky with the only exception being the British GP.
If you're happy with the free-to-air channels and fancy some occasional footie on BT Sport, BT wins out, and it's also worth noting that BT Sport already has 42 live Premier League matches and the FA Cup, and from the season it will broadcast matches on Saturday lunchtimes and during the week.
But there's only one winner for those with a compatible 4K TV. Winner: Sky Availability How each platform gets its services into your house differs radically.
Sky doesn't state how many hours of 4K content you'll have space for, but we estimate it'll be about 80hrs. Right now you can record five programmes while watching a sixth, but a forthcoming update will increase those figures to six and seven respectively.
So even if you want Virgin Media, you may not be able to get it. Sky is a satellite TV service available to almost everyone in the UK, but it also uses your phone line, as does BT, which sends TV via your TV aerial, so is essentially a Freeview package with added channels.
This is where Sky Q comes in with a slick offering, though Virgin Media customers can also have a go at watching content in various rooms around the house.
They also work as WiFi extenders, and music can be streamed to them from a phone. Virgin Media does things a bit differently.
Its new V6 box can be linked to any other Virgin Media box, whether it's a V6, or an older model. So you can dig out your old TiVo or V HD box, put it in a bedroom, and watch recordings on it made on your main V6 box.
If you have the cash to burn and you want to watch movies and drama in HD 4K, and indulge in next-gen multi-room, go for Sky.
It's also able to get all of the sports channels in the UK, which will matter to football fans from next season though the opposite is true for F1 fans. In a very tight two-way matchup, Virgin Media nearly snuck the win by offering more than enough for most TV watchers — and superior broadband — at a slightly lower cost.
But Sky's next-gen box and superior picture quality, as well as its recent tie-up with Netflix that has the service baked into the platform, means it is a service that has overall mass appeal. Winner: Sky Be In the Know Get instant access to breaking news, the hottest reviews, great deals and helpful tips.
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