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UK ISP TalkTalk Connects Customers to its YouView Broadband TV Service

Thursday, Sep 27th, 2012 (1:55 pm) - Score 1,899

Budget internet provider TalkTalk looks to be starting the UK roll out of their new Plus TV service this week, which combines a “freeYouView (IPTV) box with the “Plus” broadband and phone bundle. Celebrity TV star Joanna Lumley kicked off proceedings in London today but some concerns remain.

The new triple-play bundle, which was first announced at the end of July 2012 (here), costs from £14.50 a month; this includes a “free” YouView set-top-box (normally worth £299) / service, “unlimited” usage (FUP), free wireless router, unlimited anytime calls to UK landlines and more. On top of that customers will also need to pay from £9.50 per month for Line Rental and there’s a one-off £50 setup fee that includes the cost of an engineer visit to install the new service.

As well as the usual Freeview channels, PVR features and catch-up TV content (iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand5) there’s also 12 months of LOVEFiLM Instant access and the option of adding premium content via TV Boosts. For example, access to Sky 1, Sky 2, Sky Arts and Sky Living etc. costs an extra £5 a month. Alternatively Sky Sports can be added for an extra £30 or Sky Movies for an additional £15 plus many more options.

However anybody who opts for the TV service will require a new contract, with existing customers being forced onto an ugly 24 month term and new ones able to take out an 18 month term. Some customers have been angered by this after the ISP recently confirmed that “exising discounts [would] be removed when moving to the TalkTalk Plus TV package“. Hardly ideal if you’re one of the many that decided to stick with TalkTalk and thus signed-up again under a recent discount price expecting to receive one of their “free” TV boxes.

Separately some customers voiced concern about a bug that was allegedly hampering YouView implementation for users with TalkTalk’s superfast “fibre optic” broadband boosts, although a spokesman for the ISP told ISPreview.co.uk that no such problem exists. Indeed we know of two TalkTalk fibre customers that appear to have no such issues.

Dido Harding, CEO of TalkTalk, said in July:

This compelling offer is the UK’s best value triple play package. It will give our customers more reasons to stay with us for longer and attract new broadband customers. It will also deliver significant value for shareholders. This is TalkTalk at its disruptive best.”

It’s important to note that the Plus TV service is only available to customers who have access to line speeds of at least 3Mbps (Megabits per second). The ISP also expects to extend the TV products availability to its Essentials customers sometime in 2013 and will eventually allow home users to install the service themselves (without having to pay a £50 engineer fee).

Suffice to say that TalkTalk are banking their future on the new TV product being a success, which will be measured by a hopeful reduction in churn and possible increase in subscribers. But the competition from BT, Sky Broadband and Virgin Media, all of which have their own similar TV offerings, remains fierce.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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