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Broadband ISP TalkTalk UK Has Stopped Selling Pay TV Boosts UPDATE

Monday, November 2nd, 2020 (1:15 pm) - Score 17,304
talktalk_tv

Low cost broadband ISP TalkTalk has confirmed that they’ve today stopped selling paid TV Boosts (premium channel packs) and the internet provider intends to begin “phasing out” the boosts completely in 2021. Instead the company will be doubling down on their integration with the NOW TV video streaming platform from Sky.

Arguably the move may not come as much of a surprise to existing customers of the provider’s pay TV platform, which a few months ago stopped selling the Sky Sports and Sky Cinema boosts in favour of promoting NOW TV as an alternative avenue to access the same content (here).

The NOW TV platform also provides access to a lot of the other content included in TalkTalk’s remaining TV Boosts and so it was perhaps only a matter of time before the ISP began withdrawing those too. Sadly, some channels do not yet exist on the alternative NOW TV passes and so will be lost, which is likely to upset some people.

Customers of the associated boosts are now being informed about this change via email. The TV Boosts Guide page on their website also carries the following statement (Credits to Jon for spotting).

TalkTalk TV Boosts Notice

From 2nd November 2020 we no longer sell TV Boosts to new or existing customers. If you already have a TV Boost you can continue to use them. However, if you change your package the TV Boost will be removed. We’re excited to offer alternative TV passes through NOW TV where you can enjoy the latest TV, movies and sport.

The decision, while understandable, does however place a growing question mark directly overhead of TalkTalk’s future pay TV strategy. At present they harness a YouView (IPTV) based platform (BT also uses this), which is offered via a choice of two set-top-boxes (one with PVR capabilities and the other without), but the need for this is likely to be eroded as the ISP moves closer to NOW TV.

We’ve asked the provider for a comment and will report back when they respond.

UPDATE 5:31pm

We still haven’t heard back from TalkTalk, which is a little bit odd as they’re normally quite quick to reply. But one of our readers (Liam) has spotted that TalkTalk appears to have their name on a recently approved Android based TV box from Technicolor (UZW4054TTG), which further indicates toward the possibility of a move away from YouView.

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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22 Responses
  1. Rik says:

    About time. Their offering was poor in terms of functionality as you couldn’t really record one of the channels and watch another at the same time. Streaming is something more providers will move to and for the likes of Talktalk, it’s probably cheaper too.

  2. Matthew says:

    @Mark

    Are they aiming to do what BT has done with BT TV and NowTV that seems to have worked well and uses the Youview system.

    1. Nick says:

      I thought TalkTalk TV with Now TV would be the same as BT TV where you can access live channels in the usual way but no you have to open the Now TV app and it’s just so long and irritating. We will also lose a few good channels, in particular music channels and
      I’m sorry MTV has no music and is fully reality TV shows as is 4Music on freeview. MTV classic and MTV Music gone.

      The set up with Now TV on TalkTalk is awful. Also the You view boxes are also rubbish for freeview, I can’t seem to get many channels through it including all BBC channels.

      Very disappointed, why can’t they stream all channels including freeview ones over the net? The main purpose of pay tv is to get extra channels and in the name of Cable, better signal! I can’t get Virgin Media here and I’m not allowed to put up a dish so I’m stuck with either BT TV or TalkTalk TV or just plain freeview. Bad for 21 century!

  3. Christopher Rudge says:

    I’ve been with talk talk for a few years now but I still can’t get my xmas movies this year they say we haven’t got a signal but we had it last year

  4. Liam says:

    Android TV rumours has confirmed TalkTalk have registered a Android TV box. It looks like TalkTalk are going to abandon YouView in favour of Android.

    https://twitter.com/androidtv_rumor/status/1319549028275814400?s=21

    1. James™ says:

      Do you think this is similar to the new ‘Humax Aura’, that’s a new Android TV box with Freeview Play built-in.

    2. Liam says:

      Not based on Humax by the looks of things. Technicolour demonstrated their “Jade” platform at CES earlier in the year. It’s modular so you can add a HDD for TV recording, hi-fi speaker and IOT hub. Expect TT to sell these as boosts and get a cut of the commission from the likes of Spotify.

      https://youtu.be/Oeu4xN8FmbY

  5. C Willams says:

    If you buy a sky sports package, as I have done, from TalkTalk via the new arrangement with NOW TV and watch through the TalkTalk box you can not record, rewind or pause the program
    TalkTalk have advised me that they are aware of this problem and are working to resolve it

    1. Jay says:

      They can’t resolve it.
      The Youview boxes only record the Multicast channels.

      NowTV is a separate app within Youview and can’t be recorded.

      Talktalk will not (and cannot) add recording functionality to NowTV

  6. Name says:

    Who is watching and paying for linear TV in 2020? Pensioners, prisoners, who else?

    1. G Cot says:

      Those with slow internet connections, those that want to watch stuff as it happens, those that want to record and FF through adverts, those that don’t want to be limited to watching a catch-up that may only have 28 days life. ATM you need a TV licence so there is no difference in cost on YouView between watching it via streaming app or recording it or watching it live terrestrial.

    2. Fusemunk says:

      Linear TV?

      I agree with previous comment, NOw Streaming is moving us back to the dark ages.
      If I currently watch Sky Sports on my Youview TT box – I can record one sport and watch another. Also all integrated EPG features work seamlessly.

      If thats Linear I’m in.

  7. Craig says:

    Channel 4 on Demand isn’t in HD yet and with catchup they put a load of adverts in that you cannot fast forward. I record stuff off Freesat so that you can fast forward.

    1. Cp says:

      Earlier on in the year I saw the writing on the wall for the TalkTalk TV platform, I have been the talktalk TV since 2010 but, recently cancelled it. I now have the sky installed. The Sky Q box is superior to the TalkTalk offering.. specially with this Covid winter coming our way, we need something keep us occupied and entertained. And boy do I wish the TV companies put on something less depressing.

      I may have given up talk talk TV but I’m keeping with their broadband service I’ve never had a problem with the broadband service I must be one of the lucky ones..

    2. Web Guy says:

      Time to get a s/h Humax FreeSat box, I think, so I can record what I want (within reason – the FTA channels seem to fit most of my needs) and then for Snooker I may just splash out on Eurosport to get the live and on demand match play. Quest carries some of the Snooker and of course ITV4 and BBC carry some too

  8. TV Licence Resistance says:

    I don’t know why anyone would pay for an actual TV service to be honest. £160 a year just for the luxury of watching it live. Then you’ve got the fees for Sky/Virgin/BTTV/TTTV etc on top of that.

    Most of the stuff people watch on Sky are on Freeview anyway. Some of the paid channels just broadcast the same things on repeat a few hours apart (Yes Sky Movies, I’m looking at you!)

    You pay a monthly fee for Sky and they STILL put adverts on their own branded channels. Sky is the biggest con going as the stuff they charge for is ridiculous. Want HD? That’s extra. Want UHD? You have to pay £200 for a 2TB Sky Q box that you don’t get to keep. They get away with this by claiming it’s an installation charge, but why do I need it installing when I already have the Sky Q 1TB box? It’s just a case of swapping some cables over, why do I STILL need to pay £200 for this rubbish?!?! Then of course you need to take a multiroom package or you can’t get the “free” UHD content.

    It’s about time people woke up and realised that these greedy companies are taking them for a ride! I ditched live TV years ago, anything that I want to watch I’ll watch an hour later on demand with no/shorter and breaks (I don’t use iPlayer as I don’t watch the Biased Broadcasting Corporation)

    Everything else I watch I can get on Netflix or Amazon Prime… Saved me a fortune over the last 5 years not paying the TV tax or for a TV service and I’m still up to date with all the “current” shows!

  9. Max Anderson says:

    I have found talk talk very good, but I do require the need to record skysports ,as there is tv content I want to record while I’m working,so I hope they provide a service where everything can be recorded in future ,otherwise I fear they will lose a lot of custom.

  10. Keith says:

    I’ve got the sky cinema from talk talk which have now offered me it through now tv and I got the entertainment package too but very upset I can’t get any music channels so I had to take out again a boost from talk talk before it went otherwise I wouldn’t be able to get that boost anymore as they stopped from 2nd November so had no choice so at the moment paying 2 lots of entertainment just so I get the music channels but if they don’t sort it out soon then I will be leaving talk talk for good as my contract runs out November 2021

  11. djkevy says:

    I’m a new customer to Talk Talk, joined the end of September. I ordered fibre along with the recordable tv box and subscribe to the entertainment package.
    If I had of known they were scrapping their TV boosts then I would never of had signed up. They must of known months ago that this was their intention, but quite happily let new customers keep on buying this product.
    As you mention in your article, some channels that TT have aren’t even on NOW TV, to which is very annoying. On top of that, you cant even record NOW TV content.
    I feel TT is on a slippery slope downhill. They certainly aren’t very competitive anymore. It looks like now I will have to go to Sky for TV.

  12. Ricky Parker says:

    Good bye talk talk! Final nail in coffin for me now tv passes are more expensive and my uhd tv is useless with either service I mean £10 to watch for for just 24 hour? No thanks see you later

  13. Michael Wrest says:

    I’ve been with talktalk for 8yrs and I’ve never had a problem.I now find out they are closing down their boost and only keeping their broadband..Seems very strange to me.My sky boost runs out next month so I my have to move to nowtv for the year and look at what happens before I decide long term.Question Will now talktalk put their fast fibre broadband back up to £36 per month? I currently get it for £25

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