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ISP TalkTalk Bundling Home Broadband with 4K Freesat TV Box

Friday, February 26th, 2021 (12:01 am) - Score 2,688
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Low cost UK broadband ISP TalkTalk, which last year appeared to be taking a step back from their existing YouView (IPTV) based Pay TV products (here), appears to have quietly launched a new promotion that bundles their “fibre broadband” plans with a Freesat 500GB Recordable 4K TV Box (satellite dish and cabling not included).

In case you’re not aware, Freesat is a way of using a satellite dish to access lots of free TV channels from the UK and around the world (a total of 170+ channels, including 20 in HD, plus apps like iPlayer, Netflix etc.). The service is often used as an alternative to Sky’s Pay TV service or Freeview via Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV).

Until now we can’t recall ever having seen TalkTalk offer Freesat alongside one of their broadband packages, but all that changed this week after one of our readers spotted just such a promotion on Freesat’s website (here) – this first appeared on 22nd February 2021 (the deal is due to run until 31st March 2021). The page included a link to the related bundles on TalkTalk’s site (here) and we’ve also uncovered an FAQ page (here).

The provider’s broadband bundles are the same as usual, but they add in Freesat’s 500GB Recordable 4K TV Box to the price (c.£199.99 when purchased separately) – these are supplied directly via Freeset “on activation of broadband“. One obvious caveat here is that you’ll still need a Satellite dish to be purchased and installed, which may discourage some people (the extra hassle and cost is not for everybody).

The bundles start at £29.99 per month on an 18-month term for either of TalkTalk’s 38Mbps or 67Mbps (FTTC) packages and that rises to £32 for 145Mbps (G.fast). As you’d expect this also includes phone line rental, unlimited usage and their Wi-Fi Hub router (£4.95 delivery charge), as well as the Freesat box.

We asked TalkTalk about this and, while they wouldn’t comment, they did state that this special offer is being marketed by Freesat direct to Freesat customers and, as a limited-time promotion, does not represent a change in the ISP’s own strategy. Separately, TalkTalk’s name has previously been linked to a recently approved Android based TV box from Technicolor (UZW4054TTG), which may still point to a future move away from YouView.

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Mark Jackson
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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12 Responses
  1. Avatar LTT says:

    The same offer was available from TalkTalk for a short period last year. Freesat are trying to get more ISPs, property management companies and housebuilders to ‘bundle’ their products.

  2. Avatar Mml says:

    Can’t judge them for original thinking. With YouView you had to assume a customer had a terrestrial aerial in their house. It’s totally fair that some people use satellite instead.

  3. Avatar Buggerlugz says:

    That the fiber broadband where it uses copy cable for the last 300 yards then?

  4. Avatar Anna says:

    Problem is this won’t work on the SkyQ LNB – I used to have freesat and they installed Q – and then when I tried to go back no joy.. SO why do they think this will work? Sky’s LNB’s are encrypted.

    1. Avatar Chris says:

      Apparently the newer freesat receivers do work with the sky q lnb’s

      https://community.sky.com/t5/Sky-Q/Using-Freesat-with-skyQ-dish/td-p/3228272

    2. Avatar Bubbles says:

      It’s not that they are encrypted, normal LNBs use Vertical polarisation whereas Sky Q LNBs use Horizontal polarisation. You can get mixed LNBs which work with both which is what I requested on install so I can go back to my Sky + HD box if my Q box breaks or if I get ultra pissed at sky I can go to Freesat

    3. Avatar JP says:

      Hi Anna, the new 4K freesat boxes use the same ‘wideband’ technology as the Sky Q which makes those boxes compatible with the newer Wideband LNB setups.

    4. Avatar Rich says:

      Bubbles, that’s not quite correct.

      Low Noise Block Downconverters (LNBs) are used to take a big block of high frequency signals, and shift them down to lower frequencies so they can go down a cheap coax cable, but there isn’t as much bandwidth available at the lower frequency, so a traditional “Sky” LNB is switched between “Low band” and “High band” via a 22kHz signal sent up from the receiver, and switched between horizontal and vertical polarisation via the supply voltage.

      This means there are 4 possible “blocks” of signals it will send down the cable, Low-Virt, Low-Horiz, High-Vert, High Horiz.

      In order to be able to record an arbitrary number of channels, a Sky Q box would need all 4 of these, but that’s more cables than consumers would accept, so it uses a Wideband LNB, which due to advances in the 20+ years since Sky Digital launched, is possible now. This manages to fit both high and low bands at once down the same cable, meaning one for horizontal, and one for vertical, giving all the signals at once down two cables, and meaning the box can record as many channels as it has tuners.

      Both systems use both Horizontal and Vertical polarisation.

  5. Avatar Name says:

    How many 4k channels in FreeSat?

    1. Avatar JP says:

      Non currently I believe though there is some Free To Air test channels broadcast by Astra that I used to watch Snowboarding on frequently on my LG 4K TV.

      The new boxes are even though sold as 4K are more directed at the increased recording capacity (more than 2 channels concurrently)

      I would also guess there will be some UHD coverage of upcoming sporting contests.

  6. Avatar Meadmodj says:

    The issue here is that this appears to be Freesat’s box and not a Talktalk bespoke. So I presume the same issues exist such as Channel 4 and some On Demand apps. If you have an old Sky dish (with appropriate LNBs) its more an an irritation but if people have to invest then there will be a lot of complaints coming TT way as a well known retailer would confirm.

  7. Avatar Edward Morgan says:

    Hello.
    I have just been on the phone to TalkTalk for over an hour and they have not heard of this promotion. I’m not joking. 3 different people and no-one understood what I was on about.

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