Football fans will soon be enjoying the World Cup but are you ready to watch all the football action on your TV in high definition (HD)?
Watching HD TV is fantastic but it may not be as simple or indeed as cheap as you might imagine.
Take some time now to do some checking so that you are not disappointed – perhaps just at the time you sit down to watch England play their first World Cup match!
As Michael Phillips, product director, Digitalchoices.co.uk, comments “Broadcasting the World Cup in HD is an historic moment for BBC and ITV, but we are concerned that thousands of viewers are ill prepared to receive a HD signal. Having a HD-ready TV set isn’t enough – area availability, service provider and set-top-box are all crucial when it comes to HD viewing.
Freeview, Freesat, Virgin Media and Sky all have the potential to provide World Cup match coverage through BBC HD and ITV HD but each has its own cost, content and coverage considerations.”
Looking at each of those broadcasters, there are a range of options available. According to Digitalchoices.co.uk options which include BBC HD and ITV1 HD channels are:
Virgin Media – the product is TV M+ with V HD Box. This service is only available in Virgin Media cabled streets. There’s no charge for a receiver but the setup cost is £84. This covers a standard set up at £35 and V HD set up fee of £49. For £11.50 you can get TV M+ (or £5.50 per month with a Virgin Phone line at £11.99 per month) which includes free to air HD channels only. Get more details on the Virgin Media website.
Sky – the product is Sky+ with 1* Entertainment Pack. There’s a receiver charge of £49, set up cost of £30 and monthly fee of £18. Subscribers to Sky+ recieve a Sky+HD box can receive free to air HD content (not Sky HD content). Currently you can get £25 M&S voucher when you join online. You’ll need to connect a phone line to your Sky box for 12 months. Get more details on the Sky website.
Freeview – the product is Freeview HD. It’s available in specific areas and some properties may have to cover the cost of a new aerial to receive Freeview HD. Using a Bush DVB680 receiver available from Argos it would cost £99.99. There are no set up charges or ongoing monthly costs. Get more details on the Freeview website.
Freesat – the product is Freesat HD. Based on a Bush BSFAT01HD from Argos, the reciever cost would be £67.39 and the setup cost £80 with no ongoing monthly costs. Get more details on the Freesat website.
So there are options but you do need to take action now, consider what it is you want and assess which of the options best suit your needs and indeed are available to you.
Where you live – don’t consider Virgin unless you are in a Virgin Media cabled street – you can check on the Virgin website. Equally don’t assume you can get Freeview HD as by the time the World Cup kicks off only about half the country wull be able to receive the necessary signal.
Whether you’re happy with monthly charges or not. Do you want to try and go with a Freeview or Freesat service and avoid monthly charges or do you want to consider a paid for subscription to Sky or Virgin Media – and maybe add more channels to view? As part of your thought process consider whether you want access to HD movies or HD sport after the World Cup.
And finally make sure your TV is up to the mark – retailers are falling over themselves at the moment offering great deals to entice you to buy a brand spanking new TV for the World Cup and more.