Get Digital TV – How to Go Digital in the UK

This page provides information on how to get digital TV in your home

Freeview LogoSky Digital LogoBT Vision LogoVirgin Media LogoYouView Logo Freesat Logo

Now that the old analogue TV service has been switched off, the UK’s TV is digital. Britain now gets its TV from services such as Freeview, Sky or cable.

The benefits of going digital include a whole stack of extra TV and radio channels on your TV, and a number of other technical improvements, such as on-screen programme guides, and interactive services.

Step 1 – Which service to get

The options open to you if you want to get digital TV in your home, are:

Sky Digital Sky LogoDigital satellite from Sky Digital. This offers the largest range of channels around. You’ll need to arrange for a Sky installer to install a satellite dish to your property and to deliver and install a ‘digibox’ that plugs into your TV.For more details on Sky, see our Sky Digital Explored page.

  • Offer: Sky is offering the following ‘package’ deal – Over 200 digital TV channels, Broadband Internet access (with free router), free digibox, and free UK evening and weekend phone calls. Details.
Freeview FreeviewFreeview works via your standard TV aerial. All channels are free to watch, there’s no installation or subscription cost and no engineer needs to visit (although an aerial upgrade may be needed if your current aerial isn’t suitable). Freeview offers around 60 channels of TV and radio – the channel line-up is more limited than Sky Digital.See our Freeview pages for details
Cable Virgin Media Logo
If you’re served by cable TV operator Virgin Media (formerly Telewest and NTL), they may be able to provide you with a cable TV package, as well as phone services. Again, you’ll need a set-top box to receive services, and you’ll need a visit from an engineer to connect you.To see if cable TV is available in your area, go to
BT Vision BT Vision LogoIf you want a little more from your Freeview, you can get a special BT Vision set-top box. As well as getting the Freeview channels, the BT Vision+ box can download TV content over a BT Total Broadband Internet connection – with programming including blockbuster and classic films, movies, TV shows, kids programming and sporting events. The service is available to BT Total Broadband customers (How to Switch provider ). More on our BT Vision Review
TV-over-Internet Some of the services listed above offer TV-over-Internet service. Here’s one more:TalkTalk TV Logo TalkTalk TV. Formerly known as Tiscali TV, this TV service is available in and around the London area and other parts of the UK. It offers over 70 channels of TV over a phone line, plus movies on demand downloaded for viewing on your telly.

More on our TalkTalk TV section, or at


Step 2 – Getting signed up

How to sign up to a digital TV service:

Satellite To get Sky , you can register online at – you need to select a package of channels, enter payment details, and arrange a date for an engineer to call to fit the dish to your property. They will also supply you with a set-top box.  
Freeview With Freeview, there’s no subscription – all you need to do, is buy a set-top box and plug it in to your TV set.

Cable If you’re in a cable area, you can sign up online at You need to select a package of channels, enter payment details, and arrange a date for an engineer to provide you with a set-top box and connect you.



Step 3 – Getting connected

How to get digital TV connected to your TV


A Sky installer will call, fix a dish to the outside of your property, run a cable from the dish to a set-top box that they supply, and connect the box to your TV.

Sky Digibox

They connect everything up for you – you just sit back and watch them work. They also need to connect the box to a phone line, so you need a phone socket close to where they need to install the box

Freeview You buy the box, and connect it yourself – For help connecting your box, see our Freeview Help page

Freeview box

Cable An engineer will call to connect cable from the street supply into your property. They’ll run the cable, provide the box, and connect it to your TV for you.

Virgin Media V+ Box


More details

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