Sky Cinema: the new home of Sky Movies
SKY CINEMA is still the first place to see many of the biggest films after they've left the cinema. Making the channel a popular choice for many.
Sky's continued agreements with several of the big movie studios - including Disney - keep Sky Cinema's hold on being the place to watch those box office hits at home first.
However, viewers aren't restricted to Sky TV, and as we'll look into customers don't even need to sign up to a long contract.
In this guide we'll look at the latest offers available for adding Sky Cinema, as well as the cheapest long term prices, and which movie channels are included.
Sky TV Latest Offers
The best deals: Just Sky Cinema
Sky Cinema is available contract-free and on its own with a Now TV subscription - which we look at just below.
But for anyone who already has a pay TV deal - or who's willing to sign up - can of course add the movies pack with either Sky or Virgin Media.
In terms of a cost comparison, customers will need at least the basic TV package from either Sky or Virgin before adding the Sky Cinema pack.
For customers who want more, we've also included price details of the provider's higher end packages.
The Sky packages come with a Sky Q 1TB box as standard - which supports HD and offers 1TB of storage for recording shows.
Virgin Media offer the Tivo 500GB box with their standalone TV deals, again this box is HD ready but only offers half the storage capacity of Sky's standard box.
Customers who add Sky Cinema to either Sky or Virgin Media will also get the channels in HD included - and so all they'll need is a HD ready TV to enjoy the higher definition viewing.
However, anyone who might also want to add Sky Sports should be aware that the HD versions of the sports pack do incur an additional charge.
Overall then, Sky is clearly offering a better deal for customers who want to watch Sky Cinema. For more on Sky's TV packages see this guide.
Now TV: Sky Cinema without a subscription
Now TV is Sky for people who would rather not take a full TV subscription.
It's a streaming service that relies on sending the content over broadband and requires a small box to be plugged into the TV, or those with a smart TV may be able to install a Now TV app.
The main benefit of Now TV is that customers can buy passes to movie or sports content without needing to sign up to a long contract or take any other services.
Now TV can therefore be a much cheaper way of watching Sky Cinema.
The Now TV box is £14.99 on its own, but is also available combined with passes - offering a saving of 20% when purchased with a one month Sky Cinema pass:
New customers can alternatively choose to save even more with a six month bundle pass. However, with this deal customers would need to buy the Now TV box separately if they wanted it.
The Sky Cinema and Entertainment bundle saves customers over 50% and includes access to Sky Atlantic:
The Sky Cinema Pass gives customers access to all eleven live Sky movie channels, plus the on demand service - offering a total of around 1,200 new and recent movies.
Now TV content can also be watched on a computer, laptop or mobile device - including iPhones, iPads and Android devices running OS 4.0 and above.
There is no contract - but customers should be aware that the monthly subscription will renew every month unless they cancel it.
There's more information about Now TV in our full guide.
The best deals:
Sky Cinema plus broadband
Sky Cinema with basic broadband
The options for where to watch Sky Cinema open up when we take broadband from the same provider.
Both BT and TalkTalk offer a TV service with their broadband - along with the option to add Sky Cinema.
These are the cheapest TV packages with basic broadband:
BT customers who only take basic broadband will only be able to watch Sky Cinema on-demand, despite the fact the pack costs the same as when taken with Infinity fibre where all eleven live channels are included.
As these are the provider's cheapest TV packages, with the exception of Sky, the channels available aren't much more than those found on Freeview - around 80 including the HD channels.
These are however the cheapest packages that Sky Cinema can be taken with.
For a better TV package with basic broadband:
BT's higher end TV packages are only available with Infinity fibre, so we've left the provider out here.
As with their Player bundle above, Virgin Media's Full House bundle comes with up to 100Mb broadband - which is hardly 'basic', but it's the cheapest option available from the cable provider.
For the BT, Sky and TalkTalk packages listed above their broadband will run at up to 17Mb.
Those looking to take broadband and phone with Sky TV can opt for a cheaper 'light use' deal that comes with a 12GB monthly usage cap. This costs just £5 per month on top of the cost of the TV package, although depending on offers available Unlimited Broadband from Sky is often cheaper in any case.
Sky Cinema with fast broadband
To get the full range of Sky Cinema channels on BT requires customers to take BT Infinity.
The packages listed for Sky and TalkTalk offer up to 38Mb fibre broadband with unlimited usage. BT's broadband deal offers faster speeds of up to 52Mb.
All three providers also offer deals with up to 76Mb broadband for an additional cost.
There are some differences between the TV packages from each provider. Sky offer the most channels and also include access to Sky Atlantic.
For more information see our guide to the differences between BT, Virgin and Sky TV here.
Current Sky Cinema special offers
As should be clear from the table above, it's possible to get all 11 main channels from all four of the big pay TV providers, and because of the amount of competition between them, they're almost always offering plenty in the way of deals for new customers.
As the rules around who constitutes a new customer can be quite strict - we've put together a guide as to who's new and who isn't here - so make sure you check it out before trying to leave and then sign up again.
That said, let's start with the obvious place to get the channels: Sky.
These are their main offers right now:
For further details, prices and packages visit our main Sky review here.
But they're not the only ones trying to attract us with a good introductory offer or two. Here's what the others are offering:
See further details, prices and search packages in our main BT review here.
See further details, prices and search packages in our main TalkTalk review here.
See further details, prices and search packages in our main Virgin Media review here.
Can I get Sky Cinema?
When taken with Sky, Sky Cinema is available fairly nationwide due to the channels being delivered over satellite.
Virgin Media on the other hand is only available to around 50% of households across the UK, and is concentrated in urban areas.
BT and TalkTalk use the fibre-copper phone line network, which has now rolled out to around 90% of the UK - and is expected to reach 95% by the end of 2017.
Our postcode checker will say which providers are available:
Enter your postcode above to check availability in your area.
What movies are on Sky Cinema?
Sky Cinema offers films straight from the box office, including the latest blockbusters, themed seasons and classics.
The following channels come with a Sky Cinema subscription whether customers take that from Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk or BT with Infinity.
- Drama and Romance
- Crime and Thriller
- Action and Adventure
- Sci Fi and Horror
In large part a channel's name tells us what to expect from it; Select used to be called Indie, which gives a better idea of what it broadcasts.
Each of the above channels is available in SD, and in HD for people with Sky or Virgin Media. There's also a +1 version of Sky Cinema Premiere available for these viewers.
Increasingly popular is the on demand channel - Sky say that there have been more than one billion streams or downloads in the past two years, accounting for half of the movies watched across the whole of Sky Cinema.
The fact that it offers around 1,200 blockbuster and classic movies, whenever it suits the viewer, may explain why it's outperforming the traditional "linear" channels.
Which channels we can get, what other services we have to take, and how much it'll cost depends on the provider - each of them offers something slightly different.
|Sky Cinema on-demand||Sky Cinema channels||HD||View on mobile device|
Virgin TV Anywhere
What extras do I get with Sky Cinema?
Movies in HD
If availability, range of channels, and price haven't made deciding who to get Sky Cinema from any easier, there are a few other factors it's worth taking into account.
Fans of HD TV have two choices really - Sky or Virgin Media. Both the basic TV packages we've looked at come with a fairly standard 10 or 11 HD channels - which largely reflect those available on free TV.
While Sky Cinema now comes in HD as standard with these two providers, to get more in the way of other HD channels means subscribing to one of the providers' more expensive deals: Sky Box Sets Bundle customers will get 50 HD channels; Virgin Media Full House TV customers also get 50 - but the channels on offer differ.
In August 2016 Sky introduced their ultra HD service, available to Sky Q Multiscreen customers with the 2TB boxes.
Alongside a lot of live football, they're offering at least 70 on demand movies in 4K HD, including the latest releases as well as many old classics too.
BT TV offer up to 12 HD channels - those available on Freeview - as standard, with the option to get another 13 of their "premium" entertainment channels in HD for an extra £5 a month.
But while they offer Sky Sports 1 and 2 in HD for another £5 a month on top of all the other subscription costs, there's no similar option for those wanting to watch Sky Cinema in HD.
TalkTalk offer no more in HD than it's possible to get on Freeview.
Viewing on demand
Everyone who signs up to a Sky TV bundle gets Sky Go free of charge. This gives them access to every channel they subscribe to, plus catch up services, on up to four registered mobile devices.
It's possible to stream to two different devices, while watching the TV, at the same time - useful for families.
It does rely on having a good data connection or wi-fi signal, however, so those who would rather not get any unexpected mobile bills might prefer Sky Go Extra.
At £5 a month (or free for multiroom subscribers) it allows users to download shows to their devices, letting them watch wherever they are, no matter how bad the signal is, and with fewer worries about going over our device's data allowances.
Virgin Media's equivalent service, Virgin TV Anywhere, is a bit more limited. Users can only register up to two devices (including a computer), and on demand content is only available via registered computers.
Changing devices is allowed, but customers can only make one change per month, and the list of compatible devices is shorter than those supported by Sky.
Finally, not every channel is available on TV Anywhere. The more channels a customer has in their TV package, the more they'll get in TV Anywhere, but Mix TV subscribers can expect to find just 70 or so of their 150+ channels available to stream, and fewer offering on demand content.
BT TV's roaming service is called BT TV Everywhere. It's only available to customers with the Extra Box service, which costs £5 a month.
But that's academic for people who want Sky Cinema - or Sky Sports - as customers with either or both can't get TV Everywhere, and vice versa.
Of course, as covered, customers can always take a Now TV subscription separately.