Sky or Virgin Media: which is better?

sky vs virgin

SKY and Virgin Media both claim to be the UK's best TV, broadband and phone provider, but who should you choose?

It's an extremely close competition; in this guide we'll look at some of the key differences between Sky and Virgin we think everyone should be aware of.

And if you want a quick answer, skip straight to our quick compare section - where we've chosen the best provider depending on what's most important to you.

But don't miss the special offers to make sure you get a good deal on your chosen provider - we'll take a look at those first.

Special offers

The competition between Sky and Virgin does have one serious upside: money off for new customers.

We have a list of the latest offers from each below, which could be worth keeping in mind as you read on.

Sky have a reputation for running a good deal. Here's their main offer right now:

Sky TV Latest Offers

Black Friday Offer: Get the Sky Box Sets bundle for just £25/mth when taken with Sky Fibre Unlimited for £25/mth

Hurry! Offer ends in 3 days!
27 November 2017.
18 month minimum term. £39.95 setup. £50/mth for 18 months.

And here are their other current offers:

Offer Terms
sky Black Friday Offer: Get the Sky Box Sets bundle for just £25/mth when taken with Sky Fibre Unlimited for £25/mth

Hurry! Offer ends in 3 days!
27 November 2017
18 month minimum term. £39.95 setup. £50/mth for 18 months.
sky Sky Black Friday sale: Get a £50 Prepaid Mastercard and Sky Unlimited Broadband for £18/mth

Hurry! Offer ends 7 December 2017
12 month minimum term. £19.95 set-up fee. £18/mth for 12 months, then £28.99/mth.
sky Get a £50 Prepaid Mastercard and money off Sky Fibre Unlimited

Hurry! Offer ends 7 December 2017
18 month minimum term. £29.95 set up fee. £25/mth for 18 months, then £38.99/mth.

Find out more in our main Sky TV guide, or for information on their broadband deals see this guide.

And here's what Virgin Media are offering to try to tempt new customers:

Offer Terms
virgin media Get a free 6 month Netflix Subscription with Virgin Media Bundles

Hurry! Offer ends 18 December 2017
12-month contract. £20 activation fee. Excludes the Player Bundle.
virgin media TV, broadband and phone bundles from £30 a month 12-month contract. £20 activation fee.
virgin media Broadband and phone from £29 a month 12-month contract. £20 activation fee.

*Big Bundles are Virgin Media's pre-made triple media deals: the Player, Mix, Full House and VIP Bundles.

Find out more about Virgin Media TV in this dedicated review, or read about the detail of their different broadband deals in our main Virgin Media broadband review, here.

Are Sky and Virgin in my area?

Before comparing any other aspect of service, it's worth checking whether each provider is available in your area by doing a postcode search.

Sky TV coverage is pretty much nationwide, and their broadband is widely available too; Virgin Media cable is only available to around 50% of homes, although their network is growing, slowly, all the time.

Use the postcode checker below to see if Sky and Virgin are available to you.

Enter your postcode above to check availability in your area.

Quick compare: So, who's best for...

Can't decide between
Sky and Virgin?

Take a quick look at which provider is ahead in the categories important to you by choosing from the selection on the left.

More detail: find out who's best on...

Sky vs Virgin: Price

(Seemingly) simple question: Sky or Virgin - who is cheapest?

Broadband only, or broadband and calls

For anyone looking to ditch the phone and just get the broadband, Virgin is the only option.

And for those wanting decent broadband, Sky look to be cheapest.

Package Broadband Contract term Upfront price Monthly price
Sky Broadband Unlimited + Talk Up to 17Mb
12 months £19.95 £18
for 12 mths,
then £28.99
Virgin Media Vivid 50 Up to 50Mb
12 months £20 £27
for 12 mths,
then £33
Virgin Media Vivid 50 + Talk Weekends Up to 50Mb
12 months £20 £29
for 12 mths,
then £40

Sky don't include any calls in the above package, and their cheapest call plan is their Evenings & Weekends Extra package, which costs an additional £4 a month.

Virgin do include weekend calls with their home phone, and they also offer an upfront line rental deal. It costs £196 for the year, which brings the price down to the equivalent of £16.34 a month (it's usually £19 and that's included in the monthly price above).

All the same, Sky's entry level broadband is cheaper than Virgin's - but with much slower broadband.

Budget bundles

Virgin Media win this race with their Player Bundle, which is roughly equivalent to their old Big Easy deal - offering 70 or so channels together with their up to 100Mb broadband and weekend calls.

Meaning Virgin's entry level bundle is hard for Sky to beat, which is even more true now they've retired their free 2GB Lite package in favour of a £5 a month 12GB starter deal. Note that swapping out the Player Bundle's Vivid 100 broadband for their lesser 50Mb package actually makes it more expensive overall at present, so it's not worth tampering with.

So when balancing TV with broadband, we think Virgin Media are the best budget bundle deal.

Package TV Broadband Contract term Upfront price Monthly price
Sky TV Original + Broadband 12GB + Talk 240 channels (11 HD) Up to 17Mb
12GB usage
18 months £19.95 £43.99
for 18 mths,
then £45.99
Virgin Media Player Bundle 70+ channels (11 HD) Up to 100Mb
12 months £20 £30
for 12 mths,
then £48

Compare the two for budget bundles without sacrificing must have channels, using our comparison table here.

Large bundles

We've picked out two "large" bundles with a good number of TV channels for each provider - 190 for Virgin Media and around 320 for Sky, of which about 70 are Freeview - each provider's standard set top box and unlimited broadband.

The main difference here again are the broadband speeds - for this example, we've used Sky's up to 17Mb package and Virgin's 'lightweight' fibre, up to 100Mb. Ignoring that issue, it's incredibly close.

Package TV Broadband Contract term Upfront price Monthly price
Sky TV Variety + Broadband Unlimited + Talk 320+ channels (11 HD) Up to 17Mb
18 months £39.95 £43
for 12 mths,
then £60.99
virgin media Mix Bundle 150+ channels (11 HD) Up to 100Mb
12 months £20 £46
for 12 mths,
then £55

We use to have to build our own Virgin Media bundle to create a similarly priced package - but now the Mix Bundle is much better value. Even substituting the 100Mb broadband for 50Mb makes the package more expensive - which shows how seriously Virgin take the value of their readymade bundles.

For a little more flexibility regarding large bundles, or to see what it'll cost to include any must have channels, it's also worth looking at our family bundle comparison table.

Line rental and calls

Sky now charge £18.99 for line rental but this is without any calls.

While Virgin have stopped offering a stand alone phone service, meaning a phone deal with them can only be purchased as part of a package deal with either their broadband or TV service (or a combination of both).

To get a landline with Virgin the cheapest option is to go with their Mix TV and phone bundle, which includes weekend calls for £26 a month or you can upgrade to evening and weekend calls for an extra £5 per month.

With inclusive anytime calls at just £26.99, Sky offer the cheapest deal in this respect but with Virgin you get a TV package thrown in too.

Line rental only Inclusive
Weekend Calls
Evening and Weekend Calls
Anytime Calls
Sky £18.99 n/a £22.99 £26.99
Virgin Media n/a £19 £24 £27

Sky vs Virgin: TV

First things first: Sky or Virgin - how many channels are up for grabs?

We count them up in the table below. Note that where there's a HD version of a channel we count both SD and HD as one - but then give the total number of HD channels available with each deal.

Freeview VM: Mix TV VM: Full House TV Sky: Original Bundle Sky: Variety Bundle Sky: Box Sets Bundle
Up to 85
(up to 15 HD)
(11 HD)
(50 HD)
40 + 240 free
(11 HD)
80 + 240 free
(11 HD)
80 + 240 free
(50+ HD)

From these figures it looks as though Sky offer far more channels, but be aware that among their free channels are some oddities like Renault TV.

Budget channel choice

sky q user interface
Sky Q user interface

From the table above, Sky seem like a good choice for those looking for a budget TV deal: their Original Bundle offers considerably more channels than Virgin Media's cheapest standalone TV deal, Mix TV, for a similar price.

Those looking at the budget bundle choices further up, however, may be wondering where the Player TV package is, with its stripped down channel count.

We've left it out of the channel count here because it's only available as part of that triple play bundle, combined with unlimited 100Mb broadband and weekend calls for £32 a month including line rental.

Sky's basic Original bundle costs £22 a month. As seen above, it's possible to add in their Broadband 12GB and phone package to get a triple-play package that costs a little bit more than Virgin's but with far more channels.

It depends what's more important, TV or broadband - but where TV is concerned, customers get more for their money with Sky.

On demand content

Both Sky and Virgin offer TV on demand with catch up from at least the past seven days and limited other TV content as standard.

Virgin Media offer hundreds of hours of catch up and on demand TV, with the exact content depending on the TV package; customers with the Full House TV pack also have access to Virgin's collection of Box Sets.

All Virgin Media customers can add Netflix to their subscriptions from £5.99 a month; combined with one of their Tivo boxes the service can add another dimension to on demand viewing.

Sky describe their catch up and extra content service as the UK's biggest, though content depends on the subscription.

Only basic catch up services are available with the Original Bundle, while Variety subscribers can also watch the catch up services for their extra channels - mainly kids' shows and documentaries.

Box sets on demand are only available with the aptly named Box Sets Bundle - what use to be called the Family Bundle.

Sky don't offer Netflix or any other kind of rival streaming service to their own customers.

In fact, they have their own streaming TV service, Now TV, for people who don't have and don't want to sign up to Sky, but fancy some of the extra content only available through them.

There's more on that here - and how it compares to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video here.

Customers taking either Sky or Virgin Media can also access up to 1,200 movies on demand via Sky Cinema (formerly Sky Movies) - but that relies on taking the full Sky Cinema pack of 11 live channels.

Sky are cheaper, charging £18 a month, while Virgin charge £21 a month.

HD channels

We've already made a quick comparison of HD channels available in the main channel count above, but which channels are included, and which come at a premium differs.

Among the cheaper packages, Sky and Virgin are neck and neck - both offer 11 Freeview HD channels.

They now also offer a similar number of HD channels in their most expensive base bundles: over 50 each for the Full House and Box Sets deals:

Freeview VM: Mix TV VM: Full House Sky: Box Sets Bundle
15 11 51 50+

But there's some variation between the channels included. The HD channels we can find on Sky include Sky Atlantic HD, the Disney channels and Star Plus HD.

The HD channels that Virgin Media can boast about, including as standard with the Full House Bundle, are the BT Sport line up, MTV Live HD and H2 (but oddly, not the normal History Channel).

virgin media hd channels
Virgin Media HD channels

Note that the figures above don't include the premium sports and movies channels in HD.

The good news is that as part of the above-mentioned refresh, Sky Cinema is now available in HD to both Sky and Virgin Media customers as standard.

Those wanting Sky Sports in HD, however, will still need to pay extra for the privilege.

To get Sky Sports in HD on Sky - whether Sky+ or Sky Q - for example, customers need to take:

Virgin customers can add the HD pack to Sky Sports whatever their basic channel subscription, but it'll cost them another £7 a month.

We think this is pretty shocking overcharging, but as both providers are doing it, it's likely to continue.

So who's best for HD? Because they include more of the "premium" channels such as those from Disney in HD, and because their HD add-on costs slightly less, Sky win the HD battle.

Sky Sports

As might be obvious from the above, competition between Sky and Virgin for the Sky Sports channels is fierce.

All new Virgin Media TV customers should get Sky Sports News HQ and Sky Sports Mix in their standard channel line-up. To get the full Sky Sports channel pack costs £31.75 a month on top of any other TV package costs. Sky charge £27.50 a month for the full line up.

In the past Virgin have offered the occasional Sky Sports "Season Ticket" deal for those willing to pay upfront. It was last available in summer 2014, giving savings of about £120 over the season.

For more guidance on this see our full Sky Sports guide; anyone who's interested in getting even more sport by adding BT Sport should see this guide.

Sky vs Virgin: Broadband

This is an easy one, at least at face value.

Virgin's Vivid 300 is the fastest fibre broadband service currently available in the UK, offering speeds up to 300Mb (for more information see our full review).

What's more Virgin's broadband packages don't limit download speeds - but they do throttle uploads for heavy users. As mentioned above, they also offer broadband without a phone line, for those who don't need or want one.

Sky, on the other hand, offer a truly unlimited broadband connection for a good price - and they often run appealing cheap or "free" broadband deals.

Each provider's main broadband deals:

Package Speed and usage Contract term Upfront price Monthly price
Sky Broadband Unlimited + Talk Up to 17Mb
12 months £19.95 £18
for 12 mths,
then £28.99
Sky Fibre Unlimited + Talk Up to 38Mb
18 months £29.95 £25
for 18 mths,
then £38.99
Sky Fibre Max + Talk Up to 76Mb
18 months £29.95 £30
for 18 mths,
then £43.99
Virgin Media Vivid 50 + Talk Weekends Up to 50Mb
12 months £20 £29
for 12 mths,
then £40
Virgin Media Vivid 100 + Talk Weekends Up to 100Mb
12 months £20 £34
for 12 mths,
then £45
Virgin Media Vivid 200 + Talk Weekends Up to 200Mb
12 months £20 £39
for 12 mths,
then £50
Virgin Media Vivid 300 + Talk Weekends Up to 300Mb
12 months £20 £44
for 12 mths,
then £55


As already mentioned, when it comes to speed Virgin Media offer the fastest broadband services around.

Look at the above table: Virgin's cheapest deal is based on speeds of up to 50Mb - quicker than Sky's 38Mb fibre deal, and much faster than standard broadband.

As our guide explains, Virgin's cable service is much more efficient than standard broadband.

For example, standard Sky broadband speeds are affected primarily by distance from the exchange - so customers who live a long way from their exchange should expect this to play some part in any lowering of speed.

Because it uses cable, Virgin Media broadband is much less affected by distance.

Here's what that means in terms of real speeds, according to Ofcom tests published in November 2016.

Advertised Speed Average over 24 hours Average at peak times
(8-10pm weekdays)
sky Sky ADSL 10.1Mb to 11.5Mb 9.9Mb to 11.4Mb
sky Up to 38Mb 33Mb - 34.6Mb 32.8Mb - 34.3Mb
virgin media Up to 50Mb 46.1Mb - 49.6Mb 38.2Mb - 45.4Mb
sky Up to 76Mb 54.3Mb - 59.9Mb 53.6Mb - 59.1Mb
virgin media Up to 100Mb 87.7Mb - 95.2Mb 72.6Mb - 86.1Mb
virgin media Up to 200Mb 169.0Mb - 177.2Mb 143.7Mb - 155.4Mb

That said, Virgin Media broadband have come in for some stick for their traffic management policy. While Virgin say downloads should be completely unaffected, heavy uploaders - gamers and the like - have found their upload speeds slowed by half.

In September 2016, they brought in a range of new broadband packages designed for gamers, based on the up to 200Mb tier. These, Virgin say, had both superfast downloads and uploads, and no traffic management upstream. However the gamer catered package has since been retired (you can read more on that here), leaving the Vivid 300 package as Virgin's only truly unlimited option.

Bear in mind however, that contention (the number of users signed up to the provider in the local area) particularly at peak times (during the evening and at weekends) can affect both providers - although Ofcom say Sky's 38Mb fibre suffers the least degradation as a result of contention.

'Unlimited' service

Among Sky's broadband deals there are three truly unlimited packages with no download limits or traffic management.

Those looking for cheaper broadband will find they're subject to data caps or traffic management. There's more on the full Sky broadband range in our detailed review here.

Virgin's deals are all unlimited as far as downloading goes, but unless they opt for Vivid 300 with its unlimited uploads, the very heaviest broadband users may face some restrictions. For more information check out our guide on fair use policies.

Budget broadband

At the other end of the scale, Sky win for those who want a basic broadband connection for browsing and email.

Broadband 12GB has taken over from the old Broadband Lite package, offering a usage allowance of 12GB. Customers can get it for £5 a month.

Then again, Sky are also known for frequently offering their standard Unlimited broadband at a discount, or even free of charge, so it's possible to get more for rather less.

Check our guides to broadband data usage and free broadband to see whether either is a realistic option.

Out of area broadband

Once upon a time those who weren't in a Virgin Media cable area could still get Virgin Media Broadband, albeit only via ADSL - but Virgin Media National hasn't been on sale for a good few years now.

Sky Broadband is much more widely available, but they too appear to be losing enthusiasm for supplying Sky TV customers who aren't on their main broadband network. Their out of area package, Sky Connect, is no longer available to buy online.

This offered an unlimited up to 8Mb connection for £17 a month - considerably more expensive than their main deals and slower than the minimum Ofcom say is needed for the average home, as well as being subject to constant traffic management.

Anyone who's not sure whether they're in the main pricing area for Sky or Virgin should check with our postcode search.

Sky vs Virgin: Boxes

Sky and Virgin both offer HD-ready set top boxes with their deals, with a choice of hardware.

Late last year, Sky retired their well regarded Sky+ HD boxes in favour of offering all new TV customers their Sky Q 1TB box as standard. We've put together a guide to what Sky Q offers over and above Sky+ here.

Standard set top boxes

Otherwise both providers' set top boxes offer the following standard features:

virgin media tivo
Virgin Media's Tivo box

It may not be the main difference between the two, but storage is the easiest place to start. The "basic" Sky Q box has 1TB - although only around 700GB of that is available for customer use.

That's enough for about 500 hours of SD content, or 150 hours of HD recordings. Virgin's Tivo box has 500GB, enough for about 250 hours of SD recordings.

Better set top boxes

sky q 2TB box
Sky Q 2TB box

Both Virgin Media and Sky offer better set top boxes for an additional cost.

The obvious advantage with both is more space to store recorded TV shows: one Terabyte (TB) of storage is enough to store about 500 hours of content in standard definition, although Sky claim their 2TB box can store around 1,000 hours of SD programming.

Sky: 2TB
Sky Q box
VM: 500Mb
Tivo box
Tivo box
"Smart feature activation" costs £60 with a Multiscreen subscription, or £199 for just the one box
View box
Included with the Player bundle (£5/mth cost included in bundle price). Add a second box for £7.50/mth with £49.95 upfront cost.
View box
Included with the Mix bundle upwards (£5/mth cost included in bundle price). Add a second box for £7.50/mth with £49.95 upfront cost.
View box

Tivo's main selling point is a clear and intuitive user interface, as well as the following:

The standard Tivo boxes have been around for a while now, and while they're still up there for intelligent viewing and the amount of content they can deal with at any one time, they were starting to look a little shabby compared with Sky Q.

Enter the new Tivo box, the Virgin TV V6, which is around 10 times faster than the old box, Ultra HD Compatible - and contains six tuners. As before, multiple boxes work together, making multiscreen subscriptions highly flexible.

There's more on Tivo in our guide here.

Signing up
Sign up for Sky or Virgin:

As mentioned above, Sky started offering their Sky Q boxes as standard with all their TV deals less than a year after they first revealed them to a curious public - and here's a quick rundown of their main features:

The 2TB box is Ultra HD compatible - but viewers will need a Sky Q Multiscreen subscription to access the Ultra HD content available.

There's more on multiscreen services from both providers in our guide here.

Quick Poll

So, who did you choose? Sky or Virgin?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


21 July 2017
Julie Rose

I still don't know. We pay £80.00 a month for basic TV, broadband and talk unlimited - surely something has to be cheaper? x

24 July 2017
Choose team

Hi Julie Rose, that certainly does sound expensive! It might help to check our TV and broadband comparison page here: <a href=";cuid=2412393" rel="nofollow noopener" title=""></a>
Where you can select to include a phone plan, and filter by price, plus we have information on how many channels you will get with each package. We hope this is helpful to you and you can get a better deal!

17 March 2017
Lord Nidasquee

We're very unhappy with Virgin Media right now. After having no broadband service for two months and over 10 engineers visiting to try and find the issue, they have given up on us and sent us to Sky. Customer service at Virgin is appalling and attempting to phone the guys is a real nightmare. Nobody you speak to at 150 actually know anything about you or your issues and they never read your notes.

It's not all doom and gloom as the broadband is insanely fast... I'm talking 12ms if it works, but it is extremely unreliable. If you can't handle internet dropouts, then don't go with Virgin.

4 March 2017
EJ Jackson

This is interesting. We are about to move, and because we've been having issues with Virgin Media's Tivo (often buffering on iPlayer or catch up TV, and 'something has gone wrong with this programme' happens almost every evening now) we are seriously considering moving to Sky for our TV. But I've read here that Sky isn't so good when it rains or in high winds... considering going for a mixed package, i.e. TV with Sky but landline and broadband with VM... but the best deals do seem to be 'everything with one supplier' bundles. We are in Camberley, Surrey, and I'd be very interested to hear from anyone in this area if they have issues with either Sky or VM, or conversely, if they don't and can recommend one over the other; I think some areas are better than others. Do trees affect reception on Sky? It bothers us slightly that for Broadband speed, VM appears to be the best, but not for anything else!

BTW we hate Tivo (the first one) with a passion... it is awful! So for that alone I think we will end up getting our TV from Sky, if nothing else... but as I said, would be very interested to hear what others in the area have experienced.

16 December 2016

Cannot believe that Sky Pay as you Talk charge for 0800 and 0500 freephone calls, about 13p per minute plus connection - dirty rotten scoundrels.

20 November 2016
Paul Hill

We've had Sky for years, and the TV is great, but the broadband speed is terrible and no longer worth the constant price rises. I checked uswitch and found I can get 200 speed broadband and BT sport channels which I don't get with Sky, and movie channel package or &pound;30 a month cheaper with Virgin for 12 months, then when it goes to normal price it's still &pound;7 a month cheaper. Cancelled Sky today and having Virgin Media installed in December. Sky really do need to get their act together regarding broadband or they will lose customers hand over fist.

12 October 2016
Clock End

I have Virgin predominately because my wife doesn't want a dish on the house. I was on the verge of leaving them recently because of their high prices, but they do tend to have a lot of offers if you call up customer services, so for just under &pound;70/month I have broadband/anytime call/sports/movies and full house (XL) TV. If it was my call alone, these days I would get a good broadband connection and a mobile phone and Fire Tv stick/Now TV box/chromecast along with freeview. That covers pretty much all our needs except BT Sport, though I suppose if BT supply the broadband that is take care of.

18 September 2016

I have no specific loyalties to either, it's who provides me the most for the least cash offered. Just switched to sky from three years of virgin. Can't fault virgins service and honestly, coming back to the sky+HD box makes me appreciate TiVo even more, even it's lags. Much more intuitive. However, virgin just wouldn't offer me the price I wanted, sky did. So in 12 months time I'll start looking again at virgin to see what they can do.

14 September 2016
Patrick Davidson

Tivo planner is a real mess compared to Sky+ and further more, Tivo records repeats even when you set option for record new only.

31 August 2016

Just gave my 30 days notice to Virgin after many years as their broadband was rubbish at 200mb.
Going to give sky a try as it can't be much worse (fingers crossed).

25 August 2016

Virgin Media is awful!! Their rules for live events are so restrictive, it's made me wish I never wasted my money on the event. The event I ordered was at 1am on a Monday morning so I couldnt watch it live as I had work. For the week I was busy so couldn't watch it then. So on Thursday evening, I had planned I would relax and watch it, and I'm NOT ALLOWED?! why am I only allowed to watch it exactly when the repeats are shown. Why is the amount of time I can watch the event so short?! On Sky they allow you to record the live event and watch it when it suits you. I am so angry at the fact I expected it to be the same with Virgin and in the end its just been a huge waste of money! What a poor poor service.

22 August 2016

I have been with sky for over 15 years. At the lapse of the offers the monthly bill has jumped from &pound;95 to &pound;138, outrageous. They imply that this is loyalty reward &amp; you will loose the loyalty rewards if you leave them, think about their logic. VIRGIN monthly for a comparable package + BT sports is &pound;75 on a 12 months contract...NO brainer. . Will be joining VIRGIN ..
22 August 2016

20 August 2016

I think virgin media are getting too expensive especially for customers who have been with them from the beginning also I have developed a problem with channel 5. When I phoned up they weren't interested which is annoying considering I pay over 90 pound a month

23 March 2016

I am paying &pound;48.25 month and a rise of &pound;3.75 that makes &pound;52 a month for Sky, it's too much. I will be changing my account with Sky, why are new customers paying 33% less it's not fair I have been with them since the beginning.

23 March 2016
J Ryan

I can't contest that Virgin offer the fastest broadband speeds in the country. However, me and my fiance have come to discover this comes at a price. Their customer service can be god awful at times and downright despicable at others. I shan't go into detail due to it being a long story but after a recent altercation with a rep who was ignorant and completely non-attentive, frequently interrupting me and refusing to listen which obviously upset and annoyed me eventually causing me to lose my temper (the way the handled the situation completely goes against standard customer service training) I wound up being the one to get repremanded and threatened with disconnection of service while the rep got off scot-free!!

I was fuming at this. Even before the letter from VM management I knew I was done with their TV service at the very least and upon receipt of the letter I was ready to bare my furry buttocks for them to kiss as I headed swiftly into Sky's embrace. Heartbreaking it has come to this, as I've gotten used to download speeds upwards of 15MB/s at times which will never happen with Sky fibre but I can't support a company who holds an unfair monopoly and takes full advantage of it treating their customers like sacks of something unpleasant.

On the other side of the fence however, Sky easily offer the best value TV. Yes, Virgin may offer slightly lower prices but at the cost of FAR less content and you're paying for even the free-to-air channels. Nothing's free to view on Virgin's proprietary cable network while satellite offers true free-to-air channels and far more of them. As for the boxes, I'm a tech geek who's used both and I tend to hold a vastly different opinion.

Aesthetics: Sky+ HD - A clear and obvious winner here. Samsung's Virgin branded Tivo box looks rather plain, bulky and ugly while the Sky+ HD box is sleek and sexy. Even down to the lighting!

Functionality: Sky+ HD - Ok, Ok! I'll put my hands up and admit the Tivo can kinda do more. It runs apps, sports three TV tuners for recording more, stores more and has the suggestions feature. However, more tuners for less channels is hardly worth while and if taking advantage of Netflix there's even less reason to care about that. The suggestions feature was all but useless pretty much never capturing something I would be interested in. Even after rating a shedload of content.

The thing that really made Sky come out on top for me here though was raw speed. My Sky+ HD box has yet to see true lag, even while loading Interactive services! The Tivo on the other hand would slow to a crawl when performing anything beyond the basic actions. Netflix on the thing was USELESS as it was so damn slow to load up I could have booted my laptop, connected it to the home theater system, downloaded the Netflix Windows 10 app AND got content playing in less time than it would take the Tivo to get a feature running.

Ease of Use: Sky+ HD. This one depends more on the individual but I personally find Sky's offering to be perfectly intuitive.

UI: Sky+ HD: Now this one will be more a matter of personal taste but I find Sky's UI to be far more appealing.

9 March 2016
Scott Tait

I have been with Virgin for years... price is appauling no loyalty discount when new customers get fantastic deals.
Customer service is a joke more so when dealing with overseas agents many unproffessional.

My partner has Sky... tv is ok... but broadband is awful can't even go fibre as its an exchange only line so limited to 8-10mbps xsdl? Virgin is not an option for her as the cable is two streets away.

No brainer lol

10 February 2016
Martin Swagster

I have Virgin Media and it's internet is currently the best around, Sky's TV is much more sophisticated than Virgin's, I've had Virgin media for as long as I can remember (since TeleWest) and I've stayed since.
I'm currently on the L pack and I have a SuperHub
If you love TV and don't mind the internet not been top notch it's Sky
If you like TV, but love internet, I think Virgin is great for you!

30 January 2016

&pound;570 per year every year they tell you how great they are and then in the middle of the "contract", they put the price up and they do it every year. I'm getting rid of Sky going to freeview. Think of all the money I'll save.

17 November 2015

Both keep putting up prices - In Feb 2016 my package is going up again, this time by a whopping 9.2%.
Having recently dropped down to a lower package, this is last straw. The only alternative is to go with someone else; as a new customer better deals just get you signed up - then start all over again after contract period when the provider raises their cost as you are no longer a new customer. Vote with your wallet and don't let the providers rip the customer off. Greedy!

26 October 2015

To me both the largest providers - Sky and Virgin - worth multi millions should invest in the customer. The amounts charged for these services are extortionate considering their demand nowadays - ranging from Mobile phones, iPads, computers, television, etc.. All this on top of your annual TV licence fee and the electricity charges that go with running these devices. I may sound like I am moaning - and I am.

I am with Sky and it appears the only way to get anyone to listen is tell them you're leaving to a competitor. Should not have to do this. It should be One fair price for everyone - for all the service you choose - all of the time. In fact - as they make more customers - they have more income, the price for everyone should in effect come down - but it can be argued that demand increases prices... It also reduces prices... especially when a lot of the customers are students, unemployed, or on just &pound;6.50 an hour!!

If you look at Grant - who commented below - he has a half price package - which doubles in price in 6 months time... He's hoping for a pay rise to pay for it...

Sorry for the moan - but pretty skint and thinking of getting rid of all my packages and paying for a good mobile phone package instead!! I can tether the internet signal to my laptop from my mobile phone - Otherwise , mobile phones can do everything else nowadays!! Can get a wifi signal in most public places anyway.

4 October 2015
Jeff 9+10=21 boss the beast

Sky and Virgin and all the TV box companies should team up it will be the best.

30 September 2015

If you live in a country without weather or not on a main road Sky will be glitch free and never have a picture freeze, for those in the real world there is Virgin TV

11 September 2015
Aslesha Salkar

I live with my parents and we have had both Sky and Virgin. We have been a Virgin Media customer for 7 years and never had a problem with them, also the package is quite good. We have 152Mbps fibre broadband that is very fast and satisfying. We have two 1TB Tivo boxes which are fantastic.

7 years also we moved into a Virgin Media area before that we were not so had to stick with Sky. We never had a recording box at that time until Virgin introduced them to us. With Sky whenever it rained or snowed the picture got bad very irritating. I love Virgin to the utmost and would never want to go back to Sky.

8 June 2015

Virgin Media go on about speeds but the truth is they can't be obtained because websites place traffic restrictions on visitors that slow things down, in order to protect their servers. The mysql database has to keep up for one thing. In reality no one is really on a speed that is much faster than 20Mb! Virgin's customer service also needs to pull their socks up because they are far less than truthful about things when issues arise. Currently with Virgin but moving to Sky.

3 July 2015
Mick Stevens

Completely wrong.

2 June 2015

I had been using Virgin for 2 years. I had to swich to Sky because I have just moved apartments and in my new location Virgin isn't available. I have to admit I am not happy to have Sky. I can only record one programme at a time. If you record more than one programme there is a problem. Lets say your programme starts at 10 and another one starts at 10.20 but you can't record both of them. In result you will receive only 20 minutes from your first programme and the rest of the second one. Great. Besides if you use pause whilst watching TV and you have lets say 50 minutes (it means you paused watching for those 50 minutes) then sometimes there is a pop up window which informs you about something. Then you have to click "back up" because window says so, and you loose your 50 minutes! It is so annoying! Another thing is that you don't know which channels you have. On Virgin the font with your blocked channels is grey so you know that those channels are unavailable to you. But not in Sky. What is the point to provide me blocked channels? To remind me that I should pay for them? And there is a lot of stupic channels like TLC+2 just to make the amount of your available channels bigger. Come on people... I am waiting for TLC+3. I wouldn't recommend Sky. Virgin Media is so much better than Sky.

15 May 2015
Patrick Green

Useful review... We just upgraded to one of Virgin's big bundles. Had Sky before... not too much difference in TV... But we had 30Mb Sky broadband and compared to the 50Mb (prev 30Mb) Virgin broadband it was appalling... It was a lottery if it was even going to work to be honest.

31 March 2015

Probably moving away from Virgin. After so long, they start bringing up the bills. It's gotten close to &pound;100 for us.

21 February 2015
Tom Tjp Ponsonby

Just switched from Sky to Virgin, much better deal. Broadband with Virgin is much much faster and paying the same price as I was for a Sky. Very happy.

3 February 2015

I use Virgin for Broadband (50Mb), now at &pound;28 pm, and get Sky TV Variety for &pound;15 pm. When my Sky contract ends, though, I think I will drop Sky since "format drift" has destroyed channels like Sci-Fi, History, Yesterday and so on, that all seem devoted now to showing reruns of shows about Ducks and Pawn shops. With fast broadband it is now easy enough (and with more options) to access BBC Iplayer online, and sling it to the TV via a Chromecast dongle.

25 November 2014
William Hayes

Chose Virgin because I need fibre cable to stream 4K Netflix. Also, I don't want a hideous satellite dish stuck to my house.

19 November 2014

Hi there, I'm paying &pound;98 a month on Virgin XL HD package, with all the football included, no Netflix or films channels included and have not got Tivo box ... got BT HD ... feel I'm paying too much, so I rang them and they said I was saving a tenner a month ... I don't even want the house phone ... and I don't download, wouldn't know what to do. Any help please, would be grateful.

26 October 2015

Cancel the contract mate... get a good mobile phone package and do everything from there. You don't even watch or have time to watch 200 channels - it might as well be a million channels - whose going to watch them? Save your money and put a deposit on a house or nice car instead ... trust me - these companies make too much money but only pay low wages to staff in comparison - hey - its a daily full on buffet for the boardroom !! And everything their life is free - but you will only get half price for 6 months ... LOL...

10 November 2014

My parents have Virgin and, I could see why it's so much better than the TalkTalk service I currently have. TalkTalk installed a fibre-optic connection for me two years ago. Faster? Bah, nonsense! It still comes through my phone connection which uses copper cable to by building, Virgin cable is best. No BT wiring to slow things down.

19 October 2014

Virgin don't charge for repairs if things go wrong. Sky do!

27 September 2014
amigo grumpy

I've been with Virgin for 10 years, prices seem to sneakily increase, customer service sucks, poor movie channels unless you upgrade with Sky, same with sports. Tivo is great. Love the recording options, just be careful when fast forwarding through the last set of adverts, as can jump to end. Plus some programs seem to fail on playback. Was considering changing to Sky, but looking at the options, Virgin seem best of bad bunch. Greedy corporate *******!

19 September 2014

I have been with Virgin Media for years, but now finding them putting my package up to &pound;54.99 when others are paying &pound;35 because they are new annoying to a long standing customer! I have broadband, TV and phone with Virgin Media, and never use the phone as it's too expensive! So going to try Sky, told them to take it to disconnections, can anyone let me know if I'm doing the right thing?

21 September 2014
Choose team

Hi Karen,

You might find this article on how to haggle to reduce your broadband costs useful - it covers both Virgin Media and Sky: <a href=";cuid=2412393" rel="nofollow noopener" title=""></a>

Hope this helps.

4 August 2014

My advice would be Sky for the entertainment, and for phone and broadband without doubt, Virgin Media.

9 April 2014

Sky have been excellent with me. They gave me 3 months free when I was made redundant a few years ago. I then got a new job and had to move. They then installed a new dish for free. My old plus box died and they replaced it with a 1TB no problem just had to sign for another 12 months. Only criticism I had was the 1TB box SD channels were poor quality compared to the old Plus Box but now everything is in HD its no longer an issue. I don't have the broadband but the TV pack is very good.

10 March 2014

Sky is better than Virgin you don't miss out on Sky Atlantic and you get all Sky Sports in HD and other channels that are missing on Virgin, plus line rental is cheaper than Virgin Media broadband is, plus Virgin charge you the same as Sky for the top package but you get less channels and charge you more for Sky Sports and Movies as well.

1 February 2014

Sky charge for HD and also for repairs when out off contract, also the Sky picture stops with snow or heavy rain.

15 January 2014

Been with Virgin for many years. But they don't reward loyal customers.
Sky are currently doing 12 months 25% off and cash back (depending on package). So got the extra plus and multi room for &pound;25 a month for 12 months.

Keeping Virgin broadband and phone line at &pound;40 a month.

Will be saving &pound;15 a month doing this.

Quick tip: Virgin retention are extremely well trained - if you kick and scream, they'll do something for you, I just can't find anything to really kick off about.

So, Sky TV and Virgin broadband for us.

3 January 2014

I've just joined Sky, I get the Extra Entertainment + package (Sky Plus HD box and installation inc) plus unlimited broadband and free weekend calls for &pound;35.15 a month, it should be &pound;54.90 but I get half price TV and broadband for 12 months so I'm really pleased with what I get and I think the price is fantastic as it's what I'm paying now a month with BT but I don't get the TV and I'm on a 40GB download limit.
I tried looking at Virgin but it isn't available in my area and even if it was looking at what I get with Sky I wouldn't bother with Virgin anyway!

19 December 2013

I am with Virgin Media at the moment. I've had no big problems with the internet, sure it's been down a couple of times but Sky was just as bad. The TV however, I have had issues with. The box resets itself every 15 mins! Drives me crazy. I rang up customer services who seemed to not believe a word I said, said they'd monitor it &amp; call back but never did! TV channels are bad too and I have M+. Now I'm thinking about changing my TV to Sky. I find Virgin Media so easy to navigate through but I'm sure I'll get used to Sky once I get it again.

3 December 2013
Peter Schofield

Virgin Media don't represent value for money. I've been a customer for in excess of 10 years. I've had 2 service outages a week after my contract has ended and Virgin sent me a letter advising of a price increase of &pound;5.75 a month effective Feb 2014. I complained and all they offered me was &pound;5 a month as an incentive to stay. What a complete joke!

23 November 2013

I have had Virgin TV, now have Sky, miles better, loads more channels than Virgin, and a great on-demand, better choice for HD channels, and it all works better than Virgin's constant area problems. You get what you pay for.

21 November 2013

We were with Virgin and I am changing to Sky because we have few problems with Virgin. First the telephone line is not good. The broadband is good and the speed is good but the TV is absolutely rubbish. I have the XL package and the movies are all very old and when trying to catch up previous TV films or episodes it's in a loop and does not load, also when we want to see what's on in other channels: "No program information", rubbish!!

17 November 2013

I worked for Sky and if you've got an old Sky box out of warranty - if you call and say your thinking of leaving your box is old they give you one free :) When your out of contract they're desperate to keep you and get you in contract.

8 November 2013

I have Sky TV and Virgin broadband so you could say I have the best of both worlds.

30 October 2013

I have both Sky and Virgin. I have Sky TV World package HD multi-room and Virgin broadband 60Mb and multi-talk 1000. Sky has the best TV and Virgin has better broadband. But on the phone Sky do have more international destinations that you can call included in their talk unlimited plan, whereas Virgin have 20 top destinations which don't include Pakistan for some strange reason which makes me side with Sky on the best phone package. I would easily jump to Sky on the broadband and phone if I could beat the deal I am on now lol.

29 October 2013

Virgin hands down. Sky doesn't work when it rains or there are high winds. I hate that big dish on my nice house - eye sore. Where as now with the Virgin cable I don't have these issues. I'd tell anyone with Sky to try Virgin you'll be surprised how good it is too. Tivo is amazing, I can't imagine going back to Sky plus when I have better system now.

10 June 2016

TiVo is far from amazing.

17 March 2017
Lord Nidasquee

I second this.

4 October 2013
Tamara Jade Carroll

I prefer Sky, I was on Sky for a year and never had any problems with broadband speed, TV or the telephone line. The customer service was fairly good but sometimes confusing as I got told different things when I wanted to early terminate my services as I was moving address with my boyfriend who was already a Virgin customer. So now I've been using my boyfriend's Virgin services for a few months. The broadband seems to be slower than Sky, the telephone line doesn't even work and we thought it was the actual phone that had a problem, so we've sent someone out who is supposed to be coming out today, and the TV navigation is slower than Sky's and not as easy to use. The customer service I'm not sure about as I can't ring them due to our telephone line being down.

30 September 2013
john hulme

I have been with Sky for 7 years, over the last 6 months we have had nothing but problems with our Sky box.
I lost all my recordings on my old box due to a tech problem, they then sent us a HD box (a reconditioned box), within a month we had to wipe all the recordings down to a problem with the box, then again the same thing happened a few weeks later and yet again we have lost all our recorded programs.
I work a night shift so can't watch my programs when they are on so I like to save them for the weekends but have yet to see a full series of my favourite programs very annoying (sort it out Sky).
I have now given my months notice and will be moving on to Virgin.

17 September 2013
Mike Sinclair

Hi, we have just switched from Virgin to Sky and on every level including; price / value for money, performance, customer service, TV picture quality, TV catch up, internet up-time and especially their attempted exit charge it leaves wretched Virgin standing. Years ago when we moved to our present house we inherited cable so we went with Virgin. Big mistake!! We were with Virgin for 4 years through inertia and their prices are a disgrace for long standing customers. They milk long standing customers for as long as they can. We are so much happier with a different supplier.

13 September 2013

I had Sky a few years back and was fairly happy with it but when I moved into a new place I took Virgin instead. The TiVo isn't as intuitive as the Sky box and takes a fair bit of getting used to. It can also be quite sluggish at times although the on demand services and availability of YouTube etc are much better than Sky.

The killer for me though is the channel selection: its pants compared to Sky - and channels I enjoyed on my fairly basic Sky package like National Geographic are only available on Virgin if you go for the very expensive XL bundle, whereas Sky let me pick and choose what genres I was most interested in and leave out what I'd never watch.

12 April 2013

Well after reading these comments, I think they are all the same, I changed to Sky yesterday, however I haven't told Virgin. I was with Virgin, when they were ntlworld... about 14 years I think. Service was great, until about last year, they came out fitted a new hub, ever since then there has been so many problems. I pay &pound;60 a month, for TV (not movies and sports), phone which is 24/7, but again hardly use it as I've got a mobile, and the internet says I'm meant to have 20Mb, so so slow, it crashes all the time, and the TV freezes...

Sky... Entertainment Extra package... 10Mb (which is fine for me now). I think sometimes that is what I'm getting with ntlworld anyway... phone unlimited, and 2 months free movies. Cost &pound;49 for the first two months, and &pound;65 for 10 months if I keep the movies. The difference is &pound;5.

I'll try Sky.

12 April 2013

Quote "Note that all Sky are offering is a storage upgrade from 250GB to 2TB, which is four times as much space."

I'm fairly confident that equates to eight times as much space...

12 April 2013
Choose team

Well spotted - corrected.

28 March 2013

From the poll its clear Virgin is top and considering that only 50% of the country can get it that's a pretty good message. It would be interesting to know out of everyone who voted who had the option for both and had decided on which one to choose. I am guessing not many would choose Sky if they could get Virgin.

I've been with Virgin for 4 years now and think it's great, I've had my broadband trebled (not doubled) for free from 20 to 60Mb and I am due another free upgrade before the end of the year to 120 from 100Mb. The Tivo box is great and so are the packages. It's a shame you have to rely on Sky for sports and movie channels as the price keeps getting put up but maybe with the take over of Virgin that hopefully might change if the competition heats up a bit.

10 March 2013

Trying to show my mother how to use TiVo was a nightmare. Sky's set top box is much easier to use and much smoother. TiVo feels sluggish. There are no real benefits that you would use everyday from TiVo compared to Sky, and Sky have a much better channel selection, so Sky wins hands down.

Broadband - the original Sky broadband is too slow, if you're a gamer or a downloader it is no good for you. Personally I use BT Infinity for broadband. I had NTL about 10 years ago and it wasn't a problem, but I couldn't comment on it now it is Virgin.

Telephone - we have mobiles now and the only time it is used is when the parents or the in laws call.

I priced up a basic package for someone and the costs between the 2 were within a pound, but Sky offered more channels with their entertainment pack.

6 March 2013

We have had Virgin for nearly 20 years and have recently been upgraded to the 60Mb broadband and Tivo service. I have many streaming devices (laptops, PCs, TV, Phones etc) and play PS3 online most evenings. I have always been very impressed with the TV (you have to love Tivo) and especially the broadband - it's always there - always fast.

5 March 2013
B. Graham

I have been with Sky for years and have had a lot of problems throughout that time. My dish was down due to snow, I've been through around five boxes and have had problems with their broadband.

The problems where dealt with and I managed to avoid maintenance charges although they did try and bill me. Several angry phone calls and one very long letter led to good discounts and to be fair, the staff on the phone are generally excellent.

I pay over &pound;100 a month and have everything through Sky including multi-room. I feel this is over priced and as my broadband has become increasingly worse I was tempted to switch to Virgin. Having looked at the review and subsequent comments my reservations about changing seem to be proved right.

I don't want the hassle of Indian call centres, loss of channels and more Internet problems all for an increased cost. The initial offer seems excellent but loss of HD channels and Atlantic are a huge turn off.

It would seem the grass is not always greener.

4 March 2013

Neither of the above, TalkTalk have upped their game immensely.

TV = YouView Box which was funded and made by BBC, ITV, BT &amp; TalkTalk.
Broadband = Unlimited.
Phone = Awesome too! With loads of features &amp; money saving booster packs.

And all for &pound;15.50 per month! Plus the line rental can be paid up front for a year at just &pound;115, saving you &pound;60!

Trust me, I've tried them all and TalkTalk have only gotten better and cheaper, leaving the competition in the dirt. Plus have a look at YouView, it's very good!

2 March 2013

I used to watch TV using Sky TV but was frustrated having to pay an engineer to fix a 1.5 year old box/cable. So went to Virgin and never looked back.
1) Broadband - fast and far superior to Sky's. I work from home so this is important.
2) TV overall is good, love the Tivo box so much better than Sky's box. I still use Sky at my mum's house every so often and cringe every time I use her remote. So much is possible using Tivo, Sky fails every time.
3) TV choices... I love HD and watch nothing but HD... however we love ITV2 channels and that's where Virgin fails... not just with ITV2 of course, but with Atlantic. However we have enough channels to watch enough programmes that we can do without Atlantic and of course we do have ITV2 SD.

Overall we are happy with Virgin and would never go back to Sky unless their broadband improves and the software to use their box improves. I would say 60/40 to Virgin at the moment.

2 March 2013

I've been with Virgin for over 2 years and have the top package which charges &pound;67.99 a month.

XL TV - TiVo, HD+ box
M - Phone - never use it
60MB Broadband - Used to get 60Mb dead on but now barely touch 25Mb

I find Virgin to be over priced also they cap your speeds in peak times to about 8Mb. Customer service is awful always some Indian call centre with no fluent English. Had a fault ticket raised in my area for broadband from May 2012 estimated fix is July 2013. TV is always faulty, I don't know how they can call it a service in my area the whole neighborhood has more downtime than uptime.

So I contacted Sky CEO Office and asked for a reasonable deal they give me:
94 channels, plus Freeview plus 234 Free to Air package
15Mb Broadband - can live with that
2 Boxes

&pound;50.65 a month, &pound;17.00 cheaper than Virgin so decided to take them up on the deal.

I would not join Virgin again unless the area was error free and they could guarantee a fault free service for more than a month. Their biggest excuse is High Utilisation, basically they jammed too many people on one network area, which means your service cannot cope in peak times.

I play Call of Duty 4 and mostly get pings of 100 - 350ms all night with Virgin.

Sky will finish fitting my services on 13th March 2013. Hopefully a better service for a lower price. The downside to it is you get billed in advance.

1 March 2013

Vastly superior broadband service so we can use Xbox, and 3 laptops streaming at the same time, try doing that on a Sky ancient copper line.

18 February 2013

We have been with Sky for years, TV is great, broadband, well absolute rubbish, having chased around for weeks with them I am told that I can expect as low as 0.6Mb during peak times ("peak" meaning when I want to use it unless it's 4am!). We have an expensive package from Sky and have problems getting our emails let alone "streaming" films! We are 200m from exchange, there are no problems with any equipment, it's just demand. Take care.

18 February 2013

No Virgin Media in my area, but even if there was I think Sky would just edge it.

14 February 2013

I have had Virgin for 4 years and never had a problem. I have up to 60Mb broadband and get 52Mb to 58Mb everytime. I have M+ TV package at the minute and I got a new TV so wanted to upgrade to HD from my old Virgin box. Got told by a friend to phone them up and cancel so they offer me a deal. To my surprise they did. Upgraded to XL package with a free TiVo box and free connection and installation for an extra &pound;10 a month capped for 2 years if I take out a year contract.

13 February 2013

I was a Virgin customer for years but recently switched to Sky and the difference is not what you would expect. Sky's TV is obviously better for channels and the 2TB box for recording HD is nice. Surprisingly though, Sky's fibre broadband is much better than Virgin's. I get faster speeds on Sky fibre than I did on Virgin but more importantly the internet connection just works better. Streaming video such as youtube buffered all the time on my Virgin broadband and gaming next to impossible. Using unlimited Sky fibre 40Mb download and 10Mb upload everything just works so well that I decided that 80/20 upgrade was not even needed. So keep in mind that top speed is not everything and surprisingly Sky fibre has almost twice the upload speed of virgin's top product, which is handy for sharing photos, videos and all the new cloud type products.

7 February 2013

Virgin sucks, we have a 10Mb connection and almost everyday in the evening the speed comes down to less than 1Mb and it lasts for a few hours. We had BT before and never had these problems, cursing why did I switch.

31 January 2013

Virgin are truly awful - all in package ended up being &pound;110 on average per month. Even customer services were shocked. Back to Sky for &pound;46 per month. Customer services wise, husband stayed in all day for Virgin to pick up all their stuff and lo and behold, no-one came. When I called the call centre, there was no log of my call to book it. Absolutely terrible, and xbox gaming was also dreadful with Virgin in comparison to Sky. Will not be going back, as much as I dislike being part of the Murdoch empire.

30 January 2013
Hafis Ibrahim

I switched to Virgin Media in December 2012. They are completely useless. They advertise a smooth changeover, offer to keep your old number and say they will "even say goodbye to Sky for you". This is the most traumatic changeover I have had. They have changed my phone number three times in the span of 4 weeks and I still haven't got my old number. It turns out they haven't cancelled my Sky services and Sky is still charging me for it. Their customer services is rubbish. I regret the day I decided to change over. They are no better than Sky. Avoid Virgin like the plague.

11 January 2013

I've been with Virgin for years, TV package is a mess, you have to pay lots of money just to get basic Sky channels. Phone is expensive, broadband Ok. I would go to TalkTalk except you can't record the internet TV boost package.
Will end up with a year package with Sky (hate the dish) then see if the TV situation improves.

26 December 2012
paul dean

I've got Sky for TV and it's top notch, loads more HD and channels than Virgin and whathifi gave Sky HD best service of the year 2012. But I have Virgin for broadband and telephone 120Mb and can I say it is rubbish full stop. The BIG Virgin words are UP TO and they mean it, I have never ever had anywhere near 40Mb never mind 120Mb and they will traffic manage from BBC news to YouTube to Netflix, and the phone calls are well over the top in price. I have now gone to Sky for broadband, much better and cheaper and I am still in a contract with Virgin that's how bad they are. So I use my Virgin broadband maybe a few hours a week and guess what it's still 32 to 35Mb in speed. I understand some people have no trouble with Virgin and had problems with Sky, but if I could give one bit of advice it would be stay away from Virgin as it is also an 18 month contract for really what is little service and a lot of lies!!

26 December 2012

With Virgin you rent the HD equipment, with Sky you buy the equipment, so it's yours. So if you leave Virgin they come and take the HD boxes but with Sky it's yours so they just disconnect their services. You will still have all the freeview channels and freeview HD channels, thought that's worth saying.

13 March 2015

But the benefit is you get free repairs not a Sky call out fee of &pound;65 and a charge for a new box.

28 June 2015
Lee Martin Wood

Also not free - you pay a hidden charge within your bills so if your box never breaks you're effectively paying more towards it than a Sky customer would without knowing - just read the T&amp;Cs.

15 April 2015
Roy McDade

Jane, this isn't true. &pound;65 for an engineer, but they will cover all equipment to get your services up and running with warranty also. Pretty decent to keep the equipment if you leave.

17 December 2012

I'm with Virgin at the moment but I want out asap! Terrible customer service. I'm out of work at the moment and had my benefits cut. I told Virgin about it and I wanted to cancel my contract or downsize. I cannot do either until I pay off my bill of &pound;165 and if I cancel they will charge another &pound;150. I'd be happy just for broadband as we have freeview too. I can then stream my films and stuff via Xbox and have good free channels. I will definitely consider moving to Sky when I can afford it. I hate Virgin...

16 December 2012
martin deakin

I've been with Virgin/NTL for years and eventually dropped the TV... It was never very good compared to my friend's Sky packages and the set top boxes are well known for there infuriating problems. However, I have had very little reason to complain about their broadband... sure it slows down at peak times but thats not unique to Virgin. I now have Sky TV and Virgin for broadband... best of both worlds!!!

11 December 2012
Mr Sky

Just to clarify one big point with the movies - it is NOT a 12 month contract, it is a 31 day rolling contract which can be cancelled at any time. I know this as I work for Sky in sales.

Also, Sky's standard broadband is up to 20Mb!

The fibre broadband is up to 40Mb download and 2Mb upload for &pound;20pm or up to 60Mb download and 17Mb upload for &pound;30pm.

They DO NOT use traffic management, Virgin and BT do.

Call before 11pm and you will speak to a UK agent.

Virgin must have a very high churn rate as most customers I speak with on a daily basis want to leave Virgin and regret leaving Sky.

11 December 2012
Choose team


Thanks for your useful comments - it's always interesting and useful to hear different sides of the story.

Thanks for spotting the mistake on the Sky Movies minimum term - you're right the Sky site does say you can call them at least 31 days before the end of the initial six month period to avoid paying &pound;16 a month for Sky Movies - we'll make sure we correct that in the article above.

It is worth saying though, that as we generally list offers for new Sky customers, anyone joining Sky TV as a new customer will be subject to a 12 month minimum contract.

In terms of the speeds we list for Sky broadband however, while you are right theoretically, from April 2012 new guidelines released by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) means that ISPs can only advertise 'up to' speeds that at least 10% of the provider's customers can actually achieve on average. For Sky's 20Mb deal, this is 14Mb.

You can read more on the way CAP's new guidelines have changed the way speeds are allowed to be advertised <a href=";cuid=2412393" rel="nofollow noopener" title="/media/guide/features/broadband-speed-advertising-explanation.html">here</a>.

29 November 2012
Paul Thompson

I was a customer of Sky for about 3 years. Worst experience I have ever had, customer service was a joke. Unhelpful and don't know how to communicate to a customer. I've been with Virgin Media for years and years. Customer service is in my opinion excellent (except if you phone at an unreasonable hour and get a call centre in South Africa. My only gripe). I have the Tivo 1TB and had it for years, I was one of the first customers to get it. I love it and if I had to choose between Tivo and Sky+HD the Tivo would win hands down. The Internet is nice and fast, never a problem and mobile phone deals for customers are chirpy chirpy cheep. Virgin Media all the way. I phoned them today to get other offers (as I've been out of contract for 13 months now), they reduced my bill by &pound;20pm. Winner!!!!!

18 November 2012

I love Tivo, but the phone and broadband services with Virgin are awful. I suffered months of problems before I decided to ditch them after poor customer service. Sky has been stable and dependable. Why have a Rolls Royce in the garage if it doesn't work.

10 November 2012

All I want to do is to get rid of my Virgin telephone line. Have the XL package for Virgin Broadband and TV package. Can I do this? Will I save any money? I would go back to Sky but I would need a BT line and that costs a lot.

10 November 2012
Choose team

You can get Virgin broadband and TV without a phone line, it is cheaper overall but not by as much as you'd expect as the price of broadband rises slightly without a Virgin phone line.

For example, <a href=";cuid=2412393" rel="nofollow noopener" title="/media/broadband/reviews/virgin-media/">currently the cost of Virgin</a> 60Mb broadband without a phone line is &pound;9 more than if you take a Virgin phone line for &pound;13.90, so the saving of not having a phone line is only &pound;4.90.

30 October 2012
Hue Jardon

I have two standard Sky boxes in our bedrooms and noted on Sky's website that they were offering new customers Sky HD boxes, with a multi-room package. I was going to switch to Virgin, as they were offering HD boxes, as I have a Sky+HD box in the lounge and wanted HD boxes in the bedrooms, as the picture quality on the standard boxes is very poor. I contacted Sky and asked if I could upgrade my standard boxes to HD boxes. They informed me that this offer was only for new customers, which it did not say on the website. Anyway, I informed Sky that I would cancel if I could not upgrade, as I have been a loyal customer for many years. They offered me a 250GB Sky+HD box in one of the bedrooms, free installation and no additional cost to my monthly charge. Very happy. Paying &pound;71 a month for two 250GB HD boxes, one standard box, World Package plus ESPN. Very happy indeed and customer service has always been excellent. Virgin is rubbish in comparison and I would never go back to Branson... !!!!

11 October 2012

Sky is very slow compared to my 120Mbs, it could not even catch up to at least a third of my speed. Sorry Virgin wins.

26 August 2012

My 12 months contract with Sky is coming to an end and I was tempted by Virgin's new TiVo offer. Reading this has confirmed that Sky has more channels and is a bit cheaper... I already have Sky Unlimited and it is fast enough for my usage so I vote Sky my winner.

Thanks for the help xx

17 August 2012

I'm with Sky but have just bought a 3D smart TV which won't work on the 2.47Mbps I get. Now I am thinking of going over to Virgin, I phoned them and asked what their fair use policy was and they told me 7.5GB a day. How do I find out how much I use?

17 August 2012
Choose team

We've an article on broadband usage that offers some information on different types of Internet use and how much data they use, it's available <a href=";cuid=2412393" rel="nofollow noopener" title="/media/guide/faqs/how-much-broadband-usage-allowance.html">here</a>.

In addition, we also have another article that provides a short review of broadband usage monitoring tools, which might be worth a look too: <a href=";cuid=2412393" rel="nofollow noopener" title="/media/guide/features/monitor-broadband-usage-data.html">which is here</a>.

29 July 2012

Virgin's customer service is non-existent, and I've already had to phone them more times in a year than I ever called Sky (and we're into double figures I'm sure).

The service is terrible as well, drop outs, signal loss, throttling the speed and the prices are being hiked as well, so this "double broadband speed" isn't free at all as they'd have you believe.

Sky were mostly fine but expensive, and you lose signal in storms but I guess you get what you pay for. O2 were much better with broadband but unfortunately don't do high speed internet in my area. At least I'd recommend them though. Virgin are the worst by a mile, if only we could all afford to leave for better services I doubt they'd last long.

9 May 2012

I have just moved into my first flat with my girlfriend and we are getting Virgin installed on 15th May.

The package deal as a new customer that I chose was:
TV XL (175 channels with 23 HD channels, broadband XL 60Mb with free Superhub modem/router, Tivo 500GB box, additional VHD Box, phone M with free evening calls and free 0845 dialling for 3 months. The price that I'll be paying is &pound;36.40 (half price for 6 months), then after 6 months it is &pound;58.90, hope I'll have a pay rise at work by then!!! It's all free installation and free HD activation under an 18 month contract.

Is this a good deal... even after the 6 months when it doubles in price?

Would love to get your opinions, my mum has been on Virgin for years and never had any major problems but I've read some reviews and it's got me thinking if Virgin is worth it or shall I look into Sky/BT/Plusnet...


4 May 2012

Don't bother with Virgin Media unless you like super high prices (I pay over &pound;100 p.m), granted I have all the sports and movie packages but that is shockingly high. Also if you decide to talk to customer services expect on average a 30 minute wait to speak to a human albeit a call centre abroad.

Also there is the famous drop out in connection with broadband which is frequent and (2 times already this week for me) which can last up to 8 hours. Rubbish over priced unhelpful service. I live in a block of flats and I'm restricted from having a Sky dish or I would have left the rubbish that is Virgin Media years ago.

15 April 2012

Been with Sky and Virgin Media...

Had the Sky+ box for a few years and had no problems, then we upgraded to Sky+ HD and still had no problems. We had been Sky customers for 5 years.

Then we had seen the advert of Virgin's TiVo service and switched. As we were loyal Sky customers they sent post with special deals and limited time offers to come back to them. We got the 500GB box with the free installation and it was fine for two months and then there was an extra &pound;49.50 showing on the bill along side the TV XL price charge (&pound;23.00). I straight away cancelled the payments and wished I took advantage of Sky's offers. Virgin cut all channels off and a little box popped up and said please insert the new smart card. It wouldn't remove off the screen. We rang Virgin and they said they won't do anything without an active subscription.

If you want the winner it's Sky without any doubt. If you want Virgin's TiVo service of which I think deserves to be called the 500GB Homemade Service and hidden charges, think twice. Don't fall for the recording flexibility or iPlayer app or the on demand. With Sky you have Sky Player and Sky go. What happened there Virgin? If their service was that good why would you need Sky 1 &amp; 2 and stuff that Sky own, how about having your own TV channels 'to die for'. Doesn't really leave Sky+ looking like what ever you say about them.

Want real TV! Sky believe in better!!

3 July 2015
Mick Stevens

&pound;49.50 would have been the one off Tivo set up fee clearly explained in the T&amp;C's and by the sales agent who would also have told you that this fee would not be deducted from your first bill. Hardly a hidden charge.

8 April 2012

I've been with Sky for 7 years (all channels), BT (all calls free for &pound;4.95 p/m) and TalkTalk.

I'm moving to Virgin Media next weekend - good deal for 1TB tivo box, and even when paying full whack after 6 months (is half price for the first 6 months), it will still be cheaper than what I'm paying 3 separate providers for less service. Broadband will be an amazing 100Mb.

My main reason for posting is that Sky confimed to me today that they will be offering fibre optic broadband shortly (by the end of the month they told me) via their relationship with BT - you will need to be able to access BT Infinity in your area to take advantage of this. Unfortunately, my area is not yet enabled so it's no good to me - if it had been, I may have stayed...

21 February 2012
Easy PC Advice

I have had both and as many of you have said, the customer service is very poor. Sky's broadband speeds were below 1Mb and I never received 'Anytime' and phoned up on numerous occasions with no resolution unless I wanted to pay for the call out.

I'm now with Virgin as our house has no BT line and broadband is 30Mb, soon to be doubled to 60Mb for free. However, the TV V+ box is so slow and not a patch on Sky. Recording a series on Virgin is a pain if the times change as Virgin doesn't keep up with the changes whereas Sky did.

I also don't like the price hikes from Virgin that we're seeing lately and as there is nowhere else to go they know they have you over a barrel.

I have heard that Sky will soon be using Virgin's cable so if this is true I am back to Sky with a flash to get great broadband speeds and great TV again.

18 February 2012

We've been with Sky and Virgin well over ten years: Sky for TV only, Virgin for phone and broadband. We wanted HD and the same channels in the bedroom but we weren't pleased at the extra monthly cost of multiroom, etc.

For me broadband is more important than the TV, so Virgin wins for us. Cable broadband wins everytime over ADSL, no third party payments to BT for one.

24 January 2012

I wish Sky would give older customers a free Sky plus box. I have the old style standard box and they are now out of date so I reckon that if you have been with Sky for a few years they should let you have a new Sky plus box free of charge. I have had problems with my Sky box as this is the second box and I have some channels pixelating so should I ring Sky up to say this is happening and ask if it's possible for them to give me a free Sky plus box or should I say I'm going to Virgin?

5 January 2014

My god call them and say 'I want!' Not 'can I have?' Talking to a Sky salesmans today and he told me they are more interested in keeping their customers happy and staying with Sky, he said in confidence that you can pretty much get what you want to a degree. Just call and tell them what you want or you're off to Virgin! That'll get them.

18 January 2012
Craig Eccleston

I can honestly say that I have had enough of Sky. Not because of the choice of channels or HD which are both are excellent. No I am thinking of leaving because for the second time (first Sky+ box, now Sky HD box) the box has gone faulty just outside of the warranty period. Surprise surprise!! Luckily I had just taken out insurance but it's annoying that for a service that is not cheap anyway I am having to pay even more to insure a box that is useless without Sky. Very frustrated and I feel that existing customers don't get any loyalty benefits. Only problem is Virgin is more expensive for the same level of package i.e. all channels including sports and movies.

16 January 2012

I have been with Sky now for almost 15 years, I have always had the full package and I must say that up to now I have been pretty pleased with the service. One thing that really stinks though, is the fact they expect you to insure a box that provides a subscription service?? You can get away without paying this by the way! Anyway, as a long standing customer, I received a discount and was paying &pound;80 a month for full package including ESPN, HD and unlimited anytime call package which was ok... but to be honest I started to get frustrated with the slow internet speeds compared to Virgin and the fact you could only record a channel while watching another, I paid &pound;60 for an anytime + wireless connector to realise it was the same service I was already getting on my pc?!, compared to Virgin, the on demand service is prehistoric!... To cut a long story short, Virgin Media wanted &pound;86 a month for faster broadband in exchange for less channels, less HD channels and no movie channels... lol... so in the end I was unhappy with both and now have neither... lol.

16 January 2012

I use Virgin Media at the weekends at my partner's, and although I think the new Tivo box is excellent and the broadband faster, I can't see the point in changing over when I would be losing all the movie channels, lots of HD channels, lots of channels in general and still pay more a month, just because of this new Tivo box... lol... surely Virgin should have kept their prices the same, then they would have converted so many Sky customers... what's the point in bringing out a new box (which is better) but to then charge a lot more for it?... back to the drawing board Virgin, you still don't convince me to change over.

8 January 2012

I've been with Sky a number of years, changed after cable got too expensive and got a lot less. I've been thinking of changing to Virgin after major problems with broadband and phone line, haven't got the problem sorted as of yet... just compared to Virgin's &pound;103... I think we will be staying with Sky.

5 January 2012

Was with Sky for 12 years. Moved to Virgin, for better; customer service, quicker broadband, no interruption on channels in bad weather, free HD channels and much much better interface!

3 January 2012

&amp;gt; The only other broadband package in the UK to offer truly unlimited downloads is, funnily enough, Virgin Media's size XXL 50Mbps broadband

Is this still applicable? I checked their website and they have a fair usage policy on the 50Mb package too. Or am I missing something?

3 January 2012
Choose team

Hi Ann,

You're right - VM did change their fair use policy on XXL, but they only restrict uploads when users upload more than 6GB between 3pm and 8pm. Downloads aren't affected (apart from P2P and newsgroup traffic). We've covered this more in our <a href=";cuid=2412393" rel="nofollow noopener" title="/media/guide/features/virgin-media-xxl-broadband-50mb.html">XXL review</a> here.

23 December 2011

We had freeview and BT broadband, but when we moved we got a Sky package. I have to say its great, we have all the kids channels for a &pound;1.00, and the Sky Sports package, more channels than we could ever watch and I have recorded so many movies for the kids it's great (only BBC so no adverts).

When I've had a problem, twice in one year it was dealt with really quickly and the second time someone online sorted it out for me... no probs at all! We did have free broadband but exceeded the 2GB download twice in 6 months and to be honest I have no idea what any of that means, but now we pay &pound;7.25 for unlimited usage, super fast broadband... its all good! I wouldn't change to someone else!

20 December 2011

I have Virgin Media, and my family all use it. They give really good deals when your 12 months run out and also if you do want to change your package in the 12 months you can either upgrade or get a cheaper deal by entering a new 12 month contract.

We have had hardly any problems with our service. Customer service can be good and bad, at times you can be waiting a while but the call is free and so it doesn't really bother us. If you want really good customer service when you call them select disconnections from the options and you get their call centre in Swansea. They also have more power to change your package as its their job to "keep their customers".

Broadband has a fair usage policy, but after 12am it doesn't start again until 10am in the morning, so if you're downloading big files save it until the night time.

Virgin Media big recommendation.

18 November 2011

Having been with both I can honestly put it down to whether sport or broadband is more important to you. If it's sport, then Sky wins hands down, their system is far superior.

However I am a sports fan but also value good quality broadband with good online support. In my area, Sky's broadband is archaic (by comparison) and Virgin's antivirus and online support is very good. Download speeds are consistent and efficient for example.

So I stick with Virgin despite the gremlins in the box that sometimes switches itself off and is sooo slow. You pay your money and take your choice, if you want a computer just for basic stuff then go to Sky. Otherwise it's Virgin for me.

3 November 2011

I'm just about to move from Virgin to Sky. My only reason is Sky Go which will allow me to watch LFC when I'm on my travels. Just a pity Virgin don't offer something similar.

27 October 2011

I'm getting Virgin Media TV XL, Broadband L, Phone M with free installation, Tivo box and multi-room box for &pound;41 per month. Called Sky and for them to match the deal was &pound;25 a month more as there is a HD charge of &pound;10.25 and multi-room of &pound;10.25. (Besides, Tivo can record 3 channels at the same time). Although Sky have more channels than Virgin, Virgin have all the channels we watch as a family.

18 October 2011

Not all customers can get Sky Unlimited - they have to have Sky Connect which at times is slow - evening speeds can reach the dizzy heights of less than 1Mb - and is theoretically capped at 40GB a month. Sky will not give any indication of when they will migrate my exchange and we are in a large metropolitan area!

Had Virgin previously and although traffic managed in the evening it was never so slow as Sky Connect. Can't wait for the 12 month contract to end so I can move.

14 October 2011

I've been with Sky for 10 years for TV and love it.

However, I'm thinking of changing to Virgin simply for their internet as we're with Orange which has appalling speeds. Totally agree with the offshore call center comments for Virgin, they seem to answer questions with completely irrelevant scripted responses.

Is it worth changing everything to Virgin to have quicker internet and save a tenner but lose my Sky telly, movies and customer service?

9 October 2011

I had been with Sky for 5 years and never had any problems until my router went down. After 7 weeks of the same old runaround from people all trying to tell me the problem was BT or the cables in my house I finally convinced Sky it was a router problem. Sky then charged me for a replacement router. I moved to Virgin now have 20 meg speed, all the TV I need and free anytime phone calls.

As of yet I have had no problems and am very pleased with Virgin. Sky lost a customer due to the lack of broadband customer service not because of their TV service, which is far superior to anything else currently on the market.

5 October 2011

I have been a customer of both and can honestly say I prefer Virgin (although I haven't experienced the Sky's new box or Anytime+ TV...) I have just ordered two 500mb Tivo boxes and moving the V+ to childs room - 10mb broadband and talk unlimited all for &pound;72 which is a good deal but then Sky offered me a similar deal - a 1tb box, Sky+ HD box &amp; a standard box, 20mb broadband and unlimited phone for &pound;66! Now I'm totally confused as they were telling me the Tivo boxes are all going wrong - I don't know which way to go!

4 October 2011
Gavin Johnson

I subscribed to Sky for years and then moved to a cabled area so picked up with Virgin.

Both companies are brilliant when you sign up and from then on it's purely a matter of your own experiences and frustration levels!

With two companies in the market they can, and do, behave with more arrogance and indifference than banks. Like the banks they know they have a service we all "need" and with only two companies they know there's nowhere else to go!

28 September 2011

If you're with Sky and have been with them for 12 months, it is quite possible they will offer you a sizeable discount to stay with them. We got a 25% discount and a friend of ours got half price for the next 12 months, and on a month to month contract so if still not happy, you can just cancel and go elsewhere. Seems Sky are big on rewarding loyal customers.

We have had no problems with Sky, other than extreme weather we lose a lot of channels, broadband is the best we have ever had at a good speed for what we use it for, and have found that the customer service has been the best out of all off our previous, BT-talktalk among others. From the sound of it Virgin do not rate too good on this. Not tempting enough yet Virgin...

22 September 2011

I am a Virgin Broadband user but we are 'beyond cable' so I get connection through my BT line - connection has been painfully slow lately so have been looking at deals/options and found this site really informative.

13 September 2011
Lindsay Eaton

I have experienced both services and although Sky TV is a far better package its just too expensive! After years of trying the different providers (often tied in for 1 or 2 years) I decided to try an internet based satellite tv provider, which was perfect for me.

10 September 2011

Sky, Virgin and Plusnet all have atrocious customer service and in my experience will deliberately throttle your broadband speed and even begin to drop your connection once they cotton on that you're a persistent heavy user. Appalling practice by these ISP's and I suspect others too. OFCOM should really regulate this but I suspect it never will.

31 August 2011
Virgin Sucks

Virgin was working okay for us until a few weeks ago. Now it continuously disconnects despite excellent signals and no apparent modem issues and it often stays off for an inordinate amount of time. We're getting a technician to come in just to rule out the possibility of modem damage but they might charge us for it even if it's not our fault. Virgin's service, which was once okay, is now really starting to annoy us. Is Sky any better when it comes to internet connectivity (factoring in more than just speed)?

29 August 2011
Graham Eldridge

I am currently a Sky customer, but I am considering moving my broadband and phone to Virgin. However, the Sky HD box has a phone connection which it seems to deem important. Will this cause a problem if my phone connection is with Virgin?

Also, one of the advantages I assumed that I would get with Virgin is that I could save the &pound;11 per month BT line rental. In your comparison you retained it so that the comparison was "like for like". That would indicate there is a benefit in keeping it. Is there? If so, what is it.

29 August 2011
Choose team

Sky say that taking broadband and line rental from another provider shouldn't be a problem and we haven't seen evidence to the contrary.

The other benefit which led us including VM line rental above is that some people like having a home phone! If you don't you can see deals from VM and others in our <a href=";cuid=2412393" rel="nofollow noopener" title="/media/guide/features/new-phone-line-installation.html">broadband without a phone line</a> guide.

27 August 2011

If the service is that bad Janni, and they messed up the billing too, then file a complaint with trading standards. They'll jump quicker than a frog dropped into hot water to get you sorted.

15 August 2011

I am having big problems with Virgin Media! I can't wait for my contract to end, I never get the speed I paid for, customer service is rubbish! They actually lied to me about my package (hidden charges) and I found out after the money was taken out of my account.

I have 10 more months to go and I am already sick and tired of them, first 2 months they'll give you good services and then its a nightmare! Does anyone know how to get rid of it? I don't want to spend a single day more with Virgin Media but at the same time I would not want to spoil my credit history!

9 August 2011

I've always been with Sky growing up (apart from a short stint with cable and wireless before they went bust). I've tried things like BT vision etc when I moved into a block of flats that couldn't get a dish on top but I'm always disappointed.

Now I don't want or need a phone line, I use mobile broadband at the moment (but I am considering getting broadband because I'm sure it's much cheaper) and I want Sky. Is there anyway at all to get Sky without having to get a landline and pay for installation of a service I will never use in my entire lifetime? Thanks.

9 August 2011
Choose team

There's no way to get Sky broadband without paying line rental somewhere along the line because it's an ADSL service, meaning it needs an active phone line to work. If you want to stick with mobile broadband, you can have Sky TV installed without a landline but you'll have to pay a &pound;25 'manual enablement' fee.

8 August 2011

I've had mates give up on Sky and just go Freeview because the customer service was beyond abominable.

They'd previously had Virgin Media, as we do, but had moved to an un-cabled new-build. At the time, they didn't much enjoy the scripted repetition of the Virgin Media oversees-based customer service, but at least someone answered the calls and eventually exchange problems would be sorted.

With Sky, they felt they'd bought a pig in a poke and had been abandoned and left to get on with it, so they'd rather spend next to nothing on a cheap phone line and broadband and Freeview and just buy/rent DVDs and box sets and save in the region of &pound;20/&pound;30 a month. They don't have the same choice, but they don't have the hassle either.

We use Virgin Media still and I get narked when the exchange goes down (I live in a block, so it's obvious it's the exchange when we're all down) and the scripted 'helpers' on the other end drag you through the same old, 'Unplug the modem' script when really, they should just get on the blower to the East End exchange and let them know there's a problem, but I've found that by getting on Twitter (on my iphone when the lines are down) and tweeting @virginmedia you get a far better service as these guys speak English, they apologise for the inconvenience to you and they are active in trying to sort things out - a better class of customer service and that's why I'm staying with Virgin Media. I'm also now very reluctant to part with dosh to fund the Murdoch Empire.

6 August 2011

Well for us it's turned out to be Virgin. We don't live in the back of beyond and our telephone exchange is only 4 km from us but Sky couldn't give us faster than 1.4 meg!! Now have 50meg Virgin broadband TiVo XL pack espn for free, hd for the 1 off payment and economy talk anytime, all for &pound;65 a month. Interestingly the TiVo has its own dedicated 10 meg broadband so as not to use any of the 50 meg.

5 August 2011
Luke Durman

Okay, you want to know my experiences. Yes, sky is truly unlimited and when it works fantastic, but when it's down good luck getting through to decent customer service, shockingly bad for a big company.

Virgin seem to have the better anytime TV package as they have TiVo, iPlayer, 4od all that on your box whereas for Sky we had to pay an extra &pound;65 for the anytime+ box.

So if you're thinking of Sky, think again if you want decent customer service.

4 August 2011

I have some comments not really referenced here. Sky or Virgin? Well with Sky you actually own the box (12 month warranty then unless you insure - your problem!) plus if you decide to leave you're stuck with a box that is no use to you. With Virgin, you are renting the box. If it breaks, no matter how old, they will replace it. I'm currently with Virgin and happy enough to stay for now. Got a good deal on a sizeable package. Yes, the TV and wireless boxes have been known to freeze and need a reboot but other than that not bad. What is really annoying is the + recording. Our box keeps cutting off the end of programmes. We have it set for the max over run but still no good. Then again the Sky box used to do the same. Anyone on here had the problem and got it fixed?

18 July 2011

I use Sky for my TV and Virgin for my Broadband. I have found that Virgin gives a damn near 20Mbps which is what I pay for. Now with this TiVo system coming online now and 50Mbps with the XXL package I might move for TV too.

14 July 2011
Graham Hurley

I am trying to get a TV only package and decided to compare Sky against Virgin. I got on the Sky website first and chose to speak to the online help. They were very helpful in helping me sort out a package and also it was easy to find the extra free to air channels listed on the website.

Virgin's website was entirely different. I was able to establish I could get a TV only package but nowhere could I find a list of any additional free channels provided. And a call to their call centre resulted in being told the 65 channels listed on the site were the ONLY channels that you get. No mention of the radio channels etc.

So well done SKY you get my money.

21 April 2011

"The only other broadband package in the UK to offer truly unlimited downloads is, funnily enough, Virgin Media's size XXL 50Mbps broadband."

Wrong, wrong wrong.
BE Broadband offers a true unlimited service and a much, much better customer service to in my experience.

21 April 2011
Choose team

It's true! To clarify: by 'truly unlimited' we mean no fair use policy in place. But you're right that Be broadband have an excellent reputation in this area - in fact, we say so in our <a href=";cuid=2412393" rel="nofollow noopener" title="/media/guide/features/broadband-fair-use-policies.html">fair use policy guide</a>.

[Ed: Note since this comment was published, <a href=";cuid=2412393" rel="nofollow noopener" title="/media/broadband/reviews/o2/">O2</a> now also offer truly unlimited downloads. However, <a href=";cuid=2412393" rel="nofollow noopener" title="/media/broadband/reviews/be/">BE</a> still have a <em>very fair</em> use policy in place on their unlimited deals (their own words!)]

19 April 2011

With Sky packages you have to pay line rental on top, don't you?

19 April 2011
Choose team

Yes, you have to get Sky line rental with all their broadband deals and it's [Ed: now &pound;14.50] a month. Virgin Media do offer broadband without line rental but we've included it in the tables above to compare like-with-like.

Note also that without home phone Virgin broadband and TV gets more expensive - our <a href=";cuid=2412393" rel="nofollow noopener" title="/media/broadband/reviews/virgin-media/">Virgin Media deals</a> page (click the 'line rental' column to sort) has more details.

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