After nearly 14 years as a Sky customer, I’ve just cancelled. I’ve only ever been on the basic Sky+ package but at nearly £30 a month – and with regular price hikes – it began to feel like an albatross around my neck.
The problem was, I couldn’t get rid of it because my kids wanted to watch channels like Disney and my husband wanted Eurosport. How could I save cash but keep everyone happy?
When I first got Sky, the world was a different place with painfully slow dial-up internet and buffering videos, so watching via a satellite made complete sense. But now we have super-fast fibre internet at home and watching video is no longer a tedious experience.
What’s the best way to watch TV with the family?
Sites such as YouTube have become a great place to catch up on old TV shows and all sorts of videos. But for me, TV should be about relaxing together as a family around a big screen.
This led me to experiment with devices such as the Google Chromecast and Apple TV which can send whatever you’re watching on your computer, phone or tablet, and see them on your TV. These worked fine but I felt the content was limited, – although they do offer apps such as Netflix.
What I was after was a way to watch just the channels my family love at the cheapest price. Sky seems to have gone down the opposite route, offering me more and more channels, box sets, on-the-move TV etc.
Can you have too much TV choice?
Sky is Britain’s biggest pay TV provider with lots of TV options, the widest choice of TV channels and HD channels, from sports including Premier League matches, to the latest blockbusters from Sky Movies, plus catch-up and on-demand TV content.
But it became like how I now feel going into a Tesco hypermarket after discovering the joys of Aldi. There’s just too much choice and it feels like an irritation rather than a benefit.
Ironically it was Sky’s NOWTV service that led me to leave the Sky mothership. It offered me the Disney Channel – meaning happy children! And, for less money than I was paying before, I could now also subscribe to its movie option so we can have as many family movie nights as we want rather than constantly buying DVDs.
I teamed it up with a FreeSat box and, voila, I was free!
But a month or so in, I spotted an email from my broadband provider Plusnet. It seemed to suit my needs more perfectly – Disney Channel and Eurosport (I’d had to pay for a subscription directly from it when I was with NOWTV).
Plus my nine-year-old daughter can now record any programmes she wants. She’s no child of the 1970s like me, happy to wait for the programme to be shown when the TV scheduler decides. She wants to watch what she wants when she wants so her limited tv-viewing time is used to maximum effect.
I’ve only just signed up, so it will be interesting to see how it works out in practice.
Do you think Sky is worth the cost? Have you been able to get the perfect mix of channels for the cheapest price?