Digital TV in Ireland
Digital TV packages are made up of groups of channels offered by TV providers, usually for a fixed monthly subscription fee.
Usually TV plans will include:
- A selection of channels - usually including cable, satellite and terrestrial.
- A TV box, with a range of features, like the ability to pause, rewind and record TV.
- On-demand content and access to apps.
- The option to add on extras like Sky Sports or Sky Cinema.
You might want to opt for a TV-only deal if the broadband provider you go for doesn’t offer TV, or doesn’t have the kind of TV plan or channels that you want.
TV providers in Ireland
There are four main digital TV providers in Ireland. They are:
- Virgin Media
The plan you get will depend on your needs and your household’s viewing habits.
Most popular TV packages and providers
- eir vision TV is only available when you bundle it with broadband and phone, so it will suit you if you’re happy to get all of your services from the same provider. The good news is, if you do opt for an eir broadband and TV plan, you’ll get the eir Sport pack included for free, and you can watch it through your eir Vision TV box.
- With exclusive channels like Sky Atlantic, the Sky Q 1TB box as standard, and access to the Sky Go app, Sky TV is one the most popular options for TV fans.
- Virgin TV is another popular option. It’s available as a standalone TV package, or you can opt to bundle a Virgin Media TV deal with broadband. Virgin Media also offers a contract-free TV package, called Freedom TV which could work well for students, or people in short-term accommodation.
- Vodafone TV is only available when you bundle it with broadband. Customers can opt for a broadband and TV package, or one which also includes home phone.
How do I choose a TV package? What should I think about?
If you want a basic TV package, take a look at the TV deals available from the main Irish providers and see if one might suit you. Have a think about what’s important to you - if you want entertainment channels, compare channel lists across all providers and make sure the TV plan you choose has the channels you want.
If you want to add on Sky Cinema or Sky Sports, check out the cost of adding these on to your chosen package before signing up. Sky Cinema has 11 movie channels, and a new film premiere every day, while Sky Sports comes with 8 sports channels, including Sky Sports Football, Sky Sports Golf, and Sky Sports F1.
Remember that if you sign up to an eir broadband plan, you’ll get the eir Sport pack completely free, so this could be a way to save, compared to opting for Sky Sports. With the eir Sport pack, you’ll get access to eir Sport 1 & 2, 4 BT Sport channels and Box Nation.
When you’re comparing deals, think about:
- What your budget is - it’s good to have an idea of this before you start comparing TV deals, so you can keep it in mind.
- Whether you want multiroom - this can be important if you live in a large household and people don’t often agree on what to watch!
- If you want to bundle your TV with broadband and/phone, or are happy with a standalone plan.
- What channels are important to you - not all providers offer the same channels with their plans, so make sure the plan you choose has the ones you want.
You should also think about any add-ons you might want, like Sky Cinema, Sky Sports, or additional HD channels, and remember that these will more than likely mean an increase in your monthly cost.
How do I bundle? Can I get broadband and phone with my TV package?
If you need broadband in addition to your TV plan, think about bundling them up and getting them both from the same provider - this could save you money in the long-run.
TV & Broadband packages
Some providers actually only offer TV as part of a broadband and TV bundle, so if you do need both services, you will have more plans to choose from.
TV, Broadband & Phone
If you use your home phone and want to hang onto this, you can do so by going for a broadband, TV and phone package. Again, these packages are offered by eir, Sky, Virgin Media and Vodafone, so you’ll have a lot of choice. Remember to compare all aspects of the deal - including broadband speed, the number of channels you get, and the calls package that’s included - before choosing one.