Cable TV, satellite TV and digital TV packages Top Up TV Anytime
Basic cost £39.99 one-off cost for equipment plus £20 connection fee and £7 a month for the cheapest viewing pack.
Pros No minimum contract period and access to premium content.
Cons No pay-as-you-go option, only pay monthly.
What is Top Up TV Anytime?
Top Up TV Anytime is a good choice if you want a bit more than what’s on offer with Freesat and Freeview, but don't want to be tied in to a long contract.
You buy a Top Up TV Freeview+ box, which gives you access to all Freeview channels. You must then buy at least one viewing pack. Sport fans can add Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports 2 or ESPN and film fans can add PictureBox.
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Top Up TV Anytime TV viewing packs
Top Up TV Anytime offers its additional content in three viewing packs. You must subscribe to at least one pack and you get discounts on the overall price if you subscribe to more than one.
The TV Favourites pack features more than 700 programmes a month, taken from a range of extra channels you'd normally have to pay a subscription fee to view, including G.O.L.D, Discovery, National Geographic, British Eurosport, TCM and Cartoon Network. The pack includes shows such as Life on Mars, Little Britain, Lost, Law & Order, Frasier and Sex and the City.
This viewing pack offers more than 28 films a month, from action to comedy and everything in between. You can choose from seven at any one time.
Sky Sports 1 & Sky Sports 2
These packs are only available separately and not as a Sky Sports bundle.
Sports fans can add ESPN to their Top Up TV subscription. ESPN shows games from the Barclays Premier League as well as other European games.
If you want ESPN on Freeview but aren’t interested in Top Up TV Anytime’s other content, you can buy a compatible set-top box, PVR or TV with built in Freeview, and add ESPN via Top Up TV. To do this, you’ll need to make sure the equipment you buy has a viewing card slot.
For more information on getting ESPN on Freeview, see the .
Top Up TV Anytime package costs
TV Favourites costs £11.99 on its own. If you don’t want the TV Favourites pack, you can subscribe to ESPN only (also available on Freeview) for £9.99 a month. Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 each cost £19.99 a month while Picture Box is the cheapest viewing pack, at a cost of £7 a month.
If you take more than one pack you may get a discount on the standalone cost. For example if you combine TV favourites with ESPN, it costs £19.99 a month. ESPN and Picture Box can also be combined without TV Favourites, for a total monthly cost of £14.99.
All five services can be bundled together for £54.98 a month, but if you’re prepared to pay this much, you could be better off getting a basic Sky or Virgin package with Sky Sports 1 or 2.
Whichever package you choose, you get the first month's viewing free of charge and you can cancel any of the services with a month's notice as you're not tied in to a contract.
Top Up TV Anytime equipment
To access Top Up TV Anytime, you need to buy a Top Up TV Freeview+ box. The box gives you access to the Freeview service and is a personal video recorder (PVR), which allows you to record Freeview programmes.
If you subscribe to the TV Favourites pack, programmes will be downloaded from the additional channels overnight so that you can watch them at a time that’s convenient for you.
New customers can choose from a basic box with 120 hours of recording space, or upgrade to a box with 250 or 320 hours of recording space. There's a one-off £20 connection fee. Cheaper, reconditioned versions of the set-top boxes are also available.
Need help finding the right equipment? For advice and to see how the latest models rated in our tests check out the Which? PVR review.