With a huge selection of entertainment, movie and sports channels to choose from, it's easy to see why Sky TV is so popular. But the prices for a full Sky subscription can be eye-watering.
While the lure of shows such as Succession, Mare of Easttown and Lovecraft Country can be appealing, the thought of being tied in to an expensive contract can feel off-putting. The good news is you don't have to take out a long Sky subscription to watch Sky channels.
Read on for more information on TV services that will let you watch Sky TV without a Sky subscription, including Now TV, Virgin Media and TalkTalk.
Now (formerly known as Now TV) is an internet TV streaming service powered by Sky. It offers live streaming and on-demand content from popular Sky channels - so, you can watch Sky shows as they're going out live, or catch up on them at a later date.
Crucially, you don't have to be a Sky subscriber to use Now TV. Instead you simply buy 'passes' for a day or month to access the channels that you want. When your monthly pass expires, it rolls over until you cancel, but you can do this at any time. See how Now compares to popular streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, using our .
Streaming services broadcast over the internet, so you don't need a satellite dish to watch Now (though you do need a broadband connection of at least 2.5Mbps or a mobile signal of 180Kbps if you plan to watch using 3G or 4G).
One of the easiest, cheapest ways to watch Now content is to buy a dedicated , which can cost as little as £15. This may even include a trial of free passes to watch the content, which in effect pays for the cost of the stick itself.
A YouTube box will also give you access to the Now app - or you can install the app on a tablet, smartphone or PC.
To do this, you add a 'bolt on' to your existing pay TV service. For example, BT's TV service now lets you add Now passes to your broadband deal, so you can access channels such as Sky Atlantic or Sky Cinema. You'll have to commit to a 24 month contract, but you can change which pass you have each month.
If a friend or family member already subscribes to Sky, then you can register as a secondary user and still watch Sky shows.
Now (see above), for example, allows you to register up to four compatible devices (such as a Now stick, a laptop, or a tablet). The service lets you watch programmes on two devices at the same time, so four members of an extended family won't all be able to tune into Succession simultaneously on different devices.
Alternatively, Sky Go is a streaming service that allows Sky subscribers to watch programmes away from the home. This lets Sky customers register two devices (or four, if you pay more for Sky Go Extra).
In effect, this would let you log in to watch Sky programming if you used the account details of a family member who has a Sky subscription. However, users are meant to be part of the same household as the primary Sky account holder, according to Sky.
If you decide that none of the above options work for you, then one alternative is to stick with Freeview. It may not offer the same sports or movie range as Sky, but it still gives you a huge selection of channels for no cost at all (other than the charge for a TV licence).
With the addition of a Freeview PVR, you can pause, rewind and record live TV, as well as setting a planner and series-link. These are all features you would get with a Sky box. You won't, however, have access to the same sports, movies and entertainment channels. Head to our round-up of the to see which models impressed the experts in our lab.
If that's not enough for you, and you want even more channels, then Freesat offers more than 200 channels and on-demand TV from the likes of the BBC and ITV. To get it, you just need a Freesat box or a TV with Freesat built-in, plus a Freesat satellite dish. As with Freeview, there's no ongoing subscription cost. Read in depth reviews of all the latest models using our .