Digital TV. SKY , NTL or Freeview box?


Active Member
Wondered if anyone had any opinions on which to get. Has anyone swopped from one to the other? As I see it, for my needs, NTL is £26per month (installation £25) with line rental, Sky is £16per month (installation is £100)+ BT line rental at £10, so after installation there's nothing in it cost wise. Freeview is tempting but I have heard things about poor picture quality. Guess it depends on reception. Have things improved since ITV digital which I saw, it suffered badly from compresssion artefacts?

I have heard negative comments about the NTL phoneline but the internet options seem reasonable and future proof.

I was a little put off to hear sound quality is worse (more compressed) than I get through my analogue ariel but i need cbeebies cause its costing me a fortune in videos without it. As always I expect its swings and roundabouts

No WAF for film/sport chanels :(

thanks in advance

Squirrel God

Originally posted by Wilf
Freeview is tempting but I have heard things about poor picture quality. Guess it depends on reception. Have things improved since ITV digital which I saw, it suffered badly from compresssion artefacts?
Picture quality on digital is not dependent on reception at all. Because it's digital you either get a picture or you don't. If you get a picture, then the quality of the image will be the same regardless (the only differentiator will be the quality of image your TV screen is able to display). If your reception is bad, then you will suffer from drop outs etc, but your signal strength or cabling would have to be very poor to get to that stage. The quality on most DTTV channels is very good IMO. Sound quality seems to vary considerably between channels. For both picture and sound quality, the BBC channels are the best to my eyes and ears.


Standard Member
I guess it depends what you want it for.
I have NTL digital and a Freeview box and they both have benefits and drawbacks.

DTTV is a much sharper, cleaner picture IMHO, and when I got it I was amazed at how much better it was than NTL.
However the channels are limited. The cost is very low though.

NTL will almost certainly screw up everything, including the installation and billing and it will take time to sort them out (3/4 installations i've been at have gone wrong in one way or another) . But with the new package soon to launch the range of channels for £26 is simply unbeatable. Once up and running NTL's cable modem service is flawless, phone service should be fine and the picture quality is ok, some things I've watched have been so compressed its unbelievable. But its not all bad and most of it is fine.

I've never used sky so I can't compare this.


Active Member

Have you found a way to combine/splice the two feeds together or do you have them on a switched feed?


Active Member
Thanks for the replies. I'm leaning towards DTTV but could go the NTL route for the extra channels/internet. Saw a review of a new Nokia DTTV box which looked sexy and apparently has very quick menu's. The sky box my friend has responded very slowly. Its not going to be the deciding factor but I hate menu's that react slowly.


Active Member
DTTV can look a lot better than Sky - especially with Sony IDTVs:p


yeah NTL cable modem is pretty good, had it for well over a year now although it can get a bit slow on sundays:D

as for the TV, yeah its okay, seem to be getting a lot more channels with new ones being added now and then.

as for picture, well its great on Sky sports+movies, okay on BBC/ITV and poor on some like E4, but I dont know if thats the same on Sat.

phone is the most reliable of the lot, not had a single problem, pay £8 on top a month for unlimted evening and weekend calls to landlines, this covers both lines :)


Active Member
I've got NTL Digital and DTT via a Pace DTVA box. I've got both the boxes into RGB capable scart switch. The quality of the picture on BBC channels is pretty much the same on both, which makes sense since NTL take their BBC feed from DTT, although saying that I think the picture is better on DTT because the box is newer but I wouldn't like to do a blind test. The interactive features on NTL are crap and the box is slow changing channels. The plan is to get rid of NTL because I think the hike to £26 a month from Jan 2003 is too much and i don't really watch the cable channels much.

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