Legacy TalkTalk TV subscribers have just one week left to swap their old TV Channel Boost to a NOW Membership as TalkTalk closes down its original TV service.
On 1st August, TalkTalk’s old TV channel offer will close, and with it the removal of over 50 channels ranging from Alibi to Zee TV, including Sky Showcase, E! and Nickelodeon.
The legacy TV platform consisted of TalkTalk adding its own offer of TV channels delivered via broadband, marketed as ‘Boosts’. These were available between channel 300-599, sandwiched between services delivered through the Freeview TV signal (channels within the number ranges of 1-299 and 600-799).
This is now ending, leaving TalkTalk TV as a service that consists of Freeview channels + extra streaming apps, including NOW and Prime Video.
In effect, the original TalkTalk TV boxes will just become Freeview receivers, with extra smart TV apps. The YouView Electronic Programme Guide will continue to be available. Recordable boxes will still be able to record free-to-air channels.
Channel Boosts were withdrawn from sale in November 2020, but existing customers with the TalkTalk YouView-based TV service could continue to receive a range of extra premium channels from Sky and other broadcasters on their TV guide.
TalkTalk is urging those remaining legacy customers to ‘swap to watch’. This means swapping their current Channel Boost subscription for a NOW Membership.
Swapping over to NOW will give viewers access to extra Sky channels, such as Sky Atlantic and Sky Nature. But some third-party channels such as Eden, TCM Movies and Zee TV cease to be available.
Affected customers are asked to call TalkTalk’s dedicated support team a call to discuss options on 0345 172 5202.
TalkTalk’s two TV platforms:
TalkTalk YouView boxes – for legacy customers.
TalkTalk Netgem 4K UHD boxes – the one that is being sold to all new TV customers. Not affected by these changes.
What happens to the Legacy TalkTalk YouView boxes?
Live TV channels in the guide
From the beginning of August, there will be no active channels in the 300-599 channel range.
- Instead, the only live TV services available in the guide will be the usual Freeview channels. Available Freeview channels will depend – as with all Freeview receivers – on local coverage and aerial.
NOW app for Sky channels
In addition, viewers will have access to range of apps, including NOW – which includes Sky channels and a few third party services, including Alibi and Gold.
- NOW channels won’t appear in the channel list – that’s the main difference between TalkTalk’s YouView-based service and BT’s YouView service. Instead, you’ll need to access the channels by going into the NOW app each time you want to watch.
Other apps also available
Other apps available include Netflix, Prime Video and BritBox, plus all the main catch-up and on-demand apps from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, S4C and Channel 5.
What’s the difference between a TalkTalk TV box and a smart TV?
TalkTalk customers may find they can get all of the above on their smart TV. Depending on the type of box in use, the main difference between a smart TV and a TalkTalk TV box are:
Recordable TalkTalk TV boxes will still be able to record free-to-air TV channels, although recordings from former Boost channels will disappear on 1st August 2022.
TalkTalk agreed to continue to support YouView until 2024, in a deal signed earlier this year. This means users can continue to expect ongoing support until then.
What’s the difference between the old and new TalkTalk TV boxes?
The new TalkTalk TV boxes are made by Netgem and support 4K UHD. Currently 4K UHD content is only available through the apps – there are no 4K UHD channels in the channel list.
The boxes incorporate include the full Freeview Play service, including Freeview’s accessible TV guide and all on-demand and catch-up apps from the main broadcasters.
But viewers have complained about the lack of its ability to record a different channel to the one you’re watching. It is restricted to another channel broadcasting on the same Freeview multiplex, requiring a degree of technical knowledge that many viewers don’t have.
TalkTalk 4K boxes also currently have access to apps including:
- BBC iPlayer,
- ITV Hub,
- All 4,
- Amazon Prime Video,
- YouTube Kids,
- BBC Sounds,
- UKTV Play,
- STV player,
- S4C clic,
- Pop Player,
- Rakuten TV
If you have an advanced smart TV, such as those made by LG or Samsung, you may find you already have access to most of the above without needing a separate TalkTalk TV box.
And with Sky and Virgin Media O2 both expressing an interest in buying TalkTalk, all this could change again in the future.
Iain Hatton, features writer, RXTV