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Last year I decided to sign up to ESPN and chose to receive the channel via top up tv instead of sky or another satellite service. So what is Top Up TV?, Well Top Up TV is a paid service which gives subscribers extra channels for their freeview box. It started in 2004 as an additional package for freeview viewers including several channels from Sky and other services. The company was founded by two former BSkyB executives, David Chance and Ian West. The service was a rival of the defunct ITV Digital which lasted all of four years. Where ITV Digital concentrated on more premium services like live premiership football, Top Up TV were showing the lesser known channels. Since the digital switchover it has appealed to many people who cannot afford the likes of full Sky Packages but still want live sport on their television.
All you need to be able to receive top up tv is an eligible set top box, You can buy these for anything from £25 right up to around £250 depending on what type of box you go for as there are several available digital recorders which show top up tv. Thomson are the main supplier of boxes and their boxes are offered as part of the Top Up TV package. You can now get different boxes with recorders. All you need to be able to view the channels you want is a connection to your freeview box and a viewing card which can be bought from their online store or often with your compatible freeview box. The equipment is very simple to install and the boxes work just like any another freeview boxes in their installation. Just put the card in the slot and call the phone number supplied on the card and you will be connected.
With the prices of the major Sky packages at upwards of £40 a lot of people have looked elsewhere and with Top Up TV You can add Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports 2, ESPN and GOLD Plus as well as TV Favourites and Picture Box to your box for a monthly fee. Although I wouldn't get those two on Top Up TV as at £17.99 for two it is getting up to the better value basic Sky packages which offer much better value for what you are looking for. If you opt for all the Sports channels that Top Up TV Currently offer Sky Sports 1 & 2 and ESPN, It will cost you £39.99 pm which compares to what you would pay for the Sports Package as well as one of the Sky Entertainment packs which go with your order. So what this demonstrates is that it may not be the best choice for all sports channels but If you are like me in that you watch the Sky Sports games at a Pub but also want ESPN then this could be for you. Gold Plus is Just £2.00 pm.
**Top Up TV Service**
I had been using Top Up TV for quite a few months and not had any trouble until recently when I had some issues with monthly payments. I had got a few phone calls from them informing me about a failed payment, I informed them that there would be money on my card on a specific date and then for whatever reason they didn't take it. My account has just been suspended due to not receiving my payment yet I have checked that I have the money in on my card but they didn't take it on the specified day, This past Monday. As I stated, I had not had any problems with the service and this is a minor issue for me as I am confident it will be sorted out. I have heard bad experiences from people about enquiry lines etc but they are friendly and I put it down to a missed payment rather than anything else.
This is a good alternative to Sky and other competitors but as soon as you start wanting other channels it rapidly loses it's point and value against Sky as you are effectively paying for a channel on Top Up TV but many channels on Sky. If you are a big fan of Sport and usually go out to the pub to watch Sky Sports then It might be an advantage to get ESPN like me. So all in all it offers an easy way to get one or two channels that you want to watch. The only problem I have had is with the missed payments but they haven't been rude when I have had dealings with them and the service of the channel has been very good with any slight glitches being down to bad weather. As I love the NBA I find it great for watching Basketball and it also has the MLB, NHL and MLS as well as many other Sports including of course Premiership Football.
top up tv is a great add-on for between 10-15 pound a month you can choose to receive premium content/channels that include comedy, sci-fi, documentory etc.
the service downloaded content to your top up tv recorder allowing you to watch shows just as you would a dvd on top of that you receive all the usual freeview channels with the advantages of being able to pause live tv & record one channel while watching another., i currently subscribe to tv favorites & picturebox which gives me around 30 movies a month to watch as & when i want to., you can also record your favorite shows with the built-in programme guide which is really easy to use., from getting it out of the box & setting it up took almost 20 mins which includes the call to top up tv to activate my viewing card., please be aware tho that it can take around 2 - 3 days for your box to start filling up with the content that they offer., but the freeview is available straight away., somthing which i wasn't told at the shop when i brought it.., but after the first few days you'll get updates every night (usually around midnight) which will download the latest content direct to your box ready for you to watch whenever you want to.,
all in all i'd rate the product 10/10 for ease of use & quality of service
Top Up Tv is a digital terrestrial service offering premium channels such as CBS, Living, Warner, TCM and much much more!! I decided to give this ago after the credit crunch hit home and was unable to afford sky's service so was looking for an alternative to keep me occupied on these cold nights in.
A friend recommended top up tv, a service I had never heard of so was very skeptic when he told me that you get your first month free and then its only £9.99 a month with no contracts to tie me down, now after been with sky paying over £30 a month this sounded very good but there must be catch.
I decided to do some research into top up tv and finding out that the box downloads selected programmes from the channels available this sounded OK so after reading various mixed reviews and eventually decided to go with the free months trial which included a premium movie service called picture box and the tv anytime package, so I went down to my local Argos and purchased a 250GB Luxor freeview box what set me back £99.99.
So I set up the the box and gave top up tv a ring to sign up to the service, the phone went onto a machine with various numbers to press for what reason you are ringing, it took me only a minute or two to get onto customer service (lot faster then sky), the lady was Scottish and very helpful she answered all my questions and took my bank details with out a problem, she told me to put the box on channel 5 and wait half an hour so I did.
The next morning there were programmes that had been downloaded over night to my surprise it was a very good selection I'm very open minded to what i watch so i find most things interesting its got lots of channels for kids for example cartoon network, Disney channel, boomerang and lots of American dramas like sex in the city, desperate house wife's, nip tuck, this was all very appealing to me.
The picture box service has a varied selection of new and old films, with a mixture of horror, action, comedy and romance there were something for everyone, a few movies I had already seen but this was okay cause there were lots more to make up for it
I have now been with the service 2months and have not had any problems customer service are always very helpful and thrive to help, I would definitely recommend this service without a doubt. Is it better than Sky? No, but its damn close and a lot more friendlier with you well needed money.
List of channels available on Top Up TV at the moment.
Crime & Investigation network
National Geographic Channel
Discovery real time
Top UP TV is a great alternative to Sky. It is much cheaper and you have no contract.
You need to have a modern aerial and to be able to pick up channel 5. Top UP TV can sell you a box which you place on yout TV, or beside it. This has a slot in it for your viewing card and can record selected programmes as well as store your downloads in its library.
The whole thing is very simple to operate.
Each week you get 120 hours of TV downloaded to your box, from the channels you have selected. There are 88 channels in all on the Top UP service with a couple thyat are exclusive to this service.
There is also an add on called Picture Box which costs £4.99 per month and downloads a modern film each day to your box. You watch it when you like, or store it in your library.
This box can record two channels at once so you can select programmes to record over night and also get your regular TV download.
When you first set up your account you have to pay for two months subscription £19.98 and that covers the firesat two months. After that you pay monthly by direct debit and cancel anytime if you wish.
Customer services is excellent. You can get information on their website and make enquiries via email, or telephone. I have found them to be polite and efficient with no long waits in a queue which was something I experienced a lot with Sky TV.
I have used technical support twice because I had problems with the box frezing but this was quickly sorted out and a new sofware download was sent through to cure the problem.
Staff are pleasant and helpful and the service is excellent.