TalkTalk’s hoping to convert Freeview homes to pay-TV with a YouView ‘zapper’ box and pay-as-you-go Sky TV channels.
The Essentials TV package gives customers a stripped-back YouView box, unlimited broadband and inclusive phone calls for £7.50/month plus line rental.
The Essentials TV box doesn’t record like TalkTalk’s older Plus TV box, but it still has Freeview HD and catch-up TV from iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand Five, and can pause and rewind live TV for up to 30 minutes.
Read our guide to TalkTalk TV“We have a heritage of being disruptive at TalkTalk,” said TalkTalk’s marketing director, Olivia Streatfeild told the launch event. “In 2006 we made broadband accessible to millions of UK homes who could not have got online without us making it such great value, and because of that the UK is one of the most connected countries in the world.
“Last year we disrupted the pay TV market and this year we’re going to be disrupting the Freeview market.”
TalkTalk Essentials TV follows the launch of Plus TV in September 2012, which offers a YouView+ recorder for £15.50/month plus line rental, unlimited broadband and anytime phone calls to UK landlines.
As with Plus TV, Essentials TV customers can add Sky entertainment channels from £5 a month on a pay-as-you-go basis, and even add Sky Sports and Sky Movies, with movie rentals on TalkTalk Box Office from £3.50 for 48 hours.
TalkTalk added up-to-38Mbps FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) services from an additional £10/month earlier this year, and relaunched its unlimited broadband service in September as SimplyBroadband for £2.50/month plus line rental.
Streatfeild added: “We’re really thrilled, at a time when our competitors and other service businesses are increasing their prices, that we’re cutting our prices in half.
“We’re launching Essentials TV for £7.50 and for that you get totally unlimited broadband, evening and weekend calls and a free YouView box.
“That gets you 30 minutes pause and rewind, all your iPlayers and your other players on your TV, access to our really disruptive pay-TV boosts, and all for £7.50. It’s amazing.”
TalkTalk’s standard line rental is £15.40/month, or you can pay for a year in advance with Value Line Rental at £126, which works out at £10.50/month.