Sure TV is a new TV service aimed at residents of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
On the surface it sounds very similar to YouView – it’s a set-top box that comes with access to all the regular Freeview channels, has the ability to rewind live TV and features an integrated catch-up app for which you’ll need to connect your Sure TV box to your broadband router.
So far the catch-up on Sure TV is limited to BBC iPlayer, but there’s other regional features such as local island news, weather and live information on tides which might make Sure TV more of a sell to those living on the isles that standard Freeview or YouView.
Thanks to handy iPhone and Android apps, you’re able to set recordings straight from your phone when you’re out and about, up to 30 minutes before the programme starts – something you can’t yet do with YouView.
Another nice touch of Sure TV is something called ‘TV Channel Universe’. When you’re watching TV on any channel a quick press of a button will reveal what programmes you’ve recorded on that channel.
So if you’ve been fastidiously recording all the new Red Dwarf episodes you’d be able to jump to your recordings of these any time you were watching something on Dave, for example.
All sounds good – now how much is it?
How much does Sure TV cost?
Sure TV costs just £59 for the box and £12/month for the subscription. If you’ve got a Sure mobile or HomeOne or HomeTwo phone service, then this cost falls to £6/month.
If you’ve got both Sure mobile and Sure landline phone service then there’s no monthly cost for Sure TV at all.
As some of the content is delivered over your broadband connection, you’ll also need to have a Sure Unlimited broadband package (from £24.99/month). Without a broadband connection, you won’t be able to get all of the channels and the monthly subscription cost of Sure TV rises to £18/month.
You can connect your Sure TV box to your home broadband router either via Ethernet cable or via WiFi.
Should I buy Sure TV?
Sure TV is an interesting proposition that offers you many of the basic features and channels that you get with Freeview, but adds a dash of versatile and interesting features such as remote recording via the mobile apps.
The fact that you can set up the Sure TV box anywhere in your home thanks to WiFi connectivity is a plus.
The hard drive of the Sure TV box only gives you 160 hours of recording in standard definition, compared to the Humax DTR-T1000 YouView box (300 hours).
Then again, there’s a price difference – Sure TV’s box costs just £59 while YouView boxes are costing around £299 a throw. Sure TV comes with a subscription cost as well, which is negated if you’re taking a combination of all Sure services.
Being able to get Sure TV subscription-free if you’re a subscriber to Sure’s mobile, phone and broadband plan might sweeten your deal. Otherwise you’re looking at paying either £6 or £12 a month depending on your mobile and landline phone deals.
While £6 and £12 a month is cheaper than Sky, it’s still more expensive than Freeview, Freesat or YouView, which are all of course totally subscription free.