Landline and TV recording questions


I'm sorting out my broadband/phone/TV as my current contract with TalkTalk for all three is up. However, I've never done this before! (Soon to be ex husband used to do it) I have a couple of questions which I was wondering if anyone could share their opinion on.

Firstly - is a landline still necessary? Being on my own with a pre-schooler and a baby I'm very safety conscious and wonder whether it's worth having it on the very small chance I can't use my mobile for some reason? But realistically, I don't even answer it at the moment as it's usually scam callers. 

Secondly, I only really watch the main TV channels but I rarely get chance to watch them live so rely on the record and pause function. Is it possible to do this on a Freeview sort of box? Or on an actual TV itself? (The one I have is breaking and needs replacing at some point.)

I'd appreciate any thoughts; the range of bundles etc is getting a bit overwhelming and it is not my area of expertise!


  • ItsComingRome
    ItsComingRome Posts: 505 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper
    edited 15 October 2021 at 12:02AM
    You're always going to need a landline of some description for what most people commonly consider a "broadband connection."  It needs a physical wire coming into your house.  I suspect you mean if you need the phone element or if you should just go broadband-only. Only you can decide what "risk" you're willing to take by only having a mobile, not anyone else.  In most cases, however, broadband-only is no cheaper and can sometimes be more expensive than just taking the landline service.

    You can record Freeview with a Freeview recording box, just search for that term in Google.  Just make sure that it's a recording box and not a standard Freeview box. Most places seem to lump them under the same category. If it says "Recorder" or lists a capacity in GB then it'll be suitable.
  • Depends who is around your area and what they are offering, a comparison site to see what is on offer then go to the suppliers site to check contract and deal offers, very important you know what they are offering first in your area.

    I know someone who only has BT that can provide where they are for the broadband speed they want. I have just about every firm on the market where I am including fibre to the house.

    Many are doing TV packages and supply a box that will record. Or keep it simple and buy a Humax (a brand of recorder with a good reputation) or Panasonic disk player with recorder function off the shelf. There is a cost for the off the shelf and cost for the broadband with TV included.

    Many also do live pause.

    Example. I was with one firm. I had a TV box that recorded as part of my package. I move to another supplier, I get a different box but it does the same thing. Both included landline for free but charge weekdays and free up to an hour on weekends. I use my GiffGaff free call package for calls but the landline is still there for emergencies and run up no charges.

    Advantage for me was the TV box on the first contract developed a fault (I was some years in), called the help line, they checked it, put a new one in the post and return faulty item. Disadvantage is you are paying long term for it and need to weigh options and pocket.

    The other thing is the catchup features on the Broadband provider TV box seem not to force you watch the ads, if I use my non provider catchup app I have to wade through CH4 ads to get to the show and I cannot skip them. Minor inconvenience I know but still.

  • Thank you both. That's really helpful.

    Off to the comparison sites I go! 
  • Typically I use the comparison as a guide only and use a few sites for that as I don't like their business model then deal with the supplier direct from their web site, I never link in.  

    Then really understand the terms and conditions, cooling off periods, implications of early termination and so on.
    example. My last ISP would charge me a fee for every day left on contract if I finished the contract early. It meant there had to be a deal that covered that cost if I were to jump ship early.

    And my email is not with any supplier, it means I don't get locked in cos email. Once my deal is a few months away with my existing supplier I will play the market to get the best deal.

    Also check on porting existing landline if you want to keep it. Mine went through OK with no hassle but not sure what all forms are like.
  • bargainbetty
    bargainbetty Posts: 3,455 Forumite
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    I have BT for my broadband (there is a phoneline, but I don't have a phone plugged into it, so scammers can ring the number with my blessings). 

    I have a Panasonic Freeview recorder which accesses all the Freeview channels and also has apps to access YouTube etc. Most new TVs will be compatible for Freeview, but you do need a box recorder if you want that function.

    For movies and extras I treated myself to a NOWTV stick with a package included and then cancel it regularly to get better deals. (currently paying £12 for a package worth £25) So I have all the Sky Movies, Entertainment pack, Freeview and 50GB broadband for about £40 per month after the initial outlay for the box. I can drop £12 off that if I need/want to. 

    You can also access Netflix for a single user for £5.99 per month if you want more. There is literally no reason to sign up to cable channels if you don't need them, but they may well offer you a decent deal to get you started. 
    Some days, it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps....
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