Television in the United Kingdom started in 1936 as a public service which was free of advertising. There are six main channel owners who are responsible for most viewing, there are 27,000 hours of domestic content produced a year at a cost of £2.6 billion. Since 24 October 2012, all broadcasts in the United Kingdom are in a digital format. Digital content is delivered via terrestrial, satellite and cable as well as over IP, set-top boxes are generally used to receive these services, however integrated digital televisions can also be used to receive Freeview or Freesat. Most TVs sold in the UK come with a DVB-T tuner for Freeview – a rare thing in Europe, BT TV and TalkTalk Plus TV, both based on YouView, utilise hybrid boxes which receive Freeview as well as additional subscription services. Households viewing TV from the internet are not tracked by Ofcom, the UKs five most watched channels, BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, are available from all providers. Digital terrestrial television launched in 1998 as a service named ONdigital. Since October 2002, the broadcaster is Freeview, with BT TV providing additional subscription services. In all cases cable TV is a subscription service normally bundled with a phone line, smallworld Cable is available in south-west Scotland and north-west England. Pricing ranges from £10.50 to £80 per month, wightFibre is available in the Isle of Wight. Virgin Media is available to 55% of UK households, pricing ranges from £11 a month to £30.50 a month, with additional fees for premium services such as Sky Sports. Virgin also market V+, a video recorder and high-definition receiver. Virgin Media is the cable provider to supply high-definition television and video on demand. There are three distinctly marketed direct-broadcast satellite services, Sky is a subscription service owned by Sky plc. It is the satellite provider to offer premium channels with the largest total number of channels compared to all other television providers. As of January 2017, subscriptions starts at £22 per month for the basic package, there is an upfront cost of £15 on sign up. Sky TV markets SkyQ Silver & SkyQ boxes as well as SkyQmini boxes, Sky TV also provides video on demand branded as SkyTV On Demand. As of October 2016, Sky UK stopped offering there aging Sky+HD hardware, Freesat from Sky, is a free satellite service owned by Sky plc
Image: Television aerials mounted on chimneys
A pavement dug up revealing the cables underneath. The green box is a common sight in areas with cable coverage, as are manhole covers enscribed with CATV.
Satellite dishes on a wall in Hackney, London. The small oval dishes are most likely being used for viewing British services, and are known as Minidishes. The larger dishes are most likely being used for viewing satellite services from outside the UK.