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Sky Made Simple: The Basics

We have a lot of information on this site about Sky Digital - but some of that information is quite detailed.

We have been asked for a simple guide on how to order Sky TV, and how to get it installed.

So here's our basic guide - "Sky Made Simple". If you're after more detailed information, see our main Sky info page, otherwise, read on...


What is Sky TV?

Sky is a digital TV service. With Sky, you get up to 300 TV channels. You need a satellite dish, and a special decoder box.

On this page, we tell you what you need to know, hopefully in plain English, so you can order Sky TV quickly and easily. If there's something not clear, please let us know.


How much does Sky cost?

For the basic service, here's what you pay:


£0, £30 or £60 - Free if you get a Sky+HD box!

You only pay the installation once. Sky come round, fit a dish and get you set up.

Decoder box Free Sky+ / Sky+HD box available. Record up to 180 hours of TV without tapes.


£21.50 a month for the basic service.

You will need to agree to a contract for a minimum of one year. You'll typically pay by direct debit.

Details of Sky's current offer


What you need to know

When you sign up to Sky online, you'll need to know the answers to a few questions. It may be helpful to print this page, or have the information written down before you start your online order at


Do you have all you need to get satellite TV?

If you get Sky installed, an engineer will visit your house and fit a satellite dish to the outside of your property - it will need to be pointing South East.

The engineer will then drill a hole in your wall, to run a cable from the dish to your TV set. You need give Sky permission to fit the dish - this may be a problem if you are in a listed building or a conservation area.

Sky will also connect their set-top box to your TV. The set-top box also needs to be connected to a telephone line. Sky will sort this out for you.

Sky box and dish
Sky set-top digibox and minidish


What channel packages do you want?

To get Sky, you need to subscribe to one or more of Sky's TV packages. There are six available. The more you select, the more you pay each month.

Here is a summary of the packages:

  • Variety: This is the most common. Includes channels like Sky One, G.O.L.D, Sky Living, Sky Atlantic and Comedy Central (formerly Paramount Comedy). See the full list
  • News: Includes Sky News, CNBC and British Eurosport
  • Music: MTV channels, plus Kerrang, Kiss and Q
  • Knowledge: Discovery, History and documentary channels
  • Children's: Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Disney
  • Style: Arts, home and garden channels

Sky Channel Packages - A list of the channel packages and what you get

With Sky, you also get some free channels - see the list of free-to-view channels

You can also add a "Movies" service and a "Sports" service if you want to - but these will cost you extra.


What equipment do you want?

Sky offer two boxes:

  • The Sky+HD box - As well as having a built-in recorder, this also gives you high-definition pictures if you have a suitable high-definition TV set. This is Sky's top of the range product, and at the time of writing, is available FREE
  • The basic box - available as part of Sky Multiroom

Sky Digital Boxes


Do you want any extras?

Sky will be keen to push some extras on you - here's what they are:

Multi-room - Optional. Do you want Sky in other rooms of your house? It can be cheaper to order their "Multi-room" service at the same time as the main installation

Broadband - Optional. Sky offers a free Broadband service. If you don't have broadband, or you're paying someone else for your Broadband, it might be worth thinking about getting Sky's free broadband service. You need to have the Sky Talk phone service to get inclusive broadband.

Talk - Home telephone - Optional. With Sky's home phone service, you can get free evening and weekend calls, unlimited UK calls, and free calls to certain countries. It could be worth signing up. You keep your phone number, and you have to pay your BT line rental.


Ready to order Sky TV?

Order NowOnce you know the answer to the questions above, you're ready to order. Click on the button to the right, or go to and fill in the form.

You'll need your credit card and/or bank details handy, as well as your diary, so that you can agree an installation date. Weekend installation is available at no extra charge.


Need more help?


Something not clear on this page? Send us a message


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