Moving in : London


TV & Internet in London


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TV

The television transmission standard in the UK is PAL which is used in most of Western Europe, Australasia and South Africa. In order for foreign television sets to work in the country, they should be compatible with this standard. In addition, all PAL systems are not equivalent. A PAL TV purchased in one country might not work in another, depending on its age, make and the model.

License

A TV license is required if you have a television set. The price is about 145.50 GBP annually (discounts for those over 75-years-old, students, etc). If you are caught without a license, you will be assessed a fine of 1,000 GBP. You can find more information about the TV license .

    Information needed to pay for a licence online include:
  • Name
  • Full postal address including postcode
  • Bank details for payment
  • e-mail address

Channels

There are five channels on terrestrial television in the UK:

A complete list of programs can be found TV Guide UK.

Cable TV

TV subscription services are normally bundled with a phone line and broadband internet. Cable TV is a subscription service with different services available in different areas of the UK. Prices range from £10.50 (cost of phone line with "free" TV) to £80 per month.

There are three providers of cable television:

Installation is usually arranged online through the provider's website or by telephone. A request for service is placed, a technician will come to your home, and installation should be completed within a week. If you there is equipment in place, it may just take changing the name on the contract and setting-up payments.

Freeview

In addition to aerial TV and cable TV you can buy a Freeview box that will give you a lot more TV channels (~50). To get Freeview there is a one-off payment for the digital box or digital TV, no monthly subscription (standard digital boxes start from around £20 with HD box from £60; integrated digital TVs (iDTV), that have Freeview built-in, are available from around £150).

Satellite TV

TV subscription services are normally bundled with a phone line and broadband internet.

Sky TV is a subscription service owned by British Sky Broadcasting. It is the dominant satellite provider with the largest number of channels. Sky TV also provides video on demand branded as "Sky Anytime". Subscriptions start at £18 per month.

Installation is usually arranged online through the provider's website or by telephone. A request for service is placed, a technician will come to your home, and installation should be completed within a week. Installation fees may be waived during promotions, but may also cost up to 150 GBP. If there is equipment in place, it may just take changing the name on the contract and setting-up payments. Satellite dishes can also be bought from any hardware shop and attached to the outside of a house.

Internet

Internet service is widely available in the UK and is usually bundled with either cable or satellite TV service and a phone line. All types of connections are available: dial up (slower access), ADSL, Cable, etc. Most broadband deals have a download speed of at least 8 Mb. Rates and pricing schemes vary from one provider to another, but usually run in the £20-70 range per month.

Providers

Installation

Contact your preferred provider and they can usually set-up an appointment over the phone or online. Installation may be necessary if the necessary wiring and equipment is not already installed.

    Basic installation includes:
  • Installation of modem or router and filter or splitter
  • Configuration of the internet access on one computer
  • Configuration of LOL PHONE with one phone
    Documents required:
  • Proof of identity
  • Utility bill or tenancy agreement
  • Deposit

Internet Cafe

Internet cafes can throughout London. Costs vary from 1.50-5.00 GBP per hour. Printing, scanning and other services are usually an additional fee. Some cafes cater more to a gaming community or webcam services. Cafes may also be a target for thieves and pickpockets so take care of your belongings.

Biz Lounge
Address: 116 Gloucester Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 4SD
Tel: 020 7373 3114
Hours: Open every day 09:00-23:00
Internet, printing, fax and mobile services.

Leiamra
Address: 353 Edgware Road, Marylebone, London, W2 1DS
Tel: 020 7723 6550
Hours: Open every day 09:00-21:00
Internet cafe with online and LAN gaming, drinks and snacks.

Net Station
Address: 307 Gray's Inn Rd, King's Cross, London, WC1X 8QS
Tel: 020 7837 5553
Hours: Open every day 09:00-23:00

Reload Internet
Address: 197 Praed Street, Paddington, London, W2 1RH
Tel: 020 7262 4113
Hours: Open Monday to Saturday 08:00-22:00, Sunday 10:00-22:00
Offers internet, laptop docking, photocopying, video conferencing, faxing and online gaming services.

Rex Lounge
Address: 30 Woburn Place, Bloomsbury, London, WC1H 0JR
Tel: 020 7637 4545
Internet business centre offering internet, printing, remote printing, CD burning and packaging services.

More internet cafes can be found at London Online.

WiFi

Multiple cafes, shops and hotspot exist throughout London. Look for the "wi-fi" symbol for access, but acknowledge that it is expected that you buy something to use the wifi. One of the best places to consistently find free internet access and wifi is through the municipal libraries which have PCs with free internet access and wifi. You can find an extensive list of wifi spots.

Find a wifi location near you with the Wifi map.


Update 10/05/2012

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