Get broadband that suits the way you use it

Broadband for TV addicts

Our main choice for internet telly fans is slightly controversial, because only 50 per cent of the population can subscribe to it. But when it comes to internet TV, nothing beats fibre-optic cable – and in the UK, only Virgin Media is doing it on anything like a big enough scale.

It's the combination of FTTH (fibre to the home), pay-per-view video on demand and catch-up TV featuring the free BBC iPlayer and Virgin Central that seals the deal. Oh, and then there's the matter of up to 50Mbps broadband where available. The service is still rolling out, though, so you might have to start on 20Mbps, which is still at the very high end of current UK broadband provision.

Taking a bundle with Virgin Media will help save you money too. 50Mbps broadband on its own is £50 a month. Opt for broadband with digital TV and phone, though, and the whole package costs £45 a month with a 12-month contract.

You'll pay extra for most premium on-demand content, though there's plenty of content to be found in Virgin's top flight telly package, including the BBC iPlayer and 100 digital-quality TV channels.

Movies cost between £2 and £3.50 to 'rent' and rise to £4.50 for HD content, although special prices are sometimes available. In general, Virgin's pricing is comparable to the iTunes Store.

Can't get cable?

For those folks unlucky enough to be outside the cable coverage area – and there are a lot of us – there are some fast TV-centric ADSL packages to compensate.

BT Home Hub bundles the well-regarded BT Total Broadband service alongside BT Vision streaming media and V-Box hardware, making it an easy introduction to the world of TV on-demand.

The V-Box is a Freeview-enabled personal video recorder (PVR) that has twin tuners – so you can watch one channel while recording another. BT Vision is similar to Virgin Central, featuring TV series and films on-demand that you pay for per view.

At £39.62 the base cost is a little less than Virgin's, but the line speed is only up to 8Mbps and there are fewer channels in the TV package. To get your fill a cheaper way, try upgrading your equipment and sticking to a normal ADSL service.

Fill an old PC with extra RAM, stick in a HD video card and a Freeview TV tuner and invest in a big high-end monitor. Even standard content will look good on a 40in flatscreen.