There are various things to consider when getting a home media service package deal, but probably the most important is the cost. During these financially unstable times it is important to identify deals that don't only suit your needs but also your budgetary requirements. There are various methods of finding good Sky TV packages deals: some that include prioritise the money aspect. When examining the cost of a package you should do your research and explore both the advertised monthly cost and those hidden costs. Don't forget the incentives you may receive as well.

What can I Expect from the Sky TV Packages Deals?

Before considering the cost of the deal you should observe what is in the package. The Sky package is presented using sections - each section devoted to a different aspect of the package. This is a simple way to peruse the deals and dissect them so you understand how they can meet your individual needs:

1. Broadband
The broadband section is often the most crucial section of the Sky package. There are various types of broadband connection available, ranging from the quite limited to the truly unlimited offers. The cost is dependent on the amount of data required and the connection speed. However, it must be noted that the speed you receive may not be the connection speed advertised. In fact, only approximately 10% of subscribers receive those speeds. Despite this, consumers agree it is best to purchase high speed connections as this increases the enjoyment level of your internet experience, and reduces the frustration factor

2. Television
The television section of the package is the second most popular aspect of all Sky deals. In fact, television is the most commonly associated feature of Sky media services in the minds of consumers. Sky has a vast range of TV products, and deciding what to purchase will depend on what you would view most regularly. Your television channel preference will help you determine which Sky TV packages you should opt for. There are three packages - Sky movies, Sky sports and Sky entertainment. However, the more television packages you choose the pricier your deal will end up being. It should be noted that you can have one or all of these as a Sky package deal.

3. Telephone
As with all bundle packages, the telephone line is the least important aspect and receives the least attention from the consumer. Nowadays, the mobile phone has become the primary means of telecommunications, creating an increase in mobile services. Mobile phone providers now offer deals with free mobile minutes, which are more cost-effective than the original land line rental. However, a phone line is required should you wish to purchase an ADSL broadband connection. Do not despair, as there are some benefits to the phone line - it is not all cost. Generally you will receive free calls during particular times of the day or week, but you should check whether these are completely free or merely inclusive.

When you have examined the packages and all their parts, it is time to look at the costing. Package deal pricing is dependent on the deal and the added incentives, so you must do your research to ensure you get the best deal.

What is the Final Cost?

The overall cost of a package is dependent on what is included therein. Should you have unlimited broadband, all television packages and a phone deal then you can expect to pay a large amount. The reasoning behind this is because you have a great deal of items as part of your package deal, thus there will be higher costing. To save money you should remove items which will reduce the expense.

What about Hidden Costs?

When perusing any type of deal you must consider all costs, including the hidden ones. The number and amount of the hidden costs will vary according to the size of the package.

The first possible hidden cost you should consider is the line rental fee. It is a fair assumption to think you will not be charged a line rental fee if you did not include the phone service in your package. However, if you have included an ADSL broadband option you will require a phone line for the connection. The line rental payment can be made to your provider or to BT, but if you are paying via your provider there may be a special rate. These special rates are usually subject to an upfront payment of 12 months rental fee. Should you be unable to do this you will be required to pay the normal monthly rental rate. The phone line rental cost is considered a hidden cost as it is not displayed in the advertised price.

The second possible hidden cost is the installation fee. The majority of packages will include an installation fee as there are numerous continuing updates. Sky broadband will offer a free router, however there is a fee required to pay a technician to assemble your connection. The installation fee for Sky TV packages are applied to cover the cost of a technician installing a satellite dish. As may be seen, the installation cost will vary dependent on the package deal you have chosen. It must be remembered there are deals which do not require the payment of installation fees - this is noted in the terms and conditions.

What about Incentives?

All media providers are in competition for your patronage and, to attract your business, they will offer incentives. The type of incentives you will receive is highly dependent on the Sky package you have chosen and purchased. Furthermore, you should be aware there are special incentives for existing Sky customers.

The most accepted - and well-known - incentive is the "free months" incentive. This is where a provider will offer the customer the first few months of their contract free of charge. The number is generally 3-6 months.

Another popular incentive is the "half price" cost incentive. Here, the provider will allow the subscriber to pay only half their normal monthly fee for a fixed period of time. It should be noted that some existing Sky customers have had the half-price deal covering their full contract.

The final type of incentive that you may see when choosing a Sky package deal is that of the voucher. These vouchers are used in-store, and the discounted amount is dependent on the deal chosen.