Black Friday has become one of the biggest shopping days of the year and, like it or not, it’s here to stay.
That being said, if you’re the kind of person who tries as hard as they can to avoid stores during this period, it’s worth noting that the event isn’t just for serial shopaholics.
While it’s true that you can expect to see shops competing to bring you the best deals across everything from fashion to homeware, you can also bag yourself huge discounts on TV and broadband packages.
But before you buy during the Black Friday period, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Luckily, The Independent's technology critic David Phelan has given us the heads up on what to look out for, and what type of deal will suit you best.
What kind of TV do you have? If you have the latest, high-resolution 4K model then bear in mind that to watch native 4K content from Netflix, Amazon Prime or Apple TV, then you need a fast broadband connection – Netflix recommends a minimum of 25Mbps.
When you're watching 4K content on Sky, it is often downloaded to the Sky Q 2TB box before you watch, so it's not quite so important, though it'll take a long time to download with a slower connection, obviously. And if it's live sport on BT, Virgin or Sky, then a faster connection is highly desirable for 4K.
Note also that 4K movies can be several gigabytes in size, so unlimited data is recommended. If your line does slow down while you're watching, the picture quality will drop from 4K to HD – still good but noticeably not as pristine.
Some networks can throttle the speed of connections at peak times, or slow down upload speeds (which will affect you if you're sending a home movie to the cloud, but not if you're watching a streamed movie). Check the fine print.
For Virgin Media, it treats its TV service as separate to broadband in terms of bandwidth, so you can't impede picture quality on the living room TV because someone's downloading a big file in the bedroom. But that doesn't apply to every network, so maybe warn the rest of the family before the big game, or the big movie, is on!
While most companies are yet to confirm their involvement in Black Friday 2018 these are the ones we expect will be taking part.
TV package deals
A staple in most households, Sky is a wise investment for large families but investing in one of its extensive packages can prove costly. Last year, the household name offered a range of discounts including a monthly charge of £10 for Sky Cinema – a contract which usually costs £30 a month.
To make this deal even more appealing Sky also announced the launch of three new movie channels: Sky Cinema Christmas, Sky Cinema Classics and Sky Cinema Musicals.
- Sky Kids, £5 extra a month – buy now
- Sky Box Sets, £5 extra a month – buy now
- Sky Cinema, £10 extra a month for 18 months – buy now
Last year, NOW TV offered heavy discounts all its TV passes with two months for the price of one on its Sky Cinema Pass, Entertainment Pass, Kids Pass and Sky Sports Pass. The company is yet to confirm if it will be taking part in any deals this time round but we expect there will be some great discounts on offer.
- Three months Now Entertainment: £14.47 – buy now
- Two months for the price of one of Now Entertainment: was £15.98, now £7.99 – buy now
- Year of Now Entertainment: was over £95, now £45 – buy now
- Three months Now Sky Cinema: £20.68 – buy now
- Two months for the price of one of Now Cinema: £9.99 – buy now
- Six months Entertainment and Sky Cinema: £50.94 – buy now
- Twelve months Entertainment and Sky Cinema – was over £215, now £99 – buy now
Amazon Prime Video
With everything from TV series to movies and documentaries, Amazon Prime Video has it all. If you want to test it out without parting with your hard earned cash you can now get a 30 day trial of Amazon Prime for free.
Internet package deals
One of the most well-known companies in the UK, BT offers discounts across a range of products from broadband to TV, mobile and laptops. Last year, it offered month discounts on fibre broadband, cut setup costs and gave away £125 BT Reward Cards across every broadband package.
- Superfast Fibre Essential 36MB with BT line rental, £29.99 a month for 18 months – buy now
- Superfast Fibre Essential 50MB with BT line rental, £35.99 a month for 18 months – buy now
- Superfast Fibre Plus 67MB with BT line rental, £54.99 a month for 18 months – buy now
A company that offers flexible and high-quality service at super-speeds, it’s no wonder that more and more of us are converting to Virgin Media. The good news is that it took part in Black Friday last year with impressive bundles that cost £18, down from £27, and we expect more of the same this tie round.
- Vivid 50 Fibre Broadband, £35 a month for 12 months – buy now
- Vivid 100 Fibre Broadband, £40 a month for 12 months – buy now
- Vivid 200 Fibre Broadband, £45 a month for 12 months – buy now
A trusty household name in the UK, Sky is best known for its all-encompassing collection of TV channels but it also offers some great deals on broadbrand too. For Black Friday 2017, new customers could sign up with Sky Fibre Unlimited and Box Sets TV for £50 per month, each priced at £25. Additionally, it also cut costs on its Variety bundle to just £25 per month.
- Sky Fibre Max, £27 a month for 18 months – buy now
- Sky Broadband Unlimited 11MB, £18 a month for 18 months – buy now
- Sky Fibre Max 63MB, £27 a month for 18 months – buy now
EE offers a good variety of deals all year round but especially so during Black Friday. Last year, the company offered EE Reward prepaid cards on its broadband deals, ranging from £50 up to £125, depending on the package.
- Unlimited Fibre Broadband 36MB, £27 a month for 18 months – buy now
- Unlimited Fibre Broadband Plus 67MB, £31 a month for 18 months – buy now
- Unlimited Fibre Max 1 Broadband 145MB, £40 a month for 18 months – buy now