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Christmas Gift Guide
TVs

Want a YouView box for free? Talk to TalkTalk

If you were put off by the £300 up front fee, TalkTalk has a broadband plus landline bundle that might tickle your fancy.

If your over-excitement at the prospect of getting your hands on a YouView set-top box turned to swift outrage at the thought of being relieved of £300 for a tardy prism you'll be delighted to learn there is another way.

Landline and broadband purveyor TalkTalk -- one of YouView's backers -- is offering the box for free, provided you sign up for more than a year of its broadband and telephone service.

YouView is an all-in-one TV service that lets you watch live TV, catch-up TV or on-demand web-based services like iPlayer -- whatever you fancy -- all in one handy box squatting next to your TV. It's a cross-channel collaboration with backers including the BBC, ITV, Channels 4 and 5, and BT -- so you can watch programmes made by the Beeb, but also eyeball a spot of Sky, should you so desire.

The TalkTalk YouView service offers seven-day catch-up, 74 Freeview channels and more than 5,000 free films and TV shows. But the freebie box does come with a cost (or rather costs) attached. Specifically you'll have to shell out for broadband and line rental. The basic cost for TalkTalk's broadband service up to 14Mbps is £14.50 a month, plus £9.50 for line rental -- so the 'free' box will cost you £24 a month.

If you want additional channels not included in the basic package you'll need to fork out a bit more each month. For example Sky Sports costs an eye-watering £30 extra per month. 

Oh and there's a one-off £50 engineer 'installation' fee -- if you can call turning up and plugging something in 'installation'.

To bag a box, existing TalkTalk customers have to agree to lock themselves in for a further two years with the oft complained about broadband provider. TalkTalk is hoping to lure fresh meat with the offer of a mere 18-month long lock-in for newbies.

TalkTalk's broadband is not capped but peer-to-peer filesharers should fully appraise themselves of the following para from the T&Cs: "TalkTalk slows down non-time critical peer-to-peer file sharing at peak times, to ensure the best Internet experience for all of our customers. Promotional unlimited download allowance is subject to availability and maybe withdrawn at any time. Fair usage policy applies to unlimited download allowance."

The package also includes unlimited calls to UK landlines.

Are you effervescing with excitement at the thought of a free YouView box? Or would you rather stick a fork in your eye than sign up for TalkTalk's lock-in? Let us know what you think by posting a comment below or sounding off on our Facebook page.