Re: Over time Sky can be more expensive
This is getting like forum rants, but hey :-)
"1. To have a Sky service you need to have a BT landline and pay the rental on that in addition to the Sky payments. With VM the line rental is included."
Firstly you don't need to have a BT landline. It's only a requirement for the pay elements of the interactive services which few ever use, and you only need a phone line not specifically a BT line. In fact I had an NTL line for a while when I got my Sky dish back when NTL's offering was a complete pile of tosh. Only went to BT when I gave up with NTL's useless broadband.
Secondly, this is a common false comparison. The cost is the same like for like comparing inclusive NTL or Sky+BT, for similar packages... oh wait, but you don't get Sky channels any more with VM ;-)
"2. You have to purchase the Sky box (I know the basic one is normally free with the deals they do, but the Sky+ box cost £199 when I was checking this). VM own all the boxes so there is no extra charge."
Valid point, though you can source Sky boxes cheaper. Last point is also relevant as with Sky boxes it's yours for life. VM boxes are not yours so you can't sell them on (relevant with the more valuable Sky+ and SkyHD boxes).
"3. To use the Sky+ features you have to pay an additional monthly charge (£10 last time I looked). VM charge £15 , but this is for the service and hardware rental."
in other words, VM charge £5 a month for rental. Over a few years you've paid the same as buying a Sky+ box, and after that you're throwing money down the drain.
"4. If anything goes wrong with the Sky box after your 12 months you have to pay around £80 to have it fixed (ie. replaced with a reconditioned one). With VM as they own the box it is down to them to fix it."
Yep, that's the benefit of rental. I wonder why the rental TV market has pretty much collapsed however? ;-)
"5. Although you own the Sky box there is not much you can do with it if you don't want to be with Sky anymore."
You can use it as a freeview box if you get the freesat card thing I believe. You can also sell it.
"6. Living in a tenement block means that it would cost an extra £200 to have a Sky dish fitted. Telewest only took a couple of hours to fit the cabling (including extra rooms at no extra charge - so we can move the box between the rooms)."
Most restrictions in flats are down to council and block rules that require you to use communal dishes.
"7. The V+ box is better than the current Sky+ box. It has 1 more tuner (recording 2 programs and time shift on a third)."
Sky+ does record 2 channels and let you watch something time shifted. However what you mean is V+ will let you record 2 and watch a third live feed as it has a triple tuner.
Sky+ dishes however have typically 4 feeds so can in theory record 4 at the same time.
Not that any of this is required, as any TiVo owner knows the nature of a PVR combined with the amount of repeats and +1 channels means you rarely if ever get a conflict or even need to watch live TV anyway. Though TiVo is somewhat better than both Sky+ and V+ in it's ability to do this, and it works on all platforms (but sadly isn't HD in the UK).
"8. Faults are present with the services of both companies, and this changes on a regular basis. It can not be used to choose between them. (I know technical support staff for both companies)"
You choose based on personal experience and recommendations. Going on the "I know" factor, most people I know with NTL experience shudder in terror at the very name. I hear few complaints about Sky by comparison. However I foolishly picked NTL at first. I learnt my lesson.
However this is never representative. People voting with their feet (or wallets) is however, and if VM are losing customers, well...