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back to article Only Sky can save digital TV

Even at the second time of asking, digital TV has been a commercial flop. That's not surprising when taxpayer-subsidised broadcasters are given valuable spectrum. It's time Ofcom admitted this and gave Sky the chance to revitalise the market. Here's why. The UK, probably more than any other country in Europe, has a very healthy …

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....well it is comment after all....

....But is demonstrably wrong on so many levels. Clearly in the pay of the digger, and clearly talking out of his arse.

As for digital terrestrial broadcasts..... I realise that those living south of Watford a likely to consider Birmingham to be the end of the universe, however I feel that before analogue is finally shuffled off, it might be nice if we could please extend a signal of viewable quality over the city...... Come to think of it, the same could be said of the whole damn country.

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Couldn't disagree more

All of Sky's content is crap.

There's a reason people tend to watch the major 5 (or spinoffs of these 5)... can you guess what it is?

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Sauce for the goose?

Is it my imagination or has El Reg run a number of articles expressing the viewpoint that a tax/licence/hypothecated tax model might solve the problem of monetizing the digital music download market to the benefit of the artists, labels AND consumers? If that is right (and personally I believe the idea has merit) why would it not apply to the visual broadcasting media as well? I know that this is a way of saying, with longer words "I would gladly pay the licence fee twice over....blah blah blah" but, actually, having lived in France, USA, Ireland and Germany I think that the current UK model has some significant advantages and we would junk it at our peril. Of course there are some negatives to the taxation model, but show me a model that has no drawbacks and I'll show you some poor analysis, optimistic assumptions and faulty premises.

Oh, and another thing: I am afraid this is a prime example of a situation where "public opinion" is being confused with "what the newspapers are saying" (cf. pretty much every moral panic of the last 30 years) and, since the newspapers are not exactly disinterested here (Prop. R Murdoch) then this is a danger we need to be very aware of.

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Not the money but the data..

Although I would object to giving Murdock any money whatsoever, I would object even more strongly to having his box plugged into my phone line collecting info on what times of day I'm likely to be at home, what my interests are, whether I watch ads or channel hop etc etc etc... Information is worth more money than .. er .. money these days methinks. I have friends who were hounded and persecuted by sky intermittently for weeks for 'unplugging' the phone line, when it actually turned out to be a fault somewhere at the other end..

Besides all that, I don't seem to be able to pick up digital TV at all in my corner of Bournemouth.. Not that I really watch TV - when they get round to turning off analogue I guess the only real impact for me is that I might not have to endure my wife's obsession with watching sh!t like Hollyoaks... Quelle domage!

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hohoho

The article ignores one major issue... the viewing public don't care where their TV comes from. The majority of people think that the BBC is the only Public Service Broadcaster, and treat everything else as extra...

When you upgrade from 5 channel analogue to 40+ channel digital the extra choice makes you feel like you've moved up in the world and without having to fork out monthly for Sky/Virgin that is a big difference to most folk's lives.

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I really shouldn't be commenting again on this troll

But let's remember the real reason ONDigital went under - because they massively overpaid for the TV rights to lower-league football matches in a desperate attempt to break the monopoly on Football broadcasting held by, er, Sky.

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Sky-loving Shill Alert!

Who's been suckling on Murdoch's oily teat then? Normally I'm not one to attack a person for their misguided views but such a brazen and offensive DTT hit piece could not go unremarked.

Analogue vs digital? Do you think anyone other than us geeks know or care about the underlying technology? Your fixating on the tech. To non-geeks it's just a TV channel. Nothing else.

Sky subscribers are a sad bunch of sheep. they get shafted paying an outrageous subscription for trash channels and are still inflicted with adverts! Rupert Murdoch is laughing in your faces.

Handing the TV monopoly to megalomanic Murdoch? I guess you get your OS from Microsoft too? If we allow such a monopoly all we will end up with is shit on every channel targeted at the lowest common denominator (see Sky).

I take it you must be a marketeers dreamboy. You eat at McDs, holiday at Disneyland, watch Sky and buy your jewellery from QVC (I'd say watch The Peter Serafinowicz Show but we know how much you hate the BBC).

I'd happily pay the TV licence just to fund the BBC and Channel 4. They are the only ones with (mostly) excellent and interesting programming. And I'll never give RM even a single penny. Ever.

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Check out this guys other articles

Out of 4 "articles" this bloke has written, 2 are moaning about Virgin. Bus as many people have said, he is probably paid by Sky

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@Neil Hoskins, @James Anderson

Both spot on....

Never have so many comments been in such agreement about so poor an article.

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Fine by me

So long as we don't have to buy Sky's proprietary hardware to receive it.

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He cant be watching the same SKY as I watch

There are two points I'd like to make.

Sky is already a Monopoly for satellite TV, and what do we get for this? Over priced Drivel.

Oh yes they do manages to buy some nice series, but mostly its repeats or drivel.

And now somebody want to hand over terrestrial TV to sky, would just create a bigger monopoly than Sky already is, and do you realy believe we would get better programming for this, I think not.

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Let the BBC have it

I'd be quite happy to hand DTT to the BBC. 90% of what is worth watching comes out of their stable anyway.

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Lame article

Wow, I've seen some rubbish written in my time, but this "article" is assuming unprecedented levels of naivety and stupidity in the reader

There are plenty of areas in this country where DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television - i.e. FreeView) has a very poor signal (or is not actually available at all).

In my area, which is a large town with a population well into 6 figures (in excess of 110,000 people) DTT will not be available in any form until 2012. So, round here if we want to watch Channel 4 digitally, then we have to PAY Murdoch for the privilege (by being forced to buy FreesatFrom Sky equipment and then purchasing a Sky FTV card).

Even once a user has done that, they STILL don't get access to E4, E4+1 or More 4 (all of which are freely available on standard DTT) without upgrading from FTV and taking out a full monthly SKY subscription. How on earth can this be justified? (regardless of whatever "deal" C4 made with Sky several years ago).

I don't see why I should have to pay a penny to Murdoch to watch channels that are freely available elsewhere in the country, just because someone can't be arsed to switch on DTT in this area (particularly seeing as Channel 4 receives a certain amount of public funding). So we pay our TV licence, we pay towards Channel 4 programming and then are told that we can't watch the channel unless we also pay Sky.

If the lack of DTT is down to "inteference" problems, then that is surely all the more reason to legally compel Sky to provide standard channels (like those available on DTT) for free, so that a proper FreeSat alternative is available. It's not like we are talking about MTV, Sky Sports or a Movie Channels (all of which Sky has an absolute right to demand a subscription for).

At the very least, Sky should be forced to licence their NDS encryption so that you are not forced to buy sky equipment just to be able to access standard national TV channels. At the moment it's somewhat like being told that you can't listen to Classic FM unless you buy a Sony branded hi-fi.

It will be another 5 years before I can watch digital tv in the way that other people in this county have been doing since the 1990's. Needless to say, this 14 year delay has not been reflected at all in the amount of licence fee that we pay.

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I feel dirty!

I have Sky in my home....and I feel dirty......The effluent disguised as "content" stands out. I shell out for this in addition to the license fee (Which I'm happy to do) and for what....drivel!

I hope that one day I can regain some self respect and hold my head up high...ditch the sky+....

I only wanted it for the HD...the man in John Lewis said so!

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Just to pick more holes in a frankly stupid article anyway...

1) To include the UKTV channels as PSB ones because they're part owned by BBC Worldwide (the commercial and entirely seperately funded and independently run bit of the BBC) is wrong. These are not PSB channels and they wouldn't be on the platform if there wasn't a commerical reason for them.

2) Get rid of the shopping channels and give 3 to Sky and 3 to Virgin? You might want to check who owns those shopping channels. Oh look, the owners of BidTV and Pricedrop TV, that'll be Virgin then. Again, if these channels were not making money for Virgin, they would be taken off and replaced with something else. But the fact is that although they're not everyone's cup of tea, they're obviously making enough money for there owners or else they'd have left by now.

3) If Sky was to be the saviour of DTT, Sky Three would be the best channel on there. It's not.

4) Oh, and lookout for 'Dave' - joining Freeview next week.

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Interesting article on Broadcasting, but nothing on content production..

I have to confess an interest in Commercial television, but my view is not strictly inline with traditional commercial providers.

I find the article interesting - but flawed. What is fails totally to account for is the source of content. I also find its categorising of UK TV / Virgin as PSB without merit.

Sky is certainly the most successful PayTV network - but it actually is responsible for little to almost none of the content it runs. Aside from its distribution of SKY One - a channel running mainly Simpsons and Malcolm in the Middle, (both imports), its main viewed channels regularly run new or repeat programming from PSB commisioned material.

If we spent time looking at the quality of a Channel Four production, the complexity of a BBC programme or the 'tabloid' daytime ITV content, its easy to see that with a reduction in funding of PSBs there would be a significant reduction of content to run on these various PayTV or Free TV platforms.

At the same time, I do not carry the view that commercial interest in tv platforms should be removed - I believe that we need to keep an eye on the large monopolies that operate and ensure they are kept fair. We need to consider who the real providers of TV are - and I think people would agree it goes much further than just providing a platform to distribute the content on.

TopupTV is a great idea because it provides enough content to keep many families happy, but I feel it is over priced. Virgin Media is a great new rival to the biggest Pay TV monopoly and should be encouraged just as much as any other commercial Pay TV platform.

I wouldnt feel happy about satellite or cable platform providers dealing in the fragile DTT system - purely based around a state set standard of quality and programming genre.

ABC1 Adults are not the only occupants of the UK - in other words, the UK has encouraged the production of some amazing content - and it would be devistating to see endless repeats and the milking to death of content only of interest to the biggest shoppers.

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Dead Vulture

What a torrent of crap

There is so much wrong with this article I am at a loss for where to begin, so I won't. Other comments have amply dissected this steaming pile of journalistic poo.

Rather, the question is: why is this on The Reg? And when did The Reg start publishing tripe from witless bloggers as serious articles?

If you were Private Eye, I would be canceling my subscription.

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Diversity

I agree with almost everything said about Sky and will not defend their anti-competitive practices, but I still value having access to the channels that Sky carries. I am a Sky HD subscriber, but in general I do not watch any of the Sky branded channels.

I value it for some of the niche channels. I enjoy watching Anime (no... not that sort) and can only find that content on channels like Propeller and AnimeTV. I also watch the HD content from the BBC and channels like Discovery (but not Sky HD), which is breathtaking. I think that many of the readers could also broaden their minds by watching some of the non-english channels (and this actually should include Al Jazeera), to get some non-western perspective on the world. Without Sky as a delivery vehicle, I would not get this.

But then again, the Sky produced content is (with the exception maybe of "The Hogfather") rubbish.

P.S. What are these ideograms at the bottom of the comment box supposed to represent?

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Encrypted terrestrial television?

You guys are actually thinking about encrypted terrestrial television? How pervert can you get.

It's bad enought that much of the satellite transponders is occupied by signals which, to most recipients, is just noise, terrestrial bandwidth is a rather limited resource.

There is so much more you could do with the terrestrial bandwidth. Encrypted broadcast just wastes it in order to achieve some profit for a few people.

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What the (*&*^&^ ?

The main reason commercial on DTT has failed is this : people don't want to spend a lot for only one or two channels (plus a load of dross) AND they don't want to have to use special equipment to do it. OnDigital failed because in the early days they tried to charge too much too soon - the boxes were overpriced for the service. TopUp TV failed because they didn't give enough for the money - IIRC there was ONE channel I might have been interested in, but not £10/TV interested !

All this while there were still major coverage issues - and no I'm not saying that the remaining coverage issues are not important to those that are affected by them.

Of course, not there are loads of digi-boxes and integrated TVs that don't have a card slot - so paid-for TV is not likely to take off now ! My parents wouldn't consider giving up their twin-tuner hard disk based PVR for some grotty single tuner non-recording box now. I'm not planning on giving up my computer/network system either !

Where Sky wins is by controlling the WHOLE system - they can afford to virtually give away the boxes because they know they can make it back on the subscriptions. And of course, because they don't have any effective competition then they can get away with inflicting their crippleware filled boxes on idi^H^H^Hcustomers ! I have a mate with Sky, and he used to use it a fair bit - now they've got a digital TV, I've noticed he hardly uses the Sky at all. In reality, there are only one or two channels that most people are actually bothered about - I might consider paying for a bundle that included some of the Discovery channels for example, but I wouldn't pay Sky bundle rates for just one or two channels that I might watch sometimes (you can't watch them for long before you get bored of the repeats !).

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Poor Show El Reg

Yes the article is biased crap. My question is why is it on the Reg? It tarnishes their reputation. Please fire this astroturf blogger and sort it out.

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Dead Vulture

Good grief Penfold!

What an unmitigated load of tripe!

I do have Sky because there are a _few_ programs worth seeing. It's a bit like wanting hazel nuts but no shop selling them on their own, so buying muesli and throwing away everything but the nuts. Sad, but how else do I get to see those few programs without resorting to illegal downloads!

Give Murdoch DTT? Can't think of a better way to force me to ditch the TV (and probably turn to PirateBay or wherever it is you get your fix without a TV!)

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You must be joking!

Seldom if ever have I read such drivel on The Register. Who on earth approved that bilge for publication?

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Yep - what worked for the newspapers

is bound to work for the telly.

I revel in the vast choice of well informed, lucid, and balanced newspaper articles available to me everyday. Not the celebrity pap, human interest drivel and middle bollocks you'd expect to see from a populist lowest-common-denominator-driven model of information provision.

Actually, stop the press, I may have got that wrong!

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None of which addresses the fact that...

...people are sticking with PSBs because the content is regulated and the content to advertising ratio is controlled.

Constant ad breaks + no content regulation = shite TV = Sky.

"It's time Ofcom admitted this and gave Sky the chance to revitalise the market."

My TV is not marketplace and I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way.

Happy license-payer

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ill-informed bull

There's so much rubbish in this article I don't know where to start. Here's a couple of things -

>>I am also including the jointly owned BBC and Virgin Media channels, UKTV History and Bright Ideas in the PSB source.<<

Why? joint ownership by BBC Worldwide (that's the self-funded commercial arm) of commercially funded channels (ever spotted the ad breaks? there's enough of em...) does not equal PSB. Channel 4 gets public money. UKTV does not.

>>Basically, refarming of any spectrum is difficult - even playing with power levels and mast position will not give the same coverage as before<<

Under what basis do you make this claim? Remember, this is switch OVER, not switch OFF. The current infrastructure will be renewed and upgraded to provide a digital signal. There is no reason why anyone who could get a 90% perfect analogue picture will not be able to get 90% digital signal - with the added bonus that a 90% digital signal gives them 100% quality. Folks already watching fuzzy analogue signals may be in trouble, agreed, but channel 5 aside, how much of the population is that?

>>TopUpTV requires a different kind of set top box which is not compatible with the main Free To Air boxes<<

Well duh, if you're going to charge for a service you can't really do it with FTA boxes can you! What about SKY and their ridiculous plan to introduce yet another type of set top box incompatible with the main TUTV boxes? Now that's the kind of strategy that's 'fatally flawed'. Unless of course, you're trying to spread FUD to get people to sign up for your own hideously overpriced platform...

Ultimately you appear to be a religious free market ideologist who can't stand the reality - that the BBC and Channel 4 can produce much better TV than the true commercial sector has ever been able to, despite the millions of pounds the moguls throw at it. Of course the Murdochs of this world would like nothing more than to see the end of PSB - then the public would have no choice but to watch their tacky dross and cheap foreign imports - and their ad revenue will multiply.

In your eyes the BBC (and Channel 4) are 'unfair' competition because they produce a far superior product for the consumer!

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Sky has no committment to freeview

If Sky wanted to dominate freeview now they could. They have enough content (The Simpsons, Lost) they have the sports rights (Premier League, International cricket), hell they even have a already established news bureau. But they refuse to offer most of this free to air and in the very near future will be pulling the plug on their free to air channels completely and replacing them with a paid option. It's a leapt of faith suggest that they would do anything other than co-opt any newly aquired freeview space to be either subscription or a prolonged advert for their pay offerings.

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Dead Vulture

If I were paying for The Register, I'd cancel my subscription !

Though there are a few facts in this article that are interesting, it's so biased that one has to question the motives of the author.

Look at his other articles, he's into bashing Sky's competitors (Virgin etc.)

http://search.theregister.co.uk/?author=Keith%20McMahon

From seekingalpha.com (nice pic of him here http://seekingalpha.com/author/keith-mcmahon):

"Keith McMahon used to work in the telecom industry; nowadays his part-time hobby is following and writing about the telecom scene. He likes to provide unbiased analysis from the viewpoint of an innocent bystander"

Unbiased ? B*llocks.

So he's based in Leeds (seems, from LinkedIn - says he's a Telcomms Consultant). What else does anyone know about him - other than he should be fired as a contributor on The Register ?

I wonder if he's Australian by any chance ?

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So many errors...

Hard to pick just one, but isn't it a bit rich to say "TopUpTV requires a different kind of set top box which is not compatible with the main Free To Air boxes" when Sky's service too will require a different kind of set top box?

The TUTV box is no more incompatible with the main FTA channels than Sky's - both will receive them all. It happens to work with their overnight download service as well; Sky's will happen to work with their NDS encryption and potential move to MPEG4.

I can't help wondering whether the author is spectacularly ill-informed, or just trying to spread deliberate misinformation. Either way, it's biased drivel.

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Rubbish.

As everyone else has said, complete carp.

Freeview is a failing platform? How? Because a couple of minor channels died? It's percentage of viewing hours continues to increase rapidly, in both Sky and non-Sky households.

Sky would revitalise the platform? This is the same Sky who are having to remove their channels from Freeview because they're loosing money (indeed, it's worth noting that Sky News has NEVER made anything but a loss in it's entire history)?

Digital switchover won't achieve the same level of coverage (roughly) as analogue? Simply nonsense.

How did this get published? Seriously?

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The Writer Of This Article...

... Has A Brown Tongue From Licking Murdochs Ass!

Yep I agree, valuable bandwidth is used on pointless +1 channels when there could be better use for this bandwidth such as more movie channels, documentary channels etc

But SKy are a load of bollocks, their channels are pants. Sky1 sucks, and apart from 1 or 2 shows they poached they are unwatched...

... And The TV Licence is th BIGGEST rip off known to man, yet us sad twats will do nothing about it. We should take a leaf from newzelands book and demand this 'Stealth Tax' be abolished!!!

Now their is an article for The Reg, and maybe a petition to get some support!

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Bullsh*t

In these times of indifference, gullibility and apathy, it is encouraging to see so many people (basically every one who has posted in this topic) with their bullshit detection meters set to high, so they've not been taken in by this laughably bad Sky 'advertorial' (i.e. fan-boi love-fest) masquerading as independent comment.

The author should be utterly ashamed.

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Laughable

And just plain wrong. The Register should be ashamed of allowing this poor so-called journalism to be published.

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Please...

...was this article written to provoke reaction?

Completely misinformed and narrow minded.

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Dead Vulture

Alternat universe

This does appear on the face of it to be a sponsored article.

As a glutton for disappointment I extended my Sky subscription to Sky+ then to Sky Hi-def.

1) There are very few actual hi-def programmes although many standard progs are displayed to fill the gaps.

2) Sky+ - nothing but broken boxes which stopped working for no apparent reason - Sky did however replace the boxes with no hassle (now on box 5)

3) Sky Anytime - all the crap under the sun supplied for this feature - check it regular - watch it never.

4) Sky Broadband (yes I know) Web site is unbearably slow, email won't accept HTML formats, engineers on helpdesk are limited to checking your details and advising it must be your pc. As I work in the industry I scheduled a call with BT who advised the problem - he contacted Sky direct from my house and 5 minutes later I had broadband again. (still charged for the 3 weeks it didn't work although they didn't charge for the 3 routers they sent out {yes 3 - guy reconned I was unlucky and had 2 faulty units sent out after I completely rebuild the pc to prove him wrong})

5) Sky Movies - anything decent is now on pay per view, the movie channels are nothing more than pathetic.

6) They advertise they have programmes 2 years before anyone else - bull, a lot of what they have now came from the Sci-Fi channel.

In short - Sky can't manage what they've got, their technical staff are laughable, their programmes as part of any subscription are poor - if they are good then they are at least a year old.

The only saving grace was their staff were polite and honest (no I don't work for them - my sister does ;0) )

To summarise, I left Sky with no regrets - they even had the cheek to offer me 5 box office movies for a reduced rate of £4\month saving me £6 although I would have to spen extra to get this saving.

I think all but removing Virgin & Cable has put the industry into a sorry state so would the offer please realise that any credability he one had has now gone.

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Dead Vulture

Digital joke......

One last point, the primary reason the Digital Handover is failling - the consumer has been forced to pay for the governments decision -

I maybe way off here but hasn't this been in the planning for about 10 years - if so why didn't the government not force manufacturers to incorporate the technology into their sets 6-7 years ago.

Jane Bloggs, 69 years, pension £90\week.

Increased council tax - £10

Increased Electricity - £10

Increased Gas - £10

Increased TV Lic - £8

Food - £25

Other - £10 (this is minimal and not real world)

Pension left - £17

Government Grant -£200

Cost of 32" tv for person with poor eyesight - £400

This does exclude single parents on benifit, postal workers, firefighters, council workers, ambulance drivers etc... who have similar financial problems with their below cost of inflation wage rises.

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El Blog

Quote: "Ofcom and the BBC Trust are also really interested in rapidly pushing through plans for FreeSat, the DSat equivalent of Freeview on DTT. I've always been extremely baffled by this, especially when Sky offers an equivalent service which is fairly priced"

Obviously the PSB's don't want to give Murdoch more share of the market if they can help it, by controlling freesat they get the delivery mechanism as well as controlling the content. All the better for adding services to, controlling their bandwidth and experimenting with HD content without Murdoch scuppering the PSB plans at every turn because he controls the delivery mechanism.

Licence fee? Compared to what id pay with Sky or Virgin it represents rather good value and TBH Terry Wogan makes it all worthwhile. Have I just given away my age o.O

Disappointing article el reg, leave the sky fan boys on digital spy please.

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Only a prawn in Whitby

It's a measure of how fatuous this article is, that you appear to be talking about digital switch, but the Whitby story you reference has nothing to do with digital switch. It's a transmitter being moved because the current one is falling into the sea. Whitby's not even scheduled for digital switch for a couple of years.

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The worst thing that ever happened to TV in the UK...

Was when Murdoch was granted a broadcasting license. I'm surprised (unpleasantly so) that el Reg gave this load of bull house room. May your socks rot and your hens die.

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I thank the lord for the license fee, it's worth it

Complete rubbish that article.

I am more than happy to pay the fee charged by the BBC, worth every penny. And judging by what you get for your money with Sky, phenomenal value for money.

Hail to the license fee

Down with Sky and it's over priced drivel. The only thing that is worth watching is the American fox news which lives up to every stereotype you ever thought about American rightwing tat. "fair and balanced" news, pure comedy. I used to get up just to laugh at it. Worst of all, it is completely true, this really is the muck that is viewed over the pond.

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Amazing how subeditors can change the perspective of an article

Hi had a look at the original blog that this article is based on it it titled "OFCOM: DTT Headache" although there are some odd aseritions in the article (TopUp TV and which DTT channels have PSB heretige) on the whole the article makes the case for what it is saying quite well.

The key point that he seems to be making is "DSat will basically be the only economic alternative for people suffering poor reception and the BBC just does not want BSkyB to be seen saving the DSO."

This has always been the obvious solution and OFCOM should have mandated it as a solution rather than have the PSB channels invest a huge amount of money in new secondary transmitters for substantially more than the cost of providing all the people who receive signals from them with satellite dishes and receivers (of any kind).

But the scary BSkyB might want to muscle in on this and so the broadcasters and OFCOM have gone down an expensive route which they can't afford and which will still leave people unable to receive the DTT signal.

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Anonymous Coward

@Alan Jay

It's nothing to do with Sky "saving" anything - it's stopping Sky having a monopoly and therefore charging what it likes. Ever heard of Microsoft? Hence Freesat (the real one, not Sky's rip-off, for which it can change its terms arbitrarily).

"the PSB channels invest a huge amount of money in new secondary transmitters for substantially more than the cost of providing all the people who receive signals from them with satellite dishes and receivers (of any kind)."

So you're saying that it's cheaper to buy and install a satellite dish and set top box for each and everyone who wants one and doesnt have it already, than to re-engineer the transmitter network for digital switchover? I think astonishing statements like that require some justification!

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Dead Vulture

Sky is expensive

The catch with Sky's "Freesat from Sky" is that as well as a Sky card, it requires a Sky box. They're several times more expensive new than a generic satellite TV receiver, if you can even manage to get hold of one at all. (Second hand ones are about the same price as a new non-Sky satellite receiver, possibly slightly more for one in good condition).

Also, good luck finding a decent way of recording programs without paying a monthly subscription to Sky for Sky+. There isn't one - no other PVRs due to the Sky monopoly, no way of controlling a Sky box from anything else, and the built-in timer doesn't work reliably and won't switch on most widely-available hardware now that the VCR is dead.

Oh, and for all this you get a worse selection of channels than is available on Freeview.

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Poor Writing

This was a surprisingly unfocused article. It is sad to see someone covering his lack of writing skill by choosing deliberately provocative subject matter. I understand that it all comes down to page views but, seriously, the reg editors should consider how wasting their readers time like this will, ultimately, harm their credibility. Provocative is fine but you've got to back it up with well-argued points.

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its not all trash on sky

Sky get a lot of subscribers based on sports, football primarily. when paying for skysports the mixes are cheap in comparison so I expect people just get them added on.

Sky one content is mainly .us but the .us content like prison break and 24 to some people is much more enoyable then things like casualty and the bill.

The other channels even stuff like uk gold with its repeats does interest some people including myself and it was great watching the classic knightmare show on challenge again.

For the uk channels channel4 is easily the best.

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