Yup. The wife and I are regular visitors to a torrent site set up specifically to provide access to TV shows, who's name leaves you in no doubt that it exists to provide TV torrents... All of the shows we download from this site are shows we could watch on terrestrial or satellite (and as payers of both the TV Licence and SkyHD subs, we are entitled to watch them on whichever channels they're shown), and many of them are shown here within a week or so of their US broadcast. So why do we bother torrenting them?
1. Even on a standard def torrent, the image quality is better than the over-compressed garbage we get on Sky (non HD) or Freeview, and the HD torrents are easily the equal of what Sky provides on its HD channels when it can be bothered to source HD material instead of just upscaling SD material and slapping a HD logo in the corner of the screen.
2. The time we have available to sit down and watch grown-up TV shows is limited - most days if we're lucky we might have a couple of hours at the end of the day after getting our 18 month-old son off to bed and before we then have trouble staying awake. So when we want to catch up on the latest events in the lives of Jack Bauer, the Petrelli Family, the Dharma Initiative etc., we'd really rather like it if we could just press play and have the show start straight away, AND then not have our viewing interrupted every 10 minutes or so by 5 minutes of ads, especially since the SkyHD boxes are notoriously bad at fast-forwarding (can anyone tell me what the point of 12x and 30x modes are, when they're slower than 6x mode?) and even worse at responding to remote commands once you're in fast-forward mode. So far, every single episode we've downloaded has been edited to perfection, with no extraneous material preceding the start of the episode (compare this to the couple of minutes we have to add onto the start of each Sky+ recording to guarantee the start of the show will be recorded even if the guide timings have deviated from reality once again), and has always been stripped of all ad breaks - in some cases so cleanly that you'd be hard pushed to point out where the breaks were in the first place.
3. The user interface provided by XP Media Centre makes the Sky+ interface look like something knocked together by Fisher-Price (and actually, now I think about it, that's being unkind to FP...). Considering how many shows you can fit onto an unmodified SkyHD box, it beggars belief that Sky still persist with the same tired recorded show listings which become increasingly unuseable as you get beyond a couple of screens-worth of shows. Can't sort it, can't move stuff up and down the list, can't tell which episode is which without pressing the i button...
4. We don't have to worry that, if anything happens to our media centre PC, we lose all our recordings - everything is backed up elsewhere on our local network, and if necessary we could simply re-download most if not all of it again. If the SkyHD box goes belly up, chances are we'd lose everything...
In short, the torrented versions of the shows are better quality and more user-friendly than the versions we could view via the respective broadcasters. So why would we want to go back to watching them over the air?