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Sky believe that in the next 25 years, interactive television will be in every single household and will revolutionise the way people use their TV's. People who don't own Sky or Cable can only access 5 channels at most but with the companies taking over, interactive will most certainly rule our country. Sky Sports active has changed the sporting world as you can now access different camera angles, highlights and even statistics for Tennis, Football or Cricket. With personalised email and online banking and gaming, Interactive IS the future!
It would be a mistake to compare this product (either the TV or Set Top Box) with a PC. It is NOT a computer and never professes to be, so you shouldn't compare it on those terms. In any case, it comes in at a fraction of the price of a new PC. In my opinion, it's great value for money. Essentially, a one-off cost of £179.99 for the TV gives you TV, email & Internet. And £69.99 for the Set Top Box gives you email & Internet. Accessories are a printer for £59.99 and a larger cordless keyboard for £29.99. Argos do good prices. As with all Internet Service Providers, you pay for calls but Bush Internet's calls are to an 0845 number which is local rate and I save 20% on the calls because I have nominated it as my Best Friend with BT's Friends & Family. If you're going to compare the Bush Internet TV with OnDigital's new service On Net, you may be interested to hear that it's more expensive. You have to pay £12 a month (you get some crappy TV channels as part of the service) - in 6 months you will have paid £72 which is more than the cost of the Bush Set Top Box outright. I have a Set Top Box and found it very straight-forward to connect to my 28" widescreen TV. I have a computer at work so I didn't want another one at home. I think the service is great, and every time I connect, something else has popped up on Bush's homepage. They are obviously keeping it very up to date and I can see it getting better and better. The only disappointing thing about it is that you can't access 100% of the websites on the Internet - those with lots of video or sound. I phoned Bush Internet to ask about this and they said that their new browser to be released next summer will make sound and video possible. I'll probably buy the new one next summer although I'm happy with this one for now. I also phoned OnDigital and got them to test two websites I found difficult on my Bush set. They had the same result - they couldn't access them either, so no loss there. My computer at work sometimes has difficulty accessing some websites so I suppose you're never going to get perfection. All in all, I think Bush have produced a FAB product and I'm dead chuffed with mine.
Firstly let me say that I think interactive TV is a waste of money and time. Its just another scheme from the big media owners to help us part with our hard earned pennies for services and information we didn't realise we needed and lived a perfectly happy and informed life without. TV for me and I guess a lot of people out there, has and always will be a passive, one-way entertainment system that I can just plonk myself down in front of without effort or demand. If I want to interact I will always use my computer or telephone. Both systems are far better suited and technologically advanced than the clunky, slow, unreliable, satelitte and cable box systems. I can surf the Internet with full colour, sound, animation, video, flash and interaction to the content I choose. As opposed to the low spec, slow, static content pushed (as pure sales driven) with no video, sound, animation, frames etc (that we are told is cutting edge technology) of the TV route. That rant aside, I was currious to see what the new Interactive news was on Sky digital. Interact with the news I thought.... Sadly not to be. The only thing interactive about the interactive news is that you can switch between loops of news on different subjects, Weather, current affairs, headlines... ??? Surely this is the same as switching channels? OK so you get a bit of extra scrolling information, Financial channels have had this for sometime. Other than that, they are basically delivering, more channels of the same in a smaller screen format, with less quality content. Duh!!! Not Interactive News... Interactive news would have things like: - live viewers polls "press red button, to vote yes" - "press the green button, for completely objective news coverage, red button for left wing biased news coverage, blue button for rightwing biased news coverage, yellow button for completely non con frontational news" - "Press the green button to change your news reader" - "press the blue button to change the news readers jacket" This is interaction, two way, user manipulation of real time events. Not switching channels, we have had this for decades now!!!!