* Prices may differ from that shown
This is no longer called ITV digital. It is now called Digital Terrestrial Receiver. Ours is a Goodmans one which costs around £70 but shop around as the price does vary considerably. We did see the same for £100. We got ours from Argos and they were the cheapest around. Once you have bought the box though that is it. You do not have extra monthly payments. The first thing to do though when you are thinking of buying a digibox is to see if it is compatable with where you are living. There is a number and www site you can go on and put your post code in to find this out. Now if it says no to your area do not give in. That is what it said about ours. We bought an 18 element aerial and a signal booster - total cost about £30 - and now despite them saying we would not be able to get it we have perfect reception and can pick up all the channels. This is despite us living right on the edge of the transmission area. Another trick to do is if you know anyone that has this digi box is to borrow theirs to find out if it works. If you can pick up any channels but not all then do as in the paragraph above but if you cannot pick up anything then you would be wasting your money so wait until things improve or go for an alternative. The digibox is only about one and a half inch deep x 12 x 8" roughly and sits onto of your DVD or video player. Once all plugged in it is easy to set up. Just follow the instructions that come up on the screen. They say you can get 30 channels but you can get many many more than that. I have just counted the channels we can get at this moment and it is 53. You do get a menu pop up no only telling you what is on, when it is on, but also a little about the programme which is on. So that you dont miss anything when you are reading this or finding out if there is something better on another channel, you get a small screen in the right hand corner so you can still watc
h the programme while searching for something else. You can get your ordinary channels through the digi box as well so you dont have to keep swopping. You will also find that you get a clearer picture. You can also get digit radio channels. Why do I like digi box? Well for one thing it has some good music channels, news channels, history channels. If you are a soap fan you can watch any soap that you missed on BBC1 or ITV. You also get ITV2 which is great (watch Judge Judy!!) and BBC1 - BBC4. In fact if there is "rubbish" or repeats on "normal" channels you will definately find something to watch on the digi box.
There doesn?t seem to be much point in writing in this category. You all know by know ITV Digital, what used to be On Digital has put on his monkey night eye shades, flung its? knitted paw back in the air and said its? final A GOOD A NIGHT AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. Go to http://www.se-tv.co.uk, look at the Munkeh tribute and weep. How can the world's best advert ever, be associated with such a flop? I suppose we could see something coming. Since Christmas the ads kind of disappeared. Later, after the company went bust, it was found like everybody else, football clubs, and Interactive Millionaire keyring winners to be owed money. Monkey went without crisps. I should have known his seems were getting thin. This is my experience of ITV Digital, the good, the bad and the oh so great knitted one. Advantages Interactive Millionaire. Great little contest you could enter that spiced up a gameshow that is rapidly getting out of date. You played with the remote control provided you didn?t have knitted paws and you could win prizes. Disadvantages I never won; come to think of it did ANYBODY win on it? I always got one wrong so far into the show and I lost loads of points and couldn?t enter the prize draw. Advantages Football. Live Preston matches. Disadvantages They were live matches, but erm were they awake. They lost most televised matches. Also, sorry to be old fashioned, but football matches are not 6pm on a Sunday night. Saturday footy is going to have to be documented soon in The Football Museum, if digital TV gets their way. Also I am a season ticket holder at North End and what do they do when the match is live on ITV Digital, reduced the entrance free, and sod their loyal season ticket holders. This was until they decided to recompense us with a free program and other so called freebies. This, however, involved spending over 20 pounds in the club shop, by a date less tha
n a month away. The commentators were poor. I mean they are always on digital and Sky, but any person who does not know what a git Barry Knight is of a referee they do not deserve such a privilege position and maybe work on Eurosport with Monica Phelps. The first ?live? match and someone pulled the plug, something they could think they could get away with perhaps as on several occasions there were less boxes used than actual people who attended the match. Advantages My beloved club got money, which the tight, arsed gits never spent. Disadvantages Did they ever get paid? Many clubs are owed thousands and may even go out of business as a result of ITV Digital collapse. Chairman spending money they don?t have perhaps? Well in Birmingham?s case, maybe. Thankfully, promotion to the Premier League might just keep them above water, but others might not be so lucky. Bury, York etc Season tickets have gone up and it?s looking bleak. Good riddance to overweight, past it players on a fast buck. Advantages (though it seems like a disadvantage before as we all want our club to spend, spend, spend) PNE boards never spend any money. Scrouge ?central heating man? Gray. We get cheaper season tickets next year. Disadvantages We have to watch North End, which is in effect a prison sentence at times. Advantages Monkey and Johnny Vegas Disadvantages They never let Munkeh do the Brits. Johnny Vegas should be on prime time telly but they keep giving prime time shows to Ruby Wax. That daft woman is sooooooo not funny and irritating. Advantages Johnny got a caravan near Blackpool for his mum on a Late Night Chat Show with Jonathon Ross due to his new found celebrity status, allegedly. I found I could stalk Johnny in Beauties? Castle chat room, but decided to spend my time stalking another, scruffy, funny, tramp -like older man. Advantages Obs
cure sports on Eurosport. Live Gymnastics coverage. Infact the ONLY gymnastics coverage. Disadvantages Who watches synchronised figure skating with 50 people? Yes, people pay money for that rubbish. Monica Phelps, the Ron Atkinson of gymnastics, tries to fool us she is actually watching the gymnastics "live", which we most certainly aren't. It is British Eurosport yet there is no mention of the British. Cheapskates, use other countries camera men and women. Eorosport is cheap and tacky. Advantages No dish. Abox. Disadvantages A box that doesn?t work. Advantages Monkey Soccer Am On Sky Sports 1 every morning beats Ant and Dec. Everyone needs to jump up behind their sofas and jig around with frantic arm movements in celebration of the diesel boys of this nation. DIESEL (please feel free to jig, I?m not watching) Naff gags, hilarious sketches from gormless looking RADA rejects Oh and did I mention the Monkey. Monkey is roaming free. Crisp free in the wild. Everyone wants a ball of his wool. Asda are rumoured to mass-produce him, but I am not cashing in my original. Unless Michael Aspel does an Antiques Roadshow for knitted primates, then I may consider. Beer too is a possibility. There is life in the great knitted one. He?s gone but not forever. ITV Digital was a nice idea, unfortunately all we wanted was that stupid toy, but do we really want and need 6pm Sunday football. Maybe it?s true that people don?t care that there?s life beyond the Premiership and that us in the basement are just masochists. Or is this just a little company in a long line of those to be crushed by the power of Mr Rupert Murdock and his ilk at Sky? ps~ the five stars are for the monkey
I sit here laughing in the face of all those who went and bought the digi box that offered great tv with no minidish! So the government wants to turn off analogue do they well they won't get the opportunity with substandard products being offered off as new age technology, no in fact we've had the technology for ages its just its crap compared to the sky digital alternative. Yes is certain minidishes are the future, there is no turning back now the competition to sky just fell flat on their arse owing loads of money to football which coincidentally are now going to have to beg sky to give it any money for the crap games it offers! The home of football was is and always has been sky and anyone who desputes the fact only has to look at the current state of play, what will ITV digital do now well they will run away not talk to any of the teams they owe money and wait until oh actually not wait should I say they've done it, stopped transmitting any of the pay channels and left the crap. I am honestly think the only thing to do is to refund the poor punters and let them go buy sky digital, well no thats not going to happen is it? of course not the director of ITV digital has made millions personally and will not give up his own money to help out the customers or the football league teams he will just sit on a beach somewhere and drink all your money away! Okay maybe I'm being harsh on the people who bought ITV digital, but maybe I'm not, the best thing about the company was the Monkey and Johnny Vegas in the ads, I think if you sold the original monkey signed by johnny vegas it'd go for more than what the ITV digital company would! As the advert says that I heard last night on the radio imagine a world without football, no passion no joy, so lets get realistic no minidish no commitment! I think thats rather clever cashing in on the fact ITV digital were crap and now sky are a monopoly power again, back to the g
ood old days of high prices to customers and little money for crap football only about 100 people wanna watch, yes I am being sarcastic and no I don't really think it's a good situation that sky digital is the only power in tv supply. I heard them say that basically they are gonna offer a fraction of what ITV digital was to the football league for the rights to games and yup you guessed it they ain't gonna say no considering the alternative is TV blackout and no money! just think what the playoffs mean now to the division one teams, well actually it means £16million but thats just for starters. Anyways lets get off the subject of football and look at other quality programming that ITV digital supplied, well actually apart from football it supplied what couldn't you get on sky digital? well nothing really, so basically unless the world is made up of crazy football fans with loads of time on their hands, maybe theres the precise point it went wrong. It didn't really offer wide variety of choice for everyone and it certainly didn't cater for as many people as sky digital does. anyways moral of the story don't be fooled by monkeys and buy sky digital it's much better!!! cheers, Steven
..because ITV Digital are a lot in trouble. I must admit, ITV Digital has had a rocky ride in my time. At first, I thought it was a complete rip-off of NTL Digital and Sky Digital, offering less channels for a greater premium price. However, I was extremely desperate for digital TV, but encountered some problems with the rival companies. Firstly Sky Digital offered a satellite service, satellites that aren't allowed in my area of 'culture' (I hate Shakespeare!). Secondly, NTL Digital didn't offer the digital service in my area, even though they spent pretty much the whole of the previous year digging up trenches outside my house. After a visit into my local Dixons, my views were changed when I saw a pre-pay package where you pay upfront for a whole year's worth of subscription for 6 'primary channels' which included the likes of E4 and MTV. As we also had a 15% off discount card at Dixons, this worked out to be something like £5 a month for the said channels. For the first few months, everything was OK, reception was pretty good, I had 6 extra primary channels on top of the free-to-view channels. However, the gimmick soon wore off. 6 channels to be fair is not a lot, and a lot of the features on the ITV Digital interface either don't work, or are too slow. The TV-to-TV channel where you can play games against other TV viewers was taken off the air soon after I joined ITV Digital. The interactive TV guide is absolutely shoddy compared to the Sky and NTL systems (which are uncannily similar to each other). It is slow as well as uninformative (it only shows the current and next program whereas the rivals offer up to 1 week advance of programs). One way round this is to go to the dedicated TV guide channel, which is rediculously slow and works intermitantly. Another niggle is that the reception is becoming poor, with the picture freezing more often that not (without hyperbole, at least twice a day). The icing
on the cake for my hatred towards ITV Digital is that I'm a keen Reading FC fan, and the retraction of the huge football TV rights has/will severely dent the finances of many football clubs, especially in the lower divisions (although Reading FC won't be in the lower divisions for long!). This was on top of a fixture change that ITV Digital insensitively implemented. The fixture was changed with less than 2 weeks noticed, changed from a Saturday to a Thursday, completely oblivious to people's originally organised plans. The Thursday also happened to be February 14th, so many were faced with the choice of either Reading FC or their loved one (for many those are the same thing!). Yeah so in conclusion, don't get ITV Digital, NTL and SKY are the way!
I must confess I probably wouldn’t have written this opinion if not for the lively debate on 606 last night and Blackjane’s opinion posted this morning. I am of course writing about the current saga concerning ITV Digital. I must stress that everything in this opinion is straight off my head and open to correction. I have no legal knowledge and I’m not looking to ‘diss’ anyone. I aim to provide a simple overview of what’s been going on, what might happen and what this will mean for the ‘proper’ football clubs of this country. The problem itself is endemic to the greedy and overpriced world of football (another opinion me thinkx) but is fairly simple to understand. Before the season started ITV Digital was set up and won the rights to Nationwide football for the next three years – offering £315 million to be paid in three instalments to the 72 clubs of the English football league. It has been well publicised that the viewing figures have been abysmal. The next instalment of ITV Digital’s payment is due in August and the total still to pay amounts to some £178 million. However, ITV Digital has decided that they can’t pay this and have offered a one off payment of £50 million. The league clubs, having taken into account that they were getting this TV bonus, have changed budgets accordingly. The removal of the big payment could send nearly a third of English league clubs out of business. Of course the clubs and ITV Digital must have signed a contract to cover league action and consequently must be made to pay the full amount, after all it’s two parent companies, Granada and Carlton are multi-billion pound companies that would regard £178 million as petty cash. Unfortunately it’s not quite this cut and dry and if my understanding is correct then it’s also a completely ludicrous situation. When the league clubs were offered such a hefty sum they bit the hands o
ff ITV Digital without checking the viability of the offer. It seems that the league and ITV Digital only signed a preliminary contract (I’m not sure what the legal term is but I know what I’m talking about really). Now this is the first legal document, which broadly outlines the overall contract. To quote Richard Littlejohn, it’s the document for the normal people before ‘the Rumpoles draw up the 200 page thing’. This document says that ITV Digital will pay £315 million to the league clubs, however it doesn’t say that Granada and Carlton will underwrite this promise, this was expected in the proper contract. Amazingly this full contract is yet to be signed and consequently there is no legal basis for making Granada and Carlton cough up and if ITV Digital goes into administration I can’t see how Granada and Carlton will be held responsible. Obviously I think this is intrinsically wrong but I bet the highly paid lawyers can wangle it. The National game is in serious trouble as the league might be forced to accept the measly £50 million pay off. In case you are finding it difficult to fully comprehend the extent of this problem I’ll use the example of my club, Norwich City. Norwich are due to be given £1.9 million in August, a figure that had been built into our plans. If we don’t receive this figure then the proposed redevelopment of the ground may not happen. It’s the smaller clubs I feel for. Ever with the money clubs like Bury and Hull struggle, the removal of ITV Digital’s money will lead to clubs going out of business or at least clubs trying to adapt, leading to squads of less than twenty. All ready my home team, Chesterfield, have decided to get rid of their reserve team. Obviously I would love the figure to be paid in full, unfortunately I can’t see it happening. Obviously something must be done before the game that most people in this country love goes down
the pan, just like the American Soccer League in the 1980’s. I don’t think anyone is sure what will happen. It is possible that the league clubs could demand that ITV Digital pay in full leading to the winding up of ITV Digital resulting in a long drawn out legal battle that could result in the league clubs getting nothing or the possibility that SKY or another company would be allowed to bid for the rights. I don’t think this option is desired by anyone as the clubs aren’t likely to get a fair deal. Equally the clubs could accept the £50 million payoff, but that would cause problems in itself. The only viable option that I can see happening was highlighted on 606 last night. It might be possible to transfer the league rights from ITV Digital to Carlton and Granada to be shown on terrestrial TV. Occasionally a match is shown on a Sunday on ‘normal telly’ and the viewing figures are fairly healthy compared. It seems to make sense to give Carlton and Granada the rights, making sure that they will be pay the fee. Perhaps we would get a midweek and weekend match on the box. As Blackjane pointed out earlier ITV’s reputation would be seriously damaged if things go belly-up, this solution might just save them a bit of face. I don’t think all the blame should be laid at the feet of ITV Digital, the league clubs acted too hastily and greedily in accepting the ITV Digital option. We have a ludicrous situation that there is no written contract saying that Granada and Carlton are responsible for ITV Digital. However there must be some compromise. I hate to think that clubs are being treated badly but both parties (the league and Carlton/Granada) must sort something out before we are left with two leagues instead of four. I’ve drawn a lot of this opinion from 606 last night and apologise for stealing Blackjane’s thunder somewhat, I just thought I’d try and add something. Al
so apologies for the wrong category but until the ‘ITV Digital’ debate is put in the Speakers Corner it will have to stay here.
I like watching sport, most of my family do. Last year ITVdigital bought the rights to Nationwide Football for all 72 clubs. We enjoyed watching the coverage on SKY however since we were already paying for the Sky Sports package we decided not to get ITV digital. Instead, a friend of ours got it, that way she could watch matches that were on Sky and we could go over and watch the matches on ITV digital. It was a good compromise. However, if you had SKY they showed no coverage what so ever of any of the Nationwide matches what so ever which was a bit of a let down. ITV Sport on the other hand were very disappointing. Apart from the exciting Champions League matches once in a while the coverage of Nationwide was some what poor. The live matches were good but if you wanted to watch the mid week goals you would be disappointed since they never showed them or at a very obscure time. For £20 a month the Sports offered were not that appealing I found my friend at my place more often than me at hers. You may not need a dish but you do need to up grade your ariel which costs £70 and there are some areas where you can not get ITV digital full stop. After buying the Nationwide matches for a whopping £315 million a three year contract it has emerged that Carlton and Granada want to re-negotiate the contract to £25 million a year take it or leave it offer. If the Football league refuse the company will go into liquidation and most of the lower league teams will be hard hit financially. I think that it will be a terrible mistake if ITV digital did that because they should honour the contract. As for its poor subscription rates ITV digital need more than Nationwide football. In my opinion Sky are the best and unless ITV digital form some sought of partnership with Sky they will be in trouble. The customer service that ITV digital have is shocking. My friend had a problem with the reception and someone was arranged to come around a
nd have a look. She was told that they would come some time in between 9-5 so she took the day of work. They never turned up. When she rang them they didn?t seem to care. It was two months later after she initially asked someone to come that they came. I may pay more for the Sky package but I am much happier with. The quality is much better and you get much more Sport than ITV have to offer at present. If ITV digital to go into liquidation and stop TV money to the Nationwide clubs I think it will be appalling. They should honour the contract and when it comes up for renew Sky should get the contract because their coverage is much better.
Right, first things first this is a hard review to do as part of me wants to hate ITV digital but another part admits that it does the job well enough. Let me explain. We ordered our ITV digital system to arrive the week before Christmas and I admit we didn’t do much research it was a bit of an impulse buy and in retrospect I would properly have gone for Sky Digital give the choice again. After receiving our box it took over a month to get it all installed and set-up after having to suffer 2 separate aerial upgrades and one faulty box and this in an area that according to them had fantastic signal strength. I was at one point all ready to disconnect and go with sky, I phoned them up and asked if I could as I was still in my 14 days trial. They however said that the 14 days was just for the people who pay for a year upfront and as I paid monthly I only had 10 days and as that had started the second I placed my order as opposed to when the box arrived I was now over that date. This I felt was a bit silly, the time between the box being ordered and the first aerial upgrade being done was 11 days so even before I'd had a chance to look at any channels I was past my trial period... Anyway after all the fuss its now sorted and although we get picture break up every now and then its not to bad and rarely gets in the way of our enjoyment. My only other problems is that the subscription is virtually the same as Sky and yet you get a very small number of channels (only 1 music channel compared to Sky’s 6-7 for example) and interactive features compared to Sky, I know you can get all the main ones but things like VH1, Disney, History, Sci-Fi etc are defiantly missed. However admittedly that’s something that is subject to individual taste, and is also clear when you purchase the system. What I'm trying to say is assuming its all set-up ok and you are happy with the channel choice then there is nothing to stop you getting ITV digital, however
if you feel that you want as many channels for your money as possible then I'd go with Sky... horses for courses as they say!
I subscribed to ITV Digital in August, I had looked at both Sky (which I had when I was living with my parents)and ITV Digital. From previous experience I knew that ITV Digital had alot to live upto compared to Sky but as they had the Nationwide coverage I couldn't really get Sky being a First Division Football team fan, as I would never see my team. Having ITV Digital for neally 5 months now it has not once improved we seem to be in a very low reception area and can't pick up most of the channels we are paying for, I know that I could imporve the reception level by getting a bigger TV aerial but who wants to see a 2 metre Aerial at the top of thier house. If anyone out there is trying to choose between ITV Digital and Sky I would not hesitate in paying the extra for Sky you will get a better picture without the screen freezing everyday. I have also heard that Sky are currently negoitating a deal so they can offer the ITV Sports Channel within their packages. I know now that I am in a 12 month contract but as soon as this is over I like many others will be making the switch to Sky. But I am hoping that the reason for my switch will be because my Team are in the Premiership next year!! I can all but hope!!
Yes we all know about the great ITV Digital adverts that star Monkey and Al but I'm going to talk about the services ITV Digital provide me. I have had On digital for nearly a year now or ITV digital as there now known and I think they provide a great service at an affordable rate. All the other digital providers make you pay a fee to subscribe sky digital make you pay £40 and also NTL make you pay a fee. The channel package for the basic subscription is excellent it has a variety of channels available ranging from music to shopping. I pay £19.99 a month for my digital provider and i receive all of the channels below. ITV2 BBC Choice, Parliament, Knowledge and Text Shop! ITV Sport, ITV Sport Plus and ITV Sport Select Sky One Carlton Cinema Brit Eurosport Cartoon Network Granada Breeze/Men & Motors(Great Channel) Granada Plus MTV Discovery Channel Carlton Food UK Play UK Gold UK Horizons UK Style Nickelodeon Paramount Comedy Channel ITV Select (Pay-Per View Movies) You must agree the channel line up is quite impressive for a standard pack and the only reason I'm paying more is because I have signed up to the ITV sport channel which costs £6.99 a month. so the standard charge is just 12.99, which is cheaper than every basic package available. It is also very good for your kids (If You Have Any) during the summer holidays because it includes nickelodeon and cartoon network which should keep them amused for a few hours. Remember I have first hand experience because I've was on my school holidays a few months ago and I spend most of the day watching nickelodeon and MTV. For the adults there are many different channels including Granada plus which will include all your fave shows from back in the days such as the Sweeney and other "classics" so to speak. There is also UK gold which is great for all the family and includes
great British comedy Like fawlty towers, bottom, red dwarf, the young ones and many more brilliant act's of brit comedy. It also includes music channels them being MTV and UK Play which play a selection of different genres of music and also such shows that go around celebs houses. The best shows to look out for on MTV are MTV select, Guess What Live and also Yo! Which are the best shows on it. Going on to sport the basic channel pack only includes brit eurosport which is no use to me being a football fan as I?m. But if your willing to pay an extra £6.99 a month you could have ITV sport it will play 40 premiership games, 80 nationwide games, 10 f.a. cup games, 10 worthy cup games and lots of champions league games so football fans are in for a treat. For the woman there isn't much of a selection that is dedicated to you but it does include Granada breeze which is full of American chat shows to watch (I'm only saying this because I know my mum loves them) and it includes shop! which is very much like QVC which some woman might find handy. For the men its really the same thing none of the channels are meant for men, although it does include men & motors which many men will find excellent and also the adult channel and television X. But we won't go into detail about them because I have respect for the dooyoo readers.
I have had ITV Digital since January 2000. My wife and I wanted more choice but didn't want the hassle of installing a dish or cable (we live in a rented flat so even if we did want the hassle, we couldn't have installed cable or satellite anyway!) We live in a "Menu A" area which means that we should be able to receive all available channels. However, as we live in a flat with a shared ariel system the signal is slightly compromised. This caused problems at first because we couldn't receive one of the Muxes (a set of different channels broadcast in the space of only one) and so that meant we were missing 6 channels. Rather than spending £40 on an aerial upgrade from ITV Digital (which wasn't possible as it's a shared aerial!) we just spent £10 on a signal booster from Argos which did the trick and enabled us to receive all available channels... Compared to Sky/Cable the choice of channels really is pathetic. The line up isn't great which means ITV Digital offers neither quality or quantity! Still, I'm just happy to watch the Simpsons on Sky 1! Some channels share space which makes it look like you can receive more channels than you do... Paramount and Nickelodeon broadcast all day on other platforms but one ITV Digital they share 1 channel... Nick through the day and then Paramount in the evening. ITN News broadcast all day on other platforms but one ITV Digital they only broadcast from 5:30am - 9:00am Breeze/Men and Motors also share one channel (although both are terrible!) The platform has definately improved over the past few months with the arrival of new channels such as E4 and Nick/Paramount and the split of UK Horizon/UK style into 2 seperate channels (they once time shared Mon-Wed and Thur-Sun) The Discovery channel is also new (replacing Discovery Kids/Wings in Nov 2001 which was yet another time share channel!) BBC Knowledge is also extending
it's weekend hours so that it continues to broadcast until 2am instead of stopping at noon, sometimes halfway through a programme! Hopefully these changes are all signs that ITV Digital will sort itself out and concentrate on quality of programming rather than quantity before they go bust! One advantage over the other Digital platforms is mobility. We went away for a week in the summer and took our Digibox with us! You can't take a dish or cable with you! The package we bought is no longer available... You can't pre-pay £99 for 6 Primary channels any more. It will cost you £169 for 17 "Primary" channels plus a new £25 activation fee! I think ITV are making a bad mistake by charging so much for so little, but there will always be people like me who can't have cable or satellite.
First of all I would just like to say that Dooyoo should get it right! Is it still 5p or will they change all reads received after 12 to 3p? I am not sure; maybe they had problems implementing the changes. Anyway on to my opinion of Itv digital It was formally known as On Digital, but changed about half a year ago. I bought the prepaid package for £100 and you get a years subscription included, this gives you 14 free to air channels and 6 primary channels. I chose: E4 – Good channel aimed at the younger viewer MTV – Undisputed music champion, brilliant for getting the vibe. UK Horizons – Good comedy, and general mix of all the programs I like Play UK – Comedy and Music, never tried before. It’s okay, but nothing brilliant Discovery – Quite good for documentaries One more that I have forgot! The reception was initially poor, but I had the aerial upgrade done for £40 and this made things better. Perfect it is now. The box looks pretty cool, a silver pioneer box. Although it sometimes locks up and you find yourself smashing the buttons! Overall it is a brilliant t service, and worth the money. Especially good if you cannot have a dish put up as you live in rented property. Thanks.
I finally dragged myself kicking and screaming into the digital age with the purchase of an ITV digital set top box. A lot of my favourite shows like WWF (sad I know), Buffy, Dawson's Creek, West Wing, 3rd Rock From the Sun, etc, are shown a lot more on digital channels like Sky One, E4 and the Paramount Comedy channel, so I knew it was time I brought myself up to date. I'd heard a few stories about poor pictures, breaking up every time a car drove past, unresponsive and poor software in the set top boxes and poor customer services, but I took a deep breath and ordered the box, and I can honestly say I've encountered no problems so far, and I've had it for over three months now. A few minor break-ups of picture when there is extreme bad weather, but nothing worse than that. I chose ITV Digital over Sky for a couple of reasons. My ex girlfriend had Sky, and though there was plenty of choice, a lot of it was poor, the main channels I watched where Sky One, E4, Paramount and MTV2. I decided to lump for ITV because I wanted it for my room, and also because the £9.99 a month was cheaper than Sky's family package. OK, so I was missing out on MTV2, but I still had the radio. I couldn't afford to splash out on a prepaid set top box, so I went directly to the ITV Digital (http://www.itv-digital.co.uk) and ordered from there. It's a simple method, you enter your details and the site checks your postcode to check ITV Digital is available in your area, then you select your channels and payment method (either credit card or direct debit), a delivery date and Robert's you mother's brother. I have a bone to pick with the ITV Digital site - it looks nice, but the graphics slow it down rather a lot, and there isn't a lot of information, let alone schedule information, which I found to be a bit of a let down. CHANNELS AND PRICING First of all there are the free to air channels - BBC1, BBC2, ITV, ITV2
(or regional variations), Channel 4, Channel 5, BBC Choice, BBC Knowledge, BBC Parliament, BBC News 24, Shop and the information channels and text channels. Next we have the 'Primary Channels' - Sky one, E4, PlayUK, UK horizons, UK Style, Carlton Cinema, Carlton Food Network, Wellbeing, MTV, Play UK, UK Gold, Discovery, Eurosport, Granada Breeze, Granada Men and Motors, Paramount Comedy, Nickelodeon and The Cartoon Network. The subscription channels are Sky Sports 1-3, Sky Premier, Sky Moviemax, ITV Sport, Film Four and some adult channels. There are also five channels set aside for pay per view film broadcasting. You can either pay £9.99 per month for six of the primary channels or £13 for all of them. If you subscribe to six, you can phone up and change the channels as you wish. For a £5 fee per month, you can access the Internet via your set top box, they will supply a keyboard and the necessary leads, but this is done via a local rate call and I have a computer for the Internet, so didn?t take this option up. ITV Sport costs £6.99 per month, Film Four costs £5.99 per month and I'm not sure how much the adult channels cost. The Sky Sports and Movies channels cost £12 for the first one, £16 for 2. £19 for three and £21 for all five (Sky Sports 3 is free when you take either Sky Sports 1 or Sky Sports 2). Unfortunately ITV digital doesn't offer a free sports channel now, as it did last year (screening Champion's League football and Tennis), as this is now part of the ITV Sport package, which you must pay for. I have to say I was disappointed when I found out this had happened as I hadn't read about it anywhere and was looking forward to a more than healthy dose of football this season. To cap it all off, ITV Sport is in dispute with UTV about carrying the channel in Northern Ireland, and because of this, there is no schedule for when the channel is due to start broadcasting in
the province. The pay per view services are £2.99 per movie, a variable charge if it's on the adult request channel, or £6.99 for a pay per view football match, although a 'season ticket' is available for £40 to view all 40 PPV football matches. The minimum subscription term is 12 months, and you must be over 18, and the license is for broadcast in the home, if you want a box for a pub or other public venue, you will need an alternative subscription. INSTALLING THE DIGIBOX One of ITV Digital's main selling points is its ease of use straight out of the box, and it certainly is true. All you simply need to do is plug the aerial into the back of the box, and attach the box to your TV or video with the SCART or RF lead (which are supplied) and follow the simple instructions, the box will then scan for your available channels and store them. Then you need to phone the customer services number for them to activate your Smart Card, which means you have to tune to a primary channel and leave it there for a few minutes while the card updates itself with the information necessary to decrypt the picture. I had a few problems, which I will come to later. The box also keeps itself up to date, by installing new software it receives via the aerial. Currently all the boxes are changing themselves over from On digital software to ITV digital software, when this becomes available depends on your box and transmitter, but it's gradually happening for all customers. THE PICTURE Put the ITV Digital picture beside a Sky Digital picture and there's no comparison - the Sky Picture is sharper and clearer. The ITV digital picture can become quite blocky at times, I don't notice it too much on a 14" TV, but on the 28" TV downstairs, it is much clearer. This happens when the picture moves a lot, for instance in an action movie when the camera is moving quickly, the picture becomes quite pixelly
, but only for a second or two then it sorts itself out again. The ITV digital picture is much superior to an analogue picture, but not as much as I was hoping for. THE SERVICE Changing channels is easy - simply press the select button on your remote and cycle through the channels. It lacks the on screen info about what it on and what is coming on that Sky Displays, but once on the channel you can press the info button on the remote to receive the same information. The change can sometimes take a few seconds to decode the picture, it's not quite as fast as Sky, but everything goes quite smoothly. The digital teletext is amusing for a minute or two, it looks nicer than ordinary text, but it is so SLOW as to be almost unusable. Its pretty, colourful, but ultimately a bit disappointing. Once you make your first payment to ITV digital, you get a welcome back with your guide magazine, which you receive monthly, like the sky guide. It's very basic with not a lot by way of features, only highlights of the months features on the ITV digital channels. You can recieve a weekly issue for 39p per issue, if you choose not to subscribe, you'll recieve four free issues about two months after you start using the service. It's a fairly decent guide, all the channels packed onto five pages means its quite crowded, but not the worst I've seen. PROBLEMS Lets start at the start. First of all, my delivery was late. Probably more the courier's fault than ITV Digital's fault, especially since I live in Northern Ireland and am used to waiting for these things. The delivery window was between 8am and 5.30pm, and my box didn't arrive until 6pm, when I'd more or less given up hope. Next up, they neglected to put any leads in my box, just the digibox and the mains lead. Luckily I had a spare scart lead and managed to get my digibox set up and tuned in using the controls on the front of the box.
Then came the problem of not being able to change the channels, as they controls on the front of the box seemed to have locked themselves. I phoned up the customer services, and they tried to help me, but the poor girl on the end of the line was new and didn't really know what to do, so she referred me to the technical support. After waiting in another queue, he was able to talk me through what I needed to do in order to use the front of my box to control the channel selection - it involved yanking the aerial out of the back when I wanted to change channel, but hey! - It worked, and he ordered me a remote and leads, which took about 5 days to arrive. CUSTOMER SERVICES In my short time with ITV Digital I've had a fair few dealings with the customer services people trying to get my box and remote sorted out. They are a friendly bunch of people, although they are understaffed, and you have to put up with a fair amount of waiting around listening to orchestral music through your phone line. On the whole, they seem to know what they're talking about and aren't afraid to refer you to someone else who knows more rather than fudging you with an excuse. The main gripe I would have is that the line seems prone to crashing at times rather than placing you in a queue, you end up listening to a dead tone, but phoning back ten minutes later things seem to ease a bit. I did find an alternative number on the net to use - 0870 600 8686 instead of the one they give you - apparently this is a more direct line and it isn't publicised anywhere, so it is far less busy, and you can usually get straight through to an operator. PAY PER VIEW The pay per view films are quite up to date, usually the same kind of stuff as Sky, stuff that has recently come out to buy on video or DVD. At £2.99 a throw, it's as cheap as renting the video, and ordering can either be done over the phone or from your remote, so long as the box is connected t
o the phoneline. With both methods your fee is added to your monthly cost. It's then a case of tuning in to the correct channel when the movie starts and pressing select on your remote to start viewing. It's not as easy as sky, as there are only five channels showing films, meaning the start times are far less flexible, but the channels do broadcast more or less all the time. They have an offer at the moment where you can watch a movie before 6pm for the reduced rate of £1.99. ADVICE TO PROSPECTIVE SUBSCRIBERS Do try and test it out first. I found out that I can't receive Mux C, which carries UK Gold, MTV and Sky Sports 2 and Moviemax. As I really wanted UK Gold this is a bit of a disappointment, but not too bad. If you have a look at http://www.jaura.freeserve.co.uk/, that should be able to tell you what Muxes are available in your area, and from that you can work out what channels are available to you. I'll warn it isn't always accurate; you might need an aerial upgrade in order to receive all the channels. The best way is either to borrow a friend's box to see what the signal is like in your house, or to purchase a prepaid box which can be returned if the signal is unacceptable and you don't want to have to fork out £40 for the aerial upgrade. Hills and large buildings affect reception, and there's no real way of testing the signal unless you try it out yourself or have a neighbour who has one. I live 10 miles from the Divis transmitter on top of a hill, and I'm missing some channels, so the moral is try before you buy! I?m really pleased with my box. It's easy to use and set up; it's added another 25 or so channels to my range of viewing. I'd prefer Sky, but this is just for my room, and I'm not often in, so it isn?t really worth the effort of Sky. I'm awarding four stars because I reckon the pricing is very reasonable. I'm deducting points because of the lack of channels comp
ared to sky, and the quality of some of the primary channels (especially the Food Network and Wellbeing) is very poor. Also points off for the break up of the picture at times, but on the whole, it's been a very positive experience for me, and I don?t regret buying it. 56-oddchannels doesn?t seem like a lot, but they do carry some great channels like Sky One and E4, and I've been spoilt for choice ever since I got my box. For my increasingly needed Buffy fix, and wrestling obsession, it's more than adequate, and if you're looking for an easy step into the digital world, you would do well to look at this option. Useful sites: http://www.itv-digtal.co.uk http://www.jaura.freeserve.co.uk/ http://forum.digitalspy.co.uk/board/index.php
ITV Digital. Great idea, no cables to be installed, no dish to put on your house, digital TV through a standard TV. Genius! Unless, of course, you offer a pathetic number of channels, poor menus and next to no interactive services. My brother has Sky Digital you see, and I'd been there a lot, and I'd seen how good it was. Superb menus and TV guides, fantastic interactive services (such as a home betting system for Banzai which was great fun) and more channels than you could shake a remote control at. Add to that the cheaper Sky Sports, and the genius that is Sky Sports Extra, and you've got a convincing digital TV package. So why can't ITV get anywhere near the quality of Sky? Our ITV box still has all the old OnDigital menus, there's no information services apart from the BBC Ceefax and ITV's Teletext service, and interactive services stretch to 2 pretty lame games that are entertaining for a few minutes at best. The menu system, such as flicking through the channel browser, is unbelievably slow, and changing channels can take up to 10 seconds, compared to the instant nature of Sky and NTL (which i had at uni). The choice of channels is incredibly limited. No MTV2 or any of it's kind, just the very basic package of Sky1, BBC Choice and others of it's ilk. Despite it's simplicity to set up (although it requires 4 phone calls) and lack of drilling or cables, the end product is very very disappointing. I'd advise Sky Digital, the dishes are small, they're common as muck so you won't make your house look tacky (which is why my parents chose ITV... grr...) and you'll get a far, far better service, with a larger selection of better channels. And as for the new home of football... bear in mind that 80% of their football service is Sky Sports, then make your mind up.
Want to know where ITV digital went wrong, I'll tell you. Me and every person I know who got ITV digital or On digital as it was at the time got it for one thing and one thing only...the free Chmapions League football. They aired every match, every week in the Champions League..for free! Then what did they do when they suckered enough people into this and their 12 month contracts, decided to charge for it. Now was that not their only selling point? They had fewer channels than their competitors, their hardware wasn't as good, their reception was mediocre at times BUT THEY HAD FREE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FOOTBALL. More to the point, they were the only ones to shoe the Champions League Football originally as Sky didn't have the rights to ITV! Therefore they had a monoploy on Champions League football. So they must have sat down and said right, our customer base is up, football's going well, we're doing ok. Any ideas? Why don't we let Sky digital have the football as well, that way we can make more money. Yea good idea. Next day, they are alarmed to discover that if people can see the Champions League on Sky, get more channels, better hardware and perfect reception, they're going to leave. No big surprise there then, but then they thought they'd charge you to watch it as well. The result, everyone leaves them, including their digital channels and they're right up the creek. I think Nelson from the Simpsons put it best when he said: "Ha Ha!"
We signed up for the £9.99 per month ITV digital over the phone. For this we were supposed to get all the free channels all the primary channels on a 3 month trial basis after which we would choose 6 for £9.99 per month or keep all the ones we are (allegedly) getting for £13.99. We received the ITV digital box and were told that it worked with a normal tv ariel. Thrilled at the prospect of all these extra channels we set it up and found that we couldn't receive all the channels we are paying for. We phoned up the company and were told that our ariel probably needs upgrading at a cost of £40. We thought that this was a bit expensive so decided to cancel the subscription. We were told that we couldn't as we are locked into a 12 month contract. At no point before entering into the contract was we warned of the possibility of the £40 extra cost and we were told that the digital box worked with a normal tv ariel. We are very upset about this and are currently deciding whether to pay the £40 or put up with not receiving all the channels we are paying for. This is my first experince with tv outside of the basic BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel 4 and 5. I'm not impressed and I think that extra channels are probably more trouble than they are worth, although I'd like to actually be able to see them so that I can make a proper decision.