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Adequate - and good for the price
Member Name: raveydavy
Date: 22/05/01, updated on 22/05/01 (16 review reads)
Advantages: Ease of installation, improving service, enough to watch
Disadvantages: Programming quality of the channels, behind Sky technologically
I've had On Digital for well over a year now, and it is just as well that I am writing this now rather than when I first got it, because the system has got much, much better since then.
In arriving at the Ondigital decision it was a simple choice between:
1) do nothing and stick with the 5 standard channels
What most appealed to me about On Digital was the fact that I wouldn't need to knock down half of the house to install it. I'm sure the nice Mr Sky and Charlie cable will claim that their installation is non-intrusive, but I'm a little reticent about letting a 12 year old work experienc lad drill holes in my wall.
The On Digital thing, then, was easy. I had to do a bit of mucking about since Granada had the forms but no boxes, and Currys had the boxes but no forms. Anyway, a couple of porkies later I had the thing at home. At that point I went for the "all in" package. Basically, they have four types of channel; free, mildly expensive, very expensive and pay per view. The free channels, on top of the usual five, include a few others like BBC news 24. The additional free channels are pretty dull really.
My all in package included all the free stuff and all the medium price channels. These include things like MTV and Sky one. the good thing about the package is that when On Digital add channels (which they've been doing quite a lot) then you simply get them with no mucking around.
An addition I subscribe to Film Four but not to any of the Sky sports channels or the Sky movie channels.
On top of that, for a fiver a month I get the "on net" service. This is basically the internet, delivered through a tiny box that sits alongside the digital box. On net kind of works, but it is slow and falls over on many sites, so more work to do there.
As for the TV, there's lots of rubbish to watch, interspersed with some real
gems. Paramout comedy showing Father Ted, the Simpsons on Sky one, pretty much anything on Film Four, and excellent Champions Leage coverage from "On Sport". The new E4 (bastard son of Channel 4) has some good stuff as well. Oh, and you get a second chance to see Eastenders later on BBC Choice on "Walford nights" as well.
I'm not sure if I would have found more to watch on the Cable or Satellite options, but of these two I would have been torn between the cheap-phone-on-cable and more-channels-than-you-will-ever-need-on-Sky-Digit al aspects.
All in though, I am happy - but would prefer there to me more qualtiy programmes for all the channels to show.
Oh, and the interactive (like mixed teletext and TV) services on On Digital are good and improving. Whilst watching the footie you can see updating match stats alongside, for example.
If you are unsure, then I'd say the advantage of On Digital over the others is that if you decide to give it back, then there won't be any holes in you walls that will need blocking up.
You can check the full channel listings and prices etc on the website