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85 Reviews
  • Can take an hour to flick through the channels
  • Poor quality of digiboxes through Sky
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    85 Reviews
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      30.04.2010 21:36
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      A great deal for all the family.

      I'm not quite sure about the review written before mine, I like all the others am really pleased with our sky broadband.

      We have had sky for years and years now it must be over £14 years! We love it and wouldn't be without it. We've had more packages and less packages depending on how our financial pockets are at the present time.


      Television;
      -------------

      Start price is £18 per month. This is the basic freeview package + 1 of their entertainment packages.

      After that you can choose in increments of £1 per extra package per month, the packages are knowledge which we have that's discovery channels and history, kids which we have which is boomerang, Disney etc, News & Events - just that! (to be honest we get sky news and bbc news on the packages we have so don't know the advantage of this!), Variety which is comedies, drama, sky 1 etc, style & culture which is ukstyle channels, cooking chanels etc, music which is mtv, hip hop, dance etc. So the most expensive option would be £23.00.

      Sports and Movies are a lot extra. There is also the option of sky box office which is a bit like renting a film. At any time you can look at the films and decide if you want to watch one that night. You book it in and then it's charged to your account.

      Broadband;
      -----------------

      There are again three options, broadband base which is up to 2mb, Broadband everyday up to 10mb and broadband unlimited up to 20mb. We have the sky broadband everyday and that's perfectly ok for the amount we use it. We have the computer on 24/7 and although we don't do alot of watching films or television online we use it for almost everything else. Prices for the base from what I can work out from the website is free, then everyday is £5 and unlimited is £10. It seems to imply this includes free evening and weekend calls if you want that option on your phone.

      Telephone;
      ---------------

      We decided to stay with bt for the landline rental but use sky for the actual telephone calls as it was cheaper than bt at the time. The prices seem different now but we are perfectly happy with sky's telephone system. We get free all day calls to landlines. We felt it was best to stay with bt for the landline as they know what they are doing with lines etc they have years of experience, bt also have free customer service to uk call centres.

      Sky customer service;
      We are happy with their customer service again it's a uk call centre. They are extremely helpful, we have had the odd hitch with broadband connection but as soon as we phone they get it checked out and help get you back online asap. I also like the fact that they like to use their own router so when it goes bust they send a new one out free of charge which is good.

      Sky + & HD
      ---------------

      We have been lucky enough to have been given a sky+ HD box it's great, I don't use the HD much and to be honest I can't notice a massive amount of difference but I love the sky + bit. It doesn't cost any extra if you already have a box you just ring up and say you've got one and they switch you over. Sky + means you can pause television on any chanel! So if the phone rings you just press pause and when you've finished the conversation you press play and it carries on from where you left off. The joys of this are that you can fast forward through the adverts if you pause it for long enough! Sometimes I do it on purpose while I go and get a few jobs done and then come and watch it all and fast forward all the adverts!

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        01.12.2009 15:54
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        good if you dont have much choice

        Sky TV is like marmite some people love it others hate it.

        Yes it's expensive if you have the full package including movies and sport but the good thing is you can buy the packages of channels that you want.

        Now for me I don't have much choice as I don't live in a cable network area so my only options are SKY or Freeview. Now I had Freeview for a few months but most of the stuff I wanted to watch was on SKY so I decided that was the choice for me.

        I went for the SKY+ box and think its great, I was not prepared to pay the extra £10 a month for SKY+HD.

        Ok one of the main problems I have is if it really heavy rain hitting the dish or snow on it the picture breaks up or worse goes of all together. I have been seen leaning out of the bedroom window hanging on by one foot trying to brush the snow off the dish without knocking it out of alignment.

        If your thinking of getting SKY then before Christmas is the best time as they have good deals.

        Yes there are a lot of channels that you will never watch but at least you have a choice.

        So if you want more channels than Freeview and you don't have the option of cable then SKY TV is a good option to go for.

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        28.04.2009 11:51

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        Poor service, freeely given

        Why is Sky still trading?
        After 3 months of trying to get someone, anyone at Sky to help with my installation problems, I have given up any hope of getting a response. Countless e-mails remain unanswered. Hours waiting on the phone for someone to speak to, listening to that "Music". When you do finally get to speak to someone (twice in three months), they can not help and fail to phone you back when promised. Even getting through to someone at the head office is a strain, today i spent over 30 minuets on my mobile waiting for someone in the complaints department to pick up the phone. The cost of telephoning an 0800 number on your mobile is frightening.
        How can a company who offers such poor service remain in business?
        What do you have to do to get someone to deal with the problem?
        I have now cancelled my direct debt, in the hop that this might prompt Sky into action, but no, all that happened is they suspended the only one of the three services they had managed to connect, still no contact, still no resolution. I am left with a Sky HD box that is no use to me, cost £49.00, three months old, no much use.
        Is there anyone out there that has any advice of who I can go to get this problem resolved?

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        21.04.2009 17:57
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        They dont make any sense

        I have been a Sky Tv customer for just under a year now and the only thing I like about them is the Television itself. I used to have the package where I got my home phone calls and free broadband but I would always end up getting charged for something so I stopped that and I just kept the TV package.

        In certain areas (depending on the postcode) they offer a free broadband service and free home phone calls service.

        Sky Talk-Free evening and weekend calls to uk landlines. Or you could pay £5 which offers you unlimited UK landline calls.
        They also now offer a line rental service which is £10 a month.

        Broadband-Free up to 2mb. You can pay £5 a month to get up to 8mb or £10 a month which gives you up to 10mb. The free broadband does depend on your postcode though.

        Sky Tv offer various different packages.
        The packages that are available are:
        Music
        Entertainment
        Kids
        Sport
        movies
        News & Events
        Style & Culture
        Variety
        Knowledge

        they also offer Box Office channels which are for sports and films. The films are released on here not long after they are on at the cinema and the average cost for a film is only about £4.

        The price you pay a month depends on which packages you would like. The cheapest is for just one package which is £16.50. this can not be movies or sport.

        The most expensive package is for all of the packages including sky sports and the movies. This costs £46 a month.

        There are different boxes to choose from.
        Sky Box- Standard sky box is free with £15 set up cost
        Sky +- Pause, record, reqind and fastforward live TV. (this is a very useful thing to have) is £99 with £30 set up cost and Sky + HD which is £49 with free set up costs.

        The set up costs are based on new customers.

        You can arrange to get sky in three different ways, on the phone or on the internet. There are more benefits by joining online (at the moment they are offering a free Tesco gift card).

        You can arrange to have an additional box. I have the full package with an extra box and I pay £10 a month for the extra box.

        I feel like Sky do more and care more about new customers than they do about their old ones.

        I moved home 6 months ago and my new house only has a connection point for the standard box in the living room. When I rang Sky to ask them how much they would charge me to come out and connect the Sky + box and the standard one in another room I was told it would be £85. I thought this was very high as when I first got it connected I did not pay anything. It was when there was a recommend a friend offer on and I got the sky+ free but was going to have to pay £30 instilation until I decided to get an extra box and then I was told it would be free.

        I told them not to bother and I would see if I could get it cheaper by an electrician.

        Then a friend told me that I should just wait until my 12 months contracted period was up, cancel it and then take it back out in my partners name.

        I rang Sky up, pretended to be a new customer and asked them how much it would be to get it installed if I was recommended by a friend. I was told it would be free.

        So basically I would be getting another sky+ box, standard box and installation for free. I would then be able to sell my sky+ box and standard box on ebay and make money from it. Where is the sense in that???

        Basically, Sky just want to get new customers and then hope they do not leave but they do not give then any insentive not to leave.

        My 12 months is up next month so I will definately be cancelling it but I will be taking it back out as I dont think I could cope without Sky Tv. At the moment I really miss Sky+. I could watch all the soaps on a night when my son was fast asleep and I wouldn't be interupted. I could basically watch what I wanted when I wanted

        Their customer service is not the best either, the main problem with then is that you can not understand a word they are saying as they are not based in this country. I rang a few months ago to change my direct debit date and it never got done. When a payment bounced I was charged by my bank. I wrote a letter off to them complaining about this and I got my bank charges credited to my Sky account.

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        02.02.2009 22:52

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        well i just recently come off of sky because i couldnt afford it anymore and i never had a problem with them ever untill i come off then i had phone calls still saying do i want insurance on my sky box and the day i came off guess what my sky box wouldnt even turn on and when it does turn on for about 20 minutes i go on to tv guide it goes on and off blue screen and black screen and then stopped working full stop i come off but i get a free month because u pay for month in front i still have till the 18th january is that a coincidence i been with them nearly 2 years not one problem with the box till i told them i was coming off

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        06.12.2007 21:16
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        Sky are the very best in this field - The ultimate digital TV experience

        I recently wrote a review on the Discovery channel and to my surprise I was quite taken back at how many people said they don't have Sky Digital TV at home. I've been a Sky customer for so long now(15 years) - starting out with analogue & then converting to digital TV. So I guess I just take it for granted that everyone else has it too - evidently this is not the case. So, for all those people who are missing out on all the countless TV channels that Sky Digital provide or are presently unhappy with your current cable company , then the best thing you can do this Christmas is to treat yourself by subscribing to Sky digital. This is one xmas present that will guarantee to put a smile on all family members faces. So this year why not give the x-box a miss and get a Sky box instead. - Its simply TV viewing at it s very best and this company effortlessly brush aside its competitors both in value for money and in the selection of channels on offer. When moving home from London to Kent I was more concerned about my Sky TV installation than my new fitted kitchen .... Need I say more.- Its that brilliant that I cannot be without it & I will tell you why.

        *[Who Needs An X Box When I Got A Sky Box]*

        Like all modern state-of-the-art technology, what good is the software without the backing of good and quality hardware equipment - Sky digital TV is no exception & so once you subscribe to this kind of home entertainment viewing , the following hardware equipment will be installed in your property :

        [1] - Satellite Dish - Free
        [2] - Sky Digital Receiver Box - Standard Box Free
        [3] - Classy Remote Control - Free
        [4] - Viewing Sky Card

        *All Sky customers will receive the above and all FREE no matter which Sky package you decide to go for but you will have to pay a one off payment of £30 - £40 to get your equipment installed. Nowadays , the equipment provided by Sky is far more sophisticated and stylish looking than what it used to be. The satellite dishes are no longer white in colour & ugly looking , instead they are smaller in size yet pick up a powerful ,strong & clear viewing reception. The standard satellite dish is now a black mesh design & although visible , it is appealing on the eye and one that actually compliments the infrastructure of the building or roof when on view.

        *The Sky box or decoder box , what ever you prefer to call it has evolved from your bulky and basic Beta VHS look and transformed itself into this slick & slim line stylish decoder unit. Even the standard free Sky box will look good in your living room - one that will compliment your other technical appliances both in looks and in modern technology. I have multi-room in my home hence my Sky box is slightly different to your normal standard box. Nonetheless , Sky have come a long way from the old traditional TV analogue receivers and so rest assured which ever unit box you decide to opt for you will not be disappointed. - the horrid looking fascia and basic buttons are a thing of the past .- Note: Up-graded decoders are not free and so consult Sky before plunging in , some models are quite expensive.

        *The heartbeat and drive to Sky digital , and to fully appreciate TV viewing when sat in the comfort of your sofa has to be the Sky remote control - without this powerful tool Sky digital would not be half as good , oh no most definitely not. It is via this infra red remote that you begin to open a whole new world of home TV entertainment whilst navigating through the numerous pages and options you can choose from. You will be pretty much amazed at the variety of features that one can access & more so when going interactive. - When setting up your Sky box , the installation team will run a phone line cable from your decoder unit into your phone socket. This is compulsory when subscribing , customers need to have a land line in order to comply with Sky's terms & conditions. When clicking interactive you have an array of services at your disposal - from internet access to read emails , home shopping ,online banking , playing games , Sky text and much more. When accessing certain services via interactive the menu screen displays how much it will cost your per minute , and all is calculated via the phone line.

        The ergonomically & user friendly numerical / button pad remote is self explanatory making Sky viewing quick and responsive when operating. - Needing to AA batteries to operate , you can navigate with confidence as a displayed message on TV screen will flash when battery life is low. This a small yet excellent feature , this is exactly what you will soon discover once you get familiar with your Sky remote. These small detailed features enhance TV viewing to its maximum , giving you full control on how to set-up and customise when tuning into Sky digital. - One of my favourites has to be Personal Planner - a superb feature that allows you to select a programme you want to watch but it may not be on for another three days. You simply click on it and just before the programme is about to start you are directed to the channel or given a reminder on the screen - an indicator that the programme is about to begin. Many a times I have forgotten about some documentary programme I wanted to watch and as always the personal planner feature has come to the rescue.. With a wide selection of channels on offer the favourite channel feature is one you should to get to grips with real soon - This allows you to store you most viewed channels , thus creating a list of you favourites programmes. This method of approach is so much easier to locate specific Sky channels when ready to view than having to scroll up/down for the search.

        However , despite the simple layout and self-explanatory button fascia when navigating via your Sky remote you won't fully understand its full potential overnight - The array of services on offer mean you should really take some time out to read up on your remote and how to operate it fully - this in the long run will benefit the customer not only when viewing Sky digital programmes but also the running of your Sky package account as well as information on updated channels and services that Sky plan to introduce - At all times keeping customers fully informed of all new developments and proposals. Customers will also come across contact telephone numbers on viewed pages , this is in case you don't feel confident enough to verify an action via your remote or you may even feel that further information is needed before going ahead by clicking on the button - either way you can rest assured as help is always just a phone call away 24/7.

        *Once all plugged in & hooked up to Sky digital you are ready to insert your Sky viewing card - it's the size of a credit card that easily slots into your decoder and this in return will decipher the channels that your Sky package should contain - all the while receiving a clear and crystal picture/reception at all times. This viewing card contains a small chip , similar to the ones you find on mobile simm cards and it is this that holds and stores all customer information accompanied with a serial viewing card number - your own personal customer identification. You will at times have to quote this number to Sky customer service when contacting them - you simply pull the card out and read out the number and then slot back into decoder. Very simple and easy to do and once viewing card is inserted back the channels will decipher back to normal relatively quick , giving you instant access & TV viewing. All Sky viewing cards are sent to customers by post accompanied with a copy of the contract and details of the Sky package you have subscribed to.


        *[Sky TV Packages]*

        When selecting a viewing package you will soon discover that the customer is pretty much spoilt for choice - top quality digital TV at a touch of a button and all this can be tailor made to suit your ideal viewing preference when selecting the Sky channels on offer. There are in total 24 different Sky viewing packages hence that is 24 different monthly prices. So in order to give you the customer a fair idea of what you will be paying on a monthly basis I have decided to tackle the cheapest package as well as the most expensive package that Sky offer. This way you have some indicator of what you will getting for your money.

        Viewing Package: Sky World
        Monthly Fee : £45 Per Month -Direct Debit Payment
        Channels Offered: All Sky channels

        The above package is my subscription with Sky digital and this is the ultimate viewing package and the most expensive one available. With this package I get to see every possible Sky channel on offer , ranging from all the entertainment programmes to all the movies , sports , news & documentaries , kids , educational & knowledge programmes , music and radio - You name it the Sky World package has it. More than 400 films per week across all of the Sky movie screens as well as 300 entertainment channels. Live sporting events and that too is across all of the four Sky Sports channels - excellent footage and commentary when viewing. So basically for £45 per month this package is well worth it & value for money.

        Some of my favourite channels on Sky digital are:

        [1] - National Geographic
        [2] - The Discovery Channel
        [3] - Sky One
        [4] - Paramount Comedy
        [5] - Sky Sports Channels
        [6] - Movie Channels
        [7] - Sci -Fi Channel
        [8] - Sky News
        [9] - Bravo
        [10] - MTV

        The cheapest package on offer by Sky is £16 per month - still great value for money for what you get. More than 100 channels plus and there are some real good gem of a channels hidden within these smaller priced packages as well. You will however miss out on all the sport and movie channels events - this a basic package but one that will suit many as well. Those who don't subscribe to the movie package also have the option of viewing pay per view movies by clicking on the box office button via the remote control , pay per view also applies to sporting events. The box office option is not something I use much as I have no need to - my Sky package is jam packed with everything I need.

        *[The Company - Sky Digital TV]*

        I don't think there are many people in this country that can say they have been a Sky TV customer for more than 15 years - I on the other hand can boast that I have , during which its been one of the best run companies I have dealt with and I have never experienced any complications with my contract or when viewing the Sky channel programmes. Customer service is brilliant and I always come away a satisfied customer - the manner in which my enquiries are dealt with are first class. I only deal with best and Sky digital are the very best in this field. -bringing you TV home viewing entertainment onto another level & one than is expanding all the time. So if you are looking for a top quality digital TV package and one that is superb value for money then look no further than Sky digital.



        I more than HIGHLY RECOMMEND Sky TV!!




        Thanks ............. Stroody 2007 @ 20.00hrs 06/12/07

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          09.07.2007 01:42

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          Confirm all telephone conversations with Sky in writing and keep copies

          BEWARE OF SKY TV SPECIAL OFFERS In 2006, I telephoned Sky to get Freesat and was persuaded by the operator to pay £10 per month for 12 months, so that I would pay £120 instead of an immediate payment of £150. She also said I could choose two additional programme packages, in the hope I would remain a Sky subscriber. I told the operator quite clearly that I wanted Freesat and did not want to be a subscriber and that I wanted only the one year contract so my total outlay would be only £120.

          If you are offered a package like this, but want only Freesat, write immediately to Sky and state that you wish only the one year contract and arrange for your direct debit with the bank to expire at the end of the contract. Sky will not accept you entered into a verbal contract and if you do not cancel as indicated, they thrive on inertia, upping your direct debit payments to (currently) £15 per month. Letters I have written to their so called customer care department have not received individual, considerate replies and Sky immediately threatened with debt collectors and court action even for a "debt" of £30 I have also been pestered from callers from their “collections department” and have had very unpleasant telephone conversations with them.

          My experience is that Sky does not not take care of its customers and unlike with other industries, there seems to be no-one else who will. I wish I had gone to Freeview and had never become a customer of Sky. My problem is that Freeview reception is not good in my area. Sky’s virtual monopoly of satellite tv in non-cable rural areas will I hope, one day end, so that consumers will have more choice, and Sky more competition.

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          14.09.2005 17:47
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          The sky has a limit

          I am pleased that I am not the only person who has problems with Sky. I conceed that the company does provide an excellent service, but they are geared up for new customers and do not respect existing ones.

          Why is it acceptable to pay a £60 call out charge for faults on their equipment? We are paying a lot of money to use their service? In bad weather my dish moved, I did not have a service for 6 weeks and they tried to charge me for repair!

          Why do existing customers accept paying double to upgrade to Sky+?

          I recently tried to leave Sky as I was selling up and moving to live in someone else's property in London (I live in Northern Ireland). They told me I would have to register a change of address (and pay for a re-install) I told them that I was moving into someone else's house and they would probably get a Sky account in their name. They actually called me dishonest over the phone and told me that they would more or less hunt me down and make my friend pay full cost subscriptions of over £300 + vat as I was a previous customer.

          You know what? NTL might be a bit slow, Telewest may not provide 100% of the rubbishy channels, Home Choice might not provide all the movie channels, but hell, if it means not giving money to Sky - then that's what I am going to do.

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          27.07.2004 01:40
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          I?ve been procrastinating for quite some time about whether to take the plunge into the world of Sky digital, my freeview box was simply not up to the job as I live in an area with poor reception and so had to suffer constant stutters and picture freezes which were starting to drive me mad. Also, being a big football fan there is only one television company that shows decent matches week in week out as well as numerous film channels and a plethora of twenty-four hour news feeds, the fact was that if I was to move my telivisual habits into this century I was going to have to subscribe to Sky. Image my delight then, when a pop up window appeared on my AOL sign in screen displaying an offer to beat all previous offers Sky wise. As an AOL broadband customer I was being offered the chance to have a digital satellite dish and a digital receiver supplied and installed completely free plus three months of free viewing of the Sky family pack, which usually costs £40 a month. Well, I must have pondered the merits and pitfalls of this offer for all of ten seconds before taking the plunge and signing up. ●Signing Up● As I have mentioned I got a special offer through my internet service provider but there are pop ups and banner adverts all over the internet with special deals and offers on Sky subscriptions. www.sky.com also has an exclusive online offer so they are worth checking out. Sign up for me was a simple task of filling in my name and address in a pop up window and supplying credit card details to verify my age. I was then informed via email that a Sky customer service operative would contact me by telephone within three working days to arrange direct debit details and an installation date to suit me, and true to their word I was telephoned three days later. The phone operative was friendly and efficient and after taki
          ng my bank account and sort code details for the direct debit he reeled off a handful of terms and conditions for me to listen to and agree with, one of which was that I had to subscribe for a minimum of twelve months and another being that the digital receiver must be connected to a phone line at all times to enable interactive connectivity. This was on a Wednesday and the next available installation slot in my area was for the following Sunday which I agreed to. While waiting for the Sunday to arrive I received a Sky viewing card in the post along with a signature less contract and details of the channel package I had applied for, now all I needed was the Sky TV itself. ●Installation● On the Sunday morning I received a courtesy call from the installers which I thought was a nice touch telling me they would arrive anytime between ten and midday. At twenty past eleven a little white van adorned with the sky logo pulled up and two chaps set about installing my digital equipment. Both were polite and conscientious with one taking to the roof to position the black mesh satellite dish while the other produced a monster of a drill - which I can only presume had been used to bore out the channel tunnel in a previous life ? and drilled a hole in my wall to take the cabling. Luckily I have a telephone socket close to my television so no extra wiring was needed for this, and with the plugging in of a scart lead the installation was all but complete. A quick check that all of the channels were working as they should be and that the phone connection was active and the two installers left within twenty minutes of starting the job, leaving me to explore and enjoy my new toy. However, my excitement was short lived when I discovered that my video and DVD player were no longer displaying a picture, I was annoyed that the installer
          s had not addressed this issue as I am sure the majority of people who want to have Sky digital installed would already have a VCR and a DVD player in position. Maybe I should have expressly asked that they make sure all of my appliances were working in harmony, as it was I had to spend twenty minutes cursing and swapping scart leads and cables around before all three pieces of equipment worked in the correct manner. At last I could sit down and enjoy the plethora of new channels available to me. ●Equipment● As the digital receiver and satellite dish were free I did not have high expectations as to the quality or look of either item, but even so I was taken aback by just how ugly the digital receiver was. Slightly smaller than a VCR, my digital receiver was made by Thomson (whoever they might be) and is a delightful gun metal colour, It looks like it was designed in the seventies with flimsy buttons and a ghastly facia; I suppose I could put a sheet over it in the presence of company. Various lights change colour depending on the action selected and there are two viewing card slots to the front, one for the sky card and one spare. One plus point is that there is a spare RF out socket for connection to a second television set to the rear. The satellite dish is the standard black mesh design and is as unobtrusive as a satellite dish can be, and both pieces of equipment are covered by a one year warranty. ●Remote Control● The real driving force of the whole setup has to be the remote control; any number of functions can be instigated through this dark blue rubberised marvel, from ordering a pizza to sending an email, it is even rather handy at changing television channels. From the top of the remote control there are three buttons which allow the user to switch between Sky
          and terrestrial television operation, these buttons are followed by four more labelled TV guide, box office, services and interactive. The tv guide button brings up a list of channels which can either be browsed by category or in an A to Z format. Box office is the button to press should a pay per view program or channel catch the eye while the services button brings up the option to search for new channels, set parental controls or reset other settings. Interactive is fairly self explanatory in that it brings up interactive menus such as pizza ordering, email sending and online banking to name but three options. Next in line are the mute and information buttons, mute is self explanatory while information button brings up details of the program or channel being watched or listened to. Volume and channel again need no explanation, while nestled between these are four arrow keys pointing in a North, East, South and West. These are used to navigate onscreen menus with a select button to choose any such selection. The next three buttons call up text, go back one step and display help in that order and they are followed by the four coloured buttons with the red one probably the one that will be used most frequently with many programs pleading with the viewer to press their red button now to join in the fun. Finally, a standard numerical keypad enables the user to type in the channel number if it is known as well as other number based options. ●Channels● There are two ways to select and view channels on Sky digital, the number of the channel can be entered using the number buttons or the TV guide button can be pushed to bring up the TV guide screen. From the TV guide screen there are options to either list all of the channels at once or to list them in their various categories such as entertainment, sports or kids. Each option is selec
          ted using the arrow keys on the remote control and pushing the select button to choose the favoured channel. ●Entertainment● The entertainment selection of channels range from the main players such as BBC, ITV and Sky One to less well known channels like Game In TV and Artsworld. E4 and E4+1 are also in the section and are at present showing continuous live streaming of Big Brother five for those interested. I tend to spend the majority of my television watching time in this section with Bravo, Paramount and BBC3 amongst my favourite choices. At present there are sixty-five channels in this section, so there should be something available for most tastes. ●Movies● Movies is the next option on the TV guide screen with nine Sky movies channels as well as two Sky cinema channels showing older films. Older films can also be found on TCM (Turner Classic Movies) while three film four channels are available, although each of them costs extra to view. ●Sports● If ? like me ? you are a sports fan this section will be a regular stop off point. Sky sports 1, 2 and 3 show much of the latest sport including Premiership, Scottish and Nationwide league football as well as cricket, rugby and several types of motor racing. Manchester United and Chelsea even have their own channels here but each will cost extra should you wish to view them, something I will not be doing it?s fair to say. Eurosport is a fine channel covering European wide happenings of a sporting nature while Sky sports News and Eurosport news bring the latest headlines as soon as they occur. Specialist channels are also very much in evidence with the sports of golf, horse racing, motors, wrestling and extreme spor
          ts each having their very own channel. Finally, Prem plus is a subscription channel offering fifty extra premiership football matches a season for those who cannot get enough of the beautiful game. ●News & Documentaries● The News & Documentaries section is another in which I can be found loitering; British news channels such as BBC News 24, ITV News and Sky News are joined by international stations such as CNBC, CNN, Euro News and Fox News. Each offer their own unique and often award winning styles of reporting the news as it happens, no news worthy stone will stay unturned with this formidable array of channels. ●Kids● If only this line up had been around twenty-five years ago I would have been in televisual utopia. Disney spread their unique magic on four separate channels with Nickleodeon accounting for another three. The BBC have thrown CBBC and Cbeebies into the mix with Cartoon Network also having two channels devoted to all things animated. I can only guess how much of a godsend these channels are in silencing and entertaining little minds, Heck I enjoy watching them and I`m thirty-four! ●Music & Radio● Yet another section where I`m at my happiest, the music channels on offer really do have something for every taste. MTV ? the stalwarts of TV music ? have five channels ranging from base to dance through to hits and the original MTV. VH1 is aimed at oldies like myself and has a heavy eighties and nineties influence on its three channels. Recent hits and Pop are covered on a plethora of channels such as Magic, flaunt and the Amp while those of a more serious musical bent will find solace on the musicia
          ns channel or Scuzz. With twenty-six visual music channels to choose from it can only surely be a matter of moments before you stumble on something to suit your tastes. Where to start on describing the radio channels available? A not so quick count reveals that there are seventy-six available ranging from all of the BBC stations to nearly all of the UK wide commercial stations and a smattering of special interest, foreign language and minority programming. A couple of Welsh language stations are joined by Irish and Scottish specific stations, there is even a station called Gaydar but I have-not listened to that as yet. ●Specialist● The heading Specialist covers an array of channels including shopping, religious, regional and porn. The bigger players in the tele-shopping market like QVC and TV Travel shop are joined by more product specific channels such as the Golf shop and Lunn Polly TV. Many of these shopping channels are OK to watch with the occasional bargain cropping up, and watching a presenter trying to talk about a mop for half an hour can be amusing. The religious sector includes the God channel and revelation to name but two, but since I do not have a religious or holy bone in my body these are not channels that will see much usage from me. The regional channels are a great idea for catching news or regional programs other than those in your own region, should you wish to watch the local news from the Channel Islands this can be achieved with the press of a button. The porn channels are all extra cost channels (so I?ve been told), but those who wish for a little late night titillation can choose from twenty-eight channels. ●Personal Planner● The Personal Planner is a nice little feature which allows the user
          to select a future TV program for viewing, just before the program is due to start a reminder is flashed up. Then, depending on which option you have chosen, the autoview feature automatically switches to the required channel or the reminder banner stays at the bottom of the screen for the one minute before the program is due to start, you can then choose to go to the required channel or not. ●Favourite Channels● A list of the channels you watch most often can be easily created thus saving time in future by not having to search for them. Press the Services button followed by favourite channels and a complete list of channels appears, then it is a simple matter of using the arrow keys to scroll down the list. When a channel that you wish to be added is found a simple press of the yellow key places a tick next to it and it is stored in your favourites list. Any number of channels can be selected as favourites in this manner, and they are called up in future simply by pressing the blue key repeatedly to scroll through your favourites. ●Box Office● Pressing Box Office on the remote control brings up a six pronged menu listing pay-per-view movies by either start time or title as well as sporting events and specialists programs. Ordering a box office film or program is straight forward procedure, simply select the program you wish to watch and note the onscreen details such as price and start time. You will then be asked for your PIN number as a security measure and the whole process is then complete, the price will be taken in addition to the monthly subscription payment and will be deducted at the same time. ●Pin number● As I have stated above a PIN number is needed for ordering box office programs. When the equipment is first installed your PIN number is the las
          t for digits on your viewing card but the installation people advise that you change it. To do this you simply press the Services button followed by Parental Control. You will then be asked to enter your current PIN number followed by your new PIN number twice, and it?s as simple as that. If you happen to forget your PIN number you can contact Sky who will tell you it after you answer a couple of security questions. Another handy part of having a PIN number is the ability to set spending limits for ordering box office programs, for example you can set the spending limit to £3 which means that programs costing £3 and under do not need a PIN number while those above £3 do. Of course you can set the spending limit to £0 which means the PIN number will always be required. So I think I?ve covered the basics of Sky television from ordering through installation and viewing, it just remains for me to get to grips with the whole system and sort the channels I like from those I won?t be viewing. But with such a wide and varied choice before me I?ll never again be able to utter those immortal words ? There?s nothing on TV!

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            13.11.2003 20:27

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            In our household, we have had both Sky and ntl digital TV. It has to be said that Sky is simply the best, in my opinion. Why? Well heres a good few reasons: Firstly, Sky digital encompasses more channels then any other digital provider, certainly more then ntl. The family package is amazing. You literally get something like at least 200 channels. The movie channels are a superb addition, with 12 movie networks. The Sports channels also offer a wide range of channels. Over time, we have varied our packages but have always found Sky to be excellent value. £16 per month for the family package? You can hardly grumble at that. To be fair, they have recently been creeping their prices up but it still remains very competitive on price. I got my installation for £1 on a special promotional day at Dixons. (It had previously been £10, also on special offer). So as far as price and value is concerned, Sky are hard to beat. Also, they can offer you huge discounts on your phone bills with BT, with a choice of three packages, not only will you save on your home phone bills but on your mobile also. Skys interactive services are second to none. While on ntl, we often got the message: "Interactive services coming soon", on Sky, an interactive content is available for nearly every channel. BBCi has proved particularly useful, mainly for instant weather updates. Also, the range of sevices on Sky Active, including email, shopping, banking and games is truly outstanding, although additional charges are common. So to conclude, if you're thinking of upgrading to digital, I would definately recommend that you subscribe to Sky Digital, and use BT on the phone to make some great savings.

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            13.07.2003 01:21
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            • +1

            Oh the beauty of satellite digital TV. The chance to watch as much TV as you like with a multitude of channels to choose from. Sounds like some sort of paradise, and on paper it is. This is reality though and it is just a little bit different. I've always resisted the plea bargaining from my kids each time they begged to have Sky installed, and I've always resisted because I didn't really think it was that good a value for money. The thought of having to pay a monthly subscription fee to Sky on top of paying for a TV Licence did not seem right at all and partly on those grounds I refused to give in. However, terrestrial TV was getting worse and slowly my resolve weakened (well it's hard to resist your kids sometimes) and I had to admit the thought of having Sky installed was becoming more and more appealing. Then I saw it. The advertisement. I saw the banner, here on dooyoo. Intrigued I clicked the ad banner that was telling me I could get Sky installed for just £1. Surely that wasn't right, I thought, what was the catch? As the page loaded I discovered it was true, I could get Sky installed for just £1! The catch? That particular offer was only available if you ordered the Sky World package for a subscription fee of £38 per month. A bit pricey I know but (and normally I hate this type of comparison but...) that only works out to a shade under £1.30 a day, and with over 100 channels to choose from that's only 1p per channel per day! Right, I'll stop that right now as I can see a few people glaring at me. In addition to what is offered in Sky's standard package the Sky World package also includes all the film channels with the exception of specific subscription channels such as Sky Box Office, Film Four and the Adult channels. Also in the Sky World package are all the Sky Sports channels with the exception of the specific
            subscription football channel Premiership Plus. So, what else do you get for your money? Well, forgetting the Film and Sports channels that cost you the extra money on particular packages, there is a huge choice of channels to watch ranging from music to sports to drama to science fiction to gardening to cooking to DIY to news channels to kids channels to documentaries to chat shows, actually just about anything you want to watch is available. Then there is the monthly Sky magazine which often proves an interesting read and insight into the following month's viewing, like films and sports. There are many other packages available and a short 'surf' to www.sky.com shows all of them presented in table format making it easy to select one that suits both choice and budget. Sorry, getting a bit carried away there, I'll get back on track now and tell you more about getting Sky installed. I ordered and paid for everything online, by credit card. After submitting some personal details using their online forms I was soon sent an e-mail to confirm my order and a date when a Sky installation engineer would call. The engineer called prior to and arrived at the agreed time and date. He was extremely helpful and when I explained that I was familiar with Sky and the Sky remote he skipped most of the boring parts and after tuning in Sky to my TV he configured the Sky remote control to act as a normal TV remote too. I was more than happy with the installation and any questions I had the engineer was happy to answer them and explain anything I didn't understand. All told he took about 45 minutes to install the Sky dish, the digibox and set up the system. The time also included the installing of a TV Link to the portable TV my bedroom. Right, that's that part of the review out of the way, let's move on to something a bit more important and interesting to you, I hope.
            Now, like I said earlier with the choice of channels and programmes to watch I think that's pretty good value for money and I'll explain why. Being in the nomadic career I am, my family and I have had the pleasure (ahem) of sampling and subscribing to cable/satellite TV in Germany and Cyprus. In Germany, and I'm going back over 10 years now, our cable/satellite package cost us about £15 per month and for that we got 2 or 3 film channels, MTV (there was only 1 MTV channel back then) and a handful of other channels. In Cyprus we subscribed to cable/satellite TV there for about £18 per month and for that we received 2 film channels, a sports channel (which more often than not showed Sky Sports including nearly all the Premiership games), and a few other English speaking channels. Some of the most selected programmes we watch are on channels which include Sky One, Bravo, E4, UK Style, Living TV, any from the movies channels, any from the Sports channels, Sky News, BBC 24, Euronews, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and occasionally any from the Documentary channels. Oh, not forgetting any or all of the music channels of course. Now, in mentioning the above channels as a selection of those that are watched in our home I won't list the programmes we watch as the list would last forever. Instead here is a kind of snapshot of what *actually* (see footnote) happens. TV on, Sky activated. Remote Control at the ready and we start with a menu selection, TV Guide, then 'All Channels'. Using the green button we scroll through page by page looking for a starting point. Hmmm, a lot to choose from. Now I know these programmes don't actually follow each other or are on at the same time I'm just going to pick random programmes to demonstrate the sort of activity that goes on in our house. Ready? First up 101 (BBC1), nothing much here...flick to 104 (Channel4), Fri
            ends, Chan nel 4 News or Big Brother (daughters are into this), then 106 (Sky One) for some Simpson's or Futurama or Malcolm In The Middle. Hmmm, let's move on, 109 (UK Gold), some great comedy here and a chance to catch up on The Bill episodes I missed the first time round, next up 112 (Living TV) and the missus wants to watch Crossing Over or that other show with James Van Pragh. Moving on now and let's see...124 (Bravo), some good programmes here, then 130 (Sci-Fi), some good films to see, normally later in the evenings, next up is 148 (UK Style) for shows like Changing Rooms, Real Rooms and the House Doctor. Then we go to 205 (E4) for Friends and Big Brother, then 220 (Fashion TV) so the girls can check out what's new in fashion and ogle the male models. My fingers are starting to hurt. Then there is the decision to be made on what film to watch or scrolling onwards to choose which Sports channel to turn to, normally it's 408 (Sky Sports News). Then there's all the Music channels. I'm not carrying on, I think you get the picture. Problem is though this is part of the downside of having Sky, the choice. There are 5 of us in our family and we all have differing tastes so as you can imagine there is often a bit of a clash on who can watch what and what to watch. For example, normally the conflict is between the kids (teenagers, Help!) and over the Music Channels. Both daughters like 443 (MTV Base), 450 (Kiss) and 467 (U're Music), I'm partial to 444 (MTV Dance) while my son likes 442 (MTV 2) and 454 (Kerrang), which he watches along with 422 (Extreme Sports). I know at the moment that Sky are advertising the option to have a second digibox to help 'ease' any viewing 'crisis' in the home but I don't think so, not for another £15 per month and it still wouldn't solve the problem. Learning to compromise is much cheaper and more fun
            ! The other things I don't like about Sky are all the adverts. I'm sick of all the adverts offering loans, mortgages, insurance, pet insurance or 'no win no fee' accident claims or even more great competitive loans! Stop it! They're nearly as annoying as pop-ups on dooyoo! Also annoying is the growing trend for channels to have a '+1' channel. This is where some channels show the same programmes but 1-hour later, just in case you missed it. It used to be that just 1 or 2 channels did this but now it's more and more. Except Sky One of course who have slightly altered things and called their second channel Sky One Mix. My final whinge is about the music channels. Now, in days gone by MTV and the like made for good viewing as they tended to show videos/songs that you wouldn't normally hear on the Radio and you would be lucky if you saw the same song more than 2 or 3 times in a day. Now though it's very different, mainly because there are so many more channels, but now it's worse than radio and often a music channel (or multitude thereof) will 'kill' a new song by overplaying it. I have often watched the music channels and flicked from one to another just to see exactly the same song playing, in almost perfect unison with the other channels it's being shown on. With all that out of the way I want to end on a couple of positive notes and they are the Box Office feature and the Red button. Yes, that little red button on the digital remote that takes you to a whole new world of TV 'behind' TV. By pressing the red button (when prompted by the symbol appearing in the top right corner of the screen) you are taken to an area of TV that makes Ceefax and Teletext look positively stone-aged! Menus and mini-screens amongst many other options make the viewing experience that more, um, well erm...interactive. Of course on some things it co
            sts to be interactiv e like games, voting (no, not for a new government) and the like but generally it is a good feature and one we often use in our home. There's still 'teletext' but it has evolved and has a lot more depth than it's terrestrial counterparts, although I still find it loads quicker on terrestrial TV than it does on digital! The Box Office feature is very useful as all the movies being shown are listed here and any pay-per-view sports events. For films it is easy just to scroll through the selections until you find what you want, select it and then you have the option of ordering and paying for it by simply pressing select or entering your 'PIN' number. Similarly with Sports events especially Premiership Plus you go through the same procedure. Generally films on Sky Box Office cost £3.75 and it costs £5 to watch a football match on Premiership Plus, if you haven't bought the Season Ticket of course. So, overall, and forgetting the issue of the TV Licence for a moment, I feel subscribing to Sky does represent good value for money and I don't regret it one bit, although sometimes when the kids are constantly flicking from channel to channel and arguing over what to watch... Footnote: *actually* - of course exaggerated for opinionating effect.

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              29.03.2003 23:21
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              • "connected to phone line"

              ***HERE'S THE DEAL*** After a major disagreement with my Cable TV Company, my thoughts turned to Sky as a possible alternative. A look at their website (www.Sky.com) revealed that installation would only cost £1 if I subscribed to their Sky world package at £38 per month. It seemed a big commitment, especially considering it's a 12 months contract, but on closer inspection I found I'd only be obliged to keep that top package for the first month, and could then downgrade to any package I choose after that. The only other condition was that I keep my digibox plugged into the phone line during the first 12 months. This made my mind up for me, so I tried ordering my installation on their secure website. Slight problem - it wasn't working! On my first attempt I got through the first few questions, and was then accused of giving false information and it wouldn't let me go any further! I wasn't giving false information at all, I was eager to get it installed! It still refused to let me carry on with my order, so I decided to call it a night and try again the next morning. The next attempt I got a bit further into the ordering process but then an error message came up on the screen, saying there was a problem with the site, and to call them by phone to arrange installation instead. At this point I gave up on the miracles of modern technology, and just plain rang them! I spoke to a very nice lady who took all my details and arranged an appointment for me. I could have had an appointment within a couple of days ordinarily, but as my dish would have to be clamped to the side of my chimney instead of the side of my house I had to wait a couple of weeks for an appointment with their special heights team instead. There was no difference to the price though, and installation was arranged for 2 weeks later. ***INSTALLATION*** Sky promised their engineers would call me before 9am on the morning of the installatio
              n, and bless their little cotton socks, they kept to their word. "Between 11am and 1pm" the voice on the other end of the phone said. "Great" said I. As I had some time to spare before they were due to arrive I decided to have a nice, relaxing bath. I'd just got out of the bath, and got dressed (luckily for them!), when there was a knock at the door. "We've come to install Sky for you" said the man at the door. It was 9:45am! Standing there with a towel around my head, I pointed out they were much earlier than I had expected! He said they'd finished their earlier jobs sooner than anticipated, and, to be fair he DID say that they could come back later if it was inconvenient. I figured that as they were already here, they may as well get on with it. The entire installation took about half an hour, and about 20 minutes of that was spent on the roof putting the dish up. I kind of got the impression they were in a rush :-). Would you believe they didn't bother even getting the cables and power lead out of the box the digibox came in? Instead they used the old ones from the cable TV box I'd disconnected earlier! In their defence though they did set up my video recorder too so I could record Sky channels, and they also gave me a 60 second lesson on how Sky works! I suppose as I was only paying £1 for installation, I got my money's worth! There was no BBC1 present, but I was told not to worry; that BBC1 always took longest to arrive and it should arrive within 2 hours. ***CUSTOMER SERVICES*** BBC1 didn't arrive within 2 hours; even 24 hours later was still no sign of BBC1! Obviously this is not a serious problem, but it was a bit of an inconvenience! You see the Sky remote was not 100% compatible with my Daewoo television, so my old TV remote was still necessary to control the TV. To watch BBC1 involved pressing the TV button on the Sky remote control, then pressing the arrow butt
              on on the normal TV remote control 3 times before it would go back to ordinary terrestrial TV, and from there I could use either remote control again. To be frank I just couldn't be bothered with all that, and I decided it was time to phone customer services. The customer services automated switchboard is tricky to navigate, and I ended up having to listen to several long winded lectures on unplugging the box and plugging it back in again (as if I'd never have thought of that myself!). I soon found out that the quickest way to speak to a human being was by answering 'other' to everything when it asks you why you're phoning. Admit to having a technical problem and you'll be on the phone listening to all that useless information for ages. Anyway, all in all it took 4 phone calls over the next 2 days to get BBC1 working as it should be; on the first 3 calls the operator sent a signal to my satellite. On the fourth call, I was put through to someone who knew what they were doing and he fixed the problem in minutes. Never realised before how much I'd miss BBC1 if it wasn't around! ***CHOICE OF CHANNELS*** I now have over 250 channels. Just in case I get bored with those - well, I might you never know - it's easy to get extra channels through the services button on the remote control. To do this you need to know the frequency for these channels, but that's no problem to find out. 'Satellite TV' magazine gives listings of frequencies near the back; alternatively a search for "Sky extra channel frequencies" on a search engine will bring good results. Some people have told me they would be overwhelmed by the number of channels available, but I really don't see how having so much choice can be a bad thing. It's especially good for families whose members have differing tastes. I've also heard Sky criticised for repeating the same programmes over and over a
              gain. I can see why some people wouldn't like that, but speaking personally I'm glad that the same programme or film could be shown several times each month. Sky gives more choice over when you watch, as well as what you watch. Much better to fit TV around life than fit life around TV! ***GOING INTERACTIVE*** There is a very good interactive TV guide, which offers A-Z listings of all channels or listings in a specific category like film channels, sport channels, or children's channels for example. You can add the programmes you don't want to miss to your Personal Planner, and your TV will then remind you when your programme is about to start. Should 2 or more programmes you choose overlap, your personal planner will warn you in advance. Parental control can be used to set viewing restrictions; particularly useful for those with young children. The restriction categories are universal, parental guidance, or 12, 15 or 18 years of age. When you have specified your restrictions, programmes in restricted categories can only be watched after entering your PIN number. You can also use your set top box for sending email, and playing games. It is possible to use your remote control for these things, but it's definitely quicker and easier if you invest in an infrared keyboard. At the time of writing, Sky are offering keyboards at half price - £4.99 instead of £9.99. Incidentally Telewest offer infrared keyboards for their interactive TV too but they charge around £30 - so I think Sky's price is a true bargain! ***MINOR GRIPES*** * Box office seems a bit overpriced to me, at around £3.50 per movie. True, it does save you the trouble of going to the video shop to hire a DVD and then returning it later, but Box office is very different to hiring a DVD. You can only watch Box office programmes once (unless you pay again), and you can't pause them while you make yourself a coffee! Generally (admittedly
              not always) they're scrambled so should your long lost relatives choose that moment to pay you an unexpected visit you can't press the record button on your video recorder and watch them later! * You will get a warning on screen when your remote control battery is running low. It appears every time you change channel, and you have to press backup to get rid of it. Apparently the reason for this warning is if you don't replace your batteries at the earliest opportunity you could possibly lose your TV settings and have to spend, oooh, at least 30 seconds having to set it up again! You're wondering why this is a bad thing, right? This message comes up even with brand new batteries installed! I'm yet to find a brand of battery the system approves of - I've tried Black diamond, Sky own brand, and finally Duracell Plus batteries, but I've now come to the conclusion that I'm stuck with this error message for life! Should anyone else know how to solve this problem I'd love to hear about it. * You can only pay by direct debit; I'd like to see more choice with payment methods. * The only other disadvantages I can see (and I'm really scraping the bottom of the barrel now!), are the picture freezes now and then and the digibox needs unplugging and plugging back in to fix it; and the fact it's plugged into your phone line is a bit worrying too - it could be easy to work up a big phone bill online with Sky's interactive services. ***CONCLUSION*** The benefits greatly outweigh the few minor problems. If you want lots of choice, freedom to watch when you want, value for money and excellent picture quality, then Sky's for you!

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                25.03.2003 14:45
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                Sky ignore thier contract when it comes to price hikes The legal contract between Sky and its subscribers limits increases to under 10% pa. The reality is that they increase prices beyond this and Sky do not honour their contracts. I am not cancelling my contract because I don't want to loose Sky, however, I have written to them several times asking them if they plan to honour their contract with me. Their reply is that sky still offers value for money. Well I think a contract is a contract and whilst I will allow them to continue to overcharge me, I am keeping exact records of the amount of overcharge and at some point in the future (probably when I next move) I will use the direct debit guarantee to claw back the overcharge. Unfortunately there is no choice or competition in this market place and as such we are forced to buy from these unethical companies. They will get their just desserts one day, perhaps you too are a silent victim of them and perhaps you too will stand up for your rights and enforce the terms of your contract with sky and they will learn to honour their promises.

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                  28.12.2002 00:14
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                  So we?re told, we will all need to get digital television sooner or later, the ordinary terrestrial tv transmissions will stop, so if you want to watch tv you?ll need digital. For me, I?ve chosen Sky. ~~Why I Chose Sky Digital~~ I used to watch a lot of tv, but since the arrival on my computer I, and we don?t watch a lot, mostly we watch videos, dvds, films and such, but actual TV, no not much. Of course there?s only so many videos and dvds we have to watch, and so we constantly find that we struggle to find something, and on a Saturday night (we?re not one?s for going out much), not being able to watch something special, is a bit of a downer. Where we live the TV signal isn?t great, the picture we get isn?t bad, but channel five is a no-no, and when they have the occasional film I like, its a bit annoying not being able to see it. I?m also a lover of sci-fi, Doctor Who, Blakes 7, The Tripods and so on. Now I have a lot of Doctor Who taped off sky from when I lived with my parents, but that was the old sky, the picture wasn?t always great, they didn?t always show them in the right order and there were episodes I missed. There was a TV adaptation of Dune, I would have loved to have seen, a lot of stuff on MTV and the special stuff. My wife loves Charlies Angels the tv series, which is now showing on UKGold, which she hasn?t been able to see much of, and as she says she wants to watch stuff when I?m on the Internet. ~~So Why Now?~~ Well, not so long ago a man from sky came to my door and asked if we wanted it as they were doing a few installations at the time. It sounded like a fairly good offer (sadly, I can?t quite remember what now though), but I couldn?t justify the money and I didn?t like the idea of having our phoned line connect to the box permanently, I declined. Last week a leaflet was put trough my door, this was the offer, in short. Free sky digibox + dish, installation £100 (or £60 if you subscr
                  ibe to a sky world package), if you subscribe to sky for 1 year and have you phone line connected to the box for the year too. Again this sounded good, I asked those I knew who had it, and they all said yeah get it. But I need convincing, the fact that they say we?ll all need to get digital television was a big influence. I always wanted ITV digital, but they never had the coverage in my area, and now..... Another concern was getting sky digital might get cheaper, but its also might get dearer, in the end we decided to get it. ~~Ordering + Cost~~ All the people I asked paid different prices and got differing packages, on the Internet I saw they were offering the free equipment and installation for £10 if you have a sky world package for a year. I phoned up sky, on 08702 40 40 40, and spoke to a fast talking Scottish guy, after some discussion on what I wanted, I eventually got the free box + dish, installation for £60 - if I had one of the sky world packages (£37) for one month (after that I could change to anything I wanted), I also mentioned a friend at work recommended me, and so my friend and I both got £25 worth of Marks and Spencer vouchers which arrived a week after installation (but that?s a limited offer). He was a fairly helpful guy, but it wasn?t always easy to understand what he was saying or keep up with him, but he answered all my questions, and gave me some information to write down and generally knew what he was talking about. I was offered a date for the installation, which in five days time, but it wasn?t suitable, nor was the second but he offered the Sunday after which was great. I was sent a letter confirming the installation and was sent a contact and my viewing card. ~~Installation~~ I received a call at 8 o?clock, from the installer to say he?d be with us between 1 and 4, and he arrived at 1.30. The installation took about an hour and a half. He had a quick look at where it would go, and p
                  ut up the dish and connected the box (the remote came with batteries). The previous owners had satellite tv before, which saved him drilling a hole through the wall for the cable to go through. He put in a cable for the phone line, around the wall to the phone socket and put a built in double socket, I have two lines connected to it, so this was great. To set up Sky to receive the channels, he needed the box to call sky, this took some time and the call failed a number of times he also tried downloading the soft ware from the satellite again - in case there was a corruption in the software, but still nothing. This meant that it would have to be phoned through which could take up to 24 hours, but as luck would have it came through almost immediately. All in all he did a good job and knew what he was doing. ~~Paymant Details~~ The money for the installation was taken out of my account two days after I ordered. I received a welcome pack from sky a couple of days after the installation - just a little booklet about the service and also my payment details. Paying for your sky package is done through direct debit or credit card only, for us its direct debit, and you pay in advance - so you pay for the month your about to watch. The first payment would be for two months and taken out two weeks after the installation, then the payments would start and continue monthly, from two months after the installation (the date your money goes out can be changed). ~~So What Do You Get?~~ What you get depends on the package you order, sky boasts 96 packages priced from £10 to £37, in fact there are only 6 packages and 15 options to included premium channels, and several stand alone channels. Really it all revolves around the £16 family pack, which has something like 65 channels. The other 5 cheaper ones, are cut down versions, a music/kids pack, a lifestyle pack, that kind of thing, the trouble is that for the average couple/family you, like
                  me, probably won?t get all the channels you want in the cheaper packages. You get the free to air channels - the five terrestrial channels - some BBC ones, and a couple of others. As for the rest, mostly their dedicated channels, and a lot are made up of old TV programs. So a few music channels, news channels, cartoon channels, documentary, general entertainment, a sci-fi channel, a comedy channel and so on. The stuff that you pay more for are the movie channels, sports channels and one or two others. You Also have to have any package for 1 month before you can change it. There?s also, games you can play, a tv guide, you can order films to watch, an auto view feature, a feature to control who and what people watch with a PIN number, you can buy stuff, and so on. ~~So What?s It Like?~~ Pretty good, its really changed the way I watch tv, there are programs I never got to watch, which I like which I do see now, the comedy channel we like, shows like Cheers and Married With Children. On Granada Plus, there?s Columbo, which we both like, my wife always watches Charlies Angles on UKGold 2, there?s Auf Weidersain Pet. There?s Doctor Who every Sunday, we?re never stuck for something to watch, and we?ve only scratched the surface. I love my films but I find I don?t get that much time to see them, but being able to watch a film right through without any interruptions is just fantastic, I?m really pleased. Also the Music channels are great too, the VH1 classics channels I love seeing all the old music videos, I keep flicking over when the ad breaks are on, I really love it. I suppose I should mention the picture quality, a lot better than the picture I was getting, and don?t use the ordinary tv unless I need to. Two really good features I like apart from the programs is firstly the TV guide. With the press of a button you can see a screen telling you what programmes are on what channels, at what times, for the next week, so no
                  more finding the newspaper to see what on, its all there for you - it makes life so much easier. Secondly is the auto viewing feature, by selecting the programme you want and pressing the red button, when the programme you want comes on, it will automatically change the channel to the channel your programme is on. So recording a couple of films or programmes when your out is simple, set the video, and use the auto viewing feature, and the jobs done, its a fantastic feature I use a lot. My mother plays the games a lot, some you need to go online for, but not all, not really me but still another extra. You can check your statement, but only if you?ve ordered something extra, but nice to be able to do. Another thing I?ve done having sky is taken advantage of their sky talk select service, this is a service that changes you phone calls so they go through sky. We have high phone bills so hopefully, as they say we?ll save money (up to 62% on UK calls), we still pay BT the line rental, and 08 and 09 numbers and operator service are excluded. You get billed monthly and unfortunately for us when the first bill arrived, I discovered we were paying almost twice as much for my wifes calls to Nigeria then what we would if we had stayed with BT so we?ve now changed back. ~~Drawbacks?~~ Well there are a lot of adverts, that seem to go on forever, but there?s so many channels that you can flick over to something else for a minute or five. Well I guess that fact that most of what you watch are endless repeats of old TV shows, but I like them, there?s is very little I watch that?s on these days. One more thing is that if you can?t say no to people very easily then get someone else to phone sky up for you. Sky want you to have as many channels as you can, and will try and persuade you to have them all even if you don?t watch them, so if you want to change your package - stick to your guns. ~~Conclusion~~ There are ple
                  nty of choices, and plenty to watch, so I can?t see you being disappointed, if you hardly watch tv then, maybe don?t bother, but for me its been great, a huge advancement for my previous viewing. Recommended. The Solid Grey

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                    26.12.2002 18:46
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                    • "Call Centre Operators"

                    I've been a Sky Digital subscriber now since it's launch in 1998. I was a old Sky subscriber before that since 1992. Ever since Sky has gone digital I have had problem after problem none of which Sky have wanted to sort out. When I changed over to digital in 1998 (I was one of the saps who paid £200+ for their digibox) I had to wait 8 weeks for a viewing card. After then receiving a faultly card I had to wait another three weeks. My direct debit mandate was then lost by Sky not just once but an increadible 3 times!!! It's the same old 'call centre story' when trying to ring Sky - after waiting for usually more than 20 minutes in a call queue it's then hit or miss if you get through to an operator that has a fully functioning brain. You are passed from one department to another depending what you actually made the call for in the first place. The problems start when a fault develops with your system and you need to call Sky. Immediately on calling Sky you get the same standard answer to all problems ' Un-plug your Digibox, wait 30secs then plug it back in' Does Sky honestly think I am not capabile of doing this before making the call? Their call operators are very patronising and can even be rude at times. If the reset doesn't work they will charge you £60 for an engineer call out. Argue this with them and you can get the price down to £0 if you are persistant. Note, after speaking to an engineer they actually only get about £15 per call out from Sky!!!! Where's all the money going? When I was sent an engineer, he was actually more concerned that his job sheet had been filled in in-correctly and spent more time using my phone to call Sky to sort his paper work out. The next problem is Sky addressing complaints - they have no published telephone numbers or contact deatils for their 'customer liaison' department. You ring their call centre for
                    this information and they wil not give it to you. Even after obtaining contact details to make a complaint Sky will not and do not respond to complaints made against them. I have also had 2 subscription increases in the last 12 months - they justification been all the extra channels and services they keep rolling out. Please, like anybody watches every single one of the channels on Sky. If you have an internet connection in your home, Sky's interactive services are slow and poor in comparision. If you are not a top package subscriber (about £40 a month now I think) Sky has no interest in your custom. They are only concerned about obtaining as many viewers as possible. I am no longer a Sky subscriber and I look forward to what other things I can spend the £30 a month on. Avoid Sky like the plague!!!!!

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