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Member Name: DrRobert
Date: 12/11/03, updated on 14/11/03 (930 review reads)
Advantages: Football, lots of football, Choice, lots of choice
Disadvantages: cost, in the long term
SKY TV is considered to be an Evil corporation, destroying the proud broadcasting morals and traditions established by the good old BBC over fifty years ago. To a certain extent this is true, but British television was falling behind many other countries by the 1980s, and someone had to drag it into the 21st century.
Along came Rupert Murdoch with ?SKY TV?. Love him or loathe him, there is no denying that he knows what appeals to the masses, and he had the financial clout to bring affordable satellite television to almost everyone that wanted it.
In many respects, SKY TV is similar to a drug dealer ? get the punters hooked with cheap equipment, then have them come back regularly for their fix, or monthly subscription as SKY like to call it. They have even survived a few turf wars:
Initially with BSB whom they simply bought out (the company is now called BSkyB TV in the UK, although they don?t like to mention it).
More recently they beat the challenge from ITV Digital, who had just bitten off more than they could chew.
If it sounds like I?m being a bit nasty towards SKY, I?m not? Well, maybe a little, but most junkies have a love/hate relationship with their dealers. That?s right, I admit it. I am a SKY TV addict. I have been hooked since I got my first dish back in 1990. Since then I have always kept up to date with the latest developments in SKY?s technology; when SKY went Digital, I got a digibox, when SKY released SKY+ I had to get SKY+ as well. If SKY had released a dishwasher that told me what programmes I was missing on SKY I might well have considered buying that, too.
For the past thirteen years SKY had been such a big part of my life that I didn?t realise how much I took it for granted.
Of course, like most junkies, I was in denial. ?I really only have it for the football and films?, I would tell anyone that listened. But, now that I?m away from home, at college, I realise I was just kidding myself.
SKY+ has many wonderful features, including a hard disk to digitally record all your favourite shows and films. Recording programmes is so easy with it, too. Having only four and a half channels to fill the void left by some two or three hundred channels is simply not good enough. I miss my SKY+
I went some way towards fixing one craving by getting a monthly subscription at the local multiplex, so I can see new films as often as I want. Although that doesn?t help me see all the old films on TCM or SKY Cinema, or all the weird films on Film Four. But at least I?m up to date with all the big, new releases.
There is still this huge football shaped hole in my life that is proving much harder to fill. I love watching football on tv, I?m not even fussy who is playing. I?ll watch damn near anything. And thanks to SKY I had lots of choice, The Premiership, German football, Spanish football and lots of games from the Nationwide divisions (where my team are currently languishing). Not to mention all the big International matches they always get. Yes, SKY is a goldmine of choice for any armchair footy fan. Now I?m lucky if I see one live game a week, maybe two. SKY will show three live matches in a day at the weekend. There really is no substitute for it.
Then there are the other smaller, less obvious things about SKY that I miss. They are not so much channels or programmes, but features; like the digital teletext service and the info box that you can bring up to see what a programme is all about. I don?t know how often I have wanted to ?hit info? when flicking through the channels nowadays. Mind you, the time I save by only having four and a half channels to flick through means I do have more time to actually look at the TV Times, which I didn?t even buy when I had SKY. Another feature they have is a banner that comes up along the bottom of the screen telling the viewer what?s on now and next on the particular channel you are watching. It i
y handy when you are flicking through the channels. If you chance upon a channel and you see something interesting on you can quickly get rid of the banner by hitting the ?backup? button on the SKY+ remote control. This feature affected even more greatly than I once realised. One night, when I still had SKY, I was flicking through the channels, I came upon ?Fort Boyard? on ?Challenge TV? featuring the buxom Melinda Messenger, I found myself repeatedly hitting ?backup? to try and remove an iron railing that was obscuring my view of Ms Messenger?s chest.
Actually, it?s maybe for the best that I don?t have SKY anymore.