Evil Empire

Reading time: 2 mins

I’m a happy Telewest customer. They supply a good, reliable cheap phone service (my in-laws live in Spain now, so 2p a minute isn’t to be sneezed at), a reliable broadband service which isn’t the cheapest around but isn’t too far off the mark and all the TV channels we (don’t really) need. So why am I considering switching to Sky?

Well a couple of reasons, firstly Telewest recently dropped Nickelodeon. No, we don’t watch it, but the background as to WHY it was dropped is slightly worrying. Seems like negiotiations of carrier charges broke down, Nickelodeon started showing ads saying that Telewest were dropping the channel and to switch to Sky, so Telewest yanked the plug a day later. It’s thought both parties were in breach of contract for their actions but either way it doesn’t bode well for the future.

Secondly, I subscribe to Sky Sports as they only show NBA basketball on Sky Sports Extra*. However I’ve been watching the Champions League as well and as a Telewest user I don’t have the option of the six “extra” channels that they show the other games on. In fact “red button” support on Telewest is flaky at best (kills the set-top box at worst).

Thirdly, I want to do away with our video recorder. We hardly ever use it, although we’ll record some movies and stuff over Christmas, and this is all despite the few hundred movies we have on tape in the loft (No, not THAT kind of movie. Well not ALL that kind of movie.. hang on, my Mum reads this…).

And finally, I’m planning on getting a new TV in April next year, as we should have some extra funds then, and I’ll be handing back our, currently hired, TV and video. So either I buy a new video, or look at the alternatives one of which includes Sky+. I’ve done a bit of digging and I’m pretty sure that it’ll be another year or so before Media Centres (Centers) are established, and the other option is a combined PVR and DVD writer. Tempting but still pricey so again I’ll wait a while until they are better integrated into the mainstream. I will NOT be Betamax’d!

So, if I just put the fact that I’m fueling Murdoch’s Evil Empire to the back of my mind, I don’t see any problems. Any Sky+ users out there got any advice? Good or bad?

* I DID spot some on Channel 5 last night though, need to find out if that’s gonna be a regular thing.