Advantages Extra variety of channels/programmes, not too expensive, it's the future!
Disadvantages Technical glitches, lots of poor channels and not that many good ones.
Well I haven’t actually noticed any obnoxious odours coming out of my ONdigital box, but it certainly does have some very unpleasant habits. Having said that it also has some 36GG assets, namely the extra channels.The digital television age was much anticipated and when it finally arrived years after the hype had begun (I think that begun with the release of digital watches) it was still hailed as the future. A few years on and it is time to consider the differences that digital television has made to our viewing.
For about a decade Satellite TV (namely BskyB) has provided a huge variety of channels at extortionate prices that have gradually stolen most worthwhile programmes and events from those of us who can’t afford more than our annual TV license. Sky have continually discovered new ways to make money, such as Pay Per View and of course, Skydigital, providing hundreds of extra channels that nobody ever watches, but every sky viewer pays for.Like most I suppose the variety of channels appeals to me, but I am strongly anti-Sky as they began the trend that has forced us to pay extra to see important and even not-so-important sporting events and latest film releases. Therefore getting a satellite dish (and lets face it they are very ugly things) was never going to be viable to me. So how might I get that extra choice of channels (and hence programmes) that sounds so attractive?
Well about two and a half years ago (is it really that long?) ONdigital was launched, providing a terrestrial digital service at a reasonably reasonable price. After many months of “ah yes I must get ONdigital” I finally got my digital box and signed up about 6 months ago. Fortunately the box was completely free when I signed up to ONdigital; one does not own it, but you loan it for year-long periods as long as your subscription lasts. I’ll move onto prices in a minute (or a thousand words of waffle, whichever comes first), but for now children we will content ourselves with discovering what ONdigital offers.First of all there are the free-to-view channels, the main terrestrial channels plus a few others. You can get all of these (except Welsh and Scottish only channels), these being BBC1, BBC2, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 (even if you can’t get it through your standard aerial), BBC Knowledge, BBC Choice, BBC News24, ITN news, ITV 2, E4 and a few others. I was disappointed by the “extra” Beeb channels, except News24 which due to its nature is not repeats or budget programmes and includes some interesting, excellently presented programmes. E4 may be of interest to many, especially Big Brother fans (I still can’t believe that some people actually enjoy that programme)!
The ONdigital primary channels are available in varying numbers depending upon what subscription “deal” you choose. They include UK Gold (repeats of popular programmes), UK play (a comedy and music channel), UK Style/Horizons (two Sky channels merged into one), Discovery Kids/Wings (another merged channel and completely useless unless you are a strange kid or mad on planes, or perhaps both), Carlton Cinema/On Sport 2 (On sport channels show UEFA Champions league matches, Carlton Cinema is possibly the worst film channel ever), British Eurosport and some others, mostly women’s/men’s magazine channels.
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