I’ve tried all the main TV platforms in my time, for normal terrestrial, analogue cable TV (I hated it), Sky, Sky Digital, Sky+, Tivo, Virgin Digital TV, Freeview and BT Vision so I have a pretty good understanding of the capabilities of each one and what they can offer.
A couple of months ago, had you asked me what was the best TV Platform, I would have, without hesitation said Sky+, however all that has now changed!
So what changed, well for many years I have known that on Sky with its multitude of channels I watched at most a tiny percentage of what was available, the mainstream channels etc. However as Sky grew, the trash channels grew, and no real value had been added to the line up in my opinion since it launched – Names of Channels may have changed, Film 4 may have become free to air, and listings were moved about – but nothing was really exciting me.
Then the unthinkable happened, the flat that I live in, something happened to the line for the Sky in… I managed the first week, had engineers out, had errors with the management company, and nothing, week two passed, week three passed – by this time, I had switched to a mix of online TV such as the iPlayer, 4OD, other stuff I can find, and Freeview. You know what, I wasn’t missing Sky at all, the shock had worn off, at most I was missing one decent film on the Horror Channel or TCM every week, but what I did find, was that I was finding better television on the Freeview Channels.
So I decided to find a better and cheaper alternative to Sky, and I found it hands down.
For me, the future of TV, will be several live streaming channels, much like your BBC1’s and ITV1’s, companies who invest and produce premium quality television, you then have companies who produce content, such as Kudos who makes Spooks for the BBC, the next piece of the jigsaw would be online content, but streamed to your set top box, this would include content for all partners, I hasten to add I wouldn’t add user generated content, but this would be in keeping, and a YouTube section wouldn’t be out of place, but I don’t like it! Advertising could be properly targeted through your viewing habits, location etc so revenue streams would remain probably increase, and there would not be a need to pay the, currently extortionate prices for content – or at least a massive reduction. For the end user, you would have archives of TV shows, a library of films, radio, live TV, and if they must, user generated content – if you were so inclined you could add live feeds for sites such as Justin.TV and webcams.
So, there I was, stuck without Sky T.V. and this idea of how TV should be. Well then I came across BT Vision (And Virgin Digital TV, but that’s not in use at my main residence) – all my prayers were answers, well almost, I can see them being answered eventually with this system its lacking the live streaming, and I think it could include IPTV in the future.
So what was so good? Well, BT Vision, is effectively, Freeview with View on Demand, but its plugged into my broadband box, and makes good use of it. There are hundreds of shows available at a low cost (£6 for TV shows for example), it has a dual recorder like Sky+, it makes my old Tivo box look as old as it is.
I’m going to write a full post on the BT Vision box, but if your looking for to save money and think your up for breaking free from Sky, then I would highly recommend BT Vision.