Skip to main content

Switching from Cable TV to Satellite

A recent price increase from our long time cable TV provided prompted me to bite the bullet and switch to satellite. It isn't a whole lot cheaper but the satellite service offers more channels and some better channels hat were not available from our old provider.

Almost every channel we regularly watch is actually a free to air channels. This means that anyone with the appropriate equipment  can receive these for free along with hundreds of other channels without any recurring subscription. A disadvantage of living in Ireland is that we would need both antenna and satellite dish to receive all the relevant channels but a once off investment of perhaps €500 would ensure we could watch hundreds of channels for free without paying a subscription.

Why on earth did I opt to pay €20 every  month (rising to €30 in a years time ) for a curated satellite service?

Because we don't watch TV the way we used to. Instead of sitting down to watch scheduled programmes at the same time every week we record them to view at our leisure. We use series link to record entire series. We use streaming services to download films and box sets. We use catchup services to watch programmes we missed. Even if we just want to sit in front of a telly and vegetate we still hit the electronic programme guide to find a channel and programme that tickles our interest.

The electronic programme guide, the ability to record whole series, the ability to pause live TV, the ability to record programmes in the background while you watch others, the ability to watch catchup programmes and box sets and movies on demand. These are not just nice things to have they are essential requirements of the modern television experience.

The cheapest subscription free systems don't have any of these services. The more expensive ones include hard disks and offer some of these features but everything I have read suggests that they are a long way behind the paid services in terms of usability and convenience.

This is why I pay a monthly subscription. There is no point getting hundreds of channels for free if we cant watch them the way we want. The fact that the paid service comes with a few extra premium channels is just a bonus.

Edit: I should mention that I did investigate the option of IP TV but the range of services available in Ireland is extremely limited and they are all tied to internet service providers.


Popular posts from this blog

My First Gaming Mouse: Logitech G300

I bought a gaming mouse yesterday a Logitech G300, here my initial thoughts. What is a gaming mouse?  There are a wide variety of devices available classified as gaming mice but a few features  seem common: 1. Wired rather than wireless: Although some high end models are wireless wired connections are just better and faster than wireless so most gaming mice stick with wired. As a bonus wired mice don't need batteries so the mouse is lighter.  2. High response rate: 1 to 2ms response rate so the mouse immediately responds to input.  2. High DPI. Gaming mice invariable boast high DPI numbers from 2,000 DPI upwards. This makes the device very responsive to the smallest movements.   3. Adjustable DPI . High DPI improves responsiveness but reduces precision so gaming mice generally allow you to adjust the DPI down for precise work such as pulling off headshots in sniper mode. Generally the mouse allows dpi to be changed on the fly by pressing a button.  4. Extr

Portal 2 two screen coop on one PC.

I mentioned before that I intended to try Portal 2 in "unofficial split screen co-op mode. Well split screen on a small computer monitor is a recipe for a headache especially when the game defies gravity as much as portal. However a minor bit of extra fiddling allowed us to drive two seperate screens from one PC. The Steam forums describes a complicated method of doing this that I couldn't get working so this simpler method which worked for me might be of use to someone. 1. First I followed the instructions in this post to get split screen multi-player working: A minor issue not mentioned is that you need to enable the console from the keyboard/mouse options menu I am using keyboard and one wired Xbox360 controller as suggested. Getting the controller to switch to channel 2 was tricky at first but as Chameleon8 mentions plugging it out and in again during loading works. The trick for me was to do the plug / p

Android Tip 3: Sharing a Folder between multiple users of an Android device

Android has allowed multiple user logins for quite a while now. This is can be very useful for tablets which are shared by family members. Normally Android erects strict Chinese walls between users preventing them from using each others apps and viewing each others files. This is a useful security feature and ensures your kids don't mess up your work spreadsheets when screwing around on the tablet and should also prevent them from buying €1,000 worth of Clash of Candy coins on your account. Sometimes however you really do want to share stuff with other users and this can prove surprisingly difficult. For example on a recent holiday I realised that I wanted to share a folder full of travel documents with my wife. Here are some ways to achieve this. 1. If you have guaranteed internet access  then you can create a shared folder on either Dropbox or Google drive. Either of these has the great advantage of being able to access the files on any device and the great disadvantage of bein