Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Satellite Woes

In a previous post I mentioned we bought a new TV. Last week we added to it a home entertainment system (also known as home cinema) and today we completed the unholy trinity with a new satellite set-top box that allows us to view HD channels, record and order VOD. For oldies like us, this is a big leap forward, as we still own (and sometimes use) an analog stereo system, including a tape recorder and a vinyl record player. Yes, we have audio cassettes and vinyl records, as unbelievable as it sounds.

The new TV is really smart, can even connect to a LAN, and the HD channels look superb. If everything is good, then why am I mad? Because this is not what I wanted.

I asked the satellite company to replace our 3 set-top boxes with simple HD ones (no recording, no VOD). The rep 'translated' this to one newest-model box and scheduled a technician for a couple of weeks later. The technician came today and that's when we realized the gap. This plan is more expensive than what I thought, we get features we'll probably never use (even with video tapes we never watched what we recorded, and we usually don't order VOD), the set-top box took up the last port on our wireless router we planned to connect the TV to, and HD is available on one TV only. I hate paying for stuff I don't need. 'There is lots of free stuff in the VOD library, and episodes of series that you might have missed when they were broadcast - all for free', the technician tried to convince us. 'I have one plain HD box in my car for ages as no customer wants these anymore', he continued. So we decided to try it for a month, and change the plan if we won't use the extras.

In the evening, I remembered I missed the last episode of a popular satirical show, so I decided to put the technician's words into practice and watch it. I plodded through the new menus with the new remote just to find out the episode was not free.

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