Anybody have experience or an opinion on the pros and cons, functionality, ease of use, customer service, upfront charges, etc?
My wife is the heaviest TV user and will mainly use it to record TV programmes for later viewing. We are not really interested in Sky Sports or Sky Movies or Virgin's equivalent, just the basic box, phone and broadband package.
"My wife is the heaviest TV user ..."
If she reads this forum, you're sleeping in the spare room again tonight.
One of my colleagues has just moved from Sky to Virgin Tivo and so far is pretty happy with it. Actually, both Sky and Virgin customer services were excellent in helping him make the change.
I've got Virgin +, not Tivo, but it's good. One of the big advantages for me is Movies on Demand, if you want a movie you just pay for it rather than subscribing to a movie channel, and since I only watch about 1 every 6 weeks it's ideal.
you may want to take a look at www.utilitywarehouse.co.uk/ for a phone/broadband package.
the other option is to get an HD recorder like a Humax or for incomparable recording quality a panasonic machine which also has a quality blu-ray player combined
we have sky+ but rarely use it to record as the freeview panasonic recorder uncompressed as it is over the air picture is MUCH better.
sky+ is for the Angel to watch football.
all recorders are easy to use once you get used to them. simple one button territory.
""My wife is the heaviest TV user ..."
"No, she's fattest"
(with apologies to Jimmy Carr)
We did plan on getting a Humax box to go with our Panasonic TV and video/dvd combi but as we spend almost the same in a month on line rental, phone calls and broadband as the cost of the Tivo package we thought we may as well upgrade.
I get a lot of customers who have Sky or Virgin (I work part-time in the TV dept. of a shop).
What I tend to notice (and I think research backs this up) is that most people tend to watch the usual 'Freeview' channels most of the time, even if they have access to Sky/Virgin. The two exceptions to this are people who tend to want to watch sport, and people who like movies. Of course you have to generally pay for these two services (or at least part of the attraction of the subscription is access to them), and I get a fair number of customers who want to change from Sky to Freesat (the dish isn't generally removed if you leave Sky after a while), and tend to go for a Humax Foxsat box, which is a simple swap out. Their reason is generally because they simply don't use these extra services, and they would be fine with Freeview/Freesat.
Of course if it works out about the same to go for a full subscription package as it does just for broadband/calls, then it makes sense to sign up, and of course the equipment is supplied. You have access to more HD channels with Virgin than Freeview, and the Tivo of course allows you to access on-demand services (although most TV's in the last two years allow you access to Iplayer, etc).
Basically, weigh up the advantages of Virgin (and the costs) v Freeview HD (and the cost of a Humax, etc). If your not going to use many of the services, then Freeview will be fine, but if you want more, and the marginal cost is minimal, then go for Virgin.
I'm a Virgin customer, but only for broadband/calls, and they seem fine (although I end up spending a lot more on phone calls than I thought I would).
Mike B 46 wrote (see)
I get a lot of customers who have Sky or Virgin (I work part-time in the TV dept. of a shop). What I tend to notice (and I think research backs this up) is that most people tend to watch the usual 'Freeview' channels most of the time, even if they have access to Sky/Virgin.
What I tend to notice (and I think research backs this up) is that most people tend to watch the usual 'Freeview' channels most of the time, even if they have access to Sky/Virgin.
Perhaps a quick look at Sky One's schedule will show why it has such a small audience share - tonight its showing The Simpsons, Modern Family, An Idiot Abroad, Glee and a whole load of stuff which you get to see on Pick TV (which used to be Sky 3 on Freeview), such as Luton Airport, Brit Cops,etc. Some of the shows are brand new, some of the episodes are new, and some of them are even good, but its probably not the main reason your subscribing to Sky. You are buying the huge choice of channels and premium content (Sports, Movies and new shows only available now on Sky - such as Mad Men). Virgin has a similar USP (and both bundle of course). If you like Sky or Virgin, go for them, but I would always work out what you want, and what its going to cost first. There is also no harm in playing off one against the other, and if you are an existing customer, say you might go elsewhere. Certainly don't do what one customer did, which was to have his TV with Sky, but his broadband with Virgin!
If you tend to watch the usual channels anyway, then Wired is quite right, you will be fine with Freeview. Almost all new TV's have a Freeview HD tuner in them, so you'll get 4 channels in HD, plus about another forty digital channels, plus digital radio. Add to that catchup services (most TV's are now 'smart' or at least smartish, so you should be able to get Iplayer etc on you TV as well), and your pretty much sorted. Part of the Olympic's on the BBC will even be in 3D!
virgin is by far cheaper and tivo was free to me and for £5.00per month,everything you watch is recorded and you can record 3 whilst watching a fourth!!!!!!!!
This is the one,and any problems 150 or 151 is free and they use 123 rescue too to take over.so 'GET VIRGIN MEDIA TIVO NOW!!!'
I used to have Virgin but since I split from wife 2 I've had a Freeview TV. I now only have 60 odd channels of crap to choose from as opposed to the 300 plus I had with Virgin. We used to record all sorts of stuff with the Virgin+ but never watched most of it.
Save your money and buy more kit instead. You know it makes sense!
Be like me. don't have a TV! What did peeps do before TV ?
Talk to each other, play with their children, have more of a commuinty spirit. Respect each other more, (far more than today).
OK I use a pooter, but only a certain times. If you care to look at when I post you will notice I don't post during the day, at night there are gaps in times I post. I'm doing other things then, mostly out walking.
I can use the likes of iPlayer to watch TV, but only do so IF it's something I really want to watch.
Think about it, your sitting watching TV because it's on, most of the time your not really paying attention to what your watching. Why do so?
You could be messing about with your kids, giving all of you a bit of exercise, talking to each other, finding out if any one has a problem.
Walking at night can also let you see things you would only see on TV. I've seen Foxes with their kits, hares, rabbits, bats, owls, etc. all 'naturale'.
During the day I've seen Falcons and many other birds you don't normally notice. Squirrils, water voles, loads of other flora and fauna I'd not of seen. As a bonus I'm getting exercise
Have you considered a freeview PVR like the Humax T2?
Or are there cable / sat specific shows you want to watch?
"most of the time your not really paying attention to what your watching. " lol. speak for yourself.
i find culturally uplifting programmes a great boon to civilisation to provide conversation topics. where would my life be without x factor revisited live yet again or the drama of everyday east life of eastenders.
Tivo is the worst setup i have ever used...We don't watch loads of telly but we had virgin HD box and "upgraded" to TiVo.
When i have 3 hours spare i intend to get them to take Tivo back and give me just the normal box back. It's hard to navigate and all the catchup stuff satutters and freezes constantly.
don't know about sky
I moved house and had to take Virgin with me; their customer service is completely atrocious. None of their departments communicate properly with each other, causing numerous delays and cockups. I've spoken to some of their engineers too, and it seems like a terrible company to work for. Typically the engineers only stay there long enough to get enough experience to jump ship to BT.
Virgin is fine as long as everything works. If anything goes wrong they are truly appalling.
Just get a freeview box and if you miss anything just watch it on iPlayer. You'll save a lot of money, spend less time watching tv, and never have the stress caused by possible Virgin blunders.
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