Too many channels
TELEVISION in Ireland used to be a comparatively simple business. In the 1980s the TV viewing population was divided between those who had “the channels” – mostly those living on the east coast and near the Border – and those who had RTÉ 1 and 2 (the rest of the country), writes CONOR POPE .
Today the number of channels available through cable, MMDS and satellite services is mind boggling, and the range of packages offered by the companies who supply them can be overwhelming. Do you go with satellite or cable? High definition? Will a set-top recorder make your life better? (Short answer: absolutely.) What about multi-room viewers? And are we as digital-ready as our TVs claim to be?
And the choices don’t end there; consumers also have the option of free satellite services which involve a fairly hefty upfront charge but no bills, and then there are the boxes that dare not speak their name – set-top decoders which sell online for not much more than €100 and give viewers access to dozens of pay-per-view channels at no cost. The only downside is that accessing such channels is illegal.