The Sky+ Vs Freeview argument

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by Nick_UK, Nov 29, 2004.

  1. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Sky+ Vs Freeview - for a while now we have seen claims on this forum claiming that Sky was much better than Freeview, and vice-versa. Up until now, I have only had a very elderly Nokia OnDigital box to compare with my Sky+, but this afternoon I had the chance to put the DigiFusion FVRT100 (Freeview box with 40GB HDD recorder) up against Sky+.

    Both systems were fed to my Hitachi 5300 via Scart RGB, and although I don't have enough cash for two plasmas to do a "side by side" comparison, I did see enough to come to the conclusion that (as far as picture quality goes), they are both about the same.

    However, I'll still stick to my Sky+, thanks, because (a) it's a much better design, with a truly innovative remote control, (b) Sky+ is a much more responsive system, even later-model Freeview boxes are "clunky", (c) I don't have to do any manual updates with Sky, and (d) there's a lot bigger choice of channels.

    For those forced to have Freeview, I can say that for the DigiFusion FVRT100 is a great little box for the money :smashin:
     
  2. matty2767

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    in response and i dont want to argue but if the only reason to get sky is because

    (a) it's a much better design, with a truly innovative remote control, (b) Sky+ is a much more responsive system, even later-model Freeview boxes are "clunky", (c) I don't have to do any manual updates with Sky, and (d) there's a lot bigger choice of channels.

    then
    a) get a philips pronto to control all of your components and you can design the buttons how you like.
    b) my sony box will swap channels in just over 1 sec.
    c) i dont have to manually update either. the box downloads the software automatically
    d) i agree

    cheers

    matt
     
  3. paulr

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    What about freeview vs the £170 one-off Sky package for free channels,do you still not get ITV2 on the free sky package?
     
  4. johndon

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    Got to agree with Nick about the Sky+ remote, it has to be one of the best designed I've ever used.

    I've got an iPAQ running PDAWin to control all my gear and yet I still find that I tend to use the Sky+ remote as it's so much easier.

    John
     
  5. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    I wouldn't buy anything from Philips - this is a result of many years of experience with Philips products - I'm convinced that they are fitted with some sort of timer, so they break down two days after the warranty has expired :eek:

    Then you find that (because they're "Simply Years Ahead") nobody can repair the :censored:

    Philips ? No thanks ! But anyway, you totally missed the point, but if you've never used a Sky+ box, you probably will, because it spoils you for other boxes with its clever design.
     
  6. Starburst

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    Well first you have to decide if the £150 SKY package which includes all hardware and installation is a fair product to compare to a Freeview box purchase. It is IF you need to upgrade your rooftop aerial at the same time, if not then the price differential is harder to justify.

    Again if you point out that ITV2 has been subscription on Dsat for the last few years and therefore a negative when compared to Freeview you have to point out the dozens of free TV and radio channels on Dsat that are not on offer via Freeview. Right now due to contractual negotiations ITV2 is FTV on Dsat.

    Like most things setting up comparisions only tells half the story, it usually always comes down to personal opinions and needs:)
     
  7. ianh64

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    Nick

    Can you please explain what is meant by.

    (a) it's a much better design, with a truly innovative remote control

    I've used Sky a few times and recently spent a little time with Sky+, but I did not spot anything innovative about their remote control. This is a serious question by the way,

    Im not sure that I agree that your points b) is entirely true. I have a couple of Freeview boxes or i-dtv tuners and they are much quicker than my inlaws Sky box based on the same hardware platform. But then again, my new TV with old style teletext that caches 2500+ pages is quicker still. Any my i-dtv's freeview 7 day EPG is instant, series recording, topic & channel filters, ordered by now and time slots etc etc. But then my wife prefers the slightly slower one on the old Freeview Pace STB as it organises things by channel rather than by time. I can see her point, but the one on the i-dtv is much better, truly innovative so it must be better, what does she know?

    -Ian
     
  8. Knightshade

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    Just to balance things a little, I've had quite a few Philips products and had zero problems. Including a widescreen TV which is best part of 8 years old. I had a 3 year old 'state of the art' panasonic (Now doing it's bit for landfill) which was like a yo yo!
    Based on my experience buy Philips! (Yes, I know it's French....)
    Compared to a video recorder most of these things are easy to control and use. Perhaps we're all getting too fussy???:D
     
  9. vizslaraner

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    Fly tipping? :nono: What about the WEEE Directive?
     
  10. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Well, OK - say, for example, I'm watching a programme on BBC1, and I know that there's a programme on ITV1 which I want to record, but I'm not sure what time it's on. All I have to do is use the up/down/left/right arrows on the Sky+ box, to see what programmes are on the other channels, both now and in the future. When I find the programme I want, I press record twice, and it's cued for recording, and I haven't missed anything of the programme that I'm watching. Also, the "Series Link" button is also a great idea, which means that I can record every episode of a series automatically, even if the time or channel is changed. Also, the layout of the Sky+ remote means that it is easily usable in dim light conditions, or by people whose eyesight isn't exactly 20-20. The DigiFusion Freeview box only has rows of v. small buttons, and half the time you haven't a clue what you're pressing.

    Whilst on the subject of that DigiFusion box - last night it was supposed to download listings for all channels for the next 7 days. When I looked at it this morning, the time on the clock said 02:08, and it had locked up solid ! No listings :rolleyes:
     
  11. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Actually Philips are a Dutch company :)
     
  12. Starburst

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    No one is saying he illegally dumped it:)
    I had to pay my local council £13.50 to dispose of my old telly, I assume that covers the cost of any action under legislation they have to comply with when it comes to disposal as opposed to recycling.
    Either that or the £1080 council tax isn't enough to fund their fleet of company cards and expense accounts and they have to screw us out of every penny they can get!
     
  13. Starburst

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    Yep, my Philips DTR1500 has performed will over the last year even though some people have had software issues.
    Every product though will have instances of failure especially now the new digital breed of STB's are made to accept over the air updates/bug fixes etc which you could look at it as a way for the manufacturer to cut the R&D and testing costs.
    It's used to be that once a product was launched then it had to be right and perform 100% of the time allowing for the unavoidable hardware/component failures. Now it isn't:)
     
  14. ianh64

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    Well I wouldn't call any of that innovative. I thought that I had missed something truely remarkable by the way people go on about $ky+. Most of what you have said has been on the Pace Twin freeviewbox since March 2003, although it wasn't been really useful until the 7day EPG arrived here about a year ago and has been and gone ever since. Now that the 7day EPG is finally back for good, I make more use of the series link recording on my freeview equipped TV, and I can select whether to record to harddisc or DVD at the press of a button too.

    Yes, I don't doubt that the Sky+ system probably is better, but for the cost of less than 6 months Sky+ subscription for the average user, you can have a similar Freeview setup at no further cost and put the money saved towards DVD rental or purchase or whatever else takes your fancy.
     
  15. matty2767

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    although i have a vcr and not a hard disk recorder using my sony box i pull up the 7 day epg, select the prog i want, press enter, chose to watch or record and then it turns on the vcr when the event occurs.

    looks like the only real difference between sky and freeview is whether you want a dish or a mass of aerial stuck to the side of the house.
     
  16. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    I've got Sky, and I've got Freeview, and Sky wins hands down. The reason for the phenomenal success of Sky+ is that it's so easy to use. If you've never used a Sky+ box, then you'll never know what you're missing. How can I explain in a hundred or so words what it takes about 10 minutes to explain in a video ? The "small Freeview setup" that I've recently been looking at here (the DigiFusion Freeview box with 40GB drive) has locked up twice in 36 hours. My Sky+ box has worked flawlessly for more than a year.

    'Nuff said :cool:
     
  17. Knightshade

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    I'm pretty new to the digital telly lark so everything that's easier than programming a video is like a breath of fresh air!
    As for Sky+? I haven't bought into it (I have seen it - Don't think i'm missing much!) and have no desire to!
    My arguement for Freeview is it's just that: 'Free'. No strings, once you've bought the box that's it! And how many channels do you want? I don't have the time to watch what I want at the moment! Having to pay a monthly charge and pay per view and all the other extra expenses (I don't know of anymore but i'm sure there are!) for Sky is madness! Oh, and of course the TV licence!
    I'm afraid I don't watch enough TV to warrant the expense!
    Anyway unless my eyes deceive me, DVD is a little superior to both mediums? Save your money and throw some good films at your system.
    As for ease of use? My freeview + HDD seems fairly simple, certainly no major problems.
    As for Sky+'s success? I doubt it has much to do with the ease of use! More to do with the aggresive marketing and little competition.
     
  18. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Thanks for that, but the discussion was really supposed to be about the quality of Sky+ Vs Freeview, and the design of the Sky+ box. Whether Sky+ is value for money is really down to the individual to decide.
     
  19. ianh64

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    From your point of view, it was about Sky+ vs a old Nokia OnDigital box or a recent DigiFusion PVR. This is not the same thing as comparing Sky+ with Freeview.

    There are dozens of Freeview options to choose all offering a different entry prices, quality and features to suit the individual. Freeview is not just about an OnDigital box and a Digifusion PVR. With Sky, you get what Sky chooses to give you. This has its advantages and disadvantages for the consumer. For Sky, its all about their advantage.
     
  20. sdc395

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    As has my Sony VTX-D800U Freeview box.
     
  21. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    I was comparing one of the more expensive Freeview PVR's to a state-of-the-art Sky+ box. I think it was a fair comparison.

    Not so ! Sky also has 1000's of options. You can pick & mix individual channels if you wish. The Sky+ box was standardised in design to make it easier for people to use, and for Sky to be able to offer advice. Freeview is a mish-mash of boxes, all offering different options, and some of v. dubious quality.
    Is there anything on Freeview that you can't get on Sky ? Not much worth talking about.
    Is there anything on Sky that you can't get on Freeview ? Loads !

    Of course it is ! Sky are a business. As a businessman, you don't do anything which is not to your advantage, or you don't stay in business very long.
     
  22. sdc395

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    Is there anything on Freeview that you can't get on Sky ? Value for money!
    Is there anything on Sky that you can't get on Freeview ? Not much worth talking about.
     
  23. Knightshade

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    :thumbsup:
     
  24. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Freeview is a service that claims to add 30 TV channels to your analogue TV.

    What they don't tell you is that -


    1. Four of the channels are shopping channels trying to flog you stuff
    2. One of the channels isn't a channel at all - just games to play
    3. One of the "channels" is a (dreadfully slow) teletext service
    4. Several of the channels are only on for a few hours a day
    5. Two of the channels are not available nationally

    No contest ! :laugh:
     
  25. Knightshade

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    Each to his/her own Nick.
    I'm just glad i'm not paying for the privilege of having said shopping channels....:laugh:
     
  26. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Well, to be entirely accurate, Freeview do tell you most of those things, but you have to read the small print :laugh:

    As you say, each to their own :)
     
  27. sdc395

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    Freeview is free. No contest! :laugh:
     
  28. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    So is water, but I wouldn't want to drink it all the time.
     
  29. sdc395

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    No, I guess sometimes you choose to pay over the odds for a little flavouring. Thing is, it's still just water.

    P.S. I can't believe we're comparing a vital natural resource with TV services.
     
  30. MartinImber

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    I like the choice of tuners - why should we be forced buy a certain design the open standard is great.

    Also ABC1 is only on Freeview! :p
     

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