22 November 2006


Okay, so it would be boring to go on about how PC WORLD have still not remedied the problem with my laptop. It's now beyond a joke, and it was interesting to see that Computing Which? magazine have basically noted what I had suspected all along - don't have a service contract with them if you ever want a faulty PC to work properly after their meddling.

Meanwhile, I had what I think was a "form" email around the other day, moaning that TV series LOST had moved to Sky One. Thought I'd duplicate it here:

"i am contacting you regarding the new placement of lost series three. i saw that you didnt state that people whose only source of television are the basic five channels. people with only these channels will be unable to watch Lost anymore. i personally find this unfair. Lost is a multi award winning series and considering that the basic channels hardly have anything entertaining to offer, should at least show repeats of the sky one viewings. i think that it was unfair for the whole thing to have been completely taken away. i know that it is not your problem but i am not able to contact sky one about this, and i needed my point to be seen and taken into consideration. i am hoping that you could help me with this. if not then... ... i tried. thank you very much"

The aversion to capital letters is as it was written. Anyhow, needless to say I couldn't resist replying, and interesting to note what I said has not been taken issue with by way of reply. So, rather than waste the time I spent in giving my view, here it is for your consideration...

"Thanks for your email, although I am perplexed as to what you would like us to do about the situation? Why not join our Forums at www.culttv.info and make your point there - these are visible to the whole world, and if reps of Sky check them out, well, you never know.
Some things to consider when "having a go" at Sky, though...

(1) Channel 4 / E4 would NEVER have even considered starting running the 3rd season as early in the year as Sky are. Like as not, it would have again been next April or so before C4 would have bothered.

(2) Thanks to Sky, those who WANT to can now actually watch LOST in High Definition (HD) - this is something that Channel 4 would not have been able to manage for years ... and then it would have only been possible via the Sky platform, so you would have had to buy a Sky dish anyway to get to see episodes in this quality (note that Seasons 1 and 2 are also in HD, but we never got to see them like that because C4 have the rights but no HDF delivery path).

(3) Within the next 18 months analogue transmissions will begin to be switched off around the country - in other words, if you don't have either Freeview or a Sky dish you won't get any TV from sometime between 2008 and 2010 (different areas are being switched off at different times see http://www.freeview.co.uk/home for details). Although there has been no formal announcement as such, I expect that LOST Season 3 will appear sometime in 2007 on the Freeview channel SKY THREE - and probably around the time that C4 would have shown the series if they had got it anyhow. So, if you want repeats on a free-to-air system, you know what to do...

(4) Television is a business like any other. Sky paid nearly five times per episode for LOST what C4 had done - so, who do you think as a broadcaster values this show (and therefore its audience) more? If anyone should "get it in the neck" it's C4 - they had the choice of keeping EITHER "Lost" or "Desperate Housewives", as they decided at the price required they could only afford one of them (as either show would have cost them the same money). They chose "Desperate Housewives". So, the question is, quite truthfully, whose fault is it that "Lost" is no longer on C4?

Hope that helps you understand what goes on and puts it all into some perspective. Freeview boxes cost as little as £30 these days, with no subscription charge, whereas at the moment you could get access to Sky One for as little as £7.50 a month (with no charge for a dish, digibox or installation at present, with the relevant deal - details at: http://www.sky.com/portal/site/skycom/offers/article?contentid=10729703 )."

Lordy, as evangelical as a MAC user! I really ought to get commission for this, shouldn't I?