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And now, the end is near

2004. Not a bad year, not a great year, but probably better than average.

2005 is creeping over the horizon (depending where you are reading this it may already be 2005) and I’m already looking forward. What will the coming year hold for us? What do I resolve to do this year?

Well I don’t do resolutions, never really seen the point. Sure I could resolve to lose some weight, spend more time with friends, less time on the computer, read a book a week and so on and so forth, but I won’t. I always have dreams and aspirations they don’t just appear on Hogmanay so I never really bother with the whole resolutions thing, life’s just too short to wish it away.

If anything this time of year brings on a certain melancholia, and I have to fight to not look back at the mistakes of last year, I guess that sums me up. Despite all the wonderful times we enjoyed last year, and there were many, it’ll be the low points that I remember. Maybe I should resolve to have a more positive outlook?

Anyway, enough of that. The Sky+ people are here!

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Evil Empire

I’m a happy Telewest customer. They supply a good, reliable cheap phone service (my in-laws live in Spain now, so 2p a minute isn’t to be sneezed at), a reliable broadband service which isn’t the cheapest around but isn’t too far off the mark and all the TV channels we (don’t really) need. So why am I considering switching to Sky?

Well a couple of reasons, firstly Telewest recently dropped Nickelodeon. No, we don’t watch it, but the background as to WHY it was dropped is slightly worrying. Seems like negiotiations of carrier charges broke down, Nickelodeon started showing ads saying that Telewest were dropping the channel and to switch to Sky, so Telewest yanked the plug a day later. It’s thought both parties were in breach of contract for their actions but either way it doesn’t bode well for the future.

Secondly, I subscribe to Sky Sports as they only show NBA basketball on Sky Sports Extra*. However I’ve been watching the Champions League as well and as a Telewest user I don’t have the option of the six “extra” channels that they show the other games on. In fact “red button” support on Telewest is flaky at best (kills the set-top box at worst).

Thirdly, I want to do away with our video recorder. We hardly ever use it, although we’ll record some movies and stuff over Christmas, and this is all despite the few hundred movies we have on tape in the loft (No, not THAT kind of movie. Well not ALL that kind of movie.. hang on, my Mum reads this…).

And finally, I’m planning on getting a new TV in April next year, as we should have some extra funds then, and I’ll be handing back our, currently hired, TV and video. So either I buy a new video, or look at the alternatives one of which includes Sky+. I’ve done a bit of digging and I’m pretty sure that it’ll be another year or so before Media Centres (Centers) are established, and the other option is a combined PVR and DVD writer. Tempting but still pricey so again I’ll wait a while until they are better integrated into the mainstream. I will NOT be Betamax’d!

So, if I just put the fact that I’m fueling Murdoch’s Evil Empire to the back of my mind, I don’t see any problems. Any Sky+ users out there got any advice? Good or bad?

* I DID spot some on Channel 5 last night though, need to find out if that’s gonna be a regular thing.

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2004 lists

I don’t normally do these. I’m not a great fan of looking back at the past, but then I don’t make resolutions so I guess I’m not so fond of the future either. Live for today and all that!

Still it was a pretty good year, and I DO have some plans for next year… and I’ve got nothing better to do (emm… except tidy up) ohh go on then. Read on for my “Best of 2004″ lists.


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