Thursday, March 08, 2007

A Week With Tiscali

It's been a week since Homechoice rebranded as Tiscali, so far there has been little change.

Visually, they mirror flipped the main menu (so the video is on the left, the menu on the right, instead of the way it was on Homechoice where there was video in the upper right hand corner with the menu on the left). I preferred the old way, but then I prefer my menus to be on the left.

C1 has been watered down (again), with some of the programmes now on a second VOD channel called Free OD (which I'm guessing replaces Taste C1). 4oD is now there, which includes some free Channel 4 content- so we're pretty much back to where we were when there was the replay service on C4. I haven't found 4oD's premium content compelling, if I was going to pay 1 pound per episode for a series I think I'd just buy the DVD.

In a move that has taken a surprisingly long time, Adult content has finally arrived. Playboy, Adult Channel, Spice Extreme and Trade TV have launched VOD channels. Each one is available at 4.99 a night or 9.99 a month, plus the 3 straight channels, Playboy, Adult and Spice Extreme (though calling Spice Extreme "straight" is pushing it) are available at 7.99 a night or 15.99 a month. Adult content is probably the biggest change to the service so far, the other changes being cosmetic, or having no additional content or being little more than a return to a previous level of service. The odd thing is that the VOD channels are only available after 10pm - seeing as the TV service is PIN protected (more so than before - there is no longer guest access), I don't see why there should be any time restrictions on these channels. One other interesting thing to note is that, currently, the existence of the channels isn't mentioned on the list of channels on the Homechoice website - you have to go to the existing customers upgrade packs page to find any public hint of their existence.

I have noticed that the TiVo is having a harder time changing to the correct channels - so I'm losing more programmes than I used to(some programmes on Paramount aren't being recorded - Channel 5 gets recorded instead, which is something that had never happened before). Hopefully, the Tiscali PVR will be available soon.

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