Lately I thought about getting Sky TV installed. The main reason why I wanted to do it now was that I moved house lately and that the satellite dish was already installed. I’m still not 100% sure how that works here in New Zealand as it seems that Sky installs those dishes for free but owns them therefor. I just know how it is in Germany with the local PayTV Premiere, its all your own business.
So somehow Sky installs those dishes. Of course they don’t remove them after you quit, that wouldn’t pay. So if you move into another flat/house/whatever and there is a dish installed Sky sends you a letter and tells you that you can get Sky cheaper as everything is already setup! Yeah!
When cheaper is not cheaper
So I checked that offer, I would’ve paid $79 instead of $99 installation fee. Ah yes, now thats really cheap, isn’t it? I had a look at their Website and there they have another offer. You pay those $99 installation fee but you get the first month for free (including Sports packet which sums up to around $70) and you get 12 PayPerView movies for free as well! Now lets see… Either I save $20 with that special letter offer as the dish is already installed or I save about $100 (basically no installation fee) with that offer found on the website.
Why monopoly is good (for a company)
I already had the feeling that Sky tries to cheat on me. So my partner called them (she is really good in that!) and told them that there must be something wrong. Until this point it could’ve all been a mistake. But it wasn’t. That guy told her that we either can get those $20 off or we get the other offer I found on the Internet. So no benefit for the already installed dish, not even after complaining. That guy wanted to sign us up anyway but we didn’t want it with those conditions. So he hung up. Wow, customer service!
Why Sky will win (eventually)
Here comes the bad part. I will have to get Sky at one point. First I am used to far more TV channels than I have right now. In Germany I had 500+ channels (many of them in foreign language). Here I have not even 10!
But more important, in 2008 the European World Championship is coming up! Yes, I am talking about soccer, not Rugby! I have to see that and I doubt it will be on free TV…
Another cool thing is MySky, its basically what I had in Germany since 2003 as a VDR (Video Disk Recorder) system built on Linux (first SuSE, later Gentoo). With this setup and a digital satellite dish you have everything you ever want for TV. Timeshift, automated recordings, burning movies as DVDs (automatically of course) and so on. If you are interested you might want to have a look at the VDR Wiki or the Forums of the VDR Community.
To be honest, MySky is not even close to VDR. But its at least better than “normal” TV with ads, without recording… But as I haven’t heard of any legal possibility to use Sky TV and VDR together. If that would be possible I would ship my PC from Germany and set it up here!