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Who's it from?
Tiscali TV is the name for what was previously called Home Choice. It's a set top box plugged into an ADSL phone line driven service that delivers Terrestrial TV, Video On Demand (VOD), a selection of films from a catalogue library and as well as the several other paid for services, should you want them.
Where can I find it?
What does it offer?
All sorts really. It delivers different packages at different specs depending on your purse. The flat package has access to all terrestrial and free to view channels (think Sky 1, 2 and 3) and Film 4, some VOD, HBO. Upgrades can buy you further Sky options, MTV, music packages on demand, UKTV Gold and National Geographic type channels, lots of kids channels as well as African and Far East services.
Well it's not bad. But that's not to say it's great either. You get a small box that sits next to your TV and it does the TV as well as provides your broadband. It's small and compact and doesnt involve a great big satellite dish on the side of your house, which according to my girlfriend is a 'good thing' and the only reason I was allowed to get this service.
The navigation is clear with a fair bit of security, should you have children who need protecting from mature themes The choice of programming included with the initial package is quite diverse and can be upgraded. In fact the nice upside of this service is that, should you wish, you can contract up and down each month, depending on what you require. Or to put another way, cough up when the Cricket is on and leave it when the wife complains.
Their film delivery service (24 hour rents of a film, straight to my TV with latest releases down a wire), although in desperate need of being updated / getting a wider range of films in, has meant I no longer have to deal with the delights of Blockbusters anymore. This one single feature cannot be under valued.
Speed and Quality
On the speed front, it is a touch slow, but that because we're impatient in our house. In actual day to day use, it's fine.
The downside well the core problem here - is that the picture is utter rubbish. If you come from a nice analogue TV service, upon having Tiscali installed, you'll notice that there is a real, visible and quite irritating inability to deal with detailed movement, e.g. clouds, smoke, crowds, sea-like water or waves, that kind of detail.
The quality could do with a kick up the bum a proper bit of, not-sending-TV-signal-down-a-bit-of-copper-wire technology would be a good starter for ten although I can't imagine that this will happen any time soon as it's not really what Tiscali have modelled their service on.
Download Monkey's Conclusion
You get what you pay for. literally. The service costs about 20 quid a month with extra added on top every time I order a film rental, but for that I get Broadband and digital TV. It's not perfect by a long touch but it does (and I don't have to have a dish).
Tiscali- TV On Demand Review by James Sinclair-Smith
- 04 April 2008, 11:09
- Reviewer: Download Monkey
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