Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Why haven’t we got Sky TV?

Last year I wrote about why I took my son back in time with his TV viewing.

At the time, the lovely editor (and for once, there’s no sarcasm there) asked if I was worried that my son might not be able to relate to his peers.

Instead of being able to join in with playground chat of whatever nonsense is currently popular, would he be isolated with only his knowledge of The A-Team, Knight Rider and The Raccoons to entertain him.

I wasn’t worried.

Perhaps I should have been.

Recently his ‘Why haven’t we got Sky?’ moan is getting louder.

Yesterday he even asked my mother to have ‘a word with me about it’.

Thing is, I don’t want it.

Besides getting into the whole debate of whether lining the pockets of BSKYB is a good idea, and the very recent allegations questioning is News Corp a fit and proper owner for Sky, it’s just an expense I don’t want to be running to.

We live a frugal existence, and spending an guestimated rolling £50 a month, or £700 a year on television programming seems very frivolous to me.

It doesn’t represent value for money for us.  We simply wouldn’t be watching enough TV for our bucks, not that I’m suggesting the programming is poor.

I know it is seen as almost an essential utility amongst many, but not here.

Not until now, at least.

When we built the house we live in - almost four years ago now - I had wiring put in that would have meant no ghastly cables going round the outside of our shiny new home if we did get a satellite receiver.

I literally had the phone ringing to Sky, when I thought ‘we’ve not missed it while we’ve been renting, so don’t sleep walk into ordering it now’.

Max would only been about three years-old at the time, so wouldn’t have noticed either.

But now he has.

‘All my friends have got Sky TV.’ He says almost daily.

How I love that, the ‘well they’ve got one, so we NEED one’ positioned argument.

But, in a way, he has a point.

Not that someone else having something should sway me to want to keep up, or feel like we are missing out, but because it may be the source of their common ground.

I am a big believer in that any activity, including watching television, can be a good thing for a child.

If there’s interaction, if viewing stimulates conversation away from the screen and if it’s something that encourages positive role-play, then it can only be a good thing.

Because I can’t do anything without being distracted I like to have all the information available, I had a look at the actual costs of getting Sky television installed.

But if you want the bare minimum package, it’s not easy information to find.

So instead I opted to engage in an on-line chat with a Sky advisor.

That was fun.

Not, sell, sell, sell at all.

Think my favourite part was not having to worry about the price, as it included a handsome discount for me.

But at £300 a year?

Does that represent value for money?  

And is that what I’d really end up paying?

I know if we had it installed, he’d instantly be nagging for an upgraded package, to cover the wrestling, or other things on top.

I’ve looked at BT Vision – several times – and I am still none the wiser as to what you actually get.

Virgin cable has not reached us yet, and is not likely too, so am I just delaying the inevitable?

Am I eventually going to be cajoled into becoming a Sky customer once more by default?

I don’t know.

I’ve got a couple of Muppet DVDs to pacify my child for now.

And I’ve still got Different Strokes up my sleeve.

And indeed.

Guess the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum, what might be right for you, may not be right for some.