God, wasn’t ONdigital’s launch massive? I can’t think of a week
where I heard one company’s name being blasted at me so much. If it
wasn’t the TV ads themselves, it was the wrap-around cover on the
Mirror’s supplement or the promotion on Capital Radio. Even the weather
wasn’t safe! If I was religious, I’d have expected the vicar to have
been involved in some promotional sponsorship deal on the Order of
I know I’d get more programmes, I mean, Chris Tarrant and Melvyn Bragg
told me only on Sunday night. I know of Sky Digital and I know that the
BBC is getting involved, but what makes any of these new digital
services different from Sky or cable? I can get them all through my
aerial, yes, but I still need to fork out a couple of hundred pounds on
a set-top box.
A box which, if it’s anything like Channel 5’s bungled attempt at
retuning my video, will cause my fridge to defrost in the middle of the
night and my Sky satellite dish to pick up Nordic radio stations instead
of South Park.
Should I get it all to work at the same time, I’d probably lose so much
interest in the American baseball, cookery and living-room make-over
shows that are bound to make up the majority of the new menu, that I’ll
disconnect the entire operation.
The nifty little black box will then join my Beta video, my Sony
MiniDisc, my Lynx game console and American Express blue card which were
all going to change my life when I bought into them.
If I was told that I’d be fed a constant diet of Friends, Jerry Springer
and Fawlty Towers re-runs, then I’d be signed up quicker than you can
say ’Anyone find a shop that takes AmEx blue?’ But why won’t any of them