Having decided that the BBC licence tax is going to get me whether or not I have a television, I’ve succumbed to a digibox. And now the second stage of the demented switch over process is complete, and analogue has been switched off, I have:
(A) About a million new channels
(B) A television with a pile of redundant analogue electronics inside it. Yes, I know I am supposed to ditch it and get a flat screen thing but I like my old Sony, so there. The economy can recover from recession without my input.
Acquiring all the digital radio stations, including the wonderful Radio 7 and BBC-BBC World Service, is a considerable bonus. I am not so sure the same can be said for some of the TV channels. For those of you who haven’t switched yet, here’s what you have in store:
BBC1 to 4 - not quite sure why the BBC needs so many or why 3 and 4 require a little logo in the top left to tell you what you’ve tuned into. Are goldfish the BBC's new core demographic?
BBC News - 24 hour news with presenters who aren’t handsome or pretty enough to be on BBC1.
CBeebies - training channel for future news and current affairs presenters.
BBC Parliament - feeble attempt to suck up to the politicians ready for the next licence fee review
ITV1 - occasionally contains programmes without real people.
ITV2 - contains older programmes.
ITV3 - repeats of programmes you last saw when you were three years old.
ITV4 - quiz channel, e.g. what is ITV4?
Channel 4 - so named because you have a one-in-four chance of getting Big Brother whatever time of day you tune in.
E4 - Channel 4 translated into Yorkshire.
4 + 1 - Channel Five for accountants.
Teacher’s Channel - only on for a few hours a day and then disappears for the summer.
Directgov - dodgy insurance channel.
Community Channel - stuff you would otherwise know about if you didn’t spend all day indoors watching TV.
Gay Rabbit - alarmingly enlightened children’s channel.
305 - nothing broadcast, which makes it the one place you’re safe from those irritating Michael Winner adverts.
Strangely enough, the likelihood of finding something you want to watch seems to be in inverse proportion to the number of channels on offer. Other channels may, of course, be available but after going through that lot, it’s easy to find yourself being drawn to the bookcase …
Fortunately, the electronic programme guide is quite exciting. I could watch that for hours.