Building up to Christmas – part two

Our new HD Smart TV. On the right is our new small broadband tv box.

Our new HD Smart TV. On the right is our new small broadband tv box.

On towards Christmas we go, with part two of our somewhat different, if not unusual, preparations for this year’s celebrations.

The guy who runs his own TV satellite business arrived late on Friday afternoon to install what we need to get good television reception here.

We already get a feed from a satellite dish but that only provides the free channels and we want much more, so we had already opted for his services. Not knowing whom to contact, we took advice from our neighbours and this man, named Bob, came highly recommended.

He gave us the choice of a new box that would give us the paid for satellite channels, like most of our neighbours have, or a brand new box that works via the internet and brings us all that and more. And the ‘more’ includes more than 850 films, free ‘pay per view’ channels, catch-up, and even channels you have to pay extra to see in the UK. It even includes the BT channels at no extra cost.

Of course, we chose the best package – at the same price as the other box – and he set it all up for us. And we still have our ex-UK Sky box connected to the satellite dish so we would still have some television even if the internet was to fail.

It seems OK, so far, but I am always a bit suspicious of new technology. That being the case, I’ll reserve judgement until we have had it for a little while. The programmes available for just 250€ a year, yes a YEAR, are all the ones offered in Sky’s most extensive package including sport and movies, plus the ‘paid-fors’ such as the football clubs’ own channels, BT and ESPN. Then there are the other services not available via Sky such as the 850 films, free pay-to-view and, he was at pains to point out, some rather graphic porn channels which make’s Sky’s ‘adult’ channels look like kids’ comics.

To be honest, I am not sure how much that would actually cost in the UK but, based on my old Sky subscription in Wales, it must be £80 or more every month or close to £1,000 a year. Meanwhile, here we are paying just 250€, and that is about £185, for a year. Now that is a pretty good deal in any language.

As far as Christmas itself is concerned, we did not bring anything like decorations with us. That, of course, means we have to buy new and that is exactly what we plan to do but not until the after-Christmas sales when they will all be reduced. So, this year, just for once we will not have a tree nor put up any festive decorations.

Christmas dinner will either be what we regard as traditional, as long as the new cooker is installed by then, or it will be at a restaurant in the afternoon. We will just have to wait and see how things develop on that front.