Thursday, 14 January 2010

Free to air

The much vaunted advent of digital television has brought about a range of additional free-to-air channels. I am interested in the ongoing campaign (now appears to have been going on for over a year) surrounding the wealth of choice we now have available to us.
It is difficult to see just who or what this is aimed at. My first reaction, for example, is "Good, there is now so much choice I won't ever have to think about subscribing to Foxtel again".
Not that I ever seriously consider it. I am afraid that I could never come at pay-TV, though my children seem to lust after it. My impression is that the only thing I ever want to watch.. World movies.. is usually not in the packages that are being put together.
And whenever I see it at someone's house it seems like there is never anything on I want to watch. Or it is reruns of "Murder She Wrote" (Angela Lansbury was far better at baking pies!!) and "Benny Hill". I mean I used to think Benny Hill, as classic as he is, was facile in the 70s.
Any way while it is has been good to get a bit of an increase in programming because of the advent of all this new digital telly, the truth is that a lot of it is very repetitive.
I note for example that 2,7 and 9 show a lot of programs on 22, 72 and 99 (respectively) that have already been seen on the former channels. They also repeat their stuff, so while they seem to have 24 hour programming at least a third of that is stuff that they reshow in different timeslots.
There is also the emergence of a lot of repeats of long-running TV shows both British and American. I mean how many episodes of Seinfeld and Frasier can there possibly be to fill up the gaps. Even Coronation Street (which began in the 60s) and Heartbeat (which pretends iit's the 60s).
It may be free to air, but it's not new.
And yes, you can watch "Murder she wrote" on at least two free to air channels!!!
And, gasp, I even noted that free to air had "Benny Hill" on the other day. What next? "Rin-tin-tin" and "Champion the Wonder Horse".
I just don't get what's going on. But what ever it is it sure ain't new!

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