Even before the ABC switched over to the ABC1 branding to help emphasise ABC2, I had started shopping for a digital Set Top Box to get the new channels. I’ve been able to sample them through the TV tuner in the computer, but of course watching on the big screen* from the couch is always more comfortable.
Originally the plan had been to buy a plain ol’ standard definition STB, until the new High Definition second channels of the 7 and 10 networks had started up. Now it would appear to make sense to buy an HD unit instead, getting me a total of 3 extra fully-fledged channels: ABC2, 10HD and SBS Digital (though given the latter is wall-to-wall foreign language world news, my chances of understanding any of it is minimal). Plus 7HD, which has a few bits and bobs of different programming.
The question now is, should I jump in and buy an HD STB, or buy a box that also does recording to a hard drive? Indeed, what about a dual-tuner unit so I can record two channels at once (occasionally useful during media storms when I wish to stoke my ego). Those Topfield boxes are meant to be pretty good — though it looks like only the high-end (expensive) model includes an HD tuner.
Or should I go completely over-the-top and wait for the Australian launch of TiVo, rumoured to be coming up before the Olympics in August? Monthly fees attached though, so not free.
Not that I watch a lot of TV, but on the occasions I do flick it on, it’d be nice to have more options.
*OK, my TV is just a 68cm 4:3 CRT model, but to me it’s still big. I don’t want any bigger.