Back On Line

After almost two days off line while we made the changeover from Plusnet, we’re now with Homechoice. It’s TV, phone and broadband down your phone line, so no dishes or cable laying. You get a nice brushed aluminum STB which looks very much like a Mac Mini only it has a large soft blue light on the front – very large. A bit too large. There’s also a disconcerting lag between hitting a button on the remote and the interface responding, which makes you unconsciously puuush the buttons really hard. I find it remarkably difficult to stop doing that as well.

Otherwise, it’s nice. Well, nice and cheap at £35 a month and has so far done what it was intended to do: give us a decent TV picture while not making us pay lots more for the privilege.We just don’t watch enough telly for Sky. The TV signal is about DivX quality. The STB has crashed once (something about not being able to find the file system) and the EPG takes a bit of getting used to.

Broadband works fine with my IPCop router, but not having a static IP address means I’ve had to say goodbye to my Tor server. Having a 2Mbit connection is a bit of an anti-climax though. Large files take less time to download, but (unsurprisingly) the experience of email and web surfing is indistinguishable from that of the 512K we had with Plusnet. Not only that, but there’s some strange psychological effect taking place: I see higher download rates on files, but I somehow don’t perceive this as bing any faster – the difference between waiting five minutes and two minutes is, well, the length of a grey bar. And that grey bar’s in the background most times. I might even consider downgrading to their 1Mbit service and save a fiver a month…